The Asian Regional Initiative Against Trafficking (ARIAT) in Women and Children meeting was held in Manila in March 2000. The meeting was co-hosted by the governments of the United States of America and the Philippines. The purpose of the meeting was to reiterate the danger of human trafficking and to generate an action plan to combat this issue. The meeting was attended by representatives of several other governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations that are working in the EAP. The participants included: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong China, Japan, Kingdom of Cambodia, Kingdom of Thailand, Macau China, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China, Republic of Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Republic of the Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the United States of America, and the European Union, Asian Development Bank, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEANOPOL, Asia Foundation, Ford Foundation, INSTRAW, INTERPOL, IOM, SEAMEO-INNOTECH, UNCICP, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNICRI, UNIFEM and the World Bank.
Participants and Observers noted with concern that trafficking in human beings can translate into violations of human rights, inhumane treatment and various forms of abuse and exploitation. The causes of trafficking are complex. While there are numerous contributing factors, the primary root cause is poverty, most particularly among women and children who may have little or no access to education, support services, or resources. Participants and Observers emphasized that trafficking in persons is a transnational crime and combating this global problem will require an integrated approach at national, sub-regional, regional and international levels. Countries of origin, transit and destination must work together in order to achieve significant progress, including working within established frameworks for regional cooperation. It was reiterated that this pernicious modern-day slavery is repugnant to all nations and on that basis Participants and Observers expressed confidence that with cooperation among countries of origin, transit, and destination it will be possible to combat trafficking. It was also realized that where trafficking in persons has already occurred, the human rights of trafficked persons should be protected and the criminals who now traffic with impunity should be brought to justice.
To that end, the above noted Participants and Observers met, considered the advice of international experts, and, in a series of workshops, exchanged information, engaged in dialogue, reviewed best practices, discussed and developed an Action Plan for the region. This plan offers suggestions for possible future steps and practices to fight trafficking in persons, especially women and children, in all its forms.
Improve information sharing between state agencies at the local, national and international levels. This includes development of a data bank that would record incidences of trafficking, trafficking patterns in countries of origin, transit and destination. The statistical data on trafficking would be standardized at all levels. An information dissemination and exchange website would be developed that would promote exchange of information, best practices and lessons learned on the issue of human trafficking.
Promote cooperation and partnership among governments, NGOs, international organizations, the private and civil sectors in prevention, protection, prosecution and repatriation aspects of trafficking in persons. The cooperation would especially focus on providing comprehensive and immediate assistance for trafficked persons. Countries would be encouraged to build regional cooperation networks to combat the issue of human trafficking. Strategic Areas for Action
Promote cooperation and partnership among governments, NGOs, international organizations, the private and civil sectors in prevention, protection, prosecution and repatriation aspects of trafficking in persons. The cooperation would especially focus on providing comprehensive and immediate assistance for trafficked persons. Countries would be encouraged to build regional cooperation networks to combat the issue of human trafficking.
Search the entirety of the site for resources or updates.