Cablegate: Monitoring of 2009 G/Tip Fund Granted To


DE RUEHLB #1250/01 3291618
R 251618Z NOV 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 112705

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On October 28, emboffs conducted a site
visit with G/TIP visitor Rachel Yousey to the Caritas Safe
House, which is part of the International Catholic Migration
Commission (ICMC) and Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center's
"Protection and Assistance for Victims of Trafficking"
USG-funded project. This review and evaluation of project
results was conducted in accordance with reftel. The Safe
House aims to provide protection and assistance to victims of
trafficking in Lebanon. Caritas has been diligent in
providing regular status updates to Post on their operations,
progress and future plans. End summary.


2. (SBU) During the site visit, emboffs discussed the project
with Caritas' Migrant Worker's Director Najla Chahda in
addition to social workers staying at the Safe House. At the
time of the visit, there were 27 domestic workers, two social
workers and a nun living at the Safe House providing care and
counseling 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The Safe
House was well-kept and neat. According to residents who
spoke to emboffs, Caritas provides a safe, supportive and
caring environment. During one in-depth interview with a
resident, the victim explained that she had suffered severe
abuse, including large burns from an iron on the chest and
shoulders, and ears showing deformity from alleged beatings
with shoes and fists at the hands of her former employer.
She was suffering from both physical and emotional trauma
from the experience, and in addition to medical and
psychological care, Caritas is assisting the victim in her
legal proceedings.


3. (SBU) During the review period from May 1 through October
31, 2009, the Caritas Safe House rendered all services
specified for the project. Based on statistics provided by
Caritas and an audit of reports by emboffs, the Safe House
provided 38 individuals with shelter, counseling and other
services during the period. A total of 73 referrals were
received from various sources, including Surete Generale
(SG), Internal Security Forces (ISF), recruitment agencies,
and the help hotline, as well as other embassies, consulates
and NGOs. Of these cases, 36 clients received medical
assistance. Through other telephone contacts and referrals,
126 individuals benefited from legal assistance and
counseling. Repatriation assistance was provided to 33
individuals, with employers paying in 27 cases, Caritas
paying in five cases, and the family of the beneficiary
paying in one case.

4. (SBU) Another objective specified for the project during
the rating period included the implementation of training
programs designed to strengthen reception and detention
capacities. The programs included various instructional
sessions, formal workshops and training materials for select
ISF and SG personnel. A study visit to the Czech Republic
was conducted for six SG officers from July 20 to 24. Their
activities and training included sessions at the Refugee
Facilities Administration, Department of Asylum and
Migration, Ministry of Interior, the reception center at
Prague Ruzyne Airport and two detention centers. The
training included review and demonstration of the procedures
and best practices, as well as the roles and
responsibilities, of each organization.

5. (SBU) The Caritas Safe House and ICMC have adequately
accomplished all objectives during the review period.
Satisfaction with the Safe House services was rated as very
high or excellent by clients as well as by referring
organizations, such as SG and ISF. During the rating period,
Caritas reported encountering some obstacles, which were
ultimately overcome. One example was that personnel changes
in SG at the "retention center" resulted in appointment of a
new commander at the facility who was not supportive -- or
even obstructive -- of Caritas' presence and projects in the
retention center. Nonetheless, Caritas succeeded in
providing victims' services and advocating for detainees.
Due to the organization's persistence and standards of
professionalism, Caritas successfully appealed to higher SG
authorities to include the recalcitrant commander in two
training programs designed to sensitize him (and adjust his
bureaucratic policies) on migrant and victims' issues. When
emboffs met with the retention center commander on October
27, he mentioned the positive influence of the training on
his policies and his new appreciation for the challenges in
dealing with victims of trafficking.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: Caritas' broad knowledge in the field of
trafficking has enabled its staff to work very efficiently.
Additionally, Caritas has developed a good, cooperative
relationship with the Surete Generale and now maintains a
full-time office in the heart of the SG retention center.
Consequently, this cooperation helped facilitate the work of
the Caritas team and lead to better assistance and protection
of the victims of trafficking referred by the SG. The
sustainability of this project remains dependent on G/TIP's
expeditious and prompt funding mechanism. Caritas has been
granted approval for a 2009-2011 continuation of its Safe
House and counseling activities and we strongly encourage
this continued cooperation with Caritas. Based on our
experience and in situ observations, Caritas is a
cost-effective and trusted steward of these project funds.

© Scoop Media

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