History

At the ASEAN–Australia Special Summit in March 2018, Australia’s Foreign Minister announced a 10 year, A$80 million commitment to continue Australia’s long-running collaboration with ASEAN to end trafficking in persons in the region.

Officially launched in July 2019, ASEAN-ACT will build on Australia’s 15-year history of supporting ASEAN and its Member States’ justice systems to effectively respond to trafficking in persons.

History of Australia’s involvement

March 2003 — August 2006

Asia Regional Cooperation to Prevent People Trafficking (ARCPPT) was the first Australian- funded program to work with the criminal justice sector specifically on trafficking in persons, and the first program to take a regional approach to the issue. Partner countries included Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand.

March 2003 — August 2006

August 2006 — August 2011

Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons (ARTIP) was a five year Australian-funded program that built on ARCPPT by expanding the countries that it worked with, and eventually working with all 10 ASEAN Member States. Its goal was to facilitate a more effective and coordinated regional approach to counter-trafficking.

August 2006 — August 2011

August 2011 — March 2013

The ARTIP – Transition program was initially scheduled for one year, but was later extended. Due to the transitional nature of the program and restricted funding, the program provided limited counter-trafficking assistance to ASEAN Member States.

August 2011 — March 2013

August 2013 — December 2018

The Australia–Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP) initially worked actively with Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. AAPTIP’s focus later transitioned to supporting bilateral and multilateral activities based on specific trafficking in persons cases, with an emphasis on improving cooperation during investigation and prosecution. AAPTIP also supported strengthening the criminal justice response to trafficking in persons in the region. One of the major achievements of this program was the technical and leadership support it gave to ASEAN and its Member States in the development of ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and the Bohol Trafficking in Persons Workplan 2017-2020.

August 2013 — December 2018

December 2014

Drafting of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in
Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP).

December 2014

November 2015

ASEAN leaders sign the ACTIP and associated plan of action.

November 2015

December 2016

ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime drafts the Bohol Trafficking in Persons Work Plan 2017–2020 for review by ASEAN sectoral bodies. AAPTIP supported the process.

December 2016

March 2017

ASEAN leaders sign the ACTIP and associated plan of action.

March 2017

November 2017

The Bohol Trafficking in Persons Work Plan
2017–2020 is finalised.

November 2017

January 2019 to today

ASEAN–Australia Counter Trafficking (ASEAN-ACT) continues Australia’s strong commitment to the ASEAN region’s security and stability.

January 2019 to today