Talks To Strengthen Regional Border Security Measures

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5th August 2008, 05:55pm - Views: 578
Talks to Strengthen Regional Border Security Measures

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, departs for South-East Asia tonight (Tuesday) to discuss regional cooperation on border security and anti peoplesmuggling initiatives with his counterparts in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

Senator Evans and the Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus, will lead a senior Australian Government delegation which includes the Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues, Michael Potts, and senior officials from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Australian Federal Police and the Attorney-General's Department for the eight-day trip.

"Strong migration management and border security in the region benefits all countries by facilitating travel and minimising the risk of people-smuggling, trafficking and irregular migration," Senator Evans said.

"Control and management of borders is integral to regional security and it takes the collaborative efforts of all countries in the region to ensure strong border security."

The delegation will tomorrow hold talks in Jakarta with Indonesian Minister for Law and Human Rights, Andi Mattalatta. They will also meet senior representatives of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and regional representatives of the International Organization for Migration and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

"Indonesia, along with Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore are key partners for Australia and our Governments are committed to close, practical working relationships," Senator Evans said.

"We are doing a lot together to improve border security, including through forensic document examination programs and initiatives to detect people who seek to travel on fake or altered passports.

"We are also exploring ways to better share information between countries in the region on immigration issues and trends which will help prevent people-smuggling, human trafficking and other forms of trans-national crime."

Senator Evans said the talks with regional counterparts will provide an opportunity to reiterate the Australian Government's commitment to mandatory detention for unauthorised arrivals and excision as key elements in the Government's strong border control policy.

"We take a very firm stance against people-smugglers and the dangers they submit desperate people to in hazardous sea journeys," Senator Evans said.

"Australia's national interest demands we increase our efforts to combat people-smuggling in the region, including through close cooperation with our neighbours.

"The new 400-bed centre on Christmas Island is now available for use and people encouraged by people-smugglers to try to improperly enter Australia will be taken to Christmas Island for processing.

"This demonstrates to our regional partners our strong commitment to addressing these issues and the value we place on their cooperation."

Following the talks in Indonesia, the delegation will travel to Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore to discuss border security, migration, humanitarian and tourism initiatives.

SORUCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans

Media Contact:
Simon Dowding
(08) 9481 4844
0411 138 541

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