Jakarta. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations must consider the increased risk of human trafficking, as its members move to boost connectivity in the region, a representative from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said on Friday (15/12).
"As we look into more integration within Asean, there has to be a security aspect that is tied in and developed," UNODC Indonesia country manager Collie Brown said during a panel discussion on human trafficking in Jakarta.
The 10-member bloc is in the process of realizing the Asean connectivity concept, which comprises physical connectivity (transportation, information technology, energy), institutional connectivity (facilitation of trade in goods, investment) and people-to-people connectivity (education, culture, tourism).
The removal of both physical and non-physical barriers across the region poses additional risks in relation to criminal networks that may be attached to the legitimate movement of goods or people.
National Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) human trafficking department head Hafidh Susilo emphasized the importance of collaboration at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.
"Human trafficking networks that we have found in Indonesia are part of a global network, there are Indonesians working beyond Asia Pacific and the Middle East, even in Africa," Hafidh said.
Brown touched on the dangers of focusing on cases of sexual exploitation in the discourse on human trafficking, as it also involves other issues such as modern slavery and illegal organ trade.