Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Seeking to check the smuggling of people to Australia on Indonesian ships, Indonesia and Australia recently held a People Smuggling Awareness Campaign.

"The Awareness Campaign is a soft launch for a Critical Evaluation Analysis of the Indonesian Government`s Policy on Solving People Smuggling Issues to Australia, (which is being conducted) with the cooperation of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra and Hasanuddin University," said Indonesian Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema in a press release received here on Tuesday.

The awareness campaign was organized by the Indonesian Embassy for Australia in Canberra, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, and the Agency for Policy Assessment and Development of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry in Makassar on October 21.

At least 25 journalists from the print and the electronic media from Jakarta and regional areas took part in the event.

"There are several issues to be considered for Indonesian ship crews who get convicted in people smuggling cases such as the wrecking of ships, arrest of crew on Australian territory, and the impact on the crew`s family," Kesoema observed.

The number of ships from Indonesia smuggling foreigners to Australia has increased in recent years, he stated.

All stakeholders must help resolve the issue of smuggling of people from Indonesia, he said.

The Indonesian government will also work to develop the economy in coastal areas to improve the welfare of the community so that people do not take up offers from asylum seekers, he added.

Meanwhile, Australia`s Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia, David Engel, stated the people smuggling problem must be resolved through close cooperation between Indonesia and Australia.

"The Australian government will also help Indonesia prevent asylum seekers from coming to Indonesia," Engel said.

He added that the Australian government appreciates Indonesia`s efforts on Bali Process Plus, which mulls solutions for the people smuggling problem. (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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