Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More



Cablegate: Spain - Annual Trafficking in Persons Report - 2004

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 07869

Sensitive But Unclassified. Please Protect Accordingly.

Following is Embassy Madrid input on Spain for the annual
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Embassy POC is
Political Officer Joseph Babb, tel. (34) 91 587-2294, fax
(34) 91 587-2391. The following text is keyed to the
questions/sections in reftel. Staff hours spent in
preparation of the report includes the following:
Deputy Chief of Mission: 2 hours
Political Counselor - FE-OC: 6 hours
Consul General - FE-OC: 2 hours
Consul General, Barcelona - F0-01: 0.5 hour
Public Affairs Officer - FE-OC: 1 hour
Deputy Political Counselor - FS-02: 8 hours
Political Officer - FS-04: 60 hours
Political Assistant - LES-9: 7 hours
Political Assistant, Barcelona - LES-9: 0.75 hour
Consular Legal Advisor - LES-11: 6 hours
Consular Assistant - LES-8: 7 hours
Dept. of Homeland Security Officer in Charge: 3 hours
Dept. of Homeland Security Asst. Officer in Charge: 3 hours
Political Intern: 8 hours

--------------------------------------------- --------
Spain - 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report Responses
--------------------------------------------- --------

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.


A. Spain is a destination and transit country for trafficked
persons. Information on trafficking in persons comes from
the Ministry of Interior (which includes the Civil Guard and
National Police) and an NGO contracted by the government to
provide victims assistance, Project Hope (Proyecto
Esperanza). All sources are generally reliable. The Spanish
National Police (SNP) reports that 1,527 victims of
trafficking in persons were liberated in 2003. The majority
were victims of sexual exploitation. Sexual trafficking in
Spain almost exclusively involves women victims, with no
identifiable reports of male victims and only one reported
case of a minor under 17 years of age. Project Hope reports
that victims they assisted were in the following age ranges:
under 17 yrs - 1%; between 18 and 25 yrs - 70%; between 26
and 30 - 22%; older than 30 yrs - 4%; unknown age - 3%.
According to a victim's profile study by the Spanish National
Police, persons most at risk of being trafficked are young
women with low education and few economic resources, with the
majority (77%) coming from five countries: Romania, Russia,
Brazil, Colombia and Nigeria. Trafficking does occur inside
the country's borders. There are no areas of Spain that are
outside of government control.

B. Trafficked victims arrive from three major regions:
Eastern Europe (Romania, Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine), Latin
America (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador), and sub-Saharan Africa
(Nigeria, Guinea Conakry). Trafficking in Asians, normally
Chinese, is much less frequent, and is divided between those
brought to Spain for work in sweatshops and service
industries and those transiting to the U.S. and Canada.
Spain is a destination point for the majority of persons
trafficked, especially those from Latin America and Eastern
Europe. Some African groups use Spain as a transit country
for travel to France and Germany.

C. Overall numbers of victims of sexual exploitation and the
number of arrests for trafficking remained comparable to the
prior period. Of the five major countries of origin, the
only significant change was in the number of victims from
Brazil, which doubled from the prior year.

D. The SNP maintains a special unit, the Immigration Networks
and Falsified Documents Unit (UCRIF), that deals with
trafficking in persons, and the UCRIF Intelligence Unit
analyzes trends and statistics year-round. UCRIF also
coordinates efforts and shares data on trafficking with the
Civil Guard and Interpol. Regional SNP offices conduct
reviews every three months to set goals in combating
trafficking and to assess success in meeting goals from the
prior period. The regional units receive financial benefits
from the Ministry of Interior for meeting their goals. Data
available this year, which was not existent last year,
includes a comprehensive report from the UCRIF Intelligence
Unit, which includes 2003 arrest statistics, victims
statistics, victim profile, legal codes used in prosecuting
trafficking, information on cooperative efforts and
inter-ministerial programs, and maps of major routes used by
international trafficking rings for trafficking into Spain.
Development of this comprehensive assessment on the nature
and extent of trafficking in and through Spain was a specific
goal set by G/TIP for the Spanish government. Also available
this year was a November 2003 report from the University of
Deusto on trafficking in persons in Spain.

E. Victims are trafficked into Spain for both sexual
exploitation (most frequently involving prostitution and work
in nude dancing and alternative clubs) and labor exploitation
(primarily agricultural, construction, and domestic
employment). Methods used by traffickers to maintain control
of their victims include physical abuse, forced use of drugs,
withholding of travel documents, and threats to the victim's

F. Spain is generally not a country of origin for

G. There is political will at the highest levels to combat
trafficking and the government makes a good faith effort to
seriously address trafficking. The second-ranking official
in the Ministry of Interior coordinates anti-trafficking
efforts. Anti-trafficking efforts also receive support from
the Office of the President, Ministry of Labor and Social
Services, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of
Education. There were no instances reported of government
officials involved in trafficking. Though government
corruption is not a problem in Spain, isolated instances of
official misconduct have been aggressively prosecuted in the
past. No cases of government corruption were reported this
year. The government commits resources from the Civil Guard
and police authorities to control borders and investigate
trafficking activities, and commits resources from the
Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Labor and Social
Services to prosecute violators, inspect workplaces, and
assist victims. The government also funds NGO groups who
provide assistance to victims.

H. There were no instances of government officials
facilitating or condoning trafficking, taking bribes, or in
any way assisting in trafficking operations.

I. Willingness of victims to press charges remains the main
limitation in combating trafficking. This is despite Spanish
provisions for witness protection and availability of visas
for those who testify against trafficking rings. No
limitations exist in funding for police or other governmental
institutions, nor was corruption a problem. Project Hope,
the principal NGO contracted for victim assistance, reports
that current year funding from the government was increased,
and that they have no funding limitations for their programs.

J. The National Police's UCRIF Intelligence Unit maintains
ongoing monitoring of trafficking trends, and statistics.
Regional SNP units review their anti-trafficking efforts
every three months and receive financial benefits for
achieving goals. The SNP and Civil Guard participate in
ongoing coordination and data-sharing with the Interpol and
Europol, and the Ministry of Interior coordinates and
evaluates anti-trafficking efforts inside the Spanish
government. Information on anti-trafficking efforts,
statistics and trends are available publicly through the SNP
and Civil Guard.

K. Prostitution, in itself, is decriminalized in Spain.
However, as of September 30, 2003, it is illegal for anyone
to profit from prostitution other than the actual prostitute.
This law makes it illegal for pimps or brothels to receive
money from the prostitute's activities, even if the
prostitute consents to it. Also, as part of a joint City of
Madrid and Ministry of Labor and Social Services
anti-prostitution educational campaign launched in January
2004, the Madrid city government announced it was studying a
system of fines and jail sentences for clients of
prostitution, using the Swedish system as an example.
Spanish law prohibits involvement of minors in prostitution
(under age 18), and prohibits activities associated with
trafficking in persons, including the use of force, violence,
threats or fraud for sexual exploitation. Prison sentences
for the latter offenses are specified as 5 to 10 years, with
12 to 15 year sentences possible for aggravating
circumstances. These sentences are higher than the previous
year, as in September 2003 the Spanish Senate passed a
tougher anti-trafficking law. Passage of this law was one of
the specific goals set out in G/TIP's objectives for Spain.

L. There were no reports of the buying or selling of child
brides in Spain.


A. The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem
and takes measures to address the problem.

B. Spain commits resources of the Ministry of Interior (SNP
and Civil Guard), Ministry of Labor and Social Services,
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of
Culture and Sports, Ministry of Public Administration, and
the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. Spain also
funds several NGO groups that provide assistance to victims
of trafficking.

C. Spain sponsors programs to educate women victims of
violence about social services and to encourage women to
report instances to the police and to press charges. Project
Hope reports that 89% of women that they assist now press
criminal charges, a rate which is much higher than that
associated with victims of labor exploitation, which remains
minimal. In January, the Madrid city government, in
conjunction with the Ministry of Labor and Social Services,
announced the beginning of an anti-prostitution and
anti-trafficking in women education campaign that will target
the clients of prostitutes.

D. The government supports programs to increase employment
opportunities for women. NGOs funded by the government
provide work training and job placement services for women
liberated from trafficking rings to give them an alternative
to returning to prostitution.

E. Governmental agencies and victim assistance NGOs report
that funding resources are sufficient to operate their

F. NGO representatives report that they have good and open
relationships with governmental agencies and officials.
Project Hope reports that it cooperates well with the Spanish
National Police, is actively informed of victims of
trafficking, and is included in trafficking in persons
training programs for recruits at the SNP's academy in Avila.

G. The government adequately monitors its borders, especially
committing resources to the Civil Guard to patrol its sea
borders, where illegal immigration is particularly dangerous
due to hazardous crossings of open ocean and Straights of
Gibraltar sea-lanes. The SNP and Civil Guard both monitor
immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. Both
agencies respond appropriately to evidence, with cooperation
between the Civil Guard and Embassy DHS Immigration Service
personnel being especially good.

H. The Ministry of Interior coordinates anti-trafficking
efforts and maintains workgroups for the coordination of SNP
and Civil Guard activities. Both the SNP and the Civil Guard
also participate in coordination and data sharing workgroups
with Interpol and Europol. Public sector corruption is not
generally a problem in Spain, and anti-corruption
investigations would be processed through normal law
enforcement and judicial agencies.

I. The government coordinates the anti-trafficking activity
of its law enforcement agencies with Interpol, Europol, and
EU illegal-immigration working groups. Spain also has
cooperative agreements with many North African and
Sub-Saharan African nations. Spain has provided
French-language training to high-level SNP officials to aid
in cooperation with countries in French-speaking Africa. The
SNP has actively sought Embassy, RSO, and FBI Legal Attach
assistance in finding contacts in African nations to share
intelligence related to trafficking-in-persons and
illegal-immigration routes and criminal organizations in
sub-Saharan Africa. Spain participates in EU and Schengen
Group cooperative efforts to combat trafficking from Eastern
Europe, particularly with those countries set to join the EU
in May. Increasing bilateral cooperation with source
countries was a specific goal in G/TIP objectives for Spain,
and the increased focus on countries of origin is evident.
Of special note, in response to requests by G/TIP in the
summer of 2003, officials of both the SNP and Civil Guard
offered their assistance to specifically investigate a report
of isolated instances of trafficking in persons originating
from Latvia. Embassy also transmitted these offers of

J. The government has a National Immigration Plan that
addresses combating illegal immigration into Spain, which is
a major component in preventing trafficking. The Ministry of
Interior coordinates anti-trafficking efforts within
workgroups involving its law enforcement agencies, the
Ministry of Labor and Social Services, the Ministry of
Justice, Interpol, Europol, and NGOs responsible for victim
assistance. NGOs report that the government consults with
them in coordinating programs, and the principle NGO, Project
Hope, is included in anti-trafficking training for law
enforcement officers. Plans, analyses, and statistics are
available through the SNP and Civil Guard.

K. The Ministry of Interior takes the lead in directing
anti-trafficking efforts.


A. Spain has specific laws to prohibit trafficking in persons
and other activities related to sexual and labor
exploitation. These laws are applied in practice and are
adequate to cover the full scope of trafficking in persons.
The law prohibits trafficking in persons from, through, or to
Spain. The law also prohibits trafficking in workers; sexual
exploitation involving violence, intimidation or fraud; the
sexual exploitation of minors, including use for prostitution
or pornography; forging or certifying false government
documents; and illicit association with trafficking in
persons networks. The Organic Law for Specific Measures
Related to Citizen Security, Domestic Violence and the Social
Integration of Foreigners was passed by the Spanish Senate in
September 2003. This section of the Organic Law increased
the penalties for trafficking in persons (from 2 to 4 years
previously, to the current 5 to 10 years) and other
activities related to trafficking, such as trafficking for
sexual exploitation, the use of threats, violence or fraud,
the involvement of minors, or the placing of the victim's
life in danger (these latter offences increasing the penalty
to 6 to 12 years). Passage of this law was a specific goal
for Spain in the country objectives set by G/TIP last summer.

B. The penalty for trafficking in persons for sexual
exploitation is 5 to 10 years in prison, increasing to 6 to
12 years if aggravating circumstances are present. The
penalty for trafficking in persons for labor exploitation is
2 to 5 years and a fine.

C. The penalty for rape is 6 to 12 years in prison,
increasing to a possible 15 years with aggravating
circumstances. The penalty for sexual assault is 1 to 4
years in prison, increasing to 4 to 10 years with aggravating

D. The SNP reports a total of 677 trafficking networks
dismantled, with 2,028 responsible individuals arrested in
2003. Sentencing guidelines call for 5 to 10 years in
prison, with an increase to 6 to 12 years with aggravating
circumstances. Detailed data of individual sentences are
recorded at the local and regional jurisdiction levels, and
the Spanish General Council of the Judiciary is tabulating
these records to provide the Embassy statistics on sentencing
for trafficking crimes. This effort should be completed
shortly. The Embassy's Locally Employed Staff lawyer in the
Consular Section conducted a sampling of individual
sentencing records that are available on an Internet site for
Spanish legal professionals. All records sampled were
covered by the pre-September 2003 sentencing guidelines of 2
to 4 years, and showed an average sentence of three years for
trafficking offences. Once sentenced, Spanish prisoners must
generally serve 75% of their sentences before being eligible
for parole.

E. Trafficking into Spain is generally controlled by
organized criminal gangs, who are especially prevalent in
trafficking for sexual exploitation. The largest such groups
are Romanian criminal organizations that traffic prostitutes,
often luring victims with false offers of employment.
Victims and the criminal organizations that traffic them are
generally of the same nationality. There were no reports of
involvement by Spanish government officials, and government
corruption is not a problem in Spain. Profits from
trafficking both stay with the traffickers in Spain and are
channeled back to associates of the same criminal
organization in the country of origin.

F. The government actively investigates cases of trafficking.
Law enforcement agencies are permitted by law, and use in
practice, active investigative techniques such as phone taps,
undercover operations and surveillance activities.

G. The government provides specialized
anti-trafficking-in-persons training to law enforcement
agencies. Training is provided to recruits at the Spanish
National Police Academy in Avila, and is also mandatory for
candidates for promotion to the inspector level. The NGO
Project Hope has been involved in teaching courses on
trafficking in persons and victims assistance at the SNP

H. Spain cooperates with several countries of origin, as well
as with the EU, Interpol and Europol, to investigate
trafficking cases. The SNP reports that in 2003, they
cooperated in investigations in countries of origin that
resulted in the arrests of 303 individuals and the
dismantling of 194 organized trafficking networks.

I. The government can extradite persons charged with
trafficking, including its own nationals. Spanish officials
identified seven extraditions for trafficking-related
offences this period (three Romanians, and one each from
Lithuania, Albania, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic).

J. There is no evidence of government involvement in
trafficking or tolerance of trafficking at any level of the

K. There were no cases of government officials involved with
trafficking in persons this period.

L. The government has ratified all of the mentioned
instruments. Dates of ratification are:
ILO Convention 182 - April 2, 2001
ILO Convention 29 - August 29, 1932
ILO Convention 105 - November 6, 1967
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the
Child - December 18, 2001
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, Especially Women and Children - March 1, 2002


A. The government provides assistance to trafficking victims.
Medical attention is provided through the national health
care system. The government funds various NGOs to provide
shelter, counseling and psychological assistance, legal
assistance, job training, placement and reinsertion services,
and assistance in obtaining visas that are available for
victims who testify against traffickers. The primary
assistance NGO, Project Hope, reports that financing by the
government was increased this year and that its funding is
sufficient to implement their programs. Providing additional
support for comprehensive victims assistance services was a
specific goal set in the G/TIP objectives for Spain last
summer. With increased funding this year, Project Hope
reports that problems with providing victims services at peak
volumes, which had been a problem in previous years, has been
resolved for this 2003-2004 period. HIV/AIDS tests are
provided to trafficking victims. Project Hope reports that
there is a low percentage of positive tests.

B. The government funds NGOs to provide the majority of
victim assistance services. NGOs submit annual proposals for
services to the government and receive yearly grants to fund
those proposals.

C. Trafficking victims are referred directly from the SNP and
Civil Guard to Project Hope, or other NGOs in areas not
served by Project Hope.

D. Trafficking victims who agree to cooperate in the
prosecution of traffickers receive special treatment and are
processed separately from the criminal population. Those who
fulfill promises to testify are eligible for visas to stay in
Spain, and the victim assistance NGOs aid those individuals
in applying for visas. Those victims who choose not to
cooperate are repatriated, which must legally occur within 40
days. Project Hope provides those waiting for repatriation
with all their normal services, except for the visa
application aid. Victims who testify do not face prosecution
for prostitution, and can have their immigration status
normalized by means of the previously described visas.

E. The government actively encourages victims to assist in
the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. Victims
may seek legal action against traffickers and receive
restitution from them, though this process is combined with
the criminal prosecution, not in a separate civil suit as in
the United States. Government-funded NGOs provide legal
assistance to victims and no impediments to access to legal
redress were reported. Victims testifying against an
employer may seek visas that allow for employment in Spain.
There is a victims restitution program.
F. The government may provide witness protection in the form
of allowing witnesses to remain anonymous, detailing police
escorts and providing economic assistance. The government
provides these protections in practice to victims the
presiding judge determines to be at risk.

G. The government provides specialized training (in both
recognition of trafficking and in victim assistance) to law
enforcement officers at the academy recruit level, and again
for candidates for promotion to inspector. Project Hope is
involved in the recruit training, which is held at the SNP
Academy in Avila. The chief and deputy-chief of the SNP's
UCRIF Unit have been involved in the training for the
inspector candidates. Spain provides financial and
repatriation assistance to its citizens at its embassies and
consulates; however, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs'
Consular Division reports that they have never received
reports of Spaniards becoming victims of trafficking rings
overseas. Spain is almost exclusively a destination country
for trafficking. The SNP does consult with Spanish embassies
and consulates on trafficking in persons investigations.

H. The government provides for medical assistance, economic
assistance and repatriation for its citizens through Spanish
embassies and consulates, however, the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs says it is not aware of Spanish citizens becoming
victims of trafficking.

I. NGOs are funded by the government to provide victims
assistance, including shelter, legal aid, counseling and
psychological assistance, and job training, placement and
reinsertion services. NGOs funded include Project Hope, the
Association for Attention, Prevention and Reinsertion of
Women Prostitutes (APRAMP), the Voluntary Association of
Dominican Mothers (VOMADE), Association for Cooperation in
the South-the Segovias (ACSUR), Association of Raped Women,
General Association in Defense of the Rights of Prostitutes
(HETAIRA), Villa Teresita Safe House, CARITAS, the Red Cross,
and Hermanos Oblatas. The main NGO contractor, Project Hope,
reports that the NGOs cooperate fully with both the SNP and
the Civil Guard.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.