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On 14 – 15 May 2018 Australian Red Cross and the IFRC, with the Australian and Indonesian governments, co-hosted the first regional Government and Civil Society Roundtable as part of the State-led Bali Process. Representatives from six National Societies (Australian Red Cross, Bangladesh Red Crescent, Maldivian Red Crescent, Nepal Red Cross, Pakistan Red Crescent, and Philippine Red Cross), ICRC and IFRC were joined by representatives from 13 governments and national and regional Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and international agencies. The meeting was a significant success, with strong engagement between RCRC Movement partners and governments, and a commitment made by the Bali Process co-Chairs, namely the governments of Australia and Indonesia, to follow through on outcomes and recommendations.

After the end of two days of engaging and frank discussion, it was agreed by participants that:

Effective cooperation between governments and CSOs is key to preventing and addressing human trafficking and serious forms of labour exploitation, including the importance of:

  • supporting CSOs as an invaluable asset in identification and protection processes and ensuring clear guidelines and operating procedures to clarify roles and responsibilities;
  • formalising national coordination mechanisms to lay the foundation for effective protection; and
  • ensuring coordination mechanisms are operationalised through referral pathways, SOPs, regular meetings and evaluations

Referring to the root causes of trafficking and labour exploitation, governments and CSOs can collaborate to:

  • increase capacity for knowledge building sharing about why people experience human trafficking; and
  • build opportunities to form both formal and informal networks to increase pathways for identification and referrals.

On the challenges of effective collaboration:

  • Governments play a convening role to bring governments and CSOs together to share information and good practice; and
  • develop a shared understanding of common goals, focused on shared mandates and objectives while recognizing different roles, mandates and priorities.

Examples of good practices includes:

  • Innovative approaches to address shared challenges
  • Strong networks
  • Recognition of the strengths that CSOs bring to identification and protection.
  • Participants agreed to share contact details to facilitate strengthened connections and relationships and build effective pathways for information and knowledge sharing.

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