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Cablegate: Vietnam to Draft New Tip Law, Improve Inter-Agency

VZCZCXRO0454
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHHI #1594/01 2500906
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 070906Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6276
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 3645
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 001594

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, G/TIP AND PRM FOR SONIA DENTZEL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV TIP ELAB KWMN KCRM SMIG PREL VM

SUBJECT: VIETNAM TO DRAFT NEW TIP LAW, IMPROVE INTER-AGENCY
COOPERATION

REF: A) Hanoi 402 B) Hanoi 394 C) Hanoi 393 D) HCMC 806

HANOI 00001594 001.2 OF 002

SUMMARY
-------


1. (SBU) On June 27, the GVN issued a new Directive to strengthen,
midterm, the implementation of its six-year National Program of
Action against Crimes of Trafficking in Women and Children. The new
anti-TIP Directive calls for greater GVN inter-agency cooperation,
greater scrutiny of export labor, foreign adoptions and marriages,
increased TIP prevention and educational awareness programs, and
increased responsibility and accountability for provincial
government authorities. The Directive further instructs the GVN
Ministry of Justice to prepare a proposal to be submitted to
Vietnam's parliament on the necessity of establishing a new "Law on
the Prevention and Combat of Human Trafficking," which would also
include men in its definition of human trafficking. Reactions among
our contacts to the new Directive have been positive. The GVN
continues to take the fight against TIP seriously and address its
deficiencies; however, any new law will still take years to draft,
debate, approve, and finally implement. End summary.


THE DIRECTIVE'S NUTS AND BOLTS
------------------------------


2. (SBU) On June 27, GVN Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong,
head of the GVN's National Steering Committee on anti-TIP, signed a
new Directive on the enhancement of the prevention and combat of
human trafficking. The Directive, more specific than the broader
"Decree" under Vietnamese law, states that concerned GVN ministries
such as Public Security (MPS), Labor, Justice (MOJ), Defense, and
Foreign Affairs, as well as industrial sectors and local authorities
need to significantly increase their cooperation on anti-TIP.

3. (SBU) The Directive also details measures to effectively
implement the second phase (2007-2010) of the government's six-year
National Program of Action against Crimes of Trafficking in Women
and Children (the first phase was 2004-2006). These measures
include a greater focus on communication and education, examination
and supervision of export labor, scrutiny and education for
marriages and child adoptions involving foreign elements,
cooperation on anti-TIP with other countries, coordinated
implementation of criminal prevention measures, and a tie-in with
the GVN's propaganda campaign for "hunger eradication and poverty
reduction."

4. (SBU) The Directive further specifies additional detailed tasks
assigned to different concerned ministries under the National
Program of Action, and defines specific responsibilities for
Vietnam's 64 Provincial People's Committee Chairmen, concurrently
the Chairmen of their provincial steering committees against human
trafficking, in instances where a province's TIP cases are deemed
excessive. Finally, the Directive requires the MOJ to prepare a
proposal to be submitted to the National Assembly calling for a
comprehensive "Law on the Prevention and Combat of Human
Trafficking."


GVN GETS TOUGH
--------------


5. (SBU) MPS Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Chuong, the Chief
of the Office of the National Steering Committee against Human
Trafficking, told us that after implementation of Phase 1 of the
National Program of Action was completed in 2006, a Directive to
consolidate and improve its measures was needed. Chuong told Poloff
that this Directive specifies the Provincial Chairman's
responsibilities if a significant number of individuals in his or
her province are trafficked, and it would adjust and supplement some
articles of the Criminal Code in order to adequately address
trafficking issues. Chuong said the highest sentence applied for
traffickers is currently only twenty years, while he believes
sometimes harsher punishments are necessary - including life in
prison or the death sentence.

6. (SBU) Mr. Nguyen Cong Hong, MOJ Deputy Director of the Department
for Criminal and Administrative Legislation, said the Directive's
contents showcase the government's determination to effectively
implement the National Program of Action. According to the
Directive, Vietnam will develop a completely separate law to address
the trafficking issue (for the time being, the GVN Criminal Code
contains two articles, 119 and 120, to address the trafficking

HANOI 00001594 002.2 OF 002


issue). Hong told Poloff the new law will provide greater details
for the prevention of trafficking in persons and also address
trafficking in men; to date, the GVN has only defined trafficking as
relating to women and children. Hong added that he thought the new
law, if drafted quickly, could be implemented by 2010.


COMMENT: WELCOME DIRECTIVE, IMPLEMENTATION KEY
--------------------------------------------- -


7. (SBU) This new Directive, taken together with Directive 17 issued
earlier this year on supporting TIP victim returnees, and the
implementation of the 2006 Decree 69 regarding marriage and family
relations "involving foreign elements," is a positive sign of the
GVN's determination to crack down on human traffickers. That the
Directive specifies the provincial chairmen's responsibilities
should force local authorities to pay more attention to the
trafficking issue. The intention to draft a comprehensive new
anti-TIP law, one that includes men in its definition and places
greater emphasis on export labor, is a welcome development. Given
the glacial pace of Vietnam's legal system we doubt, however, that
it can be implemented by 2010.

MICHALAK

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