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Cablegate: Egypt Trains Police On Protecting Trafficking

VZCZCXRO0435
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #1967 2880813
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 150813Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3897
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 001967

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/15/2029
TAGS: KTIP PHUM PREL PGOV EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT TRAINS POLICE ON PROTECTING TRAFFICKING
VICTIMS

REF: SECSTATE 89055

Classified By: Economic-Political Minister-Counselor Donald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (d).
1. (SBU) On October 11, Poloff attended the opening ceremony of an International Organization for Migration (IOM) training program for Egyptian law enforcement officials on "Protecting Victims of Trafficking and Investigating Traffickers." The two-week program, conducted under the auspices of Egypt's State Security Investigations Service (SSIS), aims to educate 25 senior and mid-level SSIS and border security officers (as well as two visiting Lebanese police officials) on trafficking enforcement issues, with a focus on the identification, protection and support of trafficking victims. The program, financed by the Australian Government, follows a similar program in 2008 financed by the USG.

2. (C) SSIS General Hisham Abdel Hamid opened the program by stressing the importance the GoE places on combating trafficking in persons - which he described as both a moral and security issue. Abdel Hamid highlighted First Lady Suzanne Mubarak's personal involvement in Egypt's efforts and also reminded participants that the issue of trafficking is harming Egypt's international reputation.

3. (C) Comment: Egypt's SSIS, the country's lead internal security organization, is not considered a progressive arm of the GoE. We find it notable that SSIS is taking so prominent a role in Egypt's counter-trafficking efforts. SSIS' involvement, along with Egypt Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit's comments during his September 26th address to the U.N. General Assembly on the importance Egypt attaches to combating trafficking, suggest the degree to which the GoE, probably influenced by Suzanne Mubarak's advocacy, is now seized with the issue. Scobey

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