Search

 

Cablegate: Sri Lanka: Government Holds Successful Tip

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLM #1688 3541143
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201143Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7390
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 1670
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 8194

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001688

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS, G/TIP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM KWMN PHUM PGOV CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: GOVERNMENT HOLDS SUCCESSFUL TIP
ROUNDTABLE

REF: A. STATE 168845

B. COLOMBO 1590
C. COLOMBO 1546
D. COLOMBO 1449
E. COLOMBO 1188

1. On December 13, the Ministry of Child Development and
Women's Empowerment hosted a four-hour roundtable discussion
on trafficking in persons (TIP) with key stakeholders in the
Government of Sri Lanka (GSL). The goal of the meeting was
to share information and best practices, foster more
effective coordination, and plan further collaboration to
aggressively combat trafficking in persons. Senior officials
from the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Ministry
of Foreign Employment, Foreign Employment Bureau, Sri Lankan
Police, the Police Higher Training Institute, and the
Attorney General's office participated. In addition, the
International Labor Organization; the International
Organization for Migration; and several NGOs, including
Lawyers for Human Rights and Development, attended the
meeting as observers, as did DCM, Poloff, and a USAID
officer. The event was covered by several local newspapers.

2. Sumeda Jayasinghe, the Minister of Child Development and
Women's Empowerment, called on the GSL and NGOs to coordinate
their efforts to counter trafficking and extended the full
support of the ministry to this effort. Secretary of the
Ministry of Child Development and Women's Empowerment,
Indrani Sugathadasa, stressed the urgent need for a
coordinated national policy on trafficking in persons. The
Government of Sri Lanka has a national policy to combat
trafficking of children and the Foreign Employment Ministry
is currently developing a national policy to curb illegal
migration of workers. Sugathadasa emphasized, however, the
importance of developing and implementing a national policy
that addresses all forms of trafficking. Other
recommendations that emerged from the meeting included
increasing the number of labor welfare officers at foreign
embassies, conducting more (and more aggressive) public
awareness campaigns targeting populations that are most
vulnerable to trafficking, and instituting a GSL working
group on TIP to meet twice per month.

3. While applauding the GSL's initiative to convene the
roundtable and the call to constitute a GSL working group,
DCM stressed that tangible results, including the prosecution
and conviction of traffickers, were needed. He reviewed the
key findings in the 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report on Sri
Lanka and noted the importance of more effective interagency
cooperation. He said that only concerted action by the GSL
itself would lead to Sri Lanka graduating from the Tier Two
Watch List. The DCM said the USG was prepared to support the
GSL in its trafficking efforts and outlined two USG-funded
programs, one to support the development of a database
identify and track trafficking cases and conduct police
training and the other to strengthen prosecution and victim
protection, that are being implemented by the International
Organization of Migration.

4. COMMENT: This marks a welcome step forward by the
Government. The discussion revealed both a sincere GSL desire
to tackle the TIP problem in Sri Lanka and a lack of
awareness of the scale and complexity of the challenges of
human trafficking. The fact that remittances from foreign
workers are a vital component of the Sri Lankan economy leads
some GSL stakeholders to downplay the urgency of addressing
trafficking concerns. Post appreciates G/TIP's funding
support (ref A) in the areas of criminal prosecution and
victims protection. We will continue to engage the GSL on
the importance of interagency coordination and achieving
concrete results.
BLAKE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>