Indonesia, Laos strengthen cooperation against human trafficking

id Laos Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone,President Joko Widodo,foreign affairs minister retno marsudi,42nd ASEAN Summit La

Indonesia, Laos strengthen cooperation against human trafficking

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (right) with Laos Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone during a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, NTT, on Tuesday (May 9, 2023). (ANTARA PHOTO/Heru Sri Kumoro/rst)

Labuan Bajo, NTT (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Laos Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone shared views on the importance of increasing cooperation between the two countries for eradicating human trafficking, according to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

The two leaders shared their views on the eradication of human trafficking during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), on Tuesday.

"The two leaders emphasized the importance of enhancing cooperation in eradicating trafficking in persons, which is currently happening in ASEAN member countries," Marsudi said in a press statement after a series of bilateral meetings on Tuesday.

According to her, the issue of eradicating human trafficking has become a special concern for Indonesia's 2023 ASEAN chairmanship.

President Widodo had earlier stated that Indonesia will raise a discussion on eradicating human trafficking at the 42nd ASEAN Summit, with an emphasis on online fraud or online scams.

"This is important and I deliberately propose this issue because the victims are the people of ASEAN and most of them are our Indonesian citizens," Widodo highlighted in a press statement issued in Labuan Bajo on Monday (May 8, 2023).

Meanwhile, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, while chairing the 26th Meeting of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Council (APSC) on Tuesday, said ASEAN leaders will declare a joint commitment to eradicating human trafficking in the region. "Tomorrow, our leaders will adopt the ‘Declaration on the Eradication of Human Trafficking Due to the Misuse of Technology,’" he said in his speech at the 26th APSC Meeting.

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Regarding the Indonesia-Laos bilateral meeting, Minister Marsudi informed that the two leaders mostly discussed economic cooperation between the two countries. “President Jokowi conveyed some cooperation between Indonesian state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and Laos," she said.

For example, the cooperation between state-owned electricity company PT PLN with Electricite du Laos, the procurement of aircraft from PT Dirgantara Indonesia for the Lao Air Force, and the procurement of trains from PT INKA for the Petrotrade Lao Public Company.