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Cablegate: Afghanistan's 2007 Tip Questionnaire Response

VZCZCXRO8460
RR RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #0793/01 0661400
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071400Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6665
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3734
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 KABUL 000793

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/RA LINDA LEE
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR HARRIMAN
OSD FOR KIMMITT
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-76 POLAD

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS


E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KCRM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC
PREF, ELAB, AF
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN'S 2007 TIP QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSE

REFTEL: 06 STATE 202745


Post's response to reftel questions on Trafficking in
Persons in Afghanistan are as follows:

----------------
GENERAL OVERVIEW
----------------

1. (SBU) Is the country a country of origin, transit,
or destination for internationally trafficked men,
women, or children? Provide, where possible, numbers
or estimates for each group; how they were trafficked,
to where, and for what purpose. Does the trafficking
occur within the country's borders? Does it occur in
territory outside of the government's control (e.g. in
a civil war situation)? Are any estimates or reliable
numbers available as to the extent or magnitude of the
problem? What is (are) the source(s) of available
information on trafficking in persons or what plans
are in place (if any) to undertake documentation of
trafficking? How reliable are the numbers and these
sources? Are certain groups of persons more at risk of
being trafficked (e.g. women and children, boys versus
girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, etc.)?

Very little data on trafficking victims exists. The
few statistics which do exist were provided by the
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MLSA), the
Ministry of Interior (MOI), the Afghan Independent
Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), and the International
Organization for Migration (IOM). The data provided
is reliable but is based on spot reports and should
not be considered exhaustive. It is generally
believed that the prevalence of trafficking is much
higher than available statistics reveal. There has
been no national assessment on trafficking, nor are
there any government ministries or NGO's who have
taken on the responsibility of organizing such an
assessment. (The MLSA would like to conduct a
national survey on issues that affect children this
year, which would include trafficking, but this study
would not address trafficking of adult women or men.)
Most available information about trafficking trends in
Afghanistan is anecdotal and unconfirmed.

Afghanistan is a country of origin, transit, and
destination for trafficked children and women.
According to the MLSA and IOM, as a country of origin,
Afghanistan serves as a source for children who are
trafficked into Iran, Pakistan, and the Gulf countries
(mostly Oman and Saudi Arabia). In 2006, there was an
isolated case of two Afghan children being trafficked
in Zimbabwe. (The Ministry of Labor and Social
Affairs believes they were trafficked to Zimbabwe
through the Gulf. The children were found working in
the streets of Zimbabwe and were repatriated in 2006.)
There are unconfirmed reports of Afghan women being
trafficked into Pakistan and Iran. In some cases,
adult males are trafficked into Iran as labor. As a
transit country, Afghanistan is rumored to be used to
send women and children from Tajikistan to either
Pakistan or Iran, primarily for labor but also for sex
(no statistics exist).

Afghanistan is reportedly a destination country for
women being trafficked from China and Iran
(unconfirmed) for sex or from Pakistan to carry drugs.
In 2006, IOM conducted a program funded by PRM to
assist 150 victims of trafficking. Ninety-six of
these victims were women who had been trafficked to
Afghanistan from China for sexual exploitation. Most
are working in Kabul at establishments purporting to

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be "Chinese restaurants" but which effectively act as
brothels. IOM suggested that the women voluntarily
left China seeking work in another country but were
not told they would be sent to Afghanistan and were
forced to stay and work as prostitutes upon their
arrival. The Ministry of Interior, however, believes
most Chinese prostitutes come willingly and knowingly.
The MOI reported two cases of Tajik women willingly
coming to Afghanistan for work in hotels but being
forced into prostitution after their arrival. During
a November visit to Pol-e-charki Prison in Kabul,
Poloff met a Pakistani woman who had been arrested on
charges of smuggling drugs into Afghanistan from
Pakistan. It was unclear whether she was a forced or
willing participant.

Internal trafficking also remains an issue in
Afghanistan, but no statistics are available. Child
labor and forced begging are regular occurrences in
Afghanistan's largest cities. For example, large
numbers of children are rumored to be trafficked from
provinces such as Baghlan into Kabul for labor. A
2006 AIHRC report estimated that there are
approximately 60,000 child laborers in Kabul, most of
whom migrated from other provinces. There are
scattered reports of young boys being trafficked
internally for sex, especially in the northern
provinces of Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Baghlan,
Samangan, Balkh, Jowzjan, Sar-e-pol, and Faryab.
These boys are abducted and forced to work as dancers
who perform before groups of men in private parties.
In the southern provinces along the Pakistani border,
there are reports of commanders abducting young boys
or forcing families to turn over their sons to "work"
for them as sexual objects.

IOM reported assisting at least nine adult men who
were victims of internal trafficking in 2006 (no
details on the type of trafficking were available).
Throughout Afghanistan, women and girls continue to be
exchanged to settle debts or resolve conflicts. The
AIHRC received 41 reports nationwide of women being
exchanged to settle debts in 2006. Women and girls
are also sold by their families for financial gain.
The AIHRC reported 12 such cases in 2006. There were
unconfirmed reports of husbands in Herat selling their
wives into prostitution. In other cases, underage
girls are forced to marry much older men to settle
debts or their families are forced by influential
commanders to give them away. If the girls are too
young to consummate the marriage, they are often used
as household servants instead.


2. (SBU) Please provide a general overview of the
trafficking situation in the country and any changes
since the last TIP Report (e.g. changes in direction).
Also briefly explain the political will to address
trafficking in persons. Other items to address may
include: What kind of conditions are the victims
trafficked into? Which populations are targeted
by the traffickers? Who are the traffickers? What
methods are used to approach victims? (Are they
offered lucrative jobs, sold by their families,
approached by friends of friends, etc.?) What methods
are used to move the victims (e.g., are false
documents being used?).

There is no evidence of any major change to
trafficking trends since last year's report. There
continue to be rumors of child trafficking for organs,
but none of the sources who have mentioned this
(including the Ministry of Interior) have documented
cases that would confirm the practice exists.

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While political will to address trafficking does
exist, the capacity of the government and civil
society to adequately address the issue - especially
in the provinces and along the borders - is extremely
weak. The government and local NGOs rely completely
on funding and training from international donors to
make any headway against TIP.

There is virtually no information available on the
conditions into which victims are trafficked
(internally or abroad), average profile of
traffickers, or their methods for transporting them to
other countries. There are unconfirmed rumors of the
existence of trafficking rings in the Northern
provinces. As in other countries, parents in poor,
rural parts of Afghanistan often willingly send their
kids with traffickers in hopes that the child will
receive education and make income that he or she can
send home. Baghlan province, which was traditionally
an agrarian society whose economy has been hard hit by
years of drought and war, is thought to be a common
source of trafficked children for this reason. Women,
children, and men trafficked into Iran for labor and
into Pakistan are often trafficked through the
province of Nimroz in the Southwest, due to the
isolation and lack of border control along that part
of the Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The Islam
Qala border checkpoint in Herat is another site
commonly used for trafficking into Iran. Similarly,
the city of Torkham, in the Eastern border province of
Nangarhar, is often used to traffic victims from north
Afghanistan into Pakistan. Other victims from the
South are trafficked into Pakistan via Afghanistan's
very porous border with the provinces of Helmand,
Kandahar, Zabul, Paktika and Khost.


3. (SBU) What are the limitations on the government's
ability to address this problem in practice? For
example, is funding for police or other institutions
inadequate? Is overall corruption a problem? Does
the government lack the resources to aid victims?

As mentioned above, the government's capacity to
address trafficking is extremely weak, and there is
little coordination among the various government
agencies that play a role in combating trafficking.
There appears to be some disagreement about which
government ministry has the lead on coordinating anti-
trafficking efforts. Funding to train police, judges,
and prosecutors on identifying and investigating
trafficking cases remains inadequate. Border and
highway police are often believed to be complicit in
trafficking activities. The government has no
capacity to assist victims; such assistance is
provided mostly by international NGO's.

4. (SBU) To what extent does the government
systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts
(on all fronts -- prosecution, prevention and victim
protection) and periodically make available, publicly
or privately and directly or through
regional/international organizations, its assessments
of these anti-trafficking efforts?

The government does not currently have the capacity to
systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts.
Various ministries are responsible for prosecution and
prevention, but they do not coordinate.

----------
PREVENTION
----------

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5. (SBU) Does the government acknowledge that
trafficking is a problem in the country? If not, why
not?

The government does acknowledge that trafficking is a
problem and since last year seems to have a greater
understanding of the different forms of trafficking.

6. (SBU) Which government agencies are involved in
anti-trafficking efforts and which agency, if any, has
the lead?

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has been the
most active on strategic efforts to combat
trafficking; however, the Ministry of Interior is
primarily responsible for reporting and investigating
cases, and has the most direct contact with victims.
The Ministry of Justice is currently drafting a
specific law that criminalizes trafficking. The
Attorney General's Office is responsible for keeping
statistics on arrests, prosecutions, and convictions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is involved in
addressing efforts against international trafficking.
The Ministry of Women's Affairs is involved somewhat
in addressing issues of trafficking of women. These
ministries do not coordinate and have differing
opinions on which agency should take the lead. The
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs receives the most
international assistance (funding and capacity
building) for anti-trafficking efforts, primarily from
UNICEF, but as a result, only addresses trafficking of
children.


7. (SBU) Are there, or have there been, government-
run anti-trafficking information or education
campaigns? If so, briefly describe the campaign(s),
including their objectives and effectiveness. Do
these campaigns target potential trafficking victims
and/or the demand for trafficking (e.g. "clients" of
prostitutes or beneficiaries of forced labor)?

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, with the
assistance of UNICEF, did conduct a public awareness
and education campaign in 2006. There was no
available data on its effectiveness. The campaign
sought to educate the public-at-large on the types of
trafficking and to whom incidents should be reported.

8. (SBU) Does the government support other programs
to prevent trafficking? (e.g., to promote women's
participation in economic decision-making or efforts
to keep children in school.) Please explain.

The government does support other programs which
indirectly prevent trafficking, such as efforts to
keep children in school, increasing overall law
enforcement and rule of law, and public education
campaigns on women's and children's rights.

9. (SBU) What is the relationship between government
officials, NGOs, other relevant organizations and
other elements of civil society on the trafficking
issue?

Government officials are willing to interact
cooperatively with NGOs and other relevant
organizations on trafficking issues, mostly because
the government's anti-trafficking efforts are still
driven by funding from the international community.

10. (SBU) Does the government monitor immigration and
emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking? Do

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law enforcement agencies screen for potential
trafficking victims along borders?

The government currently has no capacity to do this.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs maintains
statistics on repatriation of child trafficking
victims. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had
information on isolated cases, but did not maintain
overall statistics on repatriation

11. (SBU) Is there a mechanism for coordination and
communication between various agencies, internal,
international, and multilateral on trafficking-related
matters, such as a multi-agency working group or a
task force? Does the government have a trafficking in
persons working group or single point of contact?
Does the government have a public corruption task
force?

There was a presidential decree in 2005 establishing a
commission involving the Ministries of Defense,
Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Border Affairs,
Refugees and Repatriation and Chief of the Office of
the National Intelligence to coordinate on trafficking
issues; however, it appears that this group never met
with any frequency and has since dissolved. There is
presently no coordinating mechanism within the GOA.

12. (SBU) Does the government have a national plan of
action to address trafficking in persons? If so,
which agencies were involved in developing it? Were
NGOs consulted in the process? What steps has the
government taken to disseminate the action plan?

The government developed a National Plan of Action to
address trafficking in persons in 2004 that set the
following goals for national anti-trafficking efforts:
creation of an anti-trafficking law; training of law
enforcement officials, judges and prosecutors to
identify, investigate, and prosecute trafficking
cases; development of a system to track and analyze
trafficking trends; increasing border security; public
awareness activities to educate the public on
trafficking issues; provision of shelters and services
to victims; training of Afghan diplomats working at
GOA missions abroad to identify and assist trafficking
victims; development of a witness protection program
for those who help police in combating trafficking.
To date the only parts of this plan which have been
implemented include some training of law enforcement,
NGO, and diplomatic employees to identify trafficking
cases and scattered public awareness campaigns. With
help from IOM, the Ministry of Justice began drafting
an anti-trafficking law in late 2006. The draft is
currently 65% complete and should be sent to the
Afghan Parliament for approval in late 2007. In early
2007, the MOI drafted a new organizational plan that
includes a specific office to track cases and analyze
trends on TIP. This office has not yet been staffed.

In 2006 the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
drafted, in consultation with UNICEF, a National
Strategy for Children At-Risk, which identified 22
categories of children at-risk, one of which was
trafficking victims. The MLSA and UNICEF have
circulated copies of this strategy.

--------------------------------------------
INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS
--------------------------------------------


13. (SBU) Does the country have a law specifically
prohibiting trafficking in persons--both for sexual

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and non-sexual purposes (e.g. forced labor)? If so,
please specifically cite the name of the law and itQ
date of enactment. Does the law(s) cover both
internal and external (transnational) forms of
trafficking? If not, under what other laws can
traffickers be prosecuted? For example, are there
laws against slavery or the exploitation of
prostitution by means of force, fraud or coercion?
Are these other laws being used in trafficking cases?
Are these laws, taken together, adequate to cover the
full scope of trafficking in persons? Please provide
a full inventory of trafficking laws, including non-
criminal statutes that allow for civil penalties
against alleged trafficking crimes, (e.g., civil
forfeiture laws and laws against illegal debt.

As stated above, the Ministry of Justice began
drafting an anti-trafficking law in late 2006. The
draft is currently 65% complete and should be sent to
the Afghan Parliament for approval in late 2007.
Currently traffickers are prosecuted under laws
designed to address kidnapping.

The relevant laws are as follows: (Note: the quality
of translation is poor; however, they are from
official translations published in Afghan law books.
End note.)

Penal Code

Article 356:
A person who takes away or hides a newborn baby from
person who have legal rights over him, or changes him
with another infant, or untruthfully relates him to
some other than his mother, shall be sentenced in the
light of circumstances to medium imprisonment.

Article 418:
A person who, himself/herself or through another,
kidnaps a child, not yet seven years old, or someone
who cannot look after himself, or leaves at large one
of the persons mentioned in an uninhabited area, shall
be sentenced.

Article 419:
If, as a result of commitment of the crimes specified
under article 418 of this law, some organ of the child
or the person (kidnapped) is defected or lost, the
offender shall be punished in accordance with the
provisions of deliberate laceration or if the child or
person (kidnapped) dies, the offender shall be
punished in accordance with the provisions of
deliberate murder.

Article 420:
1. A person who, himself or through another, kidnaps,
without coercion or fraud, a child not yet eighteen
years old, shall be sentenced. 2. If the kidnapped
child is a girl, the offender shall be sentenced to
long imprisonment, not exceeding ten years.

Article 421:
1. A person who, himself or through another, kidnaps
without coercion or fraud, a child not yet eighteen
years old, shall be sentenced. 2. If the kidnapped
child is a girl, the offender shall receive the
maximum anticipated punishment of the above paragraph.

Article 423:
If the acts specified under article 420 and 421 of
this law are committed by a person who has influence
or authority over the person against whom the crime
has been committed, or if the former is charged with
the responsibility of raising the latter, the offender

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shall be sentenced.

Article 425:
A person who carries off a girl, who is sixteen years
or over, at her own will from her parents' residence
for the purpose of lawfully marrying her, shall not be
deemed as having committed an act of kidnapping.

Article 515:

A person who holds as hostage another person through
threat, coercion or any other means, shall be
sentenced to long imprisonment


14. (SBU) What are the penalties for trafficking
people for sexual exploitation?

No specific law has been defined for trafficking for
sexual exploitation.


15. (SBU) Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses:
What are the prescribed and imposed penalties for
trafficking for labor exploitation, such as forced or
bonded labor and involuntary servitude? Do the
government's laws provide for criminal punishment --
i.e. jail time -- for labor recruiters in labor source
countries who engage in recruitment of laborers using
knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers that result
in workers being exploited in the destination country?
For employers or labor agents in labor destination
countries who confiscate workers' passports or travel
documents, switch contracts without the worker's
consent as a means to keep the worker in a state of
service, or withhold payment of salaries as means of
keeping the worker in a state of service? If law(s)
prescribe criminal punishments for these offenses,
what are the actual punishments imposed on persons
convicted of these offenses?

Article 49 of the Afghan constitution prohibits forced
labor.


16. (SBU) What are the prescribed penalties for rape
or forcible sexual assault? How do they compare to
the prescribed and imposed penalties for crimes of
trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation?

The courts in Afghanistan refer to Article 429 of the
Penal Code to address rape cases and sexual assault
cases. This article provides for no more that seven
years imprisonment in rape case, unless aggravating
circumstances exist. It states that, "(1) A person
who through violence, threat, or deceit, violates the
chastity of another (whether male or female), or
initiates the act, shall be sentenced to long
imprisonment, not exceeding seven years. (2) In the
case where the person against whom the crime is
committed is not eighteen years old, or the person who
commits the crime is one of the persons specified
under the paragraph 2 of article 427 of this law, the
offender shall be sentenced to long imprisonment, not
exceeding ten years." There is no punishment for rape
mentioned in the Koran, but Islamic criminal law
historically has treated it as a form of "adultery"
punishable by stoning. Also, in practice, women who
are victims of rape are sometimes considered to have
committed a crime themselves and are sentenced
accordingly. The penalty for sex trafficking has not
been defined.

17. (SBU) Is prostitution legalized or

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decriminalized? Specifically, are the activities of
the prostitute criminalized? Are the activities of
the brothel owner/operator, clients, pimps, and
enforcers criminalized? Are these laws enforced? If
prostitution is legal and regulated, what is the legal
minimum age for this activity? Note that in many
countries with federalist systems, prostitution laws
may be covered by state, local, and provincial
authorities.

Though the Penal Code is silent on the definition and
punishment for prostitution, courts normally consider
it akin to the crime of "adultery". Judges usually
refer to Article 427, which says that, "A person who
commits adultery...shall be sentenced to long
imprisonment" (but the law doesn't provide specific
sentencing guidelines). Article 430 deals with the
crime of "instigation to debauchery" and provides a
minimum three years imprisonment. The translation we
have is imperfect, but Article 430 apparently states
that: (1) A person who instigates a male or female,
not eighteen years old to debauchery or a person who
instigates another to acquire a profession pertaining
to debauchery, or assists another in this respect,
shall be sentenced to medium imprisonment, not less
than three years and; (2) if the person committing the
crime is one of the persons specified under the
paragraph 2 of article 427 of this law, or the act has
been performed for the purpose of acquiring benefit,
the offender shall be sentenced to long imprisonment,
not exceeding ten years. (Note: Under Islamic Law,
prostitution is also considered a form of adultery and
is punishable by lashing for unmarried prostitutes
and/or unmarried clients of prostitutes. For those
clients and/or prostitutes who are married, the
penalty is death by stoning in public view. End Note.)


18. (SBU) Has the government prosecuted any cases
against traffickers? If so, provide numbers of
investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and
sentences, including details on plea bargains and
fines, if relevant and available. Does
the government in a labor source country criminally
prosecute labor recruiters who recruit laborers using
knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers or impose on
recruited laborers inappropriately high or illegal
fees or commissions that create a debt bondage
condition for the laborer? Does the government in a
labor destination country criminally prosecute
employers or labor agents who confiscate workers'
passports/travel documents, switch contracts or terms
of employment without the worker's consent, use
physical or sexual abuse or the threat of such
abuse to keep workers in a state of service, or
withhold payment of salaries as a means to keep
workers in a state of service? Are the traffickers
serving the time sentenced: If not, why not? Please
indicate whether the government can provide this
information, and if not, why not? (Note: complete
answers to this section are essential. End Note.)

130 people were arrested for TIP-related offenses in
2006. 120 of those cases were prosecuted, but only 45
were actually convicted. Sentences varied between 7
months and 16 years. The Attorney General's Office
did not provide data on the average length of
sentences and whether such sentences were carried out.
The Attorney General's office did not provide
specifics on which types of trafficking cases were
most commonly prosecuted.

19. (SBU) Is there any information or reports of who
is behind the trafficking? For example, are the

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traffickers freelance operators, small crime groups,
and/or large international organized crime syndicates?
Are employment, travel, and tourism agencies or
marriage brokers fronting for traffickers or crime
groups to traffic individuals? Are government
officials involved? Are there any reports of
where profits from trafficking in persons are being
channeled? (e.g. armed groups, terrorist
organizations, judges, banks, etc.)

There are no official reports on who is behind the
trafficking. There are unofficial reports of some
organized crime involvement in the trafficking of
Eastern European women and some reports of employment
agencies in China that traffic women to Afghanistan.

20. (SBU) Does the government actively investigate
cases of trafficking? (Again, the focus should be on
trafficking cases versus migrant smuggling cases.)
Does the government use active investigative
techniques in trafficking in persons investigations?
To the extent possible under domestic law, are
techniques such as electronic surveillance, undercover
operations, and mitigated punishment or immunity for
cooperating suspects used by the government? Does the
criminal procedure code or other laws prohibit the
police from engaging in covert operations?

Despite scattered efforts to train law enforcement
officials, government officials still lack the
capacity to properly investigate TIP cases. Cases
that do come to the government's attention are most
likely reported by victims or their families or
discovered by law enforcement officials when they are
investigating other types of illegal activity, such as
drug smuggling, prostitution or the sale of alcohol.
The criminal procedure code does not prevent covert
operations.

21. (SBU) Does the government provide any specialized
training for government officials in how to recognize,
investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking?

The government itself does not have capacity to offer
such training. When conducted, such training is
provided by international NGOs and not with any
consistency.

22. (SBU) Does the government cooperate with other
governments in the investigation and prosecution of
trafficking cases? If possible, can post provide the
number of cooperative international investigations on
trafficking?

There is limited cooperation on the return of Afghan
children who have been trafficked abroad and
practically no cooperation in the investigation or
prosecution of cases. The GOA reports having a
particularly hard time getting cooperation from the
Government of Pakistan Q investigate cases of Afghan
women and children trafficked into Pakistan that are
reported by their families. The Ministry of Labor and
Social Affairs reported a total of 400 repatriations
of Afghan children in 2006: 315 from Saudi Arabia, 1
from Oman, 3 from Pakistan, 10-15 from Iran, 2 from
Zimbabwe. (Note: These numbers are unlikely to
reflect accurately the scale of trafficking into
Pakistan and Iran. End note.)

23. (SBU) Does the government extradite persons who
are charged with trafficking in other countries? If
so, can post provide the number of traffickers
extradited? Does the government extradite its own
nationals charged with such offenses? If not, is the

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government prohibited by law form extraditing its own
nationals? If so, is the government doing to modify
its laws to permit the extradition of its own
nationals?

There have been no extraditions of traffickers,
although there does not appear to be any law
preventing such.

24. (SBU) Is there evidence of govQnment involvement
in or tolerance of trafficking, on a local or
institutional level? If so, please explain in detail.

There are unconfirmed reports of corrupt Afghan
National Police and Afghan Border Police officers
being complicit in trafficking, but no evidence
exists. The Ministry of Interior said no police
officials have been arrested for involvement in
trafficking. There are no reports of institutional
involvement in trafficking by the government.

25. (SBU) If government officials are involved in
trafficking, what steps has the government taken to
end such participation? Have any government officials
been prosecuted for involvement in trafficking or
trafficking-related corruption? Have any been
convicted? What sentence(s) was imposed? Please
provide specific numbers, if available.

None.

26. (SBU) If the country has an identified child sex
tourism problem (as source or destination), how many
foreign pedophiles has the government prosecuted or
deported/extradited to their country of origin? What
are the countries of origin for sex tourists? Do the
country's child sexual abuse laws have
extraterritorial coverage (similar to the U.S. PROTECT
Act)? If so, how many of the country's nationals have
been prosecuted and/or convicted under the
extraterritorial provision(s)?

Sex tourism has not been identified as a problem in
Afghanistan.

27. (SBU) Has the government signed, ratified, and/or
taken steps to implement the following international
instruments? Please provide the date of
signature/ratification if appropriate.

--ILO Convention 182 concerning the Prohibition and
Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst
Forms of Child Labor. Afghanistan has not ratified
this convention.

--ILO Convention 29 and 105 on Forced or Compulsory
Labor. Yes, 1963.

--The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child (CRC) on the Sale of Children,
Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography. Yes, 2000.

--The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish
Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children,
supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational
Organized Crime. Yes, 2000.

------------------------------------
PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
------------------------------------

28. (SBU) Does the government assist victims, for
example, by providing temporary to permanent residency
status, relief from deportation, shelter and access to

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legal, medical and psychological services? If so,
please explain. Does the country have victim care and
victim health care facilities? Does the country have
facilities dedicated to helping victims of
trafficking? If so, can post provide the number
of victims placed in these care facilities?

No. Any assistance to victims is provided by
international NGOs and not with any consistency. The
Ministry of Women's Affairs occasionally receives
reports of trafficking but is unable to provide
services to victims.

29. (SBU) Does the government provide funding or
other forms of support to foreign or domestic NGOs for
services to victims? Please explain.

No. All funding comes from international donors.

30. (SBU) Do the government's law enforcement and
social services personnel have a formal system of
identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk
persons with whom they come in contact(e.g. foreign
persons arrested for prostitution or immigration
violations)? Is there a referral process in place,
when appropriate, to transfer victims detained,
arrested or placed in protective custody by law
enforcement authorities to NGO's that provide short-
or long-term care?

No.

31. (SBU) Are the rights of victims respected, or are
victims treated as criminals? Are victims detained,
jailed, or deported? If detained or jailed, for how
long? Are victims fined? Are victims prosecuted for
violations of other laws, such as those governing
immigration or prostitution?

There is no established protocol for the treatment of
victims. Their treatment varies depending on the
official involved, location, or security service.
Female victims are often treated as criminals, both in
cases of prostitution and in cases where women have
run away from home to escape forced marriages or
domestic abuse. No specific information is available
on the length of detention or treatment of individual
victims.

32. (SBU) Does the government encourage victims to
assist in the investigation and prosecution of
trafficking? May victims file civil suits or seek
legal action against the traffickers? Does anyone
impede the victims' access to such legal redress? If
a victim is a material witness in a court case against
a former employer, is the victim permitted to
obtain other employment or to leave the country
pending trial proceedings? Is there a victim
restitution program?

There is no victim restitution program. The
government does not encourage victims to assist in
investigations, and the court system does not have the
capacity to handle civil proceedings adequately.

33. (SBU) What kind of protection is the government
able to provide for victims and witnesses? Does it
provide these protections in practice? What type of
shelter or services does the government provide? Does
it provide shelter or housing benefits to victims or
other resources to aid the victims in rebuilding their
lives? Where are child victims placed (e.g. in
shelters, foster-care, or juvenile justice
detention centers)?

KABUL 00000793 012 OF 012

The government provides no formal protection to
victims. Victims are sometimes jailed while officials
decide on the disposition of their cases, whether to
press charges, or to deport. Some protection is given
by NGOs, though not on a consistent basis. There are
approximately four women's shelters nationwide that
provide protection to female victims and their
children but not in large numbers. Otherwise,
children are usually placed in orphanages until their
families can be located.

34. (SBU) Does the government provide any specialized
training for government officials in recognizing
trafficking and in the provision of assistance to
trafficked victims, including the special needs of
trafficked children? Does the government provide
training on protections and assistance to its
embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are
destination or transit countries? Does it urge those
embassies and consulates to develop ongoing
relationships with NGOs that serve trafficked victims?

Any such training is provided by international NGOs,
not the government. Training to GOA embassies and
consulates was last provided in 2004-2005.

35. (SBU) Does the government provide assistance,
such as medical aid, shelter, or financial help, to
its repatriated nationals who are victims of
trafficking?

Such assistance is provided by international NGOs, if
at all.

36. (SBU) Which international organizations or NGOs,
if any, work with trafficking victims? What type of
services do they provide? What sort of cooperation do
they receive from local authorities? NOTE: If post
reports that a government is incapable of assisting
and protecting TIP victims, then post should explain
thoroughly. Funding, personnel, and training
constraints should be noted, if applicable.
Conversely, the lack of political will to address the
problem should be noted as well.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM),
UNICEF, Save the Children, and the Afghan Independent
Human Rights Commission provide assistance to
trafficking victims. As stated before, the government
does not have the financial resources or capacity to
assist and protect victims.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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