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The ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) was entered into force on 8 March 2017. This was a milestone for the ASEAN region in its efforts to end trafficking in persons. Australia has supported ASEAN in its development and implementation of ACTIP and will continue this commitment.

At the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018, the Australian Foreign Minister announced a ten-year $80 million commitment to continue Australia's long-running collaboration with ASEAN to end trafficking in persons in the region. ASEAN – Australia Counter Trafficking (ASEAN-ACT) builds on Australia’s 15-year history of supporting ASEAN and its member states justice systems to effectively respond to trafficking in persons.

ASEAN-ACT is designed to support ASEAN Member States to effectively implement and report on their obligations under ACTIP. ASEAN-ACT's overarching goal is that ASEAN Member States have effective justice systems that provide just punishment of traffickers and protect the human rights of trafficking victims.

The program engages all 10 ASEAN Member States and continues national-level programming in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. ASEAN-ACT will continue Australia’s work with the justice sector and open up new partnerships that engage related state agencies, civil society and the private sector. 



Working together for

ACTIP implementation

Regional oversight and implementation capacity

ASEAN-ACT is committed to supporting ASEAN bodies responsible for enhancing their capacity to oversee, monitor and report on ACTIP.

The program works with the Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crimes (SOMTC) and the Heads of Specialist Anti-trafficking Units to assist these bodies to fulfil their mandate in implementing and reporting on the ASEAN Plan of Action.

SOMTC, led by the Lead Shepherd, chairs the SOMTC working group to progress regional cooperation to counter trafficking.

​Building on Australia’s previous support, the program is focusing its efforts to assist the SOMTC with promoting, monitoring, reviewing and reporting periodically to the ASEAN

Ministerial Meeting on

Transnational Crime (AMMTC)

on ACTIP implementation.

Support to national

justice systems

In partnership with national justice and related agencies and their officials, ASEAN-ACT works to develop solutions to the challenges faced in implementing ACTIP.

By building on relationships established from previous Australian support, the program connects police investigators, prosecutors and judges to develop problem solving counter trafficking initiatives that meet local needs. 

This collaboration addresses geographic challenges by facilitating cooperation between justice officials across member states to establish and promote cross-agency relationships and formalise cooperation procedures. 

ASEAN-ACT addresses organisational needs of ASEAN Member States partners by identifying their challenges and working on counter trafficking initiatives that can improve their operational outcomes. 

Effective safeguards and protection of victim rights

ACTIP has a strong focus on victim rights, equality and diversity. ASEAN-ACT will support this through 

engagement with justice and related state agencies to develop policies and practices that protect victims’ and

their rights.  

Protecting the rights of victims is an important part of the justice response to trafficking in persons.

At a national level, there are inconsistencies in the approach to the rights of victims. ASEAN-ACT will work with its partners to strengthen their response to housing, education,

identification, protection, compensation, 

restitution and participation in trials.

By engaging stakeholders outside the justice system, ASEAN-ACT is aiming to contribute to policy processes that

are new, innovative and allow for

more inclusive and equitable

policy development.


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