HANOI, 26 June 2018- The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened the “Regional Workshop on Prevention Strategies to combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP), Especially Women and Children: Enhancing Access to Information and Community-based Protection System” in Hanoi on 21-22 June.

The workshop was part of the AICHR’s continued effort to promote a comprehensive regional approach to combat TIP, particularly focused on TIP prevention strategies. It was an avenue for participants to discuss the human rights-based, people-centred and multi-stakeholder approach in the TIP prevention strategies development and implementation. Participants also discussed international and regional legal and policy frameworks on anti-TIP as well as challenges and the ways forward to enhance regional cooperation on the agenda.

The workshop’s participants included representatives from the AICHR, ASEAN relevant sectoral bodies, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Member States’ line ministries/agencies, relevant UN agencies, international organizations, civil society organisations with consultative relationship with AICHR, regional experts, and other relevant stakeholders.

Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, Assistant Minister of Foreign affairs of Viet Nam, highlighted in his opening remarks Viet Nam’s commitment to the fight against TIP. He also called on States to build on the momentum achieved to mobilise greater actions and resources to concertedly fight against this crime, with a view to making significant contribution to the realisation of the ASEAN Community and the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals.

During the two-day workshop, the resource persons and participants highlighted the proper use of ICTs and social media to share information, identify victims, educate and raise awareness on TIP; the role of community-based systems in identifying and providing supports to TIP victims. Further, they underlined the need for information campaigns that target specific audiences and respond to particular needs of each local community; the need to address root causes of TIP; and the importance of regional/international cooperation as well as the engagement of all relevant stakeholders in society as a driving-force to move forward the agenda.

The workshop was organised by AICHR-Viet Nam, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam; the AICHR, the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security; the Australian Government; and the Embassy of Turkey in Hanoi.