Assessing an ASEAN Efforts in Anti Trafficking on Women: Does Women Matter?

  • Sartika Soesilowati


This paper asses the practices of member states of Association of Southeast Asia (ASEAN) in an effort to cooperate in combating human trafficking, particularly women and children. ASEAN, as the most important political and security organization in Southeast Asia issued their commitment in combating human trafficking through its landmark ASEAN Declaration against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP-WC) issued on 2004. This agreement followed by ASEAN Declaration Convention Anti Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (ACTIP-WC) in 2015 aiming to bind the collaboration efforts to challenge human trafficking regionally with special attention to women and children. Despite of this commitment, the number of women as a victim of human trafficking in this region are still high. Various pull and push factors causing this including poverty, gender biased, low education, and weak law enforcement. In addition, considering that women trafficking is transnational problems, the role of states cooperation is also important factor to hamper it. Therefore, with the ACTIP-WC being issued since 2015: How far does the commitment of the member states to implement significant cooperation in combating women trafficking in the region?; Are member states able to develop a genuine cooperation that sufficiently eliminates human trafficking and protects women rights in the region? What are the challenges in conducting the regional cooperation on anti-trafficking from feminist review? It is argued that while there are intention to combat trafficking in women among ASEAN member states collectively, it still faces fundamental constraints to significantly addressing the problems. The interest in saving and protecting women is neglected because the state still marginalized the interests of women facing insecurity and threats comes from human trafficking crimes.