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Cablegate: Russia: Tip Tier 2 Watch List Action Plan

DE RUEHC #7951/01 2642216
P 212156Z SEP 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. 2008 STATE 132759
B. 2007 STATE 150188
C. 2009 STATE 005577
D. 2009 STATE 62182

1. This is an action request (see paras 2-4).

2. Begin action request: Drawing from points in para 8,
Post is requested to approach appropriate host government
officials to highlight the United States' strong commitment
to continue to work with the Government of Russia to help
strengthen its efforts to combat and prevent trafficking in
persons (TIP) and to assist victims. Post is requested to
convey the recommendations in para 9 as a non-paper and draw
from the talking points in para 8 to explain to the host
government the need for prompt action on the first set of
recommendations for a positive review in the interim
assessment that the Department will release to Congress by
February 2010 and for movement out of the Tier 2 Watch List
in next year's Report. Additional recommendations are also
included in para 9 to aid the host government in making
progress in its overall anti-TIP efforts. The notes
indicated in brackets in the action plan are for post,s
background only and may be omitted from the non-paper. The
&Implementation Guidelines8 referenced in the action plan
notes are contained in reftel B. These guidelines provide
guidance to posts on how the Minimum Standards of the
Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as amended, (TVPA) are
implemented, and have been cleared by regional bureaus.

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3. Action request continued: Post is further requested to
emphasize to the Government of Russia that the first set of
recommendations is designed to help remedy the specific
shortcomings identified in the 2009 TIP Report that resulted
in the placement of Russia on the Tier 2 Watch List. These
recommendations are often referred to as "high-priority"
items for Tier 2 Watch List removal. However, sustained and
significant anti-trafficking efforts by the government
throughout the year will remain the basis for determining
next year's tier placement. The interim assessment for
Special Watch List countries (to include Tier 2 Watch List
countries) will provide a progress report regarding the
government's actions to address the short list
recommendations designed to address the concerns that
resulted in the country's placement on the Tier 2 Watch List
in the 2009 TIP Report (high-priority items), but there will
be no changes in tier ratings at that time. We will
reconsider the government's tier placement when we conduct
our annual full assessment for the March 2009-2010 reporting
period next spring.

4. Action request continued: The Department recognizes that
Post may choose to use this opportunity to provide additional
recommendations, beyond the recommendations for moving out of
the Tier 2 Watch List. In such a case, we request that Post
make clear to the government which are the "high-priority"
items to move off of the Tier 2 Watch List. The non-paper in
para 9 includes both "high-priority" recommendations for Tier
2 Watch List removal and further-reaching goals for
longer-term success in combating trafficking in persons in
all 3 P areas: Prosecution, Protection, and Prevention. (For
posts, background information: G/TIP will be asking for
posts to report on the country's progress in meeting these
recommendations by no later than November 15, 2009, in order
to compile narratives for the interim assessment.)

5. In preparation for the interim assessment and 2010 TIP
Report, the Department is asking posts to work with host
governments throughout the year to collect as many statistics
as possible on law enforcement actions and judicial
proceedings related to TIP crimes. Specifically the
Department requests data on investigations, prosecutions,
convictions, and sentences (e.g., fines, probation, length of
prison sentences imposed, asset seizure information when
available). Whether a government collects and provides this
data consistent with the government's capacity to obtain such
data is considered in determining whether the government
qualifies for Tier 1. Law enforcement statistics, when
available, are a good way of highlighting how well a
government enforced its law and demonstrates strengths and
weaknesses in various approaches. Please note that posts
must interpret data terms provided by host governments such
as indictments, charges, cases disposed, cases submitted for
prosecution, etc., to ensure that they fit into one of the

STATE 00097951 002 OF 004

following categories: investigations, prosecutions,
convictions or sentences.

The Department cannot accept "trafficking-related" law
enforcement statistics (e.g. statistics on prostitution or
smuggling offenses) because their direct correlation to
trafficking crimes is not clear. The Department will accept
only law enforcement data that fall into the following
categories: (1) investigations, prosecutions, convictions,
and sentences for offenses that are explicitly defined as
trafficking; and (2) investigations, prosecutions,
convictions, and sentences for offenses that are not defined
explicitly as trafficking but in which the competent law
enforcement or judicial authority has specific evidence
indicating that the defendant was involved in trafficking.

6. The Department is also asking Posts to engage with host
governments on efforts to address amendments made by the 2008
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).
As indicated in reftel C, the TVPRA of 2008 contains a
provision requiring that a country that has been included on
Tier 2 Watch List for two consecutive years after the date of
enactment of the TVPRA of 2008 be ranked as Tier 3. Thus,
any automatic downgrade to Tier 3 pursuant to this provision
would take place, at the earliest, in the 2011 TIP Report
(i.e., a country would have to be ranked Tier 2 Watch List in
the 2009 and 2010 Reports before being subject to Tier 3 in
the 2011 Report). The new law allows for a waiver of this
provision for up to two additional years upon a determination
by the President that the country has developed and devoted
sufficient resources to a written plan to make significant
efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum

7. Please keep in mind the TIP Report measures host
government efforts. In order for anti-trafficking activities
financed or conducted principally by parties outside the
government to be considered for tier placement purposes, Post
needs to demonstrate a concrete role or tangible value-added
by a host government in such activities carried out by NGOs,
international organizations, or posts.

8. (U) Background Points:

Begin talking points:

-- The Obama Administration views the fight against human
trafficking, both at home and abroad, as a critical piece of
our foreign policy agenda. We are committed to making
progress on this issue in the months ahead by working closely
with partners in every country.

-- The U.S. Government's Trafficking Victims Protection Act
requires the State Department to submit an annual report to
Congress on the status of foreign governments, efforts to
combat trafficking in persons. Pursuant to the Trafficking
Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003 (TVPRA), the
Department created a special category for Tier 2 countries
that do not show increasing efforts from the previous year,
have a significant number of victims, or whose Tier 2 rating
is based on commitments to take additional steps over the
next year.

-- Also as mandated by the TVPRA, by February 2010 the
Department will submit to Congress an interim assessment. At
the end of 2009 in preparation for that submission, the
Department will conduct an assessment of Tier 2 Watch List
countries' progress in responding to the specific issues of
concern that resulted in the Tier 2 Watch List rating.

-- Russia was placed on Tier 2 Watch List in this year's
report because of a lack of evidence the Russian government
increased efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in
persons in the last year.

-- We are leaving with you a non-paper which outlines
recommended actions the Russian government can take to
address specific issues highlighted in the 2009 Trafficking
in Persons Report published by the Department of State. We
believe these recommendations are actionable and by paying
prompt attention to them, may result in a positive interim
assessment. New tier evaluations will not occur at the
interim assessment; however, we will reconsider tier
placements when we conduct our annual full assessment for the
2009-2010 reporting period next spring. Prompt, appropriate,
and significant actions will lead to a more favorable tier
placement; conversely, failure to address the issues
mentioned above may lead to a Tier 3 placement.

STATE 00097951 003 OF 004

-- We want to work together and welcome the Government of
Russia,s comments on these recommendations and any other
ideas you might have to advance our common struggle against
trafficking in persons. We are also interested in your
government,s ideas of how we can strengthen cooperation on
this front and exchange best practices.

-- In addition to current efforts by the Russian Federation
to combat trafficking in persons, we leave you with this
non-paper which addresses further steps to combat trafficking
in persons.

End talking points.

9. (SBU) Begin Action Plan:

A. Action Plan for the Short-Term: The following are
recommended measures for a positive interim assessment in
January 2010 and in the broader assessment of government
efforts during the reporting period:

--Increase funding to anti-trafficking NGOs that provide
victim assistance and rehabilitative care.

--Increase the number of investigations, prosecutions, and
convictions for trafficking offenses, particularly government
officials complicit in trafficking and ensure convicted
traffickers and complicit officials are sentenced to some
time in prison. Provide updated information on the status of
government complicity cases initiated in 2007 and 2008.

--Create a central repository for investigation, prosecution,
conviction, and sentencing data for trafficking cases
demonstrating the government,s increasing effort to
vigorously investigate and prosecute, and convict and
sentence traffickers; for all investigations, prosecutions,
and convictions conducted under Article 127 of the criminal
code, as amended in 2008, disaggregate cases involving force,
fraud, or coercion from cases not involving force, fraud, or

--Increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and
punish labor trafficking offenses.

--Develop a comprehensive national strategy that addresses
all forms of trafficking and provides comprehensive victim
assistance throughout Russia, establish an official federal
coordinating body with the authority to implement the
national strategy, and provide funding to implement this
national strategy. Designate trafficking-specific
responsibilities to relevant government ministries on the
national and regional levels.

B. Other areas the government should consider for action to
boost its overall anti-trafficking efforts:


--Use asset forfeiture legislation adopted in 2006 to divest
human traffickers of their assets derived from, and used to,
facilitate human trafficking.

--Continue efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict
military officials involved in the unlawful forced labor of
young conscripts. Ensure military officials convicted of
forced labor are sentenced to time in prison, where

--Provide necessary funding to assist local law enforcement
to fully implement and adhere to the witness protection
legislation passed in 2005.


--Continue to train law enforcement officials in victim
identification and sensitivity training. Training should
address the safe treatment of trafficking victims and the
need for after-care and rehabilitative services.

--Consider allocating funding to the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs,s budget specifically to assist in the repatriation
of Russian victims. Track and report the number of Russian
victims repatriated and assisted by the government.

--Consider passing regulations that permit assets seized from
convicted traffickers to be allocated to programs that assist
and protect victims of trafficking.

STATE 00097951 004 OF 004

--Increase the use of the witness protection program, where
appropriate, to shelter and protect qualifying Russian and
foreign victims and track the number of trafficking victims
this program assists during the reporting period (April 2009
through March 2010). Police should work with NGOs where
appropriate to ensure that victims in the witness protection
program receive appropriate care and assistance.


--Continue efforts to raise public awareness of both sex and
labor trafficking.

--Work with NGOs to conduct targeted public awareness
campaigns directed at potential victims, particularly
regarding recruitment scams inherent in employment and
marriage ads in Russia. Public awareness campaigns should
articulate that victims are not at fault when they are
trafficked and that victims should seek assistance.

--Include anti-trafficking elements in corruption training
for police and other law enforcement personnel, including
lower and higher level ranked officers.

--Include anti-trafficking training within existing military
reform and training programs for military officers to reduce
instances of Russian conscripts becoming victims of forced

--Continue to take steps to prevent the use of forced labor
in construction projects for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

End non-paper.

10. The Department thanks post for its continued efforts
to address trafficking in persons issues.

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