Sri Lanka reiterates commitment to combat people smuggling

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Speaking at the 7th Bali Process Ministerial Conference on people smuggling, human trafficking, and other international crimes in Bali, Indonesia, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment for a comprehensive regional approach to combat people smuggling, and to work in partnership with Governments, international organizations and civil society to prevent human smuggling, protect and support victims, and bring perpetrators to justice, the Foreign Ministry said today.

Following deliberations at Ministerial and Senior Officials level, the Conference adopted a Ministerial Declaration and Chairman’s Statement of the Senior Officials meeting.

While recognizing the importance of the UN system, and other multilateral organizations as vehicles for international discourse and norm setting, the Minister expressed support to the Bali Process and to implement Sri Lanka’s legal obligations with respect to combating migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons and transnational crimes. 

The Minister explained steps being taken by Sri Lanka including being party to the core international human rights treaties which provide for the prevention and suppression of human trafficking, noting in particular the ratification of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its 2015 Protocol, and The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption. 

He also referred to the monitoring mechanisms under Sri Lanka’s National Anti- Human Trafficking Task force and the five-year strategic plan (2015-2019) based on the 4 pillars of Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnershipapproved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Foreign Minister Marapana was joined by Deputy Minister of Justice, Prison Reforms, and Buddha Sasana, Sarathi Dushmantha, who led Sri Lanka’s interventions at the Ministerial session with Business leaders. 

The Minister held bilateral discussions with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia (Mdm) Retno Marsudi, Australia’s Home Affairs, Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton, and IOM’s Director General Ambassador William Lacy Swing. 

During his remarks at the Conference and during his interactions with Indonesia’s Foreign Minister (Mdm) Retno Marsudi, Minister Marapana conveyed Sri Lanka’s condolences to all those who have been affected by the devastating earthquake off the island of Lombok in Indonesia.

Associated with Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana at the Conference and related meetings were Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Justice, Prison Reforms, and Buddha Sasana Sarathi Dushmantha, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Indonesia and ASEAN Dharshana M. Perera, and officials from the Ministries of Foreign AffairsJustice and Prison Reforms, the Attorney General’s Department, and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Indonesia

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