Mekong Countries Reaffirms Cooperation in Anti-trafficking Efforts | Lao Tribune

Mekong Countries Reaffirms Cooperation in Anti-trafficking Efforts

Six Mekong countries have reaffirmed their cooperation on countering and preventing human trafficking in the sub region.

The statement was made by the Minister of Public Security, Maj. Gen. Somkeo Sylavong at the 11th Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking (COMMIT SOM 11) in Vientiane on Nov 24.

“Human trafficking is a problem that continues to occur and spread widely, it is a serious threat hampering economic development and social order in the sub-region and our region as whole,” said Maj. Gen. Somkeo told the meeting held under the theme “Strengthening Victim-Centered Approaches: Learning from COMMIT experiences”.

He said that the globalization with integrated global and regional economy technology communication has been developed and modernized, convenient travel, movement with no boundaries and many other are being considered to be factors that push and facilitate the traffickers to conduct their activities easily and with lot of complexity aiming to make economic profit.

In 2004, six countries of Mekong downstream have simultaneously signed a memorandum of understanding to work against human trafficking, which part of COMMIT has establish outreach programmes to regional planning priorities in its periodic and can be a very successful,” added Maj. Gen. Somkeo.

“The work that all of you are undertaking to jointly combat human trafficking at the national level and through regional coordination has been impressive. The progress is contributing towards the Sustainable Development Goals related to trafficking,” said Ms Kaori Kawarabayashi Regional Project Manager of United Nations Action for Cooperation Against Trafficking.

“The SDGs present a framework for collective action to find solutions for the most vulnerable people including victims and potential victims of trafficking,” said Ms Kaori, who pointed out that the accurate and timely identification of victims of trafficking and provision of needed support services are vital to counter-trafficking efforts.

“Norway and Sweden are pound to support your efforts. Human trafficking is high on our political agendas and also a part of our broader international development and foreign policy agendas. For our governments, human trafficking is a crucial human rights issue that to be addressed in itself,” Mr Vegard Holmelid, Minister Counsellor, Rayal Norwegian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand

Mr Vegard said that gender equality is a cornerstone in Norway and Sweden, and we find it important to advocate for equal rights of women and men.

“When addressing human trafficking and exploitation for labour and sexual purposes it is important to invest in effective measures to assure that their respective rights are respected and protected,” said Mr Vegard.

Source: Lao News Agency