Human trafficking continues to flourish within the region, requiring a joint effort by the Mekong countries to actively stamp out the trade and penalise those responsible. Human trafficking is harmful to socio-economic development and social order in the region and could worsen when the ASEAN Economic Community is fully integrated. Speaking at the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking meeting in Vientiane on November 24, Minister of Public Security, Major General Somkeo Silavong stressed that human trafficking was destructive and should be tackled more vigorously. Human trafficking is one of the most harmful crimes and is transnational. It involves the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them, he said. Action is being taken to address the root causes of human trafficking and support the recovery and reintegration of victims. Joining together to address this issue is the responsibility of everybody in society, he added.