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Cablegate: Gdrc Taking Strides to Address Tip Issues

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PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0787/01 2670652
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230652Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8469
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 000787

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SMIG PHUM PGOV PREL KTIP KCRM KWMN CG
SUBJECT: GDRC TAKING STRIDES TO ADDRESS TIP ISSUES

1. (SBU) Summary: The GDRC has recently taken positive steps to
address trafficking in persons. It has made some progress in
addressing the problems of child soldiering and children working in
the mining sector. NGO groups, however, have highlighted a
troubling trend throughout the DRC of growing child prostitution.
Despite resource and capacity constraints, the GDRC is increasingly
demonstrating a political will, albeit timorously, to combat
trafficking in persons. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The GDRC has recently made positive strides to address
trafficking in persons (TIP) issues. PolOff and visiting G/TIP
Analyst met September 2-11 with DRC national and provincial
government officials, NGOs, and international organizations in
Kinshasa, Goma, and Lubumbashi to inquire about the current
trafficking situation and to gauge governmental efforts to address
TIP issues. The most challenging TIP problems in the DRC center
around children: child soldiers, children working in mines, and
children working in prostitution.

Child Soldiers
--------------

3. (SBU) Ntumba Luaba, the Director of the National Disarmament,
Demobilization, and Reinsertion Program (UE-PNDDR) told us that his
agency had launched a national awareness campaign of zero tolerance
for child soldiers earlier in the year. He estimated that as many
as 6,000 children remain involved with armed groups in the DRC.
Luaba said that his office works intensively with MONUC, UNICEF, and
Save the Children in efforts to extricate children from armed
groups. As recently as August 28, Luaba's office helped remove 20
children from armed groups in North Kivu.

4. (SBU) The Director of MONUC's Disarmament, Demobilization,
Repatriation, Resettlement, and Reintegration (DDRRR) program in
Goma, Ntiaga Diagne, told us that MONUC works closely with the DRC
national and provincial governments to raise awareness against the
recruitment of child soldiers. Diagne opined that children comprise
up to 10% of the ranks of rebel armed groups. He noted that the
GDRC often took the initiative to raise awareness themselves, while
MONUC assisted GDRC efforts by providing support and guidance.

Children Working in Mines
-------------------------

5. (SBU) Representatives from the NGOs Save the Children and
Solidarity Center in Kinshasa, Goma, and Lubumbashi told us that
they coordinate closely with provincial ministries of education in
Mbuji Mayi, Bunia, and Lubumbashi to implement projects aiming to
reinsert children working in the mines into the formal educational
system. The project targets 12,000 children, 4,000 of whom are in
the mining area of Kolwezi, Katanga. The provincial ministries of
education assist in promoting the construction of new schools and
increasing the capacity of existing schools in order to absorb the
additional children. They also facilitate, through funding of Save
the Children and Solidarity Center, the training of new and existing
teachers.

6. (SBU) The Katangan Minister of Mines, Barthelemy Mumba, informed
us that the provincial government had recently designated six
artisanal mining sites throughout Katanga. The provincial
government is currently raising public awareness and encouraging
miners to move to those sites to improve monitoring of artisanal
mining. The goal is to better enforce labor standards and prevent
the employment of children in mines. (Note: Only one out of the six
designated mining sites is currently active. End Note)

Children Working in Prostitution
--------------------------------

7. (SBU) According to several NGOs, government officials, and
international organizations, child prostitution is a growing problem
not only in Kinshasa, but in Goma, Lubumbashi, and throughout the
DRC. The phenomenon is especially acute in communities with large
numbers of IDPs, where families and displaced children do not have
adequate sources of income. Girls often fall into very vulnerable
situations where they are either encouraged by their families to
work or protective mother figures "take them in," persuading or
forcing the girls to work as prostitutes. Although no one has
accurate data, some organizations fear that several thousand
children could be working as prostitutes.

Federal and Provincial Government Efforts
-----------------------------------------


KINSHASA 00000787 002 OF 002


8. (SBU) The Katangan Minister of Interior informed us that the
Katangan Provincial Government has created a center for vulnerable
children. The center primarily helps street children in Lubumbashi.
The center receives technical assistance from NGOs, but the
provincial government provides all of the financing.

9. (SBU) The Katangan Minister of Social Affairs, Therese Lukenge,
described a provincial program, which allocates $25,000 per month to
each territory in the province to improve social service
infrastructure, such as the creation of new schools and health
centers. This program began in August 2008 and aims to prevent the
migration of vulnerable populations to larger cities and to mining
regions.

10. (SBU) According to Jean-Luc Mutondo, Chief of Staff to the
national Minister of Gender, Women, and Children, versions of the
new Child Protection Code, which includes anti-trafficking measures,
have already passed the National Assembly and Senate. The bills are
currently awaiting harmonization in the Joint Committee before a
draft law will be presented to President Kabila for promulgation.

11. (SBU) Comment: The GDRC and provincial governments have
recently demonstrated a new commitment to address trafficking
issues. The GDRC faces an array of challenges in its efforts to
combat TIP: serious capacity deficiencies; lack of budgetary
resources; and infrastructural and geographical constraints
preventing effective prevention, treatment, and law enforcement
aspects of anti-TIP efforts. Nevertheless, there appears to be a
growing political will to dedicate more resources and attention to
this problem. End Comment.

GARVELINK

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