ASEAN-Japan Workshop on Technology-based Approach to Tackle Trafficking of Children

Proponent : Ministry of Public Security, Viet Nam
Implementing Agency : The Department of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Public Security, Viet Nam

Background

Violence against children remains a thorn in global society. Reducing it is recognized as one of key areas for development in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the Global Report on Human Trafficking in Persons 2018 by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that sexual exploitation towards boys and girls persists in Southeast Asia region. Child-sex tourism remains a major issue to countries with popular tourist destinations such as Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. In many cases, children are also trafficked for the purpose of producing child sexual abuse material online where trafficker use internet as platform to recruit, advertise and exploit victims including children. With the internet, a victim does not even have to leave his or her home while the exploitation can be streamed live and directed at global markets. Hence, international organizations and global technology companies are working to better utilize technology to tackle children trafficking. Despite the continued efforts of the ASEAN Member States (AMSs), high-quality and evidence-based data on trafficking in persons, especially children, is still needed to be more efficient.

The Government of Japan through Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) has been consistently supporting ASEAN’s endeavors to combat terrorism and transnational crime. Recognizing that trafficking in persons has wide harmful effects on economic, social and political aspects which impede the development of the region, ASEAN-Japan Joint Declaration on Cooperation to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime in 2014 emphasized the great urgency of enhancing cooperation to eliminate trafficking in persons, particularly of women and children.

It is against this backdrop, this proposed project will conduct a workshop that will enhance participants’ understanding and knowledge on the technology-based approach to tackle children trafficking more effectively. The project intends to contribute to SOMTC-Japan Work Plan for Cooperation to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime (2018-2022).

What is the project aiming for?

Learning from Japan who is regarded as the forefront in technology, the Workshop is expected to be a platform for stakeholders of AMSs and Japan to explore the possibilities of harnessing technology in combating trafficking of children. Representatives from AMSs, Japanese government and ASEAN Secretariat will learn from the experts of UNODC, International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) regarding practical ways to utilize technologies to tackle human trafficking. Further, it will help to:

  • Assess the current situation of trafficking of children in the region, especially the technology-associated cases;
  • Share the significant role of harnessing the potential of technology to tackle children trafficking; and
  • Develop a set of internationally-recognized and non-binding good practices that facilitate countries and organizations to utilize information and communication technologies to combat trafficking of children.

Many people have been identified as victims of trafficking in persons in ASEAN Member States and Japan. We reiterate that trafficking in persons is a grace violation of human rights and in particular, of women and children, and underscore the great urgency of enhancing cooperation to eliminate this scourge from our region

The ASEAN-Japan Joint Declaration for Cooperation to
Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime
11 December 2014
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Overall, the project ASEAN-Japan Workshop on Technology-based Approach to Tackle Trafficking of Children contributes to ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025 specifically under Key Elements – B.3.4 Enhance cooperation against trafficking in persons and people smuggling. The project commences in November 2020 and the Workshop is tentatively scheduled in January 2021.

As of 30 November 2020