Asean leaders sign key convention against trafficking in persons

KUALA LUMPUR: The 10 leaders of Asean cemented a key convention in the Malaysian capital Saturday to demonstrate their commitment in protecting victims of trafficking and combating trafficking in persons in the region.

The signing ceremony of the Asean Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP), was led by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

The convention establishes a legal framework for the region to effectively address the issue of trafficking in persons.

The signing of ACTIP was held in conjunction with the 27th Asean Summit and Related Summits under Malaysia's 2015 chairmanship of the regional grouping.

Najib then handed over the signed convention document to Asean secretary-general Le Luong Minh.

ACTIP's objectives among others are to effectively prevent and combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children; protect and assist human trafficking victims with full respect for their human rights; and promote cooperation among the relevant parties.

Recognising the urgency to address human trafficking in the region, the Asean leaders during the 18th Asean Summit in Indonesia, 2011, tasked the Ministers in charge of transnational crimes to consider an Asean Convention on Trafficking in Persons.

The leaders had stressed that victims of trafficking, mainly women and children, have the fundamental right to be protected in accordance with international law and relevant international conventions.

ACTIP is the second convention endorsed by Asean following the Asean Convention on Counter Terrorism, which was signed by the Asean leaders in Cebu, Philippines on Jan 13, 2007.

The 10 members of Asean are Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. — Bernama