More to be done on human trafficking

Stephen Lunn; 4/9/09

Australia might have been a key player in the decade-long effort to stamp out human trafficking in Asia, but the problem is worse and the criminal networks more sophisticated than ever, a new Unicef report finds. Australia’s anti-trafficking agreements with Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand and its role as co-founder of the Bali Process on people-smuggling and human trafficking are laudable but Unicef believes it could be doing more. In its report Child Trafficking in East and Southeast Asia, released yesterday, Unicef finds that while countries are willing to introduce laws on human trafficking, implementation and enforcement have been thin on the ground. It also argues Australia should be supporting preventive programs to protect vulnerable children in greater measure across the Asian region as a way to beat the criminal networks.