For the 10th anniversary of the COMMIT Process in 2014, the 6 COMMIT governments commissioned a publication that features a compilation of reflections by senior government officials from all members, on their respective countries’ experiences with COMMIT over the past ten years.
The document, officially titled ‘Reflections from the Greater Mekong-Sub-region on the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of COMMIT‘, celebrates a decade of achievements and demonstrates the scale of effort invested in tackling a critical issue through a successful process of regional engagement.
The publication was finalized and published for the COMMIT Senior Officials and Inter-Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 28-30 April 2015.…
The fourth COMMIT Sub-regional Plan of Action (SPAIV) was officially adopted at the COMMIT Senior Officials and Inter-Ministerial Meeting (SOM/IMM) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 28-30 April 2015. The endorsement marked the end of a year-long development process that set new standards for inclusivity and participation in COMMIT, resulting in a framework agreement that is more results-based and comprehensive in scope than any of its predecessors.
The process kicked off with the development of a zero draft by key regional anti-trafficking stakeholders from the United Nations, international organizations and civil society as commissioned by the COMMIT governments. The draft subsequently went through a series of governmental consultations at both national and regional level, and at times involving non-governmental partners as well, before its finalization and adoption in Cambodia.
The outcome is a results-oriented agreement including a commitment to monitoring progress against a set of indicators and targets. SPAIV is significantly more inclusive than its predecessors, in that it specifically refers to all sectors of society being engaged in both implementation and monitoring, including civil society. The document re-emphasizes the sub-regional dimension of COMMIT and the cross-border cooperation at its heart, and it recognizes the importance to address human trafficking more comprehensively than in the past.
The involved governments have committed themselves to delivering against 8 ‘Goals’, in the 4 ‘P’s of COMMIT anti-trafficking efforts, i.e. policy/cooperation, prevention, protection and prosecution. Each ‘Goal’ has varying numbers of ‘Outcomes’, which are further divided into ‘Outputs’. These results are supported by a set of ‘indicative activities’, which serve as operational guidance for COMMIT governments but are flexible to allow for differences between countries.
Selected highlights of SPAIV include a commitment to building a common understanding of human trafficking in line with the Palermo Protocol; a recognition that strengthened migrant workers’ recruitment systems are key to trafficking prevention; the deliberate engagement of civil society, media and the private sector in counter-trafficking interventions; a commitment to establishing National Referral Mechanisms for trafficking cases; stronger bi- and multi-lateral cooperation in criminal justice matters related to trafficking; or a much improved M&E system to monitor progress in SPAIV implementation.
SPAIV provides a framework agreement for COMMIT at the sub-regional level and for the next four years. It hence needs to be operationalized further through the development of annual COMMIT work plans at the national level. In line with SPAIV, the development and implementation of such work plans is meant to involve all key anti-trafficking stakeholders, thereby helping to coordinate their respective interventions through COMMIT.
This especially relates to civil society organizations, whose status in COMMIT has been significantly enhanced through SPAIV, and which are starting to organize themselves in relation to COMMIT through the so-called Civil Society Platform. In fact, the Civil Society Platform for the first time convened both nationally and regionally in the lead up to COMMIT SOM/IMM, and addressed Senior Officials and Ministers through the first-ever dedicated CSO session at such meetings. The reformed COMMIT Youth Forum is equally expected to play a stronger role, both nationally and regionally, especially through their engagement in the prevention pillar of SPAIV.…
The COMMIT Process provides a framework for coordination and cooperation between and within the 6 GMS countries.
The new COMMIT Resource Book facilitates this further, in that it pools together names and contact details of key governmental and non-governmental actors in all COMMIT countries, organized according to their respective mandates in anti-trafficking. It is hoped that the book proves to be a useful resource in the interest of a more coordinated and effective counter-trafficking response.
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