I welcome the announcement by Prime Minister Turnbull and Indonesian President Widodo of the new Bali Process Government and Business Forum, a business-government partnership to combat human trafficking, modern slavery, forced labour and other exploitation.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi and I met in Jakarta to discuss this new partnership under the existing Bali Process. We will co-chair the Forum's first meeting in Perth on 24-25 August 2017. 

The forum will bring together ministers and business leaders from the 45 Bali Process countries to determine policies to tackle human trafficking, modern slavery and forced labour.  We are launching the Forum because we recognise the private sector's critical role in combating these crimes in supply chains in our region and beyond.  These abusive practices are contrary to human dignity and a violation of fundamental human rights.  By working with governments, the business leaders will have a role in preventing these practices.

With a shared history of generous philanthropy, Mr Andrew Forrest AO, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group and founder of the Walk Free Foundation, and Mr Eddy Sariaatmadja, founder and Chairman of the Emtek Group, will lead the Forum as the private sector co-chairs from Australia and Indonesia respectively. Mr Forrest and Mr Sariaatmadja will invite business leaders from other Bali Process countries to join the Forum.

Regional cooperation is critical for the tens of millions of people worldwide who are subject to these abuses, over 50 per cent are in our region, the Indo-Pacific. 

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