Sixth meeting | ASIA DIALOGUE ON FORCED MIGRATION | March 2018

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  • Sixth meeting | ASIA DIALOGUE ON FORCED MIGRATION | March 2018

Key documents for the sixth ADFM meeting:

The sixth meeting of the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) took place on 13-15 March 2018 in Sydney, Australia, ahead of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit and at a critical time for forced migration issues in the region. The meeting focused on the humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh and Myanmar; efforts to address human trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery; and principles for sustainable and protection-sensitive repatriation and reintegration pathways.

Much has happened since the ADFM’s last meeting in Manila in September 2017. Since then, in line with the ADFM’s advice, Bali Process Co-Chairs triggered the emergency Consultation Mechanism in response to the humanitarian and security crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh. The ADFM’s recommendations on a focal point system to aid ACTIP’s implementation and collaboration between ASEAN and the Bali Process senior officials were endorsed by the ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) and are being implemented by the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC). Co-Chairs of Bali Process Working Groups on TIP and Disruption of Criminal Networks, respectively, are pursuing greater coordination with the SOMTC.

ADFM members have also advised on the two global compacts on migrants and refugees, which are now in their zero draft state. The global compact on migration includes recognition of the importance of regional governance and architectural arrangements that promote coordination on forced migration issues, in keeping with the example that the ADFM has set in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australia has announced its intention to introduce a Modern Slavery Act into Parliament in 2018, which, if passed, will change the landscape for businesses in the region as well as other governments. It is likely to add further momentum to the growing business awareness and interest in addressing trafficking, forced labour and slavery in operations and supply chains. We were delighted to have the Hon Alex Hawke MP, Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, and the Hon Lisa Singh, Senator for Tasmania, take part in a moderated discussion about the legislation at our special ADFM dinner on 14 March.

The ADFM Secretariat expresses its appreciation to Corrs Chambers Westgarth for hosting the sixth meeting in Sydney. Consultations will continue between ADFM members in coming months to advance the recommendations agreed at this meeting. The seventh ADFM meeting will likely take place in Bangkok in late 2018, in the lead up to Thailand becoming ASEAN Chair in 2019.

Background reading:

  • For the ADFM home page click here.
  • To find out more about the rationale behind the ADFM click here.
  • To read more about the first ADFM meeting in Melbourne in August 2015 click here.
  • To read more about the second ADFM meeting in Bangkok in January 2016 click here.
  • To read more about the third ADFM meeting in Kuala Lumpur in September 2016 click here.
  • To read more about the fourth ADFM meeting in Jakarta in March 2017 click here.
  • To read more about the fifth ADFM meeting in Manila in September 2017 click here.

Media coverage

Anne Gallagher, The Spectator, 14 April 2018.