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Cablegate: Laos: Trafficking in Persons Grant Proposals for Fy2008

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVN #0097/01 0430746
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120746Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1818

UNCLAS VIENTIANE 000097

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MLS ED BESTIC
DEPT for G/TIP SHEREEN FARAJ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC ELAB KCRM PHUM PREL SMIG LA
SUBJECT: LAOS: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS GRANT PROPOSALS FOR FY2008
INCLE AND ESF FUNDS

REF: STATE 161287

1. Embassy Vientiane recommends funding of the four proposals (two
ESF and two INCLE) summarized in paragraph three, all of which
address deficiencies identified in the Annual Trafficking in Persons
(TIP) Report for Laos and the Interim Assessment. Only four
proposals were submitted for this grant. The following organizations
submitted proposals: (1) The Asia Foundation (TAF),(2) AFESIP,(3)
the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and 4) the United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). All four complete
proposals with budgets and resumes will be sent by email to G/TIP
Shereen Faraj per reftel. Post notes that The Asia Foundation and
UNODC told Emboff that their proposals are geared toward INCLE
funds, while the others are addressing ESF priorities. Post
strongly supports the proposals of both IOM and TAF, one for ESF and
one for INCLE.

2. Embassy points of contact are Public Affairs Officer Amy
Archibald, ArchibaldAE@state.gov, and Pol/Econ Chief Harvey Somers,
SomersHA@state.gov.

3. The proposing organizations' proposal summaries follow in order
of priority, as determined by the Embassy:

----------
Proposal 1
----------

A. NAME OF APPLICANT ORGANIZATION

The Asia Foundation

B. REQUESTED FUNDING AMOUNT

USD 377,478

C. PROJECT TITLE

Strengthening the Capacity to Prosecute Traffickers in the Lao PDR

D. PROJECT DURATION

Two years

E. PROPOSAL ABSTRACT

The Asia Foundation (the Foundation) proposes a two-year $377,478
project that will strengthen prosecution of traffickers in Lao PDR.
The project objective is to build the capacity of law enforcement
and other officials and facilitate collection and sharing of
information to protect
victims and prosecute traffickers. The Government of Laos (GOL) has
taken some significant steps to improve law enforcement to combat
trafficking in recent years. The Law on Development and Protection
of Women (Law on Women) passed in 2004 is quite comprehensive and
includes stringent provisions to penalize traffickers. The number
of convictions to date, however, remains extremely low, with only
three traffickers sentenced to prison in 2007. In 2007, the
Department of State ranked Laos as a Tier 2 country, noting a number
of key problems that remain in the fight against trafficking,
including: fining victims of trafficking; no reported investigations
or prosecutions of officials for complicity in trafficking; and
failure to enlist victims as witnesses in prosecutions of
traffickers.
The Foundation played a significant role in supporting the drafting
and passage of the Law on Women - the first legislation ever in Laos
that specifically protects the rights of women - and has had a close
partnership with the Lao Women's Union (LWU) for more than a decade.
The Foundation proposes to build on its strong track record and
close relationships to implement this project.

Measurable results will include: increased capacity of police to
investigate and prosecute traffickers; anti-trafficking training
institutionalized within the police training academy; increased
information accessible for use in documenting victim testimony,
developing legal cases against traffickers, and analyzing
trafficking; and victim testimony properly collected and used in
prosecutions. Ultimately, it is expected that these steps will lead
to an increased number of traffickers prosecuted and convicted.

----------
Proposal 2
----------

A. NAME OF APPLICANT ORGANIZATION

International Organization for Migration

B. REQUESTED FUNDING AMOUNT

USD 251,370

C. PROJECT TITLE

Partnership for Enhanced Community Support on Returnees and Other
Vulnerable Population in Lao PDR

D. PROJECT DURATION

Two years

E. PROPOSAL ABSTRACT

Since 2001, IOM has been providing technical cooperation and other
support to the government of Lao PDR to facilitate the return of
victims of trafficking (VoT) from abroad, build a national
counter-trafficking policy framework, develop departmental and
operational capacity, and engage with the neighboring countries to
promote joint counter-trafficking measures. Notwithstanding the
commitment and significant progress made to date, the lack of
reintegration support and follow-up care for returnees and other
vulnerable populations at the community level continues to be a
challenge.

This project aims to address this challenge by supporting the Lao
government to set up a sustainable and institutionalized provincial
and community level support network in partnering responsible
government agencies with international and non-governmental
organizations and other potential service providers active in the
community. Through the undertaking of targeted rapid situation
assessments that will feed into coordination and planning workshops
hosted by key government counterparts, a two-year plan will be
developed for extending central level referral and coordination
mechanisms, developing in Vientiane, to the provincial and community
level. The plan will include capacity-building and trainer of
trainer (ToT) initiatives, including the development of a ToT manual
that addresses key aspects of counter-trafficking protection and
support that include, basic interview and counseling skills,
facilitating recovery support, family tracing and assessment,
confidentiality, security of returnees, etc.; as well as

SIPDIS
coordination meetings to determine lead agencies and operational
coordination structures among key stakeholders and service
providers. As a result, provincial support network (PSN) will be
established in 10 provinces that will serve as the link between
central level coordination mechanisms and community level
interventions aimed at sustainable integration support for returning
VoT and other vulnerable groups.

----------
Proposal 3
----------

A. NAME OF APPLICANT ORGANIZATION

AFESIP

B. REQUESTED FUNDING AMOUNT

USD 257,516

C. PROJECT TITLE

Rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking and
sexual exploitation in the Lao PDR, Savannakhet Shelter

D. PROJECT DURATION

Two years

E. PROPOSAL ABSTRACT

In Lao PDR TIP is a growing problem, both internationally and
nationally. AFESIP combats trafficking in women and children for
sexual exploitation in South East Asia since 1996 and rehabilitates
those rescued from sexual exploitation providing occupational skills
and reintegrating them into the community in a sustainable and
innovative manner. The project seeks the assistance of the U.S.
Department of State Office to cover the running costs of a new
shelter, outreach work to protect and to rescue exploited children
and support their reintegration. In Lao PDR, AFESIP established an
office in 2004 and since 2006 a shelter in Vientiane, empowering
national anti-trafficking system and acting toward legal
reinforcement. Nowadays, a large proportion of TIP victims are
coming from the southern provinces, at the request of the Lao PDR
government, AFESIP built a second shelter to expand its activities
to Savannakhet, the main source province for TIP.


The project uses a holistic victim-centred approach to rehabilitate,
reintegrate and repatriate victims of trafficking and sexual
exploitation. Victims stay at the centre from between 14 days and 6
months to prepare themselves before going back to communities.
Activities are both inside and outside centre such as: vocational
training, life skills study and entertainment their aim is to build
self empowerment, self confidence and support decision making
ability of the residents when they are back in society to protect
them from trafficking and high risk migration.

Reintegration is planned after family and community assessments
ensure that it is both safe for the returnees as regards to
traffickers and an economical sustainable activity. Outreach work
in the service sector aims at finding girls and young women who have
been lured to work in bars and forced to take clients. Social, legal
and health support is provided also requesting the authorities to
intervene in cases of trafficking and abuse.

----------
Proposal 4
----------

A. NAME OF APPLICANT ORGANIZATION

UNODC

B. REQUESTED FUNDING AMOUNT

USD 306,196

C. PROJECT TITLE

Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Persons through awareness raising
in the Lao PDR

D. PROJECT DURATION

18 months

E. PROPOSAL ABSTRACT
In September 2006, UNODC C/O Lao PDR and the Ministry of Justice
joined forces to launch project FS/LAO/04/R76 "Strengthening of the
Legal and Law Enforcement Institutions to Prevent and Combat Human
Trafficking".

During the implementation of this project, and day to day contact
with various authorities and the general public, it became
increasingly apparent that there is a paramount nationwide need for
basic awareness raising as understanding of human trafficking
remains inadequate among the general public and provincial
authorities.

- General public
Lack of awareness about the risks of migration and the dangers of
human trafficking, lack of familiarity with customs and laws make
people vulnerable to exploitation and expose them to the risk of
being trafficked.

- Provincial authorities
The understanding and knowledge of human trafficking are inadequate
among government officials; this 'weakness' is particularly striking
among provincial authorities. The specificities of human
trafficking, and it being qualified as a criminal offence are often
overlooked. Victims are repeatedly subject to fines upon returning
into their country and punished rather than the traffickers.

UNODC stresses the necessity of a tailored response to foster
general understanding at the grassroots level. The concept of this
response would consist of comprehensive awareness raising and
strengthening of understanding of human trafficking among provincial
authorities and the general public. The grasp from central to the
smallest district level has to be significantly increased.

In order to achieve this successfully, the project will conduct a
national awareness raising campaign employing all appropriate media
to disseminate information about human trafficking to make people
aware about their rights, that human trafficking is a serious crime
and warn them about the dangers of human trafficking to prevent and
combat this threat.

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