TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) is holding a meeting with counterparts from ASEAN member countries in Yogyakarta, Monday, aimed at strengthening these networks.
The meeting, held in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, saw participation of seven delegates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand, is specially important to help deal with cases of transnational crimes.
Chairman of LPSK Abdul Haris Semendawai said the event was held to follow up on the second interregional meeting of the Agency throughout the ASEAN region in 2014.
"The meeting was aimed to formulate the terms of reference of the agency networks and to strengthen the networking among the witness and victim protection agencies in the ASEAN region," Semendawai said.
According to Semendawai, the strengthening of ASEAN interstate network is important because many transnational crime cases, in which the perpetrator, the victim, and the scene, are located in interstate regions.
"The cases cannot be handled by one country alone and several countries involved in the cases have to handle these," he said.
The meeting discussed handling of transnational crime, especially human trafficking, with some speakers from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDCP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Attorney General also participating.
He hoped that the meeting would set the legal standards for protection of witnesses and victims among the ASEAN countries with reference to international standards.
Director General of ASEAN Cooperation, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, said currently, the human trafficking syndicate is a serious issue being discussed by the ASEAN countries, and therefore it will be the main theme during the ASEAN leaders meeting in Malaysia, at the end of 2015.
According to him, if the crimes are not handled promptly, the menace will become bigger and bigger in the future.
"We need the commitment of ASEAN countries to address such cases early on," he said.