Cablegate: Mps Discusses China's Anti-Trafficking Strategy

DE RUEHBJ #2594/01 2530938
O 100938Z SEP 09




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary: China continues to develop its
prosecutorial and administrative abilities to counter
trafficking in persons (TIP) and recognizes the importance of
properly taking care of trafficking victims, the Ministry of
Public Security (MPS) Official responsible for TIP issues
emphasized in an August 28 meeting with PolOff.
Acknowledging the Chinese government has yet to fully
implement its National Plan of Action law to combat human
trafficking, the official stressed that standardizing China's
anti-trafficking policies and ensuring local officials'
actual practices are in line with those policies takes time.
Our source maintained that China is cooperating closely with
international organizations to strengthen its ability to
protect, and provide services to, rescued trafficking victims
and would welcome increased cooperation with U.S. law
enforcement agencies to investigate and solve human
trafficking cases. End Summary.

China Takes Human Trafficking Seriously

2. (SBU) In an August 28 meeting with PolOff, Ministry of
Public Security (MPS) Director of the Office to Combat Human
Trafficking Chen Shiqu emphasized the high level of attention
the Chinese government placed on fighting the transnational
crime of trafficking in persons (TIP). Chen assured PolOff
that China over the past few years had stepped up cooperation
with Mekong region countries and international organizations
to strengthen China's anti-trafficking strategy, leading to
passage of the 2008 National Plan of Action (NPA) law to
combat TIP. China continued to develop its prosecutorial and
administrative abilities to counter TIP and recognized the
importance of properly taking care of trafficking victims, he

Bureaucracy Hindering Rapid NPA Implementation
--------------------------------------------- -

3. (SBU) Acknowledging the Chinese government had yet to
fully implement the NPA, Director Chen stressed that China's
size, the scope of its trafficking problem, and the
complexity of Chinese bureaucracy necessitated the PRC take
an "appropriate" period of time to clearly delineate NPA
responsibilities throughout the government system and ensure
correct implementation procedures were in place. MPS earlier
this year issued NPA implementation guidelines that clarified
roles and responsibilities for relevant government agencies
and "instructed them to do their part." In March, China's
Supreme Court issued NPA implementation instructions to
prosecutors. Director Chen's four-person office was
responsible for coordinating the anti-trafficking activities
of 29 government ministries, bureaus and departments, the
majority of which have little-to-no prior experience in
anti-trafficking work, he lamented. "Harmonizing" China's
bureaucratic response to trafficking and making sure
officials took the correct action took time, Chen argued,
pointing to a myriad of ministerial- and department-level
"coordination meetings" held in the last year on China's
anti-trafficking laws and procedures.

4. (SBU) Director Chen told PolOff of several instances in
2008 and 2009 involving high-level government officials or
offices issuing orders for all ministries to "seriously
implement" the NPA, as well as the publication of new
standards issued to local governments to help guide them in
implementing and assessing the performance of provincial
action plans to combat human trafficking. While Chen's
office oversaw the overall policy direction of China's
anti-trafficking work, he repeatedly stressed its primary
focus was to ensure that local governments and local public
security bureaus "sincerely and effectively" carried out
anti-trafficking work as outlined in the NPA. In particular,
this meant strengthening local governments' anti-trafficking
work and instructing local police to change the way they
address trafficking cases.

5. (SBU) Chen would not directly speak to media and
non-governmental organization reports of the central
government's difficulty in ensuring provincial governments
and local security bureaus carried out central government
anti-trafficking directives. He asserted, however, that
funding for most anti-trafficking work should come from the
local governments, rather than the central government.
(Note: Embassy contacts indicate that provinces with high

BEIJING 00002594 002 OF 003

instances of human trafficking are usually more advanced in
developing and implementing provincial action plans, while
other provinces are more likely to merely copy the central
government's plan without considering provincial-specific
anti-trafficking needs or proactively implementing
anti-trafficking measures.)

Institutionalizing Anti-Trafficking Special Campaigns
--------------------------------------------- --------

6. (SBU) Institutionalizing the anti-trafficking mechanisms
employed during the "Sixth Special Campaign to Combat
Trafficking of Women and Children" would be Director Chen's
focus once the campaign ended in December, he said. The
sixth campaign's primary objective was to ensure that local
public security bureaus knew how to handle TIP cases. While
the special campaigns were effective in commanding central
government attention and resources, substantially fighting
China's trafficking problem required a long-term,
institutionalized approach, Chen acknowledged. "In order to
prolong the effects of the special campaign," Chen noted, "we
have to take what we have learned and the procedures we have
developed to combat trafficking and make it a part of routine
policy work." This meant changing China's local security
bureaus' fundamental approach to anti-trafficking work, he

7. (SBU) The anti-trafficking campaign had introduced three
procedures to improve police work. First, the campaign had
changed prior practice under which police did not classify a
missing person case as a crime and typically would wait 24
hours after a person was reported missing before conducting
an investigation. Now, local and central government security
organs had to treat missing persons as a criminal
investigation, and the local security bureaus were required
to immediately start investigation procedures. Second, MPS
had established China's first DNA bank and database to
genetically link trafficked or abducted persons -- typically
children -- with family members. DNA of rescued children or
children suspected of being trafficked could now be matched
with samples collected from family members of abducted
children free of charge. In early August, the first child to
be reunited with family through the DNA bank had returned
home to Yunnan Province after 10 years' absence. Lastly, MPS
had established a "Most Wanted" list for traffickers, issuing
Class A warrants for their arrest, which effectively boosted
prosecution efforts. By August, according to MPS data,
security forces had nabbed 15 of 20 of China's most heinous
traffickers. Chen explained that once one trafficker was
caught, another trafficker was added to the Most Wanted list.

8. (SBU) According to Chen, from April to mid-August, MPS
through its special campaign had solved 1,214 female
trafficking and 1,174 abducted children cases, resulting in
the rescue of 2,291 women and 1,460 children. During that
same time period, MPS had cracked down on 574 criminal
organizations or rings involved in TIP and had effectively
used the DNA data bank in 64 investigative cases. In August,
a month-long anti-trafficking campaign in train stations in
the south of China led to the rescue of more than 800
trafficking victims. Since trains and buses were the
cheapest modes of transport in China, they were heavily used
by traffickers to transport their victims, Chen remarked.

Problems Persist

9. (SBU) Embassy contacts referencing media reports of local
security officials ignoring requests to investigate
trafficking or missing person cases point out that a change
in security officials' attitude is unlikely absent
significant reform of cadre promotion criteria. Partially in
response to this criticism, the Central Administration
Committee on Comprehensive Public Security in 2008 set
"anti-trafficking" as one of the indicators to evaluate
cadres' performance. Security officials unable to make
efforts on anti-trafficking were disciplined or demoted,
"according to committee rules," Director Chen said. Despite
this change, and perhaps because local security officials'
performance are primarily rated by the number of cases solved
and not the number of cases opened, the difficulty in solving
trafficking or missing person cases almost certainly
influences security officials' decision whether to take on a
case, Embassy NGO contacts have argued.

BEIJING 00002594 003 OF 003

10. (SBU) Director Chen refused to comment on media reports
of corrupt local officials' or security bureaus' possible
complicity in the lucrative trafficking trade, asserting that
Chinese criminal law stipulated that whoever impeded law
enforcement efforts to rescue trafficked victims would be
punished with sentences ranging from 5 years' imprisonment to
the death penalty.

Protecting Trafficking Victims

11. (SBU) Turning to the protection of TIP victims, Director
Chen explained that China was cooperating closely with
international organizations, such as the United Nations
Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, the International
Organization for Migration (IOM), and the International Labor
Organization, to strengthen its ability to provide services
to rescued victims of trafficking. Stressing the need for
various Chinese ministries, such as the Ministry of Civil
Affairs, to better understand how to effectively organize to
assist trafficking victims, Chen expressed appreciation for
USG funding of IOM's project to train Chinese government and
non-government entities on best practices in providing
services to trafficking victims.

China Asks for Help

12. (SBU) Turning to China's partnering with other countries
to combat human trafficking, Director Chen asked whether the
United States would be willing to work more closely with
China. Chen raised China's collaboration with the Australian
government to shutter illicit Chinese labor recruitment
agencies known for trafficking Chinese persons to Australia
as an example of China's willingness to work with other
countries to combat trafficking. Director Chen stressed the
Chinese government also wanted to cooperate with U.S. law
enforcement agencies to investigate and solve TIP cases. In
particular, China would welcome any information the U.S. law
enforcement community could provide on Chinese nationals
trafficked abroad or on pedophiles seeking entrance to China.
Chen stated that MPS had noted the Secretary's call for a
partnership to combat trafficking and welcomed the inclusion
of a report on the United States in the next USG TIP report.

13. (SBU) Noting that the USG funded training opportunities
for MPS officials attending International Law Enforcement
Academy courses in Bangkok, Thailand, as well as the State
Department's acceptance of his subordinate, Yin Jianzhong, to
attend the October 2009 MRP Trafficking in Persons course,
Director Chen underscored China's appreciation for these
training opportunities. Stressing the importance of these
training opportunities to increasing the capability of MPS
officers in handling domestic as well as transnational TIP
cases, Chen made clear China would welcome any increase in
training to combat human trafficking. Such training was
essential to boosting the local security bureaus' ability to
carry out NPA responsibilities, Chen added.

14. (SBU) China continued to have a particular problem with
the abduction of children, most for illegal, in-country
adoption, but some into exploitative labor or sex industry
situations, Director Chen observed. He affirmed China's
position that abducted children for these purposes were
considered trafficking victims. Development of China's
strategy to prevent and combat child abduction, recover
abducted children, and return them to their families was
still in its early stages, he added. Director Chen asked for
information on how the U.S. law enforcement community was
organized to respond to child abduction cases, and what
particular procedures or best practices were used by U.S. law
enforcement personnel.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>

UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>

Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>