Maritime Dimension of Transnational Organised Crime
Maritime security and the maritime dimension of transnational organised crime features highly on the policy agenda of Indonesia. In 2014 Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, presented the five pillars of his Maritime Axis Doctrine which aims to:
- Rebuild Indonesia’s maritime culture
- Maintain and manage maritime resources
- Develop maritime infrastructure
- Eliminate illegal fishing and piracy as a source of conflict
- Develop the responsibility to maintain the safety of shipping and maritime security
In the same year, the Indonesian Government initiated a maritime security policy that designated the newly formed Bakamla (Badan Keamanan Laut, Maritime Security Agency) as the ‘guardian’ of Indonesia’s maritime security. More recently, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemlu) published a report on combating Transnational Crimes in which it identifies illegal and unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing as a “new and emerging transnational crime” and announced an intensification of “enforcement and supervision of IUU fishing and other damaging activities in the sea” (KEMLU 2016).
These concerns lead the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) of Coventry University, UK, Oxford Brookes Business School, UK and International Organisation for Migration Indonesia (IOM) to respond to The Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS) call on transnational organised crime.
The aim is to foster cooperation between coastal communities and law enforcement agencies in order to redress transnational organised maritime crimes in Indonesia and advance Indonesia's maritime security. Indonesia is investigated because of its unique maritime geography and the evidenced impact of transnational organised maritime crime on its national and local economies. Indonesia's waters are the scene of crimes such as illegal fishing, human trafficking, sea robbery, piracy, and smuggling. With its approximated 17,000 islands and 57,000 km coastline, the Indonesian land-sea nexus is crucial in the country's maritime security; it is on this nexus that coastal communities and law enforcement agencies meet. The project compares and relates the different attitudes of these two main 'actors' in the fields of transnational organised crime and maritime security and aspires to translate the findings into operational programmes and advance solutions based in enhanced understandings of the perception and practices of Indonesia's coastal communities and enforcement agencies.
To achieve this overall aim, the interrelated objectives of the research project are the following:
- To investigate the coastal communities' and law enforcement agency's understanding of the maritime dimension of transnational organised crime
- To assess and improve the efficiency of law enforcement in the maritime domain
- To recommend more effective and cooperative solutions that include coastal communities in combatting maritime crimes
- To base those recommendations on interdisciplinary research that involves coastal communities and enforcement agencies in the research process.