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Cablegate: German Officials Note Improvement in Providing

VZCZCXRO3549
OO RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1809/01 1791652
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281652Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3956
INFO RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 001809

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/AGS, EUR/PGI, G/TIP, DRL/IL, INL/HSTC, AND PRM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN KJUS SMIG ELAB PREL PGOV GM
SUBJECT: GERMAN OFFICIALS NOTE IMPROVEMENT IN PROVIDING
ASSISTANCE TO TIP VICTIMS

REF: A. HALL/CONWAY E-MAIL 06/15/06

B. FRANKFURT 1274
C. BERLIN 601
D. BERLIN 366
E. BERLIN 298
F. 05 HAMBURG 96

1. (U) Summary: German officials reject the notion that
Germany has made little progress in protecting TIP victims
since 1996. Representatives of the German Federal Family
Ministry and the Hamburg State Office of Criminal
Investigation (LKA) point to vastly expanded counseling and
assistance. Officials note as well that Germany established
a federal/state interagency anti-TIP working group in 1997
and has expanded training programs to sensitize police
officers to the unique needs of TIP victims. Most German
states now have interagency roundtables that meet regularly
to address TIP victims' concerns and include police,
prosecutors, municipal authorities, and immigration
officials, in addition to representatives of NGOs and
faith-based organizations that assist victims. Nine of
Germany's sixteen states have concluded cooperation
agreements with NGOs requiring police to refer TIP victims to
NGOs, counseling centers, or shelters. In addition to using
Hamburg's interagency anti-trafficking roundtable to improve
assistance to victims, the LKA there has created a dedicated
anti-TIP unit and increased its budget for surveillance of
suspected trafficking rings. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Ref A requests Mission Germany discuss with German
government representatives concerns raised in testimony given
by Masha Gnezdilova in a June 14 hearing of the House
International Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Africa,
Global Human Rights, and International Operations. (Ms.
Gnezdilova's testimony is available online at
wwwc.house.gov/international relations/109/gne061406.pdf.)
Emboffs raised Ms. Gnezdilova's testimony with Birgit
Schweikert, Director of the Federal Family Ministry's Office
for the Protection of Women from Violence. Schweikert noted
the incidents to which Ms. Gnezdilova refers occurred in 1996
and that Germany had made important strides in the ten years
since then in the protection of TIP victims and the provision
of counseling and assistance. These steps, Schweikert
continued, include the establishment of a federal/state
interagency anti-TIP working group in 1997. Schweikert
serves as the working group's co-chair.

3. (SBU) Schweikert said she could not exclude the
possibility that police in 1996 were not properly sensitized
to the needs of trafficking victims. However, over the past
ten years Germany has expanded training to sensitize police
officers to the unique needs of TIP victims. (NOTE: Mission
Germany has reported previously on German government and NGO
efforts to improve and expand training to police officers,
including best practices for identification of potential TIP
victims, sensitive questioning techniques, and the importance
of referring TIP victims to NGOs that offer counseling and
legal assistance. A best practices document posted by the
Federal Interior Ministry on a restricted-access German
police intranet site was based on a similar reference tool
developed by North Rhine - Westphalia's state police (ref E).
The IOM has also noted improved provision of TIP-related
training to police (ref D). END NOTE.) Schweikert stated
Germany would continue to provide TIP-related training for
police officers.

4. (SBU) Schweikert said most German states have set up
interagency roundtables that include police, prosecutors,
municipal authorities, and immigration officials, as well as
representatives of NGOs and faith-based organizations to
assist victims. (NOTE: Nine of Germany's sixteen states also
have concluded cooperation agreements with NGOs that provide
counseling and assistance to victims. The agreements require
police to provide TIP victims with multi-lingual pamphlets
informing them of their rights and to contact NGOs,
counseling centers, or shelters on behalf of victims. Many
NGOs also provide training to police officers. END NOTE.)
Schweikert noted the German government fully funds the
Federal Association against Trafficking in Women (KOK), an
umbrella organization that coordinates the work of German
anti-TIP NGOs. As reported ref D, KOK and the Federal Family
Ministry hosted a January 2006 conference on cooperation
agreements and best practices for providing assistance and
protection to TIP victims. Over 120 representatives from
state law enforcement agencies, NGOs, counseling centers, and
state and federal government agencies attended the event.
Before closing, Schweikert reiterated that individual German
states have the primary responsibility for law enforcement
efforts against trafficking in persons and said for privacy

BERLIN 00001809 002 OF 002


protection reasons German law prohibits researching the
details of a particular case without prerequisites such as a
request of the affected individual, court order, etc.

5. (SBU) ConGen Hamburg discussed issues raised in Ms.
Gnezdilova's testimony with Thomas Menzel, who heads the
Organized Crime Unit of the Hamburg LKA, and with Frank
Werner, a Liberal Party (FDP) official who is closely
involved with anti-TIP NGOs. Menzel outlined the evolution
of anti-TIP actions in Hamburg. Over the past several years,
he reported, the state government has:

-- dedicated a larger budget to police surveillance of
suspected prostitution/TIP rings, which had led to increased
infiltration, interruption, and prosecution of these criminal
groups.

-- created an anti-TIP roundtable that meets regularly and
brings together LKA representatives, prosecutors, immigration
officials, anti-TIP NGOs, and churches to develop joint
responses and initiatives. (NOTE: NGO contacts told ConGen
Hamburg they have been able to use the roundtable group to
influence police procedures and policies on the treatment of
TIP victims. For instance, police now work closely with NGOs
to ensure TIP victims have access to interpreters and
counseling while still in initial police protective custody.
END NOTE.)

-- created a TIP-dedicated three-officer unit placed directly
within the Organized Crime Unit of the LKA. This measure
allows investigations/prosecution to incorporate TIP aspects
from day one. The unit has recently scored a major success
with the unraveling of Hamburg's largest prostitution/TIP
ring (ref F). Hamburg authorities have kept up the pressure
on the ring, with follow-on raids continuing to take place.
The follow-up has enabled German officials to seek
wide-ranging prosecutions, ranging from tax avoidance to
criminal enterprise and TIP charges.

6. (U) This message was coordinated with ConGen Hamburg.

TIMKEN JR

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