Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT Process)

Type: Regional Consultative Process on Migration (Region: Asia)

Formal association with regional or multi-stakeholder organization: None

Established: 2004

Objectives
The Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT) is a high-level policy dialogue in the Greater- Mekong Sub-region (GMS), where all governments have realised that they cannot combat human trafficking effectively on their own. Combining efforts on prevention of trafficking, protection of victims and their repatriation and reintegration, and prosecution of the criminals responsible, COMMIT is the superstructure on which a cohesive and comprehensive anti-trafficking response is being built.

The COMMIT process began as a series of informal discussions between representatives from several of the GMS governments in mid-2003.  During three roundtable discussions the governments overcame challenges to reach a ground-breaking agreement that was to become the blueprint for collaboration to combat trafficking in the GMS.  The MOU represents the governments’ recognition that trafficking in persons impacts the human security and the human rights of the individual and that in many ways trafficking is a direct result of lack of human security and has to be addressed at the individual, societal, national, regional and international levels.  

COMMIT has provided a forum for developing trust and confidence between the countries on the issue of human trafficking, as well as an effective system for the development and implementation of joint activities.

Current Thematic Focus
Specific areas of discussion include:

  • Combatting human trafficking
  • Combatting migrant smuggling
  • Combatting forced labour

Members
Member States (6 Member States)

Cambodia
China
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Myanmar
Thailand
Viet Nam

Member Organizations
None

Chairing Country
Annually rotating Chair since 2016, performed by the country hosting the Senior Officials Meetings.

Current Chair
Myanmar

Observers
Observer States (None)

Observer Organizations
None

Working Groups (National Taskforces)
The COMMIT Process is governed by the six national COMMIT Taskforces, each comprised of government officials from the ministries most relevant to the fight against human trafficking – including police, justice, social welfare, and women’s affairs. National COMMIT Taskforces pull together representatives from all ministries most relevant to the fight against human trafficking, including Ministries of Justice, Ministries of Home Affairs, Ministries of Public Security, and Ministries of Social Affairs, as well as some international and civil society organisations.

The COMMIT Taskforces make all the major decisions regarding anti-trafficking programming and policy in their country, with COMMIT programming being reflected in annual COMMIT workplans. 

National COMMIT Taskforces meet on a regular basis in each country and as such, they provide a crucial forum to promote a multi-disciplinary response to human trafficking.  They make all the major decisions regarding anti-trafficking programming and policy in their country, with COMMIT programming being reflected in annual COMMIT workplans. 

At the regional level, two representatives from all six COMMIT Taskforces convene at least twice a year to set priorities and hold discussions on urgent issues at a regional level.

Secretariat
The United Nations Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT), a regional project managed by the United Nations Development Programme and established in 2014, acts as the COMMIT Secretariat and ensures a coordinated approach to more strategically and effectively combat human trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and beyond.  UN-ACT convenes the COMMIT Meetings. 

The UN ACT builds upon the work previously undertaken by the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), the former COMMIT Secretariat. 

Contact Information

Secretariat
UN-ACT Regional Management Office
United Nations Service Building
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2304 9100
Fax: +66 2 280 0268
Email: unact@undp.org
Webpage: http://un-act.org

Websites
http://commit.asia
http://un-act.org

Meetings
COMMIT Senior Officials Meetings (SOM) are held annually as a forum for peer review where the GMS government officials report to each other on the implementation of efforts made under the COMMIT Process over the past year and establish goals for the future.

COMMIT Inter-Ministerial Meetings (IMM) are held every three years, where responsible Ministers from each country provide overall guidance to the COMMIT Process, reaffirm their commitment to the goals of COMMIT as presented in the COMMIT MOU, and officially endorse future COMMIT Sub-Regional Plans of Action.

Workshops and trainings are conducted in the framework of COMMIT Sub-Regional Plans of Action.

28 - 29 November 2017, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, COMMIT Task Force Meeting and Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)
27-29 September 2017, Bangkok, Thailand, workshop with relevant ministries and civil society organizations from COMMIT Member States to develop principles and guidelines for fair recruitment. More info 
23-24 November 2016, Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic, COMMIT Task Force (TF) and Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 11)
21-24 November 2016, Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic, COMMIT Youth Forum
25-26 October 2016, Workshop with COMMIT Member States on COMMIT Victim Identification and Referral Mechanisms: Developing Common Guidelines
15-16 October 2015, Bangkok, Thailand, Regional COMMIT Task Force (TF) meeting
28-30 April 2015, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 10th Senior Officials Meeting (SOM10) 4th Inter-Ministerial Meeting (IMM4), “The COMMIT Process: Regional COMMIT to End Human Trafficking through Unity and Innovation”
16 February 2012, Hanoi, Viet Nam, 3rd Inter-Ministerial Meeting (IMM-3)
14 December 2007, Beijing, China, 2nd COMMIT Inter-Ministerial Meeting (IMM2)
29 October 2004, Yangon, Myanmar, 1st COMMIT Inter-Ministerial Meeting (IMM1)

Documents
Memorandum of Understanding against Trafficking in Persons signed between China and Thailand on 6 November 2018, facilitated through the COMMIT Process
A Guidebook for the Greater Mekong Sub-Region: Supporting the Reintegration of Trafficked Persons; commissioned by COMMIT, 2017
Mid-Term Evaluation of UN-ACT Project (2014-2018), with reference to COMMIT’s added value and relationship to other regional initiatives
COMMIT-ASEAN Indicators of Human Trafficking, adopted at COMMIT SOM 2016
COMMIT Guidelines on Victim Identification and Referral Mechanisms: Common Guidelines for the Greater Mekong Sub-Region; 2016
COMMIT 4th Sub-Regional Plan of Action 2015-2018 (SPA IV)
Third COMMIT Declaration, 2015
Reflections from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region on The Occasion of the 10-Year Anniversary of COMMIT, 2014
COMMIT 3rd Sub-Regional Plan of Action 2011-2013 (SPA III)
COMMIT 2nd Sub-Regional Plan of Action 2008-2010 (SPA II)
Joint Declaration of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking, June 2007
COMMIT 1st Sub-Regional Plan of Action 2005-2007 (SPA I)
Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation against trafficking in persons in the Greater Mekong Region, October 2004