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Cablegate: Libya: Interim Tip Assessment

VZCZCXRO9334
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0911 3201552
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 161552Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5473
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0970
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0914
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1524
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 0853
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 6022

UNCLAS TRIPOLI 000911

SENSITIVE SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG, NEA/RA, AND G/TIP E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KTIP KCRM KWMN PHUM PGOV PREL SMIG LY

SUBJECT: LIBYA: INTERIM TIP ASSESSMENT REF: STATE 112489

1.(SBU) According to international organizations working in Libya on TIP-related programs, Libya is primarily a transit country for TIP victims. Libya currently has no legal or regulatory framework to separate victims of trafficking from the general migrant population. However, the GOL has taken steps, largely through its work with international organizations, to review the current law to include provisions specifically related to criminalizing all forms of trafficking. A joint program recently conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Libyan Ministry of Justice (MOJ) included an assessment of the current Libyan legal framework as it relates to irregular migration and TIP in particular. At the end of the program in October 2009, the Libyan participants -- a collection of 60 judges and prosecutors -- produced recommendations to amend national legislation in order to strengthen prosecution sanctions for traffickers and smugglers, as well as to include protection and assistance measures for both trafficked victims and smuggled migrants. The IOM, pending renewed assistance from the Libyan, US, and EU governments, plans to continue its cooperation with the MOJ, with the goal of supporting the actual implementation of a new article in the Libyan criminal code.

2.(SBU) During the last year, the GOL has made significant advances in its efforts to combat TIP, to punish human traffickers and smugglers, and to address the needs of TIP victims. The Ministries of Justice and Internal Security have made concerted efforts to respond to and prosecute human traffickers, drawing on elements of Libya's existing criminal code. International organizations note that the GOL views TIP largely as a security issue and has focused on prosecuting traffickers rather than responding to victims. Libya has expanded its support for TIP-related training and awareness-building programs for law enforcement officials, judges, and prosecutors. During the year, in cooperation with the IOM, the Libyan Ministry of Justice supported the training of judges and prosecutors from throughout Libya for the purpose of raising awareness on the main features and characteristics of TIP as a phenomenon distinct from other forms of migration. International organizations report that individual officials are receptive and eager for new information and training, but that Libya lacks an institutional or cultural awareness of trafficking. The IOM cooperation is designed to build capacity within the Libyan Ministries of Justice and Interior and to encourage better communication between those two bodies in order to improve the GOL's ability to respond to TIP.

3.(SBU) The GOL has also supported the cooperative work of international organizations with quasi-governmental organizations, such as the World Islamic Call Society (WICS), to provide religious counsel, and medical, legal and psychological support to victims of trafficking. The GOL continues to allow outside groups (international and quasi-governmental associations) to provide targeted assistance for migrants -- including victims of trafficking -- held in detention. GOL officials allow international organizations to have informal access to victims of trafficking held in detention on a case-by-case basis, and to provide some protective services to those individuals.

4.(SBU) GOL officials have expressed support for awareness-raising programs through the media and quasi-governmental organizations. The programs would be designed to enlighten the migrant population about the risks linked to irregular migration and underline the inhumane means and methods of criminal organizations involved in this activity.

5.(SBU) Continued training is necessary to ensure that both effective and systematic identification procedures of TIP victims are developed and that protective services can be offered on a regular basis. Individual Libyan officials and members of Libyan quasi-governmental organizations have expressed interest in receiving more TIP-related training. The GOL has been supportive of US and EU assistance on such programs and has indicated a willingness to continue its active engagement in this area. CRETZ

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