It also saw the presence of delegations from ASEANAPOL member states, the ASEANAPOL Secretariat, and guests from ASEANAPOL Dialogue Partners and Observers, such as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), UK National Crime Agency (NCA), ASEAN-Australia Counter Trafficking (ASEAN-ACT) Program, and the New Zealand Police.
The Vietnamese delegation, headed by Senior Colonel To Cao Lanh, Deputy Director of the Vietnamese Criminal Police Department, included representatives from various units under the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Defense of Vietnam.
Over the past years, trafficking in persons has become a global problem and has been identified by the United Nations as one of the four most dangerous kinds of crime. The ASEANAPOL has also identified it as one of their ten prioritized areas.
Although countries have to apply travel restrictions due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, the situation of trafficking in persons has still seen more complicated developments. Transnational human trafficking rings saw people's difficulties amidst the pandemic as opportunities to boost their operations. They made full use of cyber space, particularly social networks, to conduct cross-border human trafficking.
In that context, the virtual dialogue served as an important forum for ASEANAPOL member states to share information and experiences as well as to discuss directions for cooperation in combating human trafficking in the coming time, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. At the event, ASEANAPOL partners also offered their ideas to tap cooperation potentials with the organization in improving the efficiency and capacity for fighting trafficking in persons.
Additionally, the delegates discussed the proposal of the ASEANAPOL Secretariat to develop the Counter Human Trafficking Program with three phases: joint training, joint investigation, and building a transnational cooperation model to enforce laws in the region.