The US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Caryn McClelland, commended Brunei’s progress in combating human trafficking and forced labor at a seminar held at the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) headquarters in Gadong yesterday. The seminar, organized by the US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) through the RBPF, brought together six HSI experts and around 70 participants from various law enforcement agencies in Brunei.
McClelland said Brunei improved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 watch list on the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report this year, which was encouraging to see. She also noted that Brunei’s Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Defence II, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, stated at the recent 17th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime that Brunei will continue to strengthen initiatives to combat human trafficking with a focus on local context and with the support of ASEAN counterparts. However, she added, “There are more critical works needed to be done in the year ahead.”She explained that human trafficking is a global problem that affects millions of people of all ages and origins, who are exploited for profit by traffickers. She said human trafficking undermines the rule of law, compromises the economy, and disregards the well-being of individuals and communities.
She also highlighted the importance of partnering up with victims to address their trauma and formulate anti-trafficking policies and strategies. She said HSI will lead discussions on the best ways to assist victims through interviews and investigations. She concluded by saying that human trafficking is a crime that deprives millions of people of their dignity, freedom, and basic human rights. She said it would take a commitment from all of us to end it. The seminar will run for three days and cover topics such as victim identification, interview techniques, case development, prosecution strategies, and victim assistance.