Human trafficking in Southeast Asia : gaps between regional legislation and domestic implementation
Tan, Kay Hoon
Date of Issue2018-11-08
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
In this paper, I analyse the challenges that lie ahead now that the much anticipated ACTIP has come to fruition to establish a regional legislative framework for ASEAN on human trafficking. I argue that gaps between regional legislation and national implementation allow a complex interplay of factors that contribute to the persistence of human trafficking in Southeast Asia. The challenges of national implementation are: Pressure from external actors, ASEAN's overwhelming preoccupation with border security, deficits in many states' criminal justice systems, inadequate incorporation of human rights, as well as victim identification and protection measures across the region, and the lack of legitimate migration pathways and policies for irregular migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. These chasms arise because of the ASEAN principle of non-interference, in which accountability of member states is subsumed in favour of state sovereignty. In conclusion, ASEAN has to address such gaps in order to reap any progress against human trafficking.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science