I am pleased to launch an important initiative between Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to fight human trafficking, modern slavery and forced labour throughout the region.
The ASEAN-Australia Counter-Trafficking Initiative is a 10-year, $80 million program that will work to strengthen criminal justice responses and protect victim rights.
This includes providing police training in financial investigations, professional development for judges, and promoting child-friendly courtrooms.
The initiative will also support joint international investigations to help rescue victims and ensure traffickers are charged.
The new investment will respond to private sector concerns in cases of human trafficking identified in supply chains.
It builds on Australia’s 15-year partnership with ASEAN to eliminate human trafficking and is a practical contribution to our shared goal of achieving an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
The launch of the initiative, which helps implement commitments under the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, is fitting just days after World Day against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July.