Tuesday, April 2, 2013

1) West Papua hopeful about MSG membership after Suva meetings

1) West Papua hopeful about MSG membership after Suva meetings

2) West Papua Situation must be raised by Australian ministers

3) Foreign Minister should raise human rights and press freedom in West Papua during Indonesia visit4) Australia hopes cooperation can end human trafficking
1) West Papua hopeful about MSG membership after Suva meetings

Posted at 02:05 on 02 April, 2013 UTC

A group seeking Papua’s independence from Indonesia says it is hopeful of progress on membership of the Melanesian Spearhead group after meetings in Suva last week.
Representatives of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation met Commodore Frank Bainimarama as part of lobbying efforts for full membership of the group which is chaired by the Fiji Prime Minister.
The group’s Vice Chairman, Dr Otto Ondawame, says Commodore Bainimarama showed clear commitment to raising the issue at the next meeting of the MSG in June.
“He maintained the identity of Melanesia as one of the strongest bases of economic growth and stability in the region. So I understand very well that he stands firmly on Melanesian identity.”
Dr Ondawame says the group will hold meetings with other MSG country leaders over the next two months.


2) West Papua Situation must be raised by Australian ministers

April 2013
Situation in West Papua should be raised by Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith
Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith are visiting Indonesia this week for regular ministerial talks. Although DFAT has said it raises concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua in recent replies to AWPA's letters we hope Sen Carr will again raise the situation in West Papua with his counterpart in Indonesia. In the past month there were a number of urgent actions released by the Asian Human Rights Commission concerning incidents of arrests and torture of Papuans including of a pregnant women and a 18 month old baby.
AWPA also hopes that our Defence Minister Stephen Smith will raise concerns about the actions of the security forces in West Papua and in particular about any members of Detachment 88 who have been trained by Australia that have been involved in security operations in West Papua, which is outside their brief.
We also hope they will request permission from the Indonesian Government to allow a cross-party parliamentary fact finding mission to West Papua to not only investigate the human rights situation in the territory but to see how Australia can help the West Papuan people in capacity building in the fields of health and education.


3) Foreign Minister should raise human rights and press freedom in West Papua during Indonesia visit

31 March 2013
With the Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, scheduled to visit Indonesia tomorrow, Australia’s leading human rights organisation has called for a forthright discussion about human rights abuses in the Indonesian province of Papua.
Human Rights Law Centre spokesperson, Tom Clarke, said Australia is well positioned to play a meaningful and constructive role in helping to address the continuing human rights crisis in Papua.
“Given Australia’s pledge to use its seat on the UN Security Council to be a ‘principled advocate of human rights for all’, Foreign Minister Bob Carr shouldn’t be shy in raising his concerns about the human rights crisis in West Papua,” Mr Clarke said.
Although Indonesia is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it is regularly criticised for routinely inhibiting fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association.
Mr Clarke said the Foreign Minister should be capitalising on Australia’s unique relationship with Indonesia to push for international media access to the troubled province.
“Media access is such a simple and reasonable request, yet its impact would be profound. Having independent journalists on the ground in West Papua would help the world get a better picture of the human rights crisis there. It would be significant step towards addressing that crisis,” Mr Clarke said.
The Human Rights Law Centre believes Australia has a critical leadership role on human rights in Asia and the Pacific and should take a principled and proactive stand on human rights with a key partner such as Indonesia
“We don’t want a situation arising where Australia is happy to stand up for human rights on the other side of the world, but isn’t willing to speak out about human rights abuses occurring on our doorstep. Consistency strengthens Australia’s important human rights advocacy and is in our national interest,” said Mr Clarke



4) Australia hopes cooperation can end human trafficking

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Respect: Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr (right) stands after paying respects at the Bali bombing memorial in Kuta, Bali, on Monday. Carr and Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa will co-chair the fifth Bali Process Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime on Tuesday. AP/Firdia Lisnawati

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr arrived in Bali on Monday aiming to strengthen the regional cooperation framework that will put an end to human trafficking, the crucial issue to be discussed on Tuesday’s Bali Process 5th Regional Ministerial Conference in Nusa Dua.

Upon his arrival in Bali, Carr directly made a brief visit to the Bali Bombing memorial (Ground Zero monument) in Legian, Badung regency.

Initiated in 2002, the Bali process on people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related crime has seriously dealt with raising regional awareness of the consequences of people smuggling, and related transnational crime. Over 40 countries, including Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Afghanistan and Iran, as well as numerous international agencies, have joined the voluntary forum.

“We are going to work toward more regional cooperation on the whole agenda of people smuggling and human movement. That’s our focus. There are tens of millions of people in the world who are adrift, homeless and looking for somewhere to go. We need regional cooperation to see them treated more humanely, that the borders are respected and that you have orderly handling of the movement of people,” said Carr, who with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa will cochair the conference on Tuesday.

The web resource for combating human trafficking, www.humantrafficking.org, states Australia itself has been a destination country for trafficked people from Eastern Europe, East Asia and Southeast Asia, including China, South Korea and Thailand.

“Strengthening law enforcement cooperation, that’s a tangible goal that we are working toward. We have seen progress and we want further progress. We want to improve cooperation on human trafficking. To seek the development of policy guidelines that would help countries criminalize human trafficking. That is necessary to overcome the wretchedness of slavery, [and] the enslavement of people on their transference across and through borders,” Carr said, highlighting Australia’s specific goals.

“We need a range of actions to stop the boats, we need action in countries that are generating this flow of people, Afghanistan and Iran have got large refugee numbers, people being recruited by people smugglers from those jurisdictions. You need law enforcement action directed at the people smugglers,” said Carr.

Over the years, the Australian government has increased its efforts to prosecute traffickers. Since 2004, the Australian Federal Police has investigated 112 cases and charged 22 people with people trafficking. In 2007, Australia provided a five-year A$21 million (US$21.86 million) regional initiative through Indonesia’s criminal justice system to enhance prevention efforts in human trafficking in the region.

Reportedly, more than 800,000 people are victims of trafficking every year in the region. The Australian initiative is part of the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons (ARTIP) launched in August 2006 initially as a partnership with Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

On Tuesday night, Carr is expected to leave Bali for Jakarta for further meetings with Marty and Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro at the foreign and defense ministers’ meeting.

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