Search

 

Cablegate: Germany/Tip - Ministries Welcome Action Guide

VZCZCXRO8736
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #0240/01 0581502
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271502Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0527
INFO RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BERLIN 000240

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS
STATE FOR G/TIP, EUR, DRL, INL, IO, AND PRM
PLEASE PASS USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG ASEC PREF ELAB PGOV PREL
GM
SUBJECT: GERMANY/TIP - MINISTRIES WELCOME ACTION GUIDE
RECOMMENDATIONS, DESCRIBE CONTINUED PROGRESS IN 2007

REF: A. STATE 10279
B. 07 BERLIN 2015
C. 07 BERLIN 1190
D. 07 BERLIN 390

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Government officials from key federal
ministries welcomed the recommendations in G/TIP's "Action
Guide to Combat Trafficking in Persons" for Germany. They
highlighted a series of steps taken in 2007, including
finalization of the second Federal Action Plan to Combat
Violence against Women, new victim protection initiatives,
public awareness and demand reduction campaigns, additional
programs/training to identify victims, and ongoing efforts to
train peacekeepers and police in advance of deployments
abroad. Participants expressed interest in strengthening
bilateral cooperation against trafficking, including
exchanges of best practices on victim identification and
labor trafficking, as well as increased information sharing
on the structure and practices of criminal organizations
engaged in human trafficking. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On February 25, the Embassy hosted a meeting of key
Government personnel with day-to-day responsibility for
combating TIP, including Axel Kuechle, MFA Deputy Director
for International Organized Crime; Birgit Schweikert, Family
Ministry Director for the Protection of Women from Violence;
Tobias Wiemann, the Interior Ministry's TIP action officer;
Perdita Kroeger, Justice Ministry Director for Criminal Law;
and Ute Heinen, a Labor Ministry action officer for European
social issues. Participants were provided in early February
with a copy of G/TIP's "Action Guide to Combat Trafficking in
Persons" (ref A) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act
(TVPA) Implementation Guidelines. This cable presents an
overview of participants' reactions and comments on the
Germany-specific recommendations presented in the Action
Guide. Post's input for the 2008 TIP Report (septel) will
provide additional detail on German actions in terms of
compliance with TVPA Implementation Guidelines.

3. (SBU) The Family Ministry's Schweikert, who coordinates
the work of the Federal-State Interagency Working Group on
Trafficking, began by describing the conclusions of a 2007
study on the effect of 2002 legislation on the legal status
of prostitutes in Germany. The independent study concluded
that the legislation did not negatively affect efforts to
fight TIP and recommended further state action to help
prostitutes get out of the commercial sex industry (ref D).
Schweikert also shared copies of Germany's Second Federal
Action Plan to Combat Violence against Women, a comprehensive
interagency strategy that contains over 130 new measures to
prevent and protect women from a wide range of violence,
including forced marriage, trafficking, and other forms of
exploitation (ref B).

LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND PROSECUTION

4. (SBU) In line with the Action Guide's assessment, ministry
representatives agreed that Germany has a strong legal
framework in place to fight TIP. In response to concerns
about the high number of suspended prison sentences, Kroeger
stressed that it is standard German practice to automatically
suspend prison sentences of one year or less for all crimes,
not just TIP. While judges have slightly more discretion
with sentences ranging from one to two years, the prevailing
practice is to suspend such sentences in most cases. Kroeger
noted that sentences of more than two years cannot be
suspended.

5. (SBU) In response, emboff expressed concern that current
TIP sentencing practices might not provide a sufficiently
strong deterrent to dissuade potential traffickers. Kroeger
said German judges have a long-standing preference for
alternative sentencing, especially in cases involving
first-time offenders, regardless of the crime committed.
Kuechle said concerns about relatively light sentences handed
down in recent terrorism and narcotics/weapons cases have
prompted a debate within the German Government on sentencing
practices. Wiemann quickly added that any change in
sentencing practices would have to take place across the
board, not just in cases involving human trafficking.

VICTIM PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE


BERLIN 00000240 002 OF 003


6. (SBU) Schweikert expressed appreciation for the Action
Guide's positive assessment of German efforts to provide
assistance and protection to TIP victims. She offered one
correction, noting that the number of counseling centers for
TIP victims is larger than the number (25) indicated in the
2007 TIP Report. She stated that the Family Ministry fully
funds the Association against Trafficking in Women and
Violence against Women in the Migration Process (KOK), an
umbrella organization of 38 specialized NGOs, most of which
operate more than one counseling center for TIP victims.
Most of the NGOs receive financial assistance from
state/local governments.

7. (SBU) Regarding the Action Guide's recommendation that
Germany amend its victim protection legislation to include
psychological counseling and treatment for TIP victims,
Schweikert noted that the Family Ministry and KOK have
published a reference document for use by counseling centers
that explains benefits available to trafficking victims,
including psychological treatment, under the 2007 Victims
Compensation Act. The brochure outlines the procedures for
filing claims and makes recommendations to state and local
authorities on how to improve provision of related benefits.
Schweikert said KOK publishes a second brochure that explains
the full range of benefits to which TIP victims are legally
entitled.

PREVENTION

8. (SBU) Schweikert welcomed the Action Guide's assessment of
public awareness and client education campaigns launched in
conjunction with the 2006 Soccer World Cup. She noted that
the Family Ministry, International Organization for Migration
(IOM), and independent NGOs had concluded that the
government-funded public awareness campaigns reached a wide
spectrum of society, including potential clients of TIP
victims. Schweikert added that federal and state governments
have continued to fund many of the campaigns post-World Cup.

9. (SBU) Schweikert said the Family Ministry is working to
establish a national hotline to provide initial counseling
and referrals for all types of violence against women,
including trafficking. (NOTE: Based on the small number of
TIP victims who used government-funded, NGO-operated hotlines
established during the World Cup, the Family Ministry and
NGOs concluded it did not make sense to establish a dedicated
hotline for TIP victims. END NOTE.) The hotline's services
will also be available to persons who have reason to believe
they have come in contact with a victim of violence.

10. (SBU) Turning to the Action Guide's recommendation that
Germany make additional efforts to identify TIP victims,
Schweikert pointed out that new guidelines published by the
Federal-State Interagency Working Group on Trafficking offer
standardized modules for TIP-related training for police,
counseling centers, prosecutors and judges and other
authorities. The modules include training on victim
identification techniques and best practices. Schweikert
also noted that the new Action Plan suggests that states
consider some of the proactive counseling approaches adopted
in several German states (e.g., new "intervention agencies"
in Mecklenburg-Pomerania and Lower Saxony and mobile
counseling services in Berlin). The new programs actively
reach out to at-risk women, including those working in the
commercial sex industry.

11. (SBU) Schweikert said that Germany continues to support
public awareness campaigns that address child sex tourism.
Kuechle and Wiemann reported that German embassies and
Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) liaison
officers stationed abroad have continued efforts to
strengthen legal cooperation and provision of legal
assistance in countries of concern, most notably in South
East Asia. Kuechle said German development assistance also
includes programs to prevent child sex tourism.

PEACEKEEPING AND POLICE MISSIONS ABROAD

12. (SBU) Asked about German Government efforts to address
trafficking and exploitation committed by multinational
peacekeepers, Kroeger stated that Section 6 of the German
Penal Code gives Germany's trafficking- and sexual
assault-related statutes extraterritorial effect. Schweikert

BERLIN 00000240 003 OF 003


said Germany provides training for military personnel and
police officers in advance of deployments abroad, including
sessions focused on sexual exploitation/abuse and other human
rights issues. Unit commanders receive special training on
trafficking, including how to sensitize their subordinates
and how to monitor and enforce compliance.

IMPROVING BILATERAL COOPERATION

13. (SBU) All participants expressed interest in
strengthening bilateral cooperation in the international
fight against TIP. Noting the success of a 2006 DOJ visit
focused on the U.S. T-Visa, Schweikert suggested an exchange
of best practices on victim identification techniques and
efforts to fight labor trafficking would be useful for both
countries. Wiemann expressed interest in more information
sharing between German and U.S. law enforcement experts on
the structure and practices of criminal organizations engaged
in trafficking.

14. (SBU) Kuechle said the MFA and Justice Ministry are still
interested in receiving information about U.S. efforts to
educate and sensitize judges on TIP (see ref C). Kuechle
also asked whether the USG had a position on Belarus'
proposal for an UNGA special session on TIP. While Germany
opposes the proposal, the MFA is interested in U.S. views on
whether the UN might be able to play a larger role with
respect to implementation and monitoring of commitments made
by parties to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized
Crime.


POLLARD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: