Envoys briefed on trafficking issues
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
IN AN effort to raise awareness on human trafficking and people smuggling into the Sultanate, diplomats were briefed yesterday on some of the key issues faced by Brunei in this arena.
Officials from various government agencies briefed envoys on current legislation and strategies employed to tackle trafficking of persons into Brunei.
Brunei has been labelled a “transit country” for people smuggling, with several cases of people smuggling and passport fraud being brought to court in the past two years.
“This briefing is a platform for representatives from foreign missions and representatives of the Ad Hoc Committee on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) to come together to tackle TIP issues in a coordinated manner,” said the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) in a statement.
Officials from ASEAN countries – as well as Australia, the United States, China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran – attended the briefing yesterday at the RBPF headquarters.
The envoys were briefed on distinctions between trafficking in persons and people smuggling; how to identify victims of trafficking; and how foreign missions can assist their own citizens who may be victims of trafficking.
The Department of Community Development also shared information on the government welfare home which provides shelter for trafficked persons.
Posters and TIP checklists on victim identification were distributed to law enforcement and foreign missions to promote public awareness of the issue.
The Ad Hoc committee comprises officers from the RBPF; the Prime Minister’s Office; the Attorney General’s Chambers; the Immigration Department and the Labour Department.
Brunei ranked on “tier 2” of the US State Department’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons report.
The Sultanate has improved its ranking in recent years, with the State Department saying Brunei has made “significant efforts” towards compliance, devoting more resources and training to raise awareness and prosecute trafficking cases.
The department places each country in one of three tiers, a placement based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than on the size of the problem.
The Brunei Times