JAKARTA, 6 July 2015 – The Australia-Asia Programme to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP) and the ASEAN Secretariat announced the launch of a new program of work between AAPTIP and the Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime(SOMTC) for the year July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. This plan of work, developed in close coordination with ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat, was endorsed by the 15th SOMTC, which was convened on 5- 11 June 2015 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Australia is the only dialogue partner of ASEAN that has been working closely with ASEAN Member States since 2003 for the strengthening of criminal justice systems in responding to human trafficking crimes through a victim-centered approach.

Being cognisant that Trafficking in Persons is not limited only to trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, this robust, second annual work plan of AAPTIP represents the Australian government’s strong commitment to ASEAN’s fight against all forms of Trafficking in Persons, and reflects AAPTIP’s responsiveness to the new emerging mandate of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which is expected to be adopted by ASEAN Leaders at the end of this year.

AAPTIP is committed to increasing its work with the SOMTC, the SOMTC’s Working Group on TIP, and the associated Heads of Specialist Anti-TIP Units over the coming years, and to support these sectoral bodies to delve deeper into the new areas of the criminal justice system’s support for victims of trafficking and the trafficking of migrants for labour exploitation, including in the fishing industry.

AAPTIP is a five-year regional program started in August 2013 and funded by the Australian government with a commitment of AUD $50 million. AAPTIP builds on over 10 years of previous Australian government-funded programmatic work in the region to strengthen the capacity of criminal justice responses to human trafficking. Like its
predecessor program, AAPTIP has both national level and regional-level programs and AAPTIP currently has offices and activities in 7 of the ASEAN countries as well as a program to work regionally with ASEAN bodies addressing trafficking in persons. All AAPTIP programs and activities therein are supported and endorsed by 10 ASEAN Member States.

The new ASEAN-AAPTIP work plan can be found at: http://www.aaptip.org/content.php?mcId=1385333890&conId=1402565349&smId