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15 December 2023 | Event
RSO Alumni Network promotes cross-border information sharing through community of practitioners

The RSO Alumni Network launched in December 2023—marking a milestone in network-building and information-sharing among practitioners dedicated to countering trafficking in persons, people smuggling, and related transnational crime.

Community of practitioners

The launch was commemorated with the hosting of the inaugural RSO Alumni Day on 8 December 2023. The event brought together law enforcement, border and immigration, maritime officers and practitioners in trafficking in persons and people smuggling from across the Bali Process region who have been trained by the RSO over the past year, for a half-day of networking, experience sharing, and celebration.

Through the RSO Alumni Network, practitioners now have a formalised avenue to share resources, access contacts for international counterparts to collaborate with and problem-solve around regional issues, as well as to access leadership development opportunities.

“At the RSO we hear from Member States all the time that a major barrier to working multilaterally across borders is not having direct, informal international relationships with counterparts,” said Marvin Anwar Arpan, Minister-Counsellor at the Indonesian Embassy in Thailand, in his opening speech. “Alumni Day – and yesterday’s Border Forum – are part of the RSO’s ongoing work to make these connections happen.”

Napanit Vinitchevit from the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) gave a presentation on the value of alumni networks. She highlighted the pivotal role that alumni networks play in fostering collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and resource access among practitioners.

Alumni Champions

The first RSO ‘Alumni Champion’—selected for his exemplary performance in capacity building activities and commitment to disseminating knowledge to better his workplace—was also introduced at the event. Ade Harianto, Senior Superintendent of the Criminal Investigation Unit, Indonesia National Police Aceh, gave a presentation that provided valuable insights into the challenges and achievements of countering people smuggling, human trafficking, and transnational crime in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

He noted that, “The issue of human trafficking and people smuggling in Aceh is complicated, therefore the handling of this issue cannot be in isolation.” Reflecting on his engagement with the RSO, Ade mentioned, “My RSO training opened up new treasures for operational officers in Aceh Province. It helped build collaboration amongst operational offices and international organisations, a better understanding of the international legal framework regarding refugees, and human rights.”

Representing the first cohort of RSO Alumni, Capt. Vithanage Lasantha, from the Northern Naval Command of the Sri Lanka Navy, and and Ms. Yaneke Anissa Fyrgie and Mr Jumari from the Law and Human Rights Ministry of Indonesia, presented on their efforts to apply and embed learned practices back into their workplaces.

David Scott, RSO Co-Manager (Australia) formally inducted participants into the Alumni Network at the end of the launch event, marking their official entry into the formal membership-based network of dedicated practitioners.

The RSO looks forward to supporting our alumni on their journey of professional development and growth.