Summer Institute on Preventing Trafficking and Slavery Concludes in Bali

Denpasar, 13 August 2015—The third day of the Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights began with a panel titled “The ASEAN as Anti-Trafficking Actor: Supporting the AICHR and ACWC in fulfilling the Trafficking Convention and the ASEAN Action Plan.” His Excellency Rafendi Djamin, the AICHR Indonesian Representative and Her Excellency Datin Paduka Intan Kassim, the ACWC Chairperson, led the discussion with presentations on the roles of their respective organizations in stopping trafficking and slavery. The two speakers brought up the importance of cross-sectoral and cross-pillar collaboration within ASEAN to effectively combat trafficking. They also emphasized the necessity to build and utilize relationships with different actors—including business communities and civil societies—in the region.

Following a coffee break, His Excellency Ambassador Ong Keng Yong led a review of the proceedings and plenary discussions of the day before. Titled “How ASEAN actors can work together to prevent trafficking in persons in supply chains,” this talk fostered a sense of true community among the participants. During this panel, participants reflected on the result of yesterday’s break-out session, which focused on the roles and needs of ACWC, AICHR, and ACMW with relation to eradicating trafficking in persons in the region. Though these are different ASEAN human rights bodies, participants agreed that cooperation among agencies is necessary to build effective policy to take down trafficking and slavery. It was also agreed upon that these ASEAN agencies must make efforts to work with civil society and other organizations to increase effectiveness. This valuable and enlightening session resulted in the development of a document surmising recommendations and possible next steps that if undertaken can help ASEAN to move forward.

The program’s sessions concluded with remarks by Professor Carolina Hernandez, Governing Board Member of the HRRC. In her brief statement, she said that “we cannot continue to operate in silos,” and that she felt hope that progress would be made as conference participants had been emphasizing the desire to collaborate to make ASEAN more effective.The Summer Institute is HRRC’s annual event and is hosted together with Udayana University this year. This year’s Institute is made possible through the generous support of USAID, the U.S. Department of State, the British Embassy in Jakarta, the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University, and the East-West Center.