A ministerial level regional conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime was held in Bali April 28-30, 2003, at the Bali International Convention Center. The Conference, co-chaired by Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hasan Wirjuda and his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer, was convened to explore ways for governments in the regions to cooperate to deter and disrupt migrant smuggling and the trafficking of human beings.
Indonesia has become the focus on issues related to people smuggling, with Indonesian territory used by those involved in the illicit trade as the final launching point for illegal immigration to nearby Australia. Enhanced international cooperation over the past few years, a normalization of conditions in Afghanistan, and successful migration to host countries have all combined to significantly reduce the number of illegal immigrants presented in Indonesia from a total of 3,832 people in 1999 to a current total of 478.
The Bali conference resulted in a the signing of a 37 paragraph joint-statement by Indonesia and Australia on people smuggling and related transnational crimes. The statement outlined terms of continuing cooperation - a project dubbed informally the Bali Process - that will streamline administrative matters and achieve a commonality of approach in addressing illegal immigration, people smuggling and related areas of transnational crime, such as pedophilia.
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