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Cablegate: Czech Republic: No Significant Forced Labor in The

VZCZCXYZ0010
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #0405 1790824
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270824Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0450
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000405

SIPDIS

STATE FOR DRL/ILCSR MARK MITTELHAUSER
STATE FOR G/TIP STEVE STEINER
LABOR FOR DOL/ILAB RACHEL RIGBY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD ECON PHUM SOCI EZ

SUBJECT: CZECH REPUBLIC: NO SIGNIFICANT FORCED LABOR IN THE
PRODUCTION OF GOODS

REF: (A) STATE 43120
(B) PRAGUE 00144

1. The Czech Republic (CR) does not have significant incidence of
forced labor or child labor in the production of goods. The number
of North Korean workers in the CR, who were employed in textile
workshops, decreased from 132 in March 2008 to 15 in May 2008.
Czech NGOs (Czech Helsinki Committee Presidium and the Czech Human
Rights Council) are generally concerned about ethnic communities
(e.g. Mongolian, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, etc.) exploiting their own
countrymen's illegal status in the CR. These concerns, however,
cannot be substantiated.

2. The Foreign Employment Unit of the Ministry of Labor and Social
Affairs confirmed that in January 2007, the GOCR ended the practice
of issuing visas to North Korean workers, who worked in textile
workshops (ref B). According to the latest Labor Ministry
statistics, corroborated by Czech Foreign Police, the number of
North Koreans in the CR dropped from 132 in March 2008 to 15 by the
end of May 2008. This number is expected to reach zero soon. The
presence of North Korean workers in the Czech Republic is construed
as forced labor given the nature of the North Korean regime.

Graber

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