Key COMMIT Documents
COMMIT: The Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking
The Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT) has fuelled major progress in anti-human trafficking efforts in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) since its inception in 2004. In 2004, the six Governments of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam ) signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding against Trafficking in Persons. This MOU, signed at the Ministerial level, committed the governments to a response to human trafficking meeting international standards, highlighting the need for multi-lateral, bilateral, and government-NGO cooperation to fight human trafficking.
The COMMIT Process is governed by the 6 national COMMIT Taskforces, each comprised of government officials from the ministries most relevant to the fight against human trafficking – including police, justice, social welfare, and women’s affairs. The COMMIT Taskforces make all the major decisions regarding anti-trafficking programming and policy in their country, with COMMIT programming being reflected in annual COMMIT workplans. Two representatives from all six COMMIT Taskforces convene at least twice a year to set priorities and hold discussions on urgent issues at a regional level.
Activities under the Sub-regional Plans of Action (SPAs) are being implemented in each of the countries and at a multi-country level where needed (both bilateral and multilateral). Implementation is typically done in partnership between relevant government departments and non-government entities, whether UN agencies or NGOs, to coordinate efforts, combine resources, and reduce redundancies. A wide range of multi-sectoral partners contribute to the COMMIT Process, including UN agencies, NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, donor organizations, and academia.
UNIAP’s role as COMMIT Secretariat
UNIAP serves as Secretariat to the COMMIT Process, and as such is mandated to provide technical, financial, monitoring, reporting, and logistical support to activities under COMMIT. Based on its existing work and mandate as an inter-agency coordinating body, UNIAP is able to draw on its extensive network of partners throughout the region to provide technical and financial assistance to all aspects of the COMMIT Process, and also works with partners to ensure that programs and activities are aligned with government priorities in the COMMIT SPAs and National Plans of Action. The inter-agency collaboration fostered around the first COMMIT SPA (2005-2007) has continued through the SPA II (2008-2010) and into the SPA III (2011-2013), with implementing agencies contributing their unique technical expertise to helping the governments advance along the measurable targets and progress indicators built into COMMIT’s monitoring and evaluation framework. UNIAP project offices based in each of the six countries coordinate with government and UN agencies and NGOs on a day-to-day basis to ensure that the governments have the technical, administrative and financial support necessary to progress on all aspects of COMMIT SPA implementation.