The Chinese government announced Wednesday it has submitted for approving a plan to fight human trafficking to meet its obligations to a 2004 agreement among six Asian countries.
At a meeting in Beijing of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking (COMMIT), Wan Yan, a member of the COMMIT China office, said, "We have submitted the action plan and are awaiting approval. If passed, the plan will help to clarify the responsibilities of all the relevant ministries in combating human trafficking."
The governments of China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam adopted a comprehensive and strategic Sub-regional Plan of Action to jointly combat human trafficking in 2004, under which member states each devise a national plan of action.
"Many thousands of people have been rescued and safely returned in the past five years," said Susu Thatun, the program manager of UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
Susu said in late 1990s, many countries opened their borders to encourage economic development, but this also made human trafficking easier.
The six members belong to the Greater Mekong Sub-region, one of the world's most rampant human trafficking areas.
The United Nations reckons tens of thousands women and children are abducted and sold each year in the region.
"No government could singly solve the transnational trafficking problems except to cooperate through agreed issues, and multi-miniterial cooperation is the only way to fight against the crime," Wan Yan said.
Many Asian governments are trying to stem the problem but are not doing enough, Susu said, hoping they could speed up a little in future.
Commenting China's role in the battle, Susu said "China can become a true leader in combating human trafficking, given its economic power and international influence."
Since 2005, the Chinese government have carried out the principles COMMIT process made, including to hold high level meeting on discussion of framework and components for the national plan of action against human trafficking; strengthening communication, cooperation and information sharing; launching campaign of combating cross-border trafficking jointly with neighboring countries.
UN definition says that human trafficking refers to the transportation of persons for sexual exploitation, forced labour or other illicit activities.