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Cablegate: Bahrain Seeks Iom's Assistance to Combat Tip

VZCZCXRO5008
PP RUEHWEB
DE RUEHMK #0492/01 2060620
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 240620Z JUL 08 ZUI RUEHZC #2834 2060936
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8009
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0252
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAMA 000492

SIPDIS

STATE FOR G/TIP
BAGHDAD FOR AMBASSADOR ERELI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2018
TAGS: KCRM KWMN ASEC PHUM BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAIN SEEKS IOM'S ASSISTANCE TO COMBAT TIP

REF: A. MANAMA 165 B. MANAMA 320 C. MANAMA 363 D. MANAMA 486 Classified By: CDA Christopher Henzel for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1.(C) Summary: The GOB asked the International Organization for Migration to conduct a two-day legal seminar on Bahrain's new Anti-Trafficking in Persons law (ref B). The seminar was paid for by the GOB. The USG is also funding IOM programming here. The GOB asked IOM to help organize two upcoming conferences addressing trafficking in persons and migrant labor issues. -------- Training --------

2.(U) Bahrain's Ministry of Interior approached International Organization for Migration (IOM) country director Sura Lori in April and requested training for senior GOB officials on the new anti-trafficking in persons (TIP) law (ref B). Dr. Mohammed Mattar, a research professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and the executive director of The Protection Project, conducted the seminar July 16 and 17 at the Royal Police Academy. MOI paid all of Dr. Mattar's expenses and fees. MOI picked the attendees, who included senior officials from the police, the local UNDP mission, and the Ministries of Interior, Social Development (the government shelter), Foreign Affairs (legal directorate), and Information (tourism monitoring directorate). Chief of Public Security Major General Abdul Latif Al Zayani presided at the graduation ceremony. All local dailies and Bahrain TV reported on the training.

3.(C) Mattar told poloff that the training went well, and the new law is "very good," but implementation remained the primary challenge. Based on his conversations with the attendees, he recommended specific training for the Public Prosecution to facilitate its ability to prosecute violators of the law.

4.(C) Muhammad Shahidulhaque, IOM's Middle East regional representative, told poloff that he still believed that Bahrain leads the rest of the Gulf in combating TIP (ref A). Shahidulhaque said that Bahrain appears more committed, and therefore does a better job implementing anti-TIP laws and programs than the other Gulf countries. ------------- Future Events -------------

5. (SBU) Sheikha Sabika, King Hamad's wife, asked IOM to lead next November's Anti-TIP conference in Bahrain. According to Shahidulhaque, the GOB and the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement are working together to produce a conference that will be regionally-focused, rather than a follow-up to February's Anti-TIP conference in Vienna.

6. (SBU) Bahrain's Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) plans to host a small conference in October for experts in labor migration issues. The LMRA will invite specialists from sending and destination countries, and asked IOM to help organize the conference.

7. (SBU) Lori met with Mohammed Nass, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Information's Tourism Monitoring Directorate, on July 23. Nass, a former businessman, asked IOM to train directorate staff to combat trafficking by identifying trafficking victims in hotels and other attractions. According to Lori, Nass was very excited about combating TIP. (NOTE: The directorate will soon become an independent authority; a new tourism law is before parliament. The new information minister, Jihad Bukamal, hired Nass to replace a series of ineffectual government insiders. End Note.) -------------------------- IOM's G/TIP-funded Program --------------------------

8. (C) State/G/TIP is also funding IOM programming here. Shahidulhaque told poloff that IOM will seek a six month, MANAMA 00000492 002 OF 002 no-cost extension to its current grant from G/TIP. IOM has spent only USD 60,000 of its USD 200,000 grant. Lori said that printing leaflets is the biggest outstanding expense, and IOM is coordinating the design and information on the leaflets with the LMRA. Shahidulhaque said that he plans to expand the IOM office in Bahrain based on its success to date. IOM will also apply for a follow-on grant to address other challenges the GOB faces.

8.(C) Comment: General Zayani is an important figure in Bahrain. Not only is he the head of the national police, but he is a leading member of one of Bahrain's wealthiest merchant families. His appearance at the graduation was welcomed by TIP activists as an indication of GOB seriousness about the problem. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** HENZEL

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