Australia hopes to combat human trafficking through its welcome of the new agreement
01 April 2011
Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen welcomes agreement on human trafficking
Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has welcomed a regional framework agreed on Wednesday 30th March by 41 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, designed to combat human trafficking.
The Australian Immigration Minister was present at the agreement, which took place at the Bali Process, a gathering of representatives from over 50 countries in the region and is co-chaired by the Governments of Indonesia and Australia. It is supported by financial contributions from numerous participating countries as well as Japan and the US.
Co-chairing the meeting, Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd described the agreement as a “historic milestone in regional efforts to work together to tackle people-smuggling."
Meanwhile, Australia remains in talks with East Timor regarding a regional refugee processing centre in the country, a matter which is still under consideration, according to Alberto Xavier Pereira Carlos, East Timor’s foreign minister. Although the Bali Process framework referenced “centre or centres” where refugee and asylum seekers’ applications could be handled, no specific location of timeframe was referred to. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has previously expressed her despite to keep discussion bilateral and for direction discussion between the two countries.
Australia is often perceived to be a popular destination for those fleeing conflict and in search of a better life, with figures recently released showing asylum claims rising by a third over the last year despite Australia receiving just 2% of the world’s asylum claims.