Media Release: Development Cooperation
Date: 4 December 2008
Australia and Vietnam boost fight against people trafficking
Hanoi – The fight against people trafficking went further today with the launch of the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (ARTIP) in Viet Nam.
Police Major General Vu Hung Vuong, Deputy Director General of Police, Ministry of Public Security and Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Allaster Cox today attended the project launch in Ha Noi to show their commitment to combating people trafficking.
“The illegal immigration and trafficking of women and children over Vietnamese borders severely impacts on our people and society,” Mr Vu Hung Vuong said.
“The project expansion to Viet Nam will be an important toll in tackling people trafficking.”
Mr Cox said: “There can be no doubt that an effective criminal justice response to trafficking is the single most important factor in ending impunity for traffickers and securing justice for victims.”
The project is a five-year initiative that began in 2006 in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Burma (2006-2008). Its second phase (2008-2010) will include Viet Nam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Mr Cox said the AUD 21 million project would create more effective and coordinated approaches by criminal justice systems in the region.
“The launch of ARTIP in Viet Nam is a logical step in cementing Viet Nam as a future leader in responding to people trafficking. Australia believes it is a necessary evolution for Viet Nam to join this regional response because the threat of people trafficking can only be dealt with through a united response,” he said.
ARTIP will enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and the judiciary in Vietnam to deal with trafficking while protecting victims’ rights.
The project also aims to strengthen relationships between countries in order to promote cooperation on trafficking cases across national borders. It will help develop common standards between countries by working with regional bodies dealing with trafficking including the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime.
The project acknowledges the central role played by national criminal justice agencies in the fight against trafficking. Without committed police, prosecutors and judiciary it will never be possible to end the impunity of traffickers or to seek justice for the victims of this terrible crime.
The project builds on the work of a previous Australian Government funded initiative: the Strengthening of the Legal and Law Enforcement Institutions in Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Persons in Vietnam Project (completed in August 2007) which also focused on strengthening the criminal justice response to trafficking in this region.