Future Ready: Opportunities to reform the Bali Process



Future Ready header pic. Feet on a wooden plank

Future ready is a report from the Secretariat of the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration

It was released through the Centre for Policy Development’s Indo-Pacific Program on the 20th anniversary of the Bali Process.

It proposes an eight-point reform plan so the Bali Process can support a regional response to forced migration that is durable, dignified and effective.

What is the Bali Process?

The Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime was established in 2002.

The 45-member body is the only forum that brings origin, transit and destination countries for forced migration together with UN bodies and NGOs.

The Bali Process is co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia.

Download Future Ready

Future Ready, from the secretariat of the Asia Dialogue for Forced Migration, contains an eight-point plan to revitalise the Bali Process to ensure it supports a durable, dignified and effective response to forced migration in the Indo-Pacific region. 

Future Ready's eight-point plan to reform the Bali Process

Future ready proposes an eight-point plan to reform the Bali Process so that it better supports a regional response to forced migration that is durable, dignified and effective.

Its recommendations include:

  • Clearer strategy and stronger leadership
  • A third rotating Co-Chair position and preconditions for Bali Process membership
  • Investments in technical capability and less formal meetings
  • Streamlining of existing work
  • Strengthening and clarifying the Regional Support Office (RSO)
  • Diversifying investment into the Bali Process
  • Elevating engagement with other regional bodies, particularly ASEAN
  • Prioritising early warning capabilities and responses to known movements

What do we gain with Future Ready's reforms?

If the Future ready reforms were implemented the Bali Proicess would facilitate more effective responses to displacement.

It would be able to support countries affected by large maritime displacements to deliver a more effective regional response.

Countries would have access to the latest information and scenario planning because of investments in planning and preparedness.

Communications between countries would be easier thanks to a regularly maintained register.

The consultation mechanism will let Australia and Indonesia coordinate regional responses to emergencies.

Countries will have shared procedures for detection, search and rescue, providing shelter and support, as well as screening and referral systems to identify people who need protection.

People will receive emergency assistance, consistent with relevant protocols.

Countries will build stronger relationships between operational agencies in the Bali Process Working Groups.

Future Ready in the media

CEO of the Centre for Policy Development Andrew Hudson, who heads an advisory panel to the Bali Process, told the ABC that Bali Process nations had to take rapid action to tackle the crisis.
Australia and Indonesia have been urged to co-ordinate an immediate response to an alarming rise in Rohingya deaths at sea
It’s two years since Myanmar’s military seized power in the country. Refugees from the heavily persecuted Rohingya minority are once again on the move, attempting dangerous sea journeys in large numbers during 2022.
When there was a refugee crisis to the country’s north in the past, most of the time Australian governments saw it as their problem.
Australia and Indonesia must ­urgently overhaul the Bali Process, a forum set up to tackle human trafficking and people-smuggling that has stagnated as crises in Sri Lanka, ­Afghanistan and Myanmar threaten to spill over into the region.
Reforming the Bali Process will provide a genuine forum for Australia and partners to prepare ahead of the next crisis.

About the authors