BANGKOK, June 5 (Bernama) — The drafting of the Asean Convention on Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) and the Regional Plan of Action (RPA) is expected to conclude by the end of 2014.

Once adopted, the ACTIP will be the landmark achievement for Asean and its 10 member states as it reflects regional unity and solidarity in combating trafficking of human beings, said the Asean Secretariat in a statement issued in Yangon.

The Central Committee on Suppressing of Trafficking in Persons (CCTP) of the Union of Myanmar is hosting the 6th Expert Group Meeting on the Asean Convention on Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) and the Regional Plan of Action (RPA) from June 3-5 in Yangon.

It said the meeting was attended by all Asean member states and the Asean Secretariat.

Police Brigadier General Thein Oo, deputy chief of police of Myanmar’s Ministry of Home Affairs, officiated at the meeting where he pointed out that trafficking in persons was the second most prevalent transnational crime in the world after illicit drug trafficking.

He said to achieve justice, a strong foundation in the rule of law and strengthened judicial systems were instrumental.

“It is also important that victims of trafficking are not treated like irregular migrants and deported or charged with criminal offences even before they are identified as victims,” he said.

Since 2007, Asean has been working on the development of a convention with a view to achieve a regionally agreeable framework on collaboration among Asean member states on investigation and prosecution of trafficking in persons.

It is also aimed at providing assistance to the victims for their safe return, rehabilitation and reintegration into their respective societies, among others.