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Cablegate: Taiwan Making Significant Improvements On Tip

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

UNCLAS TAIPEI 001512

SIPDIS

STATE PASS AIT/W

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC TW TIP
SUBJECT: TAIWAN MAKING SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS ON TIP

1. (U) Action Request see paragraph 7.

2. (U) AIT officers visited the Hsinchu Detention Center on
March 29 and found the situation considerably improved for
TIP victims since the November 2004 G/TIP visit. Ministry of
Interior (MOI) authorities have made substantial efforts to
improve protection of TIP victims at the facility and told
AIT of plans for further improvements.

3. (U) During their March 29 visit to the Hsinchu Detention
Center, AIT officers noted the following improvements:

(A) A separate facility has been designated for minors and
TIP victims. Each female illegal immigrant detained is
screened by law enforcement authorities and social workers,
who interview her and examine her circumstances in order to
determine if she is an actual TIP victim. Those women
designated as victims are then placed in this separate
facility, where they are provided special treatment,
including access to social workers, counseling, relative
freedom to move about the facility, books and magazines,
recreation time, crafts, better housing conditions, and
television. New bathroom facilities are under construction
for the TIP victims in this separate building.

(B) The demeanor and attitude of the women living in the
separate facility has markedly improved since the November
2004 visit to the Hsinchu Detention Center. They no longer
live in a rigid military-like environment and are generally
free to do what they wish within the facility. (Note: the
facility still has bars on the windows, but officials told
AIT they hope to build a new facility that would not have
bars but still be secure since most women do not want to
return to Mainland China and would leave.) The women seemed
relaxed and did not appear threatened by their environment.
In a separate ward for women with infants, all of the babies
appeared healthy and the mothers appeared content, smiling
frequently and chatting with AIT officers.

4. (U) MOI and National Police Agency (NPA) officials
requested AIT assistance in arranging training by U.S.
experts on how to effectively identify, treat, and house TIP
victims. TIP, they said, is a relatively new problem for
Taiwan and the government needs the help of experts,
especially social workers and counselors, because Taipei
lacks the expertise to offer victims the best treatment
available. MOI and NPA Officials told AIT that they were
meeting that afternoon with NGO experts to discuss how to
make additional improvements at Hsinchu. AIT told MOI that
our G/TIP office wants to work with Taiwan to improve the
situation for TIP victims and that AIT would pass the MOI
request back to Washington.

5. (U) Comment: While the TIP situation at Hsinchu still has
room for improvement, the progress made since the November
visit is very encouraging. Authorities at the detention
center told AIT that the improvements made thus far were only
the beginning, since a comprehensive program for TIP victims
is being developed. MOI and NPA immigration officials and
NGO experts are working to devise a comprehensive plan to
care for TIP victims. They fully recognize that a more
suitable facility, one less resembling a detention center, is
important and hope to eventually construct a new building.

6. (U) AIT believes Taiwan is making substantial efforts to
improve its treatment of TIP victims, and that under these
circumstances Taiwan should not be downgraded to Tier 2. The
Tier 2 definition does not accurately characterize Taiwan's
efforts, since the government has provided evidence that it
has, in fact, worked to improve protection for TIP victims
and is making continued efforts to improve protections and
treatment further. End comment.

7. (U) Action Request. Please provide a response to Taiwan's
request for guidance and assistance.
PAAL

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