Palau, November 06, 2023 – In a pivotal move towards fortifying Palau’s commitment to combating human trafficking, the Office of the Vice President and the Ministry of Justice, led by the Honorable Vice President and Minister of Justice, J. Uduch Sengebau Senior, joined hands with Minister of Finance, Kaleb Udui, Jr., Director of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, John Tarkong, Jr., and Acting Chief of Division of Transnational Crime, Lt. Rickley Antonio, to sign a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on November 02, 2023.

This historic MOU signifies the collective dedication of these key government bodies to defining their roles and sharing vital information for the effective execution of Palau’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program. The signing ceremony took place at the Vice President’s Office Conference Room and marked a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

The primary objective of this MOU is to establish a common understanding and a comprehensive framework for collaboration between the Ministry of Justice, particularly its Anti-Human Trafficking unit, and the Ministry of Finance, encompassing its Division of Immigration. Together, these parties aim to bolster Palau’s anti-human trafficking program.

The MOU focuses on formalizing procedures and fostering a unified understanding between the Ministry of Justice’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit and the Ministry of Finance’s Division of Immigration. This synergy is vital to enable effective law enforcement and to eliminate potential vulnerabilities that human traffickers may exploit. The MOU outlines key strategies, including monitoring high-risk countries and closely scrutinizing visa applications, extensions, departures, and other immigration data to identify patterns indicative of human trafficking activities.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice, through its Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, commits to providing timely information to the Division of Immigration regarding any known or suspected human trafficking patterns. This collaboration ensures that Division of Immigration officers are well-informed about the signs and signals of human trafficking in the course of their duties. It also assists the Division of Immigration in shaping their policies and processes and facilitates seamless communication through up-to-date contact details for all Anti-Human Trafficking Unit officers.

This MOU is not only a symbol of unwavering commitment to eradicating human trafficking in Palau but also a testament to the government’s dedication to the safety and well-being of its citizens and residents. It paves the way for a stronger and more coordinated effort against this grave issue that affects societies worldwide.

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