The Bali Process

The Bali Process is a regional, multilateral process designed to boost bilateral and regional cooperative efforts against people smuggling and trafficking in persons through technical workshops and increased cooperation between the 45 member countries and 3 member organisations, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the International Organization for Migration (IOM); and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Overall direction and coordination of the Bali Process is provided through an officials' level Steering Group comprising Indonesia and Australia as the two co-chairs, New Zealand, Thailand, UNHCR and IOM.

The Bali Process achieves both high-level political dialogue, including regular Ministerial conferences and practical capacity-building activities at officials level. DFAT works within a Whole-of-Government context, with the Department of Home Affairs, the Attorney General’s Department and others in leading different Bali Process working groups. Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, Dr Geoffrey Shaw, is Australia’s senior official co-chair.

The Sixth Bali Process Ministerial Conference in March 2016 achieved significant outcomes in addressing people smuggling, human trafficking and irregular migration in the region. For the first time in the Bali Process, members adopted a Ministerial Declaration. The Declaration commits members to dealing with protection issues, promoting regular migration pathways, countering criminal networks, and addressing human trafficking. Members established a ‘consultation mechanism’ to allow Bali Process Co-Chairs, Australia and Indonesia, to convene discussion on emergency irregular migration situations. Members also agreed to a review of the region’s response to the irregular migration events in the Andaman Sea in 2015.

Another key outcome was agreement to work more closely with the private sector to combat human trafficking and slavery. Accordingly, the Governments of Australia and Indonesia have developed the Bali Process Government and Business Forum. The Forum took place in Perth on 24-25 August 2017 and was co-chaired by The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia and H.E. Ms Retno Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group and founder of Walk Free Foundation and Eddy Sariaatmadja, founder of media group Emtek were the business co chairs. The Forum brought together Bali Process ministers and senior private sector leaders from the region to discuss and consider ways to eradicate trafficking and slavery.

Further information can be found on the Bali Process website.

Last Updated: 1 October 2014