The Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on August 24 made public the Progress Report on Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons in the ASEAN Region.

The report highlighted achievements made by ASEAN during the past decade in the fight against human trafficking and its forthcoming challenges in the near future.

It also underlined the need to perfect the legal system on transnational crimes, promoting regional cooperation, raising efficiency of verifying, prosecuting and convicting human trafficking criminals as well as protecting and helping victims.

Addressing the ongoing 11 th Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta, ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said that the report will provide a cooperation model for countries as well as other regions.

ASEAN must be a community free of human trafficking, and every man, woman and child in the region has the right to live in freedom and with dignity, he added.

The report was made by a group of experts of the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons project at the request of SOMTC with the support of the Australian Agency of International Development./.