First meeting of the Commission to Fight against Trafficking in Persons

Thu. 18 of November of 2021, 16:55h

The Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Taur Matan Ruak, chaired today, November 18th, 2021, at the Government Palace, in Dili, the first meeting of the Commission to Fight against Trafficking in Persons.

This Commission, created by Decree-Law No. 9 /2021, of June 30th, aims to ensure the existence of coordinated action between the various stakeholders involved in the fight against human trafficking, to define the necessary policies and strategies for effective prevention and fight against trafficking in persons. It is also the duty of this commission to promote and ensure cooperation with foreign entities in the fight against trafficking in persons and to monitor the implementation of the provisions of conventions that Timor-Leste has ratified or will ratify in this area.

Various public services and entities are represented in this structure, particularly in the areas of justice and security, but also representatives of civil society.

Besides the Prime Minister, the meeting was also attended by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, the Minister of Justice, Manuel Cárceres da Costa and the members of the Commission, chaired by the Director-General of Administration and Justice Policy, from the Ministry of Justice, Marcelina Tilman da Silva.

During the meeting, the powers and duties of the commission were discussed, as well as the priority and short-term activities, namely the elaboration of the draft national plan against trafficking in persons, to be submitted to the Council of Ministers.

Also discussed were the activities, at the level of prevention and fight against trafficking in persons, which are being prepared within the Ministry of Interior, such as the program for strengthening the management of national borders and strengthening law enforcement capacity to fight trafficking in persons and protect victims. This programme is supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and foresees the implementation of a set of short-term measures, over a period of five months, focusing on three main areas – prevention, criminal prosecution and protection of victims.

The Ministry of Interior, with the support of the Government of Australia and the Timor-Leste Police Development Program (TLPDP), will launch an Integrated Criminal Intelligence Management Centre to fight organized crime and transnational crime, including trafficking in persons. This integrated centre will foster cooperation and information sharing between the various police and security entities.

The Prime Minister reiterated the commitment of the Timor-Leste’s Government to gather all the necessary efforts to prevent and fight trafficking in persons and stressed the importance of the establishment of this commission, to comply with the international obligations assumed by the Timorese State in this area and with the provisions of the Constitution and the Law for the Prevention and Fight Against Trafficking in Persons.