Brunei intensifying efforts to better detect human trafficking cases

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ ANN) - Brunei Darussalam takes the issue of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) very seriously and continues to uphold its commitment in combating human trafficking by raising public awareness and training frontline law enforcers to better detect TIP cases.

This was stated by Acting Director of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), Assistant Commissioner of Police Dato Paduka Haji Muhammad Hassan bin Pehin Penyurat Haji Awang Ahmad, in his speech at the closing ceremony of the ‘Combating Trafficking in Persons’ conference (CTIP 2018), hosted by Youth Against Slavery Brunei (YAS Brunei) at the Progresif Headquarters yesterday.

“The Sultanate’s efforts are reflected in the 2018 US TIP report in which Brunei Darussalam has maintained its Tier 2 ranking,” he said, adding that “the country is further looking for ways to improve its ranking through successful investigation and prosecution”.

Highlighting the various efforts undertaken by the police in combating human trafficking, he said, “After the establishment of Human Trafficking Investigation Unit, a specialised investigation unit under the Criminal Investigation Department in August 2011 and the constitution of the National Ad Hoc Committee to combat human trafficking, Brunei Darussalam has prosecuted and convicted four offenders involved in sexual exploitation under the TIP legislation.”

Commending on the conference, the acting director said, “The meeting has provided a solid platform for various sectors in Brunei to come together to strengthen our network’s ability to combat TIP by raising awareness.”

“A vast array of topics ranging from combating trafficking in persons, identifying victims of trafficking and labour violations, preventing human trafficking using technology, IT awareness and cybersecurity as well as child rights and their protection were deliberated during the two-day event. The initiative shows how crucial it is for us as a community to play our parts together to raise awareness on human trafficking and eliminate TIP and related crimes.

“Such efforts take us a step closer towards eradicating all forms of exploitation through enhancing awareness better detection,” he noted, adding that “law enforcement cannot do it alone, and through cooperation and partnership, we can fight TIP more effectively”.

On the second day of the conference, invited guests that included officers from the RBPF, members of the Diplomatic Corps and students heard presentations by three participating groups on challenges and future plans in combating human trafficking.

In line with the theme of this year’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, ‘Responding to Trafficking of Children and Young People’, the conference aimed at strengthening the network’s ability to combat trafficking in persons, including protecting the youth from exploitation and preventing Brunei from becoming a destination for trafficking in persons and travelling sex offenders, easy access to online pornography, misuse of the Internet as well as other forms of human exploitation.

The conference also highlighted the importance of working with those who are most likely to encounter human trafficking victims such as medical practitioners, national security forces, border patrol agents, teachers and those in the transportation and hospitality industries and the role that they can play in sharing first-hand experience to strengthen the effectiveness of anti-human trafficking policies.