Cablegate: Democratic Republic of Congo 2008 Trafficking In
DE RUEHKI #0209/01 0601206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291206Z FEB 08 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7603
UNCLAS KINSHASA 000209
//CORRECTED COPY-PARAGRAPH MARKING//
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB KCRM KFRD KWMN PHUM PREF SMIG CG
SUBJECT: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO 2008 TRAFFICKING IN
REF: SECSTATE 02731
1. (SBU) This message contains Embassy Kinshasa's responses to
questions in reftel, paragraphs 27-30, on trafficking in
2. (SBU) Begin responses to paragraph 27.
A. Is the country a country of origin, transit, and/or
destination for internationally trafficked men, women, or
Provide, where possible, numbers or estimates for each group:
how they were trafficked, to where, and for what purpose.
UNICEF estimates that some 20 children cross the Congo River
to Brazzaville every day to work in prostitution or street
vending. In 2006, UNICEF investigators interviewed 71
Congolese children in Brazzaville who had been trafficked.
IOM estimates that more than 1,000 Congolese women remain in
Uganda after being forcibly transported as sex slaves or
domestics by departing Ugandan troops in 2004.
Save the Children is monitoring instances of an undetermined
number of minors recruited from Uganda and Rwanda by armed
groups and transported to Congo.
Does the trafficking occur within the country's borders? Yes
UNICEF estimates 60,000 boys work at informal mining sites,
and an undetermined number of girls work as prostitutes
outside mining sites.
UNICEF estimates that 11,500 street children (girls) work as
prostitutes throughout the country. NGO Lazarius estimates
500 girls work in organized prostitute camps in Kinshasa.
Does it occur in territory outside of the government's
control (e.g. in a civil war situation)?
Yes. Child soldiering continues in areas controlled by armed
groups outside government control in the provinces of North
Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale.
Are any estimates or reliable numbers available as to the
extent or magnitude of the problem?
Child soldiering: UNICEF estimates 3,000 minors remain in
the ranks of armed groups and over 200 in the Congolese
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?
The government maintains no statistics or documentation on
trafficking in persons and has no plans for doing so. The
best sources of information are UNICEF, local NGOs and IOM.
How reliable are the numbers and these sources?
Numbers maintained by these sources are estimates. Their
numbers appear reasonable, although those maintained by
UNICEF and IOM are more reliable than those of local NGOs.
Are certain groups of persons more at risk of being
trafficked (e.g. women and children, boys versus girls,
certain ethnic groups, refugees, etc.)?
Children. Boys are much more likely to be trafficked for
work in the mining sector and as child soldiers.
B. 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).
Child soldiering: Approximately 3,000 minors remain to be
demobilized from armed groups, notably FDLR, CNDP and various
Mai Mai militia. Most if not all of these groups continue to
recruit minors. Recruitment may be forced, but is more often
voluntary, fueld by poverty, lack of opportunity and
Forced labor: Armed groups outside government control
continue to kidnap adults and children for forced labor and
Child labor: An estimated 60,000 minors work in the mining
sector. The vast majority do so for economic reasons under
pressure by their families.
Child prostitution: Girls who have become street children
have in almost all cases been abandoned by their families.
Prostitution may be the only option they have for survival.
An estimated 90 per cent of girls working in Kinshasa
prostitution camps are originally from Equateur province.
They are first enticed to Kinshasa by other women in their
families by appeals to help with domestic chores, then
coerced into prostitution soon after arrival.
Children trafficked to Brazzaville: Children are enticed to
Brazzaville by promises of good money and passage to Europe.
Congolese women in Uganda: Ugandan soldiers forcibly removed
these women to Uganda. Many are kept hidden in barracks.
Children recruited in Uganda and Rwanda: Children are
enticed by promises of money and education. There are
occasional forced abductions.
C. Which government agencies are involved in anti-trafficking
efforts and which agency, if any, has the lead?
No government agency in charge of trafficking issues per se.
The defense ministry's DDR implementation unit (UEPNDDR) is
responsible for demobilizing child soldiers.
The ministry for gender, women, and children's issues has
responsibility for facilitating a National Committee for
The labor ministry is responsible for the National Committee
to Combat Worst Forms of Child Labor.
D. 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?
Financial: The government lacks sufficient financial,
technical and human resources to address not only
trafficking, but even basic levels of security and services.
Military: The military is poorly trained, supplied, paid,
and led, and lacks the capacity to forcibly demobilize or
repatriate armed groups.
Corruption: Government officials at all levels are
Aid to victims: The 2007 budget included no appropriations
for victims of trafficking.
E. To what extent does the government systematically monitor
its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts -- prosecution,
victim protection, and prevention) and periodically make
available, publicly or privately and directly or through
regional/international organizations, its assessments of
these anti-trafficking efforts?
There is no government effort to actively monitor,
coordinate, or assess anti-trafficking efforts.
End responses to paragraph 27.
3. (SBU) Begin responses to paragraph 28:
28. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS:
For questions A-D, posts should highlight in particular
whether or not the country has enacted any new legislation
since the last TIP report.
A. Does the country have a law specifically prohibiting
trafficking in persons -- both for sexual and non-sexual
purposes (e.g. forced labor)? No.
If so, please specifically cite the name of the law and its
date of enactment and provide the exact language of the law
prohibiting TIP and all other law(s) used to prosecute TIP
cases. 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?
The 2006 sexual violence code, Law 6/018, enacted July 20,
2006, includes provisions against, and penalties for,
trafficking in persons for sexual purposes, forced
prostitution, procuring or supporting prostitution (i.e.
pimping), sexual slavery, and the prostitution of minors. It
applies to all relevant trafficking activities within
The Constitution expressly forbids involuntary servitude. In
addition, it forbids enlistment of persons less than 18 years
of age in the armed forces.
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).
In addition to those cited above, the labor code prohibits
the employment of children under the age of 15, including as
apprentices, unless exempted by a labor inspector.
Parliament adopted no trafficking legislation in 2007.
B. What are the prescribed penalties for trafficking
people for sexual exploitation?
10 to 20 years in prison.
What penalties were imposed for persons convicted of sexual
exploitation over the reporting period?
There we no reports on prosecutions or convictions for sexual
Please note the number of convicted sex traffickers who
received suspended sentences and the number who received only
a fine as punishment.
C. 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 trafficked in
the destination country? Are there laws in destination
countries punishing 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? Please note the number of convicted labor
traffickers who received suspended sentences and the number
who received only a fine as punishment.
The government has not determined penalties for labor
The government did not prosecute any such cases in 2007.
D. What are the prescribed penalties for rape or forcible
5 to 20 years in prison, doubled in certain cases.
How do they compare to the prescribed penalties for crimes of
trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation?
The minimum prescribed penalty for trafficking for commercial
exploitation is 10 years in prison.
E. Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized? No.
Specifically, are the activities of the prostitute
Are the activities of the brothel owner/operator, clients,
pimps, and enforcers criminalized? Yes.
Are these laws enforced? No.
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 under state
or local jurisdiction and may differ among jurisdictions.
F. Has the government prosecuted any cases against human
trafficking offenders? If so, provide numbers of
investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences
served, including details on plea bargains and fines, if
relevant and available. Please indicate which laws were
used to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence
traffickers. Also, if possible, please disaggregate by
type of TIP (labor vs. commercial sexual exploitation) and
victims (children, as defined by U.S. and international law
as under 18 years of age, vs. adults).
The government did not prosecute any such cases in 2007.
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
The government did not prosecute any such cases in 2007.
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?
The government did not prosecute any such cases in 2007.
Are the traffickers serving the time sentenced? If not, why
not? No, the most recent convicted trafficker escaped from
jail in 2006 and has not been caught.
Please indicate whether the government can provide this
information, and if not, why not?
No. The justice ministry could not provide this information
because it does not specifically track trafficking issues.
G. Does the government provide any specialized training
for government officials in how to recognize, investigate,
and prosecute instances of trafficking?
The government does not provide training in these areas.
Specify whether NGOs, international organizations, and/or the
USG provide specialized training for host government
No organizations provide specialized training in these areas
for government officials.
H. 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 during the
Per our knowledge, the government did not participate in any
cooperative international investigations of trafficking.
I. Does the government extradite persons who are charged
with trafficking in other countries? If so, can post
provide the number of traffickers extradited during the
The government did not extradite any persons in 2007 for
trafficking in other countries.
Does the government extradite its own nationals charged with
Yes. In October 2007, the Congolese government transferred
Germain Katanga, a former leader of the FRPI, to the
International Criminal Court (ICC) on various charges of war
crimes including using child soldiers and forcing women into
If not, is the government prohibited by law from extraditing
its own nationals? No. If so, what is the government doing
to modify its laws to permit the extradition of its own
J. Is there evidence of government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional
If so, please explain in detail.
There is no evidence of direct government involvement in
trafficking. However, lack of action against trafficking
could indicate a certain level of tolerance.
K. If government officials are involved in trafficking,
what steps has the government taken to end such
Please indicate the number of government officials
investigated and prosecuted for involvement in trafficking or
trafficking-related corruption during the reporting period.
Have any been convicted? What sentence(s) was imposed?
Please specify if officials received suspended sentences,
were given a fine, fired, or reassigned to another position
within the government as punishment. Please provide specific
numbers, if available. Please indicate the number of
convicted officials that received suspended sentences or
received only a fine as punishment.
The government conducted no investigations or prosecutions of
any officials for trafficking in 2007.
L. As part of the new requirements of the 2005 TVPRA, for
countries that contribute troops to international
peacekeeping efforts, please indicate whether the government
vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted
and sentenced nationals of the country deployed abroad as
part of a peacekeeping or other similar mission who engage
in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking or who exploit
victims of such trafficking.
M. 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) for traveling to
other countries to engage in child sex tourism?
The DRC has not been identified as having a child sex tourism
End responses to paragraph 28.
3. (SBU) Begin responses to paragraph 29.
PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS:
A. Does the government assist foreign trafficking
victims, for example, by providing temporary to permanent
residency status, or other relief from deportation? No.
If so, please explain.
B. Does the country have victim care facilities which
are accessible to trafficking victims?
Yes. There are numerous NGOs working with girls coerced into
prostitution in Kinshasa, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces
and the Ituri District of Orientale Province.
The defense ministry's UEPNDDR sends demobilized child
soldiers to transit centers for one to two months before they
are reintegrated into civilian life. The centers, services
are funded by the World Bank and implemented by NGOs.
Do foreign victims have the same access to care as domestic
trafficking victims? Yes.
Does the country have specialized facilities dedicated to
helping victims of trafficking? No.
If so, can post provide the number of victims placed in these
care facilities during the reporting period? What is the
funding source of these facilities? Please estimate the
amount the government spent (in U.S. dollar equivalent) on
these specialized facilities dedicated to helping trafficking
victims during the reporting period.
Does the government provide trafficking victims with access
to legal, medical and psychological services? No.
If so, please specify the kind of assistance provided, and
the number of victims assisted, if available. N/A
C. Does the government provide funding or other forms of
support to foreign or domestic NGOs and/or international
organizations for services to trafficking victims? No.
Please explain and provide any funding amounts in U.S. dollar
equivalent. If assistance provided is in-kind, please
specify exact assistance. Please explain if funding for
assistance comes from a federal budget or from regional or
local governments. N/A
D. Do the government's law enforcement, immigration, and
social services personnel have a formal system of
proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-
risk persons with whom they come in contact (e.g., foreign
persons arrested for prostitution or immigration
What is the number of victims identified during the reporting
Has the government developed and implemented a referral
process to transfer victims detained, arrested or placed in
protective custody by law enforcement authorities to
institutions that provide short- or long-term care?
Child soldiering: Yes. UEPNDDR identifies child soldiers at
reception centers and transfers them to NGO custody.
How many victims were referred for assistance by law
enforcement authorities during the reporting period?
Child soldiering: 3,653 minors went through the formal
E. For countries with legalized prostitution: does the
government have a mechanism for screening for trafficking
victims among persons involved in the legal/regulated
commercial sex trade? N/A
F. Are the rights of victims respected?
Child soldiering: Local authorities have occasionally
charged demobilized child soldiers with being members of
illegal armed groups.
Are trafficking victims detained or jailed? If detained or
jailed, for how long?
Child soldiering: Yes. Minors detained for child soldiering
are generally released quickly if discovered by MONUC or
NGOs. However, there are currently 31 children suspected of
being Rwandan who have been detained without charge at the
maximum security prison in Kinshasa.
Are victims fined? No.
Are victims prosecuted for violations of other laws, such as
those governing immigration or prostitution? No.
G. Does the government encourage victims to assist in
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking? No.
How many victims assisted in the investigation and
prosecution of traffickers during the reporting period? None.
May victims file civil suits or seek legal action against
Unknown. The government has few functioning courts, making
filing and trying such suits virtually impossible.
Does anyone impede victim access to such legal redress? No.
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
N/A. No such cases were tried in 2007.
Are there means by which a victim may obtain
H. What kind of protection is the government able to
provide for victims and witnesses? None.
Does it provide these protections in practice? No.
What type of shelter or services does the government provide?
Are these services provided directly by the government or are
they provided by NGOs or IOs funded by host government
The government provides no such services. NGOs make take up
certain special cases for shelter and protection.
Does the government provide shelter or housing benefits to
victims or other resources to aid the victims in rebuilding
their lives? No.
Where are child victims placed (e.g., in shelters, foster
care, or juvenile justice detention centers)?
Child soldiering: see above.
What is the number of victims assisted by government-funded
assistance programs during the reporting period? None.
What is the number of victims assisted by non
government-funded assistance programs?
Child soldiering: 3,653.
What is the number of victims that received shelter services
during the reporting period? None.
I. Does the government provide any specialized training
for government officials in identifying trafficking victims
and in the provision of assistance to trafficked victims,
including the special needs of trafficked children? No.
Does the government provide training on protections and
assistance to its embassies and consulates in foreign
countries that are destination or transit countries? No.
Does it urge those embassies and consulates to develop
ongoing relationships with NGOs and IOs that serve trafficked
What is the number of trafficking victims assisted by the
host country's embassies or consulates abroad during the
reporting period? Please explain the level of assistance.
There were no reports of the government providing such
For example, did the host government provide travel documents
for the victim to repatriate, did the host government contact
NGOs in either the source or
destination countries to ensure the victim received
adequate assistance, did the host government pay for the
transportation home for a victim's repatriation, etc. N/A
J. Does the government provide assistance, such as
medical aid, shelter, or financial help, to its nationals
who are repatriated as victims of trafficking? No.
K. Which international organizations or NGOs, if any,
work with trafficking victims?
MONUC, UNICEF, IOM, BVES, Save the Children, Lazarius.
What type of services do they provide?
Services include: community re-integration, vocational
training, re-enrollment in primary or secondary education,
conflict resolution seminars, sexual violence counseling,
psychological counseling, mediation between children and
families, and medical treatment.
What sort of cooperation do they receive from local
They usually receive full cooperation.
How much funding (in U.S. dollar equivalent) did NGOs and
international organizations receive from the host government
for victim assistance during the reporting period? Please
disaggregate funding for prevention and public awareness
efforts from victim assistance funding. None.
NOTE: If post reports that a government is incapable of
providing direct assistance to TIP victims, please assess
whether the government ensures that TIP victims receive
access to adequate care from other entities. Funding,
personnel, and training constraints should be noted, if
applicable. Conversely, the lack of political will in a
situation where a country has adequate financial and other
resources to address the problem should be noted as well.
The GDRC is lacks the political will and capacity --
including funding, training and personnel -- to make a
priority of or provide direct assistance to victims of
trafficking in persons. International organizations and NGOs
take the initiative to locate and provide for victims.
End responses to paragraph 29.
4. (SBU) Begin responses to paragraph 30.
A. Does the government acknowledge that trafficking is a
problem in the country? Yes.
If not, why not? N/A
B. Are there, or have there been, government-run anti-
trafficking information or education campaigns conducted
during the reporting period? No.
If so, briefly describe the campaign(s), including their
objectives and effectiveness. Please provide the number of
people reached by such awareness efforts if available. Do
these campaigns target potential trafficking victims and/or
the demand for trafficking (e.g. "clients" of prostitutes or
beneficiaries of forced labor)? N/A
C. What is the relationship between government
officials, NGOs, other relevant organizations and other
elements of civil society on the trafficking issue?
Positive. Government officials at all levels are receptive
and willing to listen, but not willing to take the lead.
D. Does the government monitor immigration and emigration
patterns for evidence of trafficking? No.
Do law enforcement agencies screen for potential trafficking
victims along borders? No.
-- E. 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
Yes. There government has established a National Children,s
Committee, but it lacks coordination.
Does the government have a trafficking in persons
working group or single point of contact? No.
Does the government have a public corruption task force? No.
F. Does the government have a national plan of action to
address trafficking in persons?
No. However, the government has adopted a National Action
Plan for violence against children, which includes a section
If so, which agencies were involved in developing it?
The ministry of gender, women, and children affairs led
coordination and preparation of the plan.
Were NGOs consulted in the process? Yes.
What steps has the government taken to disseminate the action
It has published the plan, but done little to implement it.
G: For all posts: As part of the new criteria added to
the TVPA's minimum standards by the 2005 TVPRA, what
measures has the government taken during the reporting
period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts?
End responses to paragraph 30.