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Cablegate: Anti-Trafficking: Political Will, but Lack Of

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBUL #4183/01 3571217
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD42100F MSI4414-695)
O 231217Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2018
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4328
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS KABUL 004183

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SENSITIVE
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C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION
DEPT FOR SCA FO , SCA/A,G/TIP
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OSD FOR KIMMETT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KTIP PGOV AF
SUBJECT: ANTI-TRAFFICKING: POLITICAL WILL, BUT LACK OF
CAPACITY


1. (SBU) Summary: The Afghan government has mustered the
political will to combat trafficking in persons, but a lack
of police enforcement and prosecutorial capacity slows
progress towards meeting accepted international standards.
The counter-insurgency campaign continues to draw police away
from traditional enforcement and anti-trafficking functions.
Key legislation that criminalizes trafficking and enacts
tough penalties is set to go before the lower house soon,
after spending years languishing in draft. The Attorney
General,s (AG) office and the Afghan National Police (ANP)
are increasing their arrests and prosecutions of traffickers.
International NGOs are familiarizing the police, border
police, the AG, and the judiciary with international
anti-trafficking practices and obligations.

Real Progress
=============

2. (SBU) The government has made measurable progress towards
meeting international anti-trafficking standards.
Legislation that would criminalize trafficking in persons and
impose tough penalties is slated to go before the lower house
of Parliament as soon as January. NGO contacts, who have
helped the Afghan drafters develop the legislation, believe
it will be consistent with the Trafficking Victims Protection
Act, while also incorporating elements of Shar,ia law. The
legislation would create an anti-trafficking commission,
comprised of personnel from ten ministries and the Afghan
Independent Human Rights Commission, which will be tasked
with overseeing arrests, prosecutions, sentencing, victim
protection and education programs throughout the country.
3. (U) As of December 18, the Attorney General's Office
reported 255 arrests of kidnappers/human traffickers in
eleven provinces across the country this year, with the vast
majority coming from Kabul. Out of those arrested, 56 people
were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to five years
each. Investigations continued in 110 of the cases. During
the year, the ANP staffed a police station in Kabul with a
special liaison, who also reports to the Ministry of
Interior,s (MoI) child protection division, to deal with
kidnapping and trafficking in persons cases. Four more MoI
liaison officers will be dispatched to provinces by early
2008. Earlier this year, the MoI rehabilitated approximately
80 trafficked children and reunited them with their families.
In December 2007, the ANP arrested 20 people in Baghlan
province, who were attempting to traffic another group of 80
children to Saudi Arabia to work as servants.

But Challenges Remain
=====================

4. (SBU) 30 years of war have destroyed or seriously
debilitated most of Afghanistan,s governmental and civil
institutions, especially those instrumental in combating
trafficking and caring for victims. Prosecuting the
counter-insurgency campaign consumes leadership attention and
preoccupies the police, who are already overstretched
attempting to meet the civil security needs of a country the
size of Texas. As of mid-December, more than 1000 police
officers, out of an estimated force of 50,000, have been
killed, most by insurgents. Police often serve at isolated,
vulnerable checkpoints or border posts. In Kandahar this
November, suspected Taliban tortured five ANP to death and
left their bodies hanging from trees. Also in November,
suspected Taliban beheaded seven police in uniform and left
their corpses by the side of the road in Zabul province.

5. (SBU) We continue to engage ministries with
anti-trafficking responsibilities at senior levels.
Ministerial interlocutors are uniformly responsive. The
Ministry of Justice eagerly provides data on arrests and
prosecutions of traffickers. We will monitor the progress of
the anti-trafficking legislation through parliament and press
for its rapid and full implementation. We will continue to
support NGOs active in the fight against trafficking,
especially the International Organization for Migration and
its anti-trafficking training programs for police and
prosecutors.

WOOD

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