About 150 senior officials from Mekong sub-regional countries are gathering in Hanoi on Feb. 14 for their eighth meeting on fighting human trafficking (SOM8).

The two-day meeting focuses on reviewing the implementation of the Mekong sub-region action plan on human trafficking prevention for 2008- 2010 and discussing the plan for 2012- 2013.

The delegates will also discuss issues related to dialogues with other forums and the stability of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking (COMMIT) after 2013, and propose six Mekong sub-regional governments sign a join statement to reaffirm their cooperation on fighting human trafficking.

Addressing the opening session, Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieut-Gen. Pham Quy Ngo said that after seven years of implementation, COMMIT helped all member countries build, issue and carry out their national programmes and laws to fight human trafficking.

The countries signed many agreements and memoranda of understanding on bilateral cooperation in the issue, took preventive measures and launched joint communication campaigns, bringing effectiveness for each country and the region, he added.

Ngo, who is also Deputy Head of the National Steering Committee on Fighting Human Trafficking, said Vietnam has implemented a number of activities, particularly the National Assembly’s adoption of the law on fighting human trafficking, the Government’s launching of the national programmes on fighting human trafficking for 2004-2010 and 2011-2015.

Vietnam has also closely worked with Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and non-COMMIT countries in activities relating to the fight against human trafficking, contributing to curb the increase of such crime, he added.

Initiated in 2003, COMMIT is a government-led programme engaging the governments of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam with a focus of building a regional agreement on anti-human trafficking.

Following SOM8, the third Inter-Ministerial Meeting (IMM-3) of the Mekong sub-regional countries on fighting human trafficking will take place in Hanoi on Feb. 16./.