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Cablegate: Timor-Leste Launches Anti-Trafficking Training

VZCZCXRO9885
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHHM
DE RUEHDT #0089/01 0800312
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 200312Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3938
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1047
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 3367

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DILI 000089

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR G/TIP AND EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SMIG PHUM PGOV KJUS TT
SUBJECT: TIMOR-LESTE LAUNCHES ANTI-TRAFFICKING TRAINING


DILI 00000089 001.2 OF 002


Summary

-------

1. On March 13 - 14, two major NGOS in Timor-Leste held an
anti-trafficking workshop, "Halt Exploitation, Learn to
Prosecute (HELP)", for over 68 members of government agencies
and NGOs. The GOTL signaled its strong support by having
Foreign Minister Da Costa serve as the keynote speaker in the
opening panel. The Department of State has invested over
$360,000 in HELP grants to International Organization on
Migration (IOM) and the Alola Foundation in Timor-Leste since FY
2006 to provide training to raise awareness and strengthen
mechanisms against human trafficking within the police, border
police unit, justice, and civil sectors. The Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA) is coordinating GOTL implementation of
this program, and after a hiatus resulting from the 2006
political crisis, last August resumed meetings of its Human
Trafficking Task Force, with participation by other government
agencies, NGOs, international organizations, and civic groups.
The task force held its second meeting on February 21, 2008.

Foreign Minister, DCM Open Workshop

------------------------------------

2. On March 13, DCM joined Timor-Leste's Minister of Foreign
Affairs Zacarias da Costa in delivering remarks at the opening
ceremony in Dili for the "HELP" anti-trafficking workshop. Also
featured were International Organization for Migration (IOM)
chief Luis Vieira and Alola Foundation chief executive officer
Anne Finch. Foreign Minister Zacarias Da Costa said while the
trafficking problem in Timor-Leste did not appear to be
extensive, the GOTL was committed to nipping it in the bud.
Otherwise, he said, the experience of other Southeast Asian
countries showed that the trafficking problem has the potential
to overwhelm the GOTL's capacity to deal with it. Da Costa said
that the GOTL views border security as crucial in this regard,
and outlined efforts by the military and police to make
improvements. He reaffirmed the commitment of the GOTL to
strengthening inter-agency cooperation and reaching out to
international partners.

3. DCM commended the increased attention that the international
community had devoted to the trafficking problem in recent
years. He outlined the USG's approach, saying that that last
year the USG spent approximately $74 million to fund 154
projects in about 70 countries to support foreign government and
NGO efforts to combat human trafficking. He added that since FY
2001 the USG has funded more than $448 million for anti-TIP
projects outside of the U.S. He emphasized that the USG seeks
not so much to pillory foreign governments on this issue as to
facilitate international cooperation. Highlighting that the USG
also is committed to combating human trafficking within the U.S.
borders, he noted that 10 federal agencies are involved in
anti-trafficking efforts.

Much Ground Covered

-------------------

4. The workshop agenda provided participants with a
comprehensive introduction to human trafficking issues in the
country and the region, and specialized training on effective
response. It also facilitated networking between concerned
stakeholders, and provided an open forum for discussion on
priority responses. The seminar resulted in participants
charting an initial mapping of available victim support services
and preliminary agreements on the institutional frameworks
required to effectively combat human trafficking. IOM and the
Alola Foundation pledged to launch a new public information
campaign funded by the Department for specialized training of
Timorese journalists, foreign embassies, and members from the
law enforcement sector.

5. On the first day of the workshop, presenters covered basic
concepts and terminology; group work on applying human
trafficking concepts and terminologies; overview of human
trafficking in Timor-Leste and Southeast Asia; discussion on
local knowledge of human trafficking in Timor-Leste; national
and international legal frameworks; reporting; and information
and investigation for cooperating with law enforcement agencies.

6. On the second day, participants addressed coordination and
cooperation; data collection and research; awareness creation;
discussions and recommendations for preventing human trafficking
in Timor-Leste; identification and referral of victims; role
plays on interviewing techniques; networking and referrals in
Timor-Leste; criminal process in Timor-Leste; human trafficking

DILI 00000089 002.2 OF 002


as a human rights violation; round table discussion on
developing institutional structures to support counter
trafficking efforts in Timor-Leste; human trafficking awareness
assessment; and closing remarks and presentation of certificates
by MOFA Secretary General.

GOTL Focused on TIP

-------------------

7. The Timor-Leste Cabinet formed in August 2007 has taken
concrete steps to fight human trafficking, despite scant
resources and the pressure of other security priorities. The
presence of Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa at the opening
ceremony for this two day conference received media coverage and
sent a strong signal that this is an issue of priority for the
government. Moreover, the workshop included training of law
enforcement officers on victim identification and protection.
This agenda highlights the government's commitment to improve
coordination among its agencies and to train their personnel on
fighting human trafficking.

8. The GOTL will work with IOM and the Alola Foundation in
sponsoring another "HELP" anti-TIP workshop for journalists and
foreign embassies next month, in addition to a quarterly
stakeholders and networking group conference each quarter. While
modest, these steps indicate a growing commitment by the
government to overcome its limited resources and reliance on
international organizations and NGO's to increase awareness.
More significantly, it highlights its commitment to train law
enforcement and security personnel on identifying and combating
human trafficking, and sustain a momentum on increased efforts.
KLEMM

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