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Regional meeting on anti-human trafficking opens in Hanoi

(Xinhua)

08:53, February 15, 2012

HANOI, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The 8th Senior Officials' Meeting ( SOM-8) of the Mekong subregion on anti-human trafficking opened here on Tuesday, attracting 150 delegates from six regional countries including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Representatives from diplomatic corps, international organizations and observers, and the United Nations' Coordinator in Vietnam Pratibha Mehta also attended the meeting.

The Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT) was launched in late 2003 by leaders of the six member countries with focus on building a regional agreement on anti-human trafficking.

Under the theme "Unanimity, coordination and sustainability," the two-day SOM-8 reviewed implementation of the COMMIT in Phase 2 (2008-2010) and discussed plans for Phase 3 (2012-2013).

Participants also discussed the enhancement of dialogues at other forums on anti-human trafficking and sustainability of the COMMIT which will be further expanded after 2013, as well as the signing of a joint statement to reconfirm their cooperation.

The COMMIT is a unique, creative and dynamic process in Southeast Asia, which has been implemented through high-ranking policy dialogue forums and with a multi-branch approach but focus only on anti-human trafficking.

The COMMIT connected regional plans to respond and support countries to handle basically the issue of human trafficking, said Lieutenant General Pham Quy Ngo, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Public Security and Vice Chairman of the National Steering Committee on Prevention and Fight against Human Trafficking.

After seven years of implementation of the COMMIT, each member country has set up and implemented the national program on anti- human trafficking, as well as signed agreements on cooperation with one another.

Vietnam has coordinated the COMMIT with the national program on anti-human trafficking, as well as cooperated with international organizations to launch more than 200 activities in the field.

The Vietnamese National Assembly has approved the law on anti- human trafficking, and the government issued the national programs on anti-human trafficking during 2004-2010 and 2011- 2015, reported Lieut. General Ngo.

After SOM-8, the 3rd Inter-Ministerial Meeting (IMM-3) of the Mekong subregion on anti-human trafficking will be held here on February 16.

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