Brunei Darussalam, as Chair of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime, SOMTC in 2021, will continue to give its steadfast support to both regional and international efforts to combat Trafficking in Persons. This was underlined by the Acting Permanent Secretary for Security, Enforcement and Law at the Prime Minister's Office in his capacity as SOMTC Leader-Brunei Darussalam and Chairman of SOMTC, in his closing remarks at the ASEAN SOMTC Workshop Consultation on the ASEAN-Australia Counter-Trafficking Work Plan 2020-2023 yesterday afternoon. The one-day workshop was hosted and chaired virtually by the Republic of the Philippines with the support of Australia, and was attended by all ASEAN Member States.

Awang Haji Sufian bin Haji Sabtu, who is also Chairman of the National Committee on Trafficking stated that security and enforcement agencies in the region need to be ready to face evolving trends in transnational criminal activities during the post- COVID-19 era, especially in the fight against human trafficking.

He explained that it is important for SOMTC to adopt the learning and experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic into future plans and work programmes, such as the ASEAN-Australia Counter-Trafficking Work Plan 2020-2023 and the SOMTC Work Programme which is currently being reviewed under Brunei Darussalam's Chairmanship of SOMTC.

The workshop is a platform for ASEAN Member States to discuss initiatives planned under the ASEAN-Australia Counter-Trafficking Work Plan 2020-2023 that is aimed to support the implementation of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons.

ASEAN Member States including Brunei Darussalam had shared their countries' experiences in dealing with the changing trend of human trafficking activities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workshop participants also discussed and explored the activities planned under the ASEAN-Australia Counter Trafficking Work Plan 2020-2023. Brunei Darussalam's delegation to the workshop comprised of senior officers from the Prime Minister's Office and agencies under the National Committee on Trafficking in Persons. The session was held virtually at the International Convention Centre, Berakas.

Source: Radio Television Brunei