Govt, Partners Examine Trafficking Threat


Officials from concerned line ministries and their international partners have reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation and joint efforts to combat the serious threats to society.

The matters were stated by officials during an inaugural national conference to counter the global threats of human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and organised crime, held recently in Vientiane.

The conference was staged at the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor (OSPP) in collaboration with the Institute for Legal Support and Technical Assistance (ILSTA) and international partners from Luxembourg and Canada.

The meeting brought together prosecutors, members of the judiciary and police from all 17 provinces in Laos in order to strengthen cooperation and joint efforts to combat these issues, according to ILSTA.

It is very important that we look at all of these issues together and draw lessons of best practice in how to counter them. As globalisation increases, transnational crime and human trafficking proliferates, and it is our responsibility to combat this, the OSPP President Mr Khamsane Souvong said.

A representative from the Ministry of Public Security’s Anti-Human Trafficking Department, Mr Khampane Sayyavong outlined that the department will continue to disseminate information on trafficking and conduct legal training on what constitutes the crime of human trafficking in an effort to address the issues.

Law enforcement officers must be aware of the key elements of human trafficking in order to successfully bring a prosecution against traffickers through the court system, he said. Mr Khampane revealed the methods traffickers use in luring young victims into what is essentially modern-day slavery. The sole purpose of traffickers is to make money by exploiting their victims; mostly those aged 10-25, as they are more vulnerable and easier to control.

Victims are ruthlessly exploited by the traffickers and are often forced into prostitution, beaten, tortured and killed. They suffer physical harm and long-term psychological consequences, Mr Khampane added.

ILSTA President Mr Richard Philippart stressed that transnational crimes can only be addressed effectively through cooperation between law enforcement agencies both within states and beyond their borders.

A representative from the Embassy of Luxembourg, Mr Claude Jentgen stressed that a strong, coordinated response is required in combating the smuggling of migrants and human trafficking.

A representative from the Embassy of Canada, Ms Lee-Anne Herman said that Canada was pleased to support capacity building in Laos in the legal sector and in financial institutions in order to combat illegal transnational activity.

The conference was attended by Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr Ket Kiettisack and other invited guests. The event was supported by the Ministry of Finance of Luxembourg and the government of Canada.


Source: Vientiane Times