"An increase in crimes related to human trafficking in the region should be taken seriously by the regional countries. The nations should intensify cooperation to address the issue," Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Political and Security Cooperation Director at the Foreign Affairs Ministry M. Chandra Widya Yudha stated.
Indonesia and the EU are collaborating to reduce and eradicate crimes related to human trafficking through a workshop held in Semarang on April 4-5, 2017.
The workshop was organized within the framework of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to expand the coverage of the seminar.
Some 27 countries and one entity -- the EU -- participated in the workshop.
"The workshop was intended to promote the exchange of information, coordination, and regional cooperation in providing protection to the victims of human trafficking. The forum was aimed to eradicating crimes related to human trafficking comprehensively," Yudha noted.
In addition, the forum highlighted the principles and objectives of the various regional and international instruments.
He explained that the participants of the ARF had agreed to establish a priority area of cooperation to prevent human trafficking in the mechanism of the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime.
"In this priority area, Indonesia and the EU will coordinate all initiatives and the activities of the ARF within the scope of Crime of Trafficking in Persons," he revealed.
Southeast Asian nations are susceptible to crimes related to human trafficking as countries of origin, transit, and destination.
Based on the global report on human trafficking, the number of cases of human trafficking in several countries in Southeast Asia -- Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, and East Timor -- had increased in recent years.
Meanwhile, Europe has become a destination region for human trafficking victims, and the citizens of Asia have become the victims of such crimes.(*)