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Cablegate: G/Tip Miller Meets Dutch Foreign and Justice

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001446

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PGOV PHUM SMIG NL
SUBJECT: G/TIP MILLER MEETS DUTCH FOREIGN AND JUSTICE
MINISTERS WHO RESPOND TO CONTINUING ACTION PLAN

REF: SECSTATE 115541

SUMMARY
-----...

17734

2004-06-10

04THEHAGUE1446

Embassy The Hague

UNCLASSIFIED

04SECSTATE115541

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001446

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PGOV PHUM SMIG NL
SUBJECT: G/TIP MILLER MEETS DUTCH FOREIGN AND JUSTICE
MINISTERS WHO RESPOND TO CONTINUING ACTION PLAN

REF: SECSTATE 115541

SUMMARY
-------

1. During a June 7 meeting with G/TIP Director Miller, Dutch
Foreign Minister Bot and Justice Minister Donner acknowledged
a shared commitment for concrete action against Trafficking
in Persons (TIP). Although critical of the tone and
unilateral nature of the U.S. benchmarks outlined in the TIP
Continuing Action Plan (reftel) and insistent on tackling the
problem in their own way, the Ministers agreed clear
guidelines to measure progress in fighting TIP were
desirable. Both sides agreed to continue their dialogue on
TIP in a constructive manner and expressed confidence we
would come to a solution.

MILLER MEETING WITH FOREIGN AND JUSTICE MINISTERS
--------------------------------------------- --

2. The Secretary is considering Tier 1 placement for the
Netherlands in the 2004 TIP Report, with a re-assessment in
November 2004. At the direction of the Deputy Secretary,
G/TIP Director John Miller visited The Hague June 7. With
Amb. Sobel, he met with Dutch Foreign Minister Bot and
Justice Minister Donner to discuss the quantifiable, specific
benchmarks in the TIP Continuing Action Plan (reftel) on
which the Dutch will be evaluated in November. Other U.S.
participants included G/TIP Acting Deputy Director JoAnn
Schneider, EUR/PGI Doug Hoyt, DCM Danny Russel, and Global
Issues officers Drew Mann and Erin Webster-Main. Dutch
participants were P.P. (Peter) van Wulfften Palthe, MFA DG of
Regional Policy and Consular Affairs, Arie Ijzerman, MoJ
Director of International Criminal Affairs & Drugs Policy,
and Marjo Crompvoets, MFA Senior Policy Advisor on Judicial
and Police Cooperation.

3. The initial reception by the Dutch was cold with
considerable push back. Both Ministers Donner and Bot
criticized the harsh tone of the benchmarks and the apparent
unilateral imposition of U.S. TIP priorities upon the Dutch.
FM Bot said this is not how sovereign nations should deal
with each other. He acknowledged the terrible scourge of
TIP and reiterated the Dutch commitment to eradicate the
problem. Still, as a sovereign country, Bot said, the
Netherlands would tailor its TIP approach to national
circumstances and priorities. For example, Donner noted the
benchmarks laid a heavy emphasis on licensed brothels in the
Amsterdam Red Light District, when a more pressing concern
for the Dutch was the phenomenon of lover boys preying on
minors, against which the Dutch had undertaken information
campaigns and increased prosecutions.

4. Mr. Miller first reviewed the possibility of the Secretary
doing a conditional Tier 1 placement to be reassessed in
November and listed the conditions we felt necessary to
maintain that rating in our evaluation. He expressed
G/TIP,s view that the Dutch decision to legalize
prostitution and maintain a sex industry with zones like the
Amsterdam Red Light District created a magnet for TIP crimes.
As such, the Dutch shouldered special obligations to rid the
legalized sector of TIP victims. The Ministers agreed a link
existed between prostitution and trafficking, but they
distinguished the two activities and stated that licensing
and regulating prostitution was, in fact, a Dutch effort to
stop TIP. The Ministers questioned whether G/TIP,s focus on
legalized prostitution exceeded the Trafficking Victims
Protection Act mandate.

5. Both Mr. Miller and the Ministers agreed the goal is to
reduce the number of TIP victims and increase the number of
trafficker prosecutions. In fact, both countries share many
similar tactics in their fight against TIP. Mr. Miller and
the Ministers acknowledged several of the steps indicated in
the benchmarks were, in fact, already being undertaken by the
Dutch.

6. Noting the common ground between the two countries in
shared goal and means, Amb. Sobel stressed the need for a
continued real time dialogue on TIP issues. Rather than
relying upon proclamations and gestures, everyone recognized
the importance of establishing concrete, measurable targets
in the TIP effort. Bot and Donner agreed, noting that
progress against TIP is made at the street level, not the
paper level and the Dutch plan to deal with TIP issues in
the expanded EU during the Dutch Presidency. Donner affirmed
that national and EU-wide progress on TIP was a top Dutch
priority and urged that we move forward together on solutions
and avoid problems of tone. The meeting ended with the
promise by both sides to continue talking.

7. After the meeting, Mr. Miller indicated to the Amb. and
DCM alternative benchmarks might be acceptable, but the
Deputy Secretary required conditions as substantial, specific
and measurable as the benchmarks outlined in the Continuing
Action Plan. Mr. Miller said he could accept such clearly
defined and measurable alternative benchmarks developed
jointly by the Dutch and U.S. (including G/TIP) if done
quickly (i.e., within a month).
OTHER MEETINGS
--------------

8. Prior to his meeting with the Ministers, Mr. Miller toured
De Roggeveen Shelter for victims of domestic violence and
trafficking. He discussed the need for improvements in the
government's B-9 status (e.g., allowing TIP victims to work)
with the shelter's social workers. Following the shelter
visit, Mr. Miller met two former TIP victims who had started
Atalantas, an NGO working to inform other victims of their
rights under Dutch law. They spoke of their particular
efforts to focus more attention on victims rather than
prosecutions by reaching out directly to them, former to
current victim.
9. In another meeting, the National Rapporteur told Mr.
Miller of several areas of progress since their last meeting
in September - a new joint investigative team involving
German, Belgian, Bulgarian, Dutch, EUROPOL and EUROJUST
officials to combat TIP; and an EU twinning project with the
U.K. in the Czech Republic. She said her third report would
likely be released during the summer (to include 2002 figures
- final 2003 figures are expected shortly after its
publication). Mr. Miller also met with Rob Coster, National
Police Project Leader for Prostitution and TIP, who discussed
the shift in police focus from the legal to the illegal
prostitution sector (including escort services). Coster also
clarified the Dutch were re-allocating 100 detectives from
the regional level up to the national level to deal more
effectively with transnational crimes such as TIP. Coster
echoed the National Rapporteur,s remarks that the
Netherlands was instituting new TIP demand reduction
programs. Finally, a police tour of Amsterdam,s Red Light
District after the meeting with the Ministers revealed that
police checked all legal brothels for TIP victims once every
six weeks on average.

COMMENT
--------

10. Embassy believes the next step is a strong push for
prompt joint development of clear, measurable benchmarks that
closely conform to domestic Dutch realities. This will help
ensure continued bilateral, shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation
in the fight against TIP, and hopefully ease Dutch
pre-occupation with the process of producing our yearly
report. Minister Bot committed the Dutch to attack TIP
during their upcoming EU presidency. With continued
bilateral engagement, the U.S. and the Netherlands will be
able to multiply our individual efforts against TIP at a time
when EU border policies are under review and its enlarged
borders increase the risk of trafficking.

11. G/TIP Director Miller has reviewed and cleared this cable.
SOBEL

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