Friday, October 02, 2015

Brunei Combats Human Trafficking

Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar (2nd from left) in a group photo with Asean ministers at the official opening of the 10th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. – COURTESY OF PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE

Brunei intensifies combat against human trafficking
Posted date: October 02, 2015

BRUNEI Darussalam has intensified its efforts to combat human trafficking and tightened rules to effectively stem the menace.

The Sultanate is currently amending the Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons Order 2004 for the implementation of the Asean Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and the Asean Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, said Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar.

Speaking at the 10th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (10th AMMTC) and its Related Meetings, the minister said this includes provisions for enhanced penalties in aggravated cases of trafficking in persons, assistance for victims of trafficking in persons, immunity from prosecution for victims of trafficking and increased powers of investigations for enforcement agencies.

The 10th AMMTC which began on September 28 and was chaired by Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs, Malaysia, concluded yesterday in Kuala Lumpur.

At the meeting, Brunei, represented by the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, and other Asean member states adopted and signed the Kuala Lumpur Declaration in combating Transnational Crime, which is the renewal of the Asean Declaration on Transnational Crime 1997.

The meeting also adopted the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Irregular Movement of Persons in Southeast Asia.

Delivering the minister’s statement, Pehin Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin reiterated Brunei’s unwavering commitment to work with all Asean member states and its partners to strengthen international cooperation in the common fight against transnational crime.

In the long term, AMMTC/SOMTC (Senior Official Meeting on Transnational Crime) should be adopting the 4Ps – which are Prevention, Protection, Partnership and Prosecution – in all areas of transnational crime under the purview of AMMTC/SOMTC. These will not only address the root cause but also protect the vulnerable groups, and most importantly, educate the public against either committing the crime or becoming a victim of it, he said.

In a joint statement, the meeting agreed to endorse a treaty against illicit trafficking of wildlife and timber as two new areas under the purview of AMMTC/SOMTC. The ministers also endorsed the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and the ASEAN Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (APA).

In the 7th AMMTC Plus Three (6th AMMTC+3) Consultation, the ministers agreed to further strengthen efforts to prevent and combat transnational crime, including addressing of new forms of transnational crime.

In the 4th AMMTC Plus China (4th AMMTC+China) Consultation, the meeting welcomed the intention of Asean and China to develop a new Memorandum of Understanding between Asean and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on cooperation in the field of non-traditional security issues for the period of 2015-2021 to further strengthen the existing security cooperation between Asean and China.

The Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office co-chaired with Japan the 2nd AMMTC Plus Japan (2nd AMMTC+Japan) Consultation. The meeting decided to intensify their effort against terrorism and cybercrime. The meeting also took note of the SOMTC+Japan Work Plan for Cooperation to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime (2015-2017).

Other members of the Brunei delegation included Dato Paduka Haji Hamdan bin Haji Abu Bakar, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, as well as senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Royal Brunei Police Force and the Immigration and National Registration Department.

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