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Countering human trafficking in Indonesia

Bandung (Indonesia), 6 November 2009 - "The fight against trafficking has really just started" said Gary Lewis in his presentation on the Global Report on Trafficking of Persons at a seminar entitled " Effective Criminal Justice Response to Trafficking" in Bandung, Indonesia, on 28 October. In the Global Report, UNODC points out that the global rate of conviction of traffickers is increasing and reveals that impunity with regard to this crime is widespread. According to the report, sexual exploitation is the most commonly identified form of human trafficking. Mr. Lewis, quoting from the report, said that, to the credit of the countries of the world, "in a remarkably short space of time, tremendous progress has been made in combating a crime that was only recently widely acknowledged to exist at all. Nonetheless, much remains to be done - especially in implementing the provisions of the international conventions at ground level."

The three-day seminar was organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended by several other ministries and departments of the Government of Indonesia, non-governmental organizations and donor agencies.

Speaking specifically about the Indonesian segment of the global report, Mr. Lewis pointed out that in 2007 an almost equal number of men and women were apprehended in the country. He congratulated Indonesia for having ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in February 2009, adding that the United Nations appreciated Indonesia's efforts in quickly adopting the necessary laws to support counter-trafficking measures. Nonetheless, he pointed out that having the laws was not enough. "There need to be more convictions - and better quality convictions - of suspected traffickers," he said, adding that "this will come only from improved law enforcement."

At a conference on criminal justice in cases of trafficking in persons for South-East Asia organized in October 2007 in the framework of the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking ( UN.GIFT ) , it was recommended, among other things, that the capacity of front-line officers be strengthened in victim identification and assistance that better ways to support the investigation of cases should be identified.

On the second day of the seminar, Ajit Joy, UNODC Crime Prevention Expert presented the UNODC project concept on front-line law enforcement training in trafficking in persons in Indonesia. The project will work closely with the Indonesian National Police, in particular with the Criminal Investigation Department, the Anti-Trafficking Unit and the units dedicated to the protection of women and children. The main objectives of the project are to train officers to identify cases and victims of trafficking in persons, investigate trafficking-related offences and improve cooperation within the criminal justice system and between States.

For more information on the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons published by UNODC earlier this year, visit the page on the launch in Bangkok on 13 February 2009.