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Cablegate: Ngos Approve of Cambodia's Tier Upgrade On

VZCZCXRO1118
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #1178 1780404
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270404Z JUN 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6921
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1497

UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 001178

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MLS, G/TIP AND EAP/RSP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM ELAB PREL CB KWMN
SUBJECT: NGOS APPROVE OF CAMBODIA'S TIER UPGRADE ON
TRAFFICKING

REF: A. SECSTATE 85578

B. SECSTATE 89018
C. PHNOM PENH 1092
D. PHNOM PENH 1134

1. (SBU) Summary. Anti-trafficking NGOs applauded the
decision to upgrade Cambodia to Tier 2 Watch List, based on
the Cambodia's performance last year. However, AFESIP and
IJM believe that cooperation so far this year has not matched
last year's efforts. Mission officers are stressing in their
contacts with Cambodian officials the importance of sustained
efforts to combat trafficking in coming months lest Cambodia
fall back to Tier 3 in next year's rankings. End Summary.

2. (SBU) AFESIP's Mam Somaly expressed pleasure with
Cambodia's upgrade to Tier 2 Watch List in a recent
conversation with Poloff. She said the top levels of the
police are committed to fighting TIP, but she said she was
not so certain that lower levels of the police shared this
commitment. She also noted the increasing sophistication of
trafficking in Phnom Penh and expressed concern that there
was not the same level of cooperation with provincial police
as existed in Phnom Penh. She singled out the small town of
Kamrieng, between Battambang and the Thai border, as a new
site that warranted close monitoring.

3. (SBU) An International Justice Mission (IJM)
representative told Poloff that he believed that Cambodia's
Tier 2 upgrade was warranted given the good cooperation last
year. However, IJM emphasized that the police have been less
helpful this year. IJM recommended that the approval process
for operations by General Ung Sokunthea's MOI
Anti-trafficking unit be streamlined. Currently, it took two
weeks to gain approval for operations, whereas it took only
two days last year. IJM said it had planned to shut down a
group of brothels with allegedly underage children in Phnom
Penh's Street 63 within a period of one month, but the police
halted the operation after one brothel was shut down.
However, IJM described good cooperation in the provinces -
Battambang, Siem Riep and Sihanoukville - where it has
conducted police training for anti-TIP activities. Unlike
AFESIP, IJM believed that investigations in the provinces
were more expensive, but not less efficient.

4. (SBU) World Vision's Director Bill Forbes commented that
he believed the Tier 2 Watch List was the proper designation
for Cambodia. One-off events like the Chai Hour II raid
should not be the sole factor in determining Cambodia's
ranking, he commented. However, Forbes wanted to see the
Chief of the Anti-Trafficking Department increase its
operations. Forbes complained that the Ministry of Social
Affairs, Veterans and Youth (MOSAVY) does not have adequate
capacity to monitor the well-being of rescued girls. He also
recommended better coordination between MOSAVY and the
Ministry of Interior, as well as between the Ministries of
Interior and Justice. Forbes expressed concern about other
forms of human trafficking apart from trafficking for sexual
purposes, noting that he would like to raise awareness of
safe migration and other forms of TIP. He lauded the fact
that the TIP Report is beginning to highlight the issue of
forced labor.

5. (SBU) HAGAR's Talmage Payne agreed with other NGO
leaders on the Tier 2 Watch List designation of Cambodia. He
said that Cambodia has made commendable improvement in its
anti-TIP efforts, though he believed the effort was largely a
bye-product of donor pressure rather than arising from
genuine commitment on the part of the government. He said
that he would like to see a government managed accreditation
system for shelters and better NGO oversight of the shelters.
Like World Vision, Payne believed labor trafficking was an
important issue that will become a challenge for Cambodia.
He sees a need to monitor labor recruiting agencies.

6. (SBU) Comment: All of the NGOs that we contacted
appeared to be genuinely pleased with Cambodia's upgrade to
Tier 2 Watch List status, but all were less enthusiastic
about Cambodia's progress on TIP issues this year. Mission
officials, including the Ambassador, have stressed in their
contacts with the RGC that it cannot rest on its laurels,
that it must make a concerted and sustained effort over the
coming months to ensure that Cambodia does not fall back
again into Tier 3.
MUSSOMELI

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