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Senior officials meet to discuss combatting human trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

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SOM8 14 FebHa Noi, 14 February 2012 - Senior policy makers from the six governments of the Greater Mekong Sub-region met in Hanoi on 14-16 February 2012 for the 8th Senior Officials Meeting and 3rd Inter Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT).

During the inter-ministerial meeting, ministers from the six COMMIT countries signed the second Joint Declaration of COMMIT, reaffirming their commitment to eradicating all forms of human trafficking in the region.

 “I am delighted to note that the COMMIT process has gone from strength to strength. COMMIT has been recognized as a global best practice,” remarked the United Nations Resident Coordinator of Vietnam, Ms Pratibha Mehta.

Ms Mehta also praised the Government of Viet Nam for “the concrete steps that have been taken … in its anti-trafficking efforts”, including the 2011 revision of the Penal Code in relation to human trafficking, and the endorsement of the country’s very first Trafficking in Persons (TIP) law, which came into effect on 1 January 2012.

Over 160 participants attended the SOM and IMM, including delegations from each member country, international human trafficking experts, partner agencies, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations, and Embassy representatives.

 “The Senior Official Meeting and Inter Ministerial Meeting provides an opportunity for senior level policy makers to exchange information with their counterparts and develop priorities for the future through a multilateral and multiagency approach,” said Matt Friedman, United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking Program Manager and COMMIT Secretariat.

UNIAP manages the COMMIT process through their role as COMMIT Secretariat.

Click here to download the speech of Ms. Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator at the meeting