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Cablegate: Tip: Interim Assessment, Czech Republic

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #1229/01 3191538
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151538Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9819

UNCLAS PRAGUE 001229

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EUR/PGI, G-ACBLANK AND G/TIP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM KWMN PGOV PREL EZ
SUBJECT: TIP: INTERIM ASSESSMENT, CZECH REPUBLIC

REF: SECSTATE 146300

1. (U) The Czech Republic continues to make significant
progress in identifying Trafficking in Persons as a law
enforcement and judicial priority, and continues to provide
necessary resources, funding, and training to increase
detection and overall awareness among labor inspectors,
police, prosecutors, and judges; and improve the lives of
victims. Per reftel, the government's efforts are noted
below:

a) In the first nine months of 2007, Czech police have
investigated 18 cases under the state,s Trafficking in
Persons statute. In the first half of the year, there were
also 15 prosecutions of traffickers. Out of these there were
four convictions: three traffickers were sentenced to jail,
and one received a suspended sentence. While information on
length of sentences was not yet available from the MOI, these
numbers show a positive trend in sentencing violators to jail
over previous years. Additionally, reflecting the need to
adopt a comprehensive approach to combating trafficking, the
Czech Republic used other criminal statutes to charge
violators. Accordingly, in the first nine months of the year
police investigated 46 cases of pimping. There were also 47
prosecutions under the pimping statutes. At the time MOI
provided post with data, there were no statistics on the
number of convictions or length of sentences under the
pimping statutes for the year.

(NOTE: The numbers of investigations listed above are not
directly related to the number of prosecutions, which may
reflect investigations begun in previous years. END NOTE)

b) Anti-trafficking courses are now a regular part of the
introductory training curriculum at the police academy, which
every incoming officer must take. Trafficking is also part
of mandatory continuing education requirements that all
police officers must take to keep their certifications.
Additionally, police academies offer more targeted training
in anti-trafficking measures for members of the police who
specialize in this area. Training sessions are led by experts
inside and outside the police academies.

Trafficking in persons has also become a part of the official
curriculum at the judicial academy for judges in training.
Started two years ago as a U.S. Embassy initiative, the TIP
courses for prosecutors and judges are now offered twice a
year. Anti-trafficking courses are also taught to judges and
prosecutors as part of foreign language training, which
assures exposure to a broader segment of the judicial body.

c) In 2007 the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs finished
translation of the International Labor Organization's guide
on "Trafficking in Persons for Purposes of Forced Labor - How
to Monitor Recruitment of Migrant Workers," which is now
regularly distributed at conferences and seminars on Labor
Trafficking, and is given to the police, labor inspectors,
and to labor and tax offices. Recently, the Ministry
completed a seminar in conjunction with authorities from
Italy to learn about the labor patterns and working
conditions of illegal migrant workers in Italy, which serves
as a case-study for other EU countries.

The government has increased funding for social workers who
help victims of trafficking. Sources of funding include the
EU European Social Fund and the Czech national budget. The
MOI also established a "Center for Migration" which provides
analysis of illegal employment and also prepares
anti-trafficking literature in a number of foreign languages.

e) The MOI stated that there have been no allegations of
border guards facilitating entry into the country of illegal
workers, and no information has come to their attention that
would support this request. Separately, border procedures
have undergone extensive reform in line with measures
required for the Czech Republic's entry into the Schengen
zone, which will occur on December 21, 2007.

f) In a major development, the MOI has increased the
reflection period for victims, i.e., the time trafficking
victims have to decide whether to cooperate with authorities
and receive full protection and assistance under the Program
of Assistance and Protection of TIP Victims. Previously, the
government had provided trafficking victims with a 30-day
reflection period. A victim's testimony at trial against
traffickers formerly was a condition to receive program
benefits. The new system has two key changes. First, victims
now have a 60-day reflection period to make such decisions.
Secondly, the government has relaxed standards for victim
cooperation: The new language seems to permit victim
cooperation that falls somewhat short of actually testifying
at trial without jeopardizing their access to the program's
protections and benefits.

For the first 10 months of the year, 14 victims were included
in the program, which is the same number as compared to the
whole of last year.

Victims who prefer not to become involved in investigations
are still adequately provided for, receiving medical and
psychological services, and are given a paid ticket home by
IOM. Once they arrive in their country of origin, they are
met by a social worker who accompanies them back to their
families.

The government has also increased its support for NGOs that
provide care for trafficking victims.
Graber

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