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Cablegate: Drc 2009 Tip Interim Assessment Report

VZCZCXRO7252
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1032 3281546
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241546Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0321
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001032

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT G/TIP, AF/RSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SMIG KTIP KWMN CG
SUBJECT: DRC 2009 TIP INTERIM ASSESSMENT REPORT

REF: A. STATE 112432
B. KINSHASA 977

1. (SBU) Since the June 2009 Trafficking in Persons (TIP)
report, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(GDRC) has made progress in the development of strategies and
legislation, but there is still significant work needed in
the area of enforcement. The GDRC shows a growing political
will to address trafficking problems, but is hindered by a
continual lack of financial and personnel resources.

2. (SBU) In regards to prosecuting traffickers, particularly
those who conscript child soldiers, utilize forced labor or
control children in prostitution, there has been little
momentum. During a recent visit by DRL Officer Tu Dang,
Ministry of Labor's Chief of Staff Henriette Minchiabu
confirmed that child labor does exist in mining sectors but
denies the existence of forced labor. Child labor has been
addressed through the labor code, children's law, penal code,
civil code and other laws but as of yet there is still a need
for a national plan to address child labor. There have been
programs implemented to combat child soldiers in the DRC
including a partnership between the Ministry of Labor,
Solidarity Center, and Save the Children. A tripartite
dialogue to address child labor has begun between the GDRC,
public and private unions, enterprises, and the ILO.

3. (SBU) The GDRC, along with assistance from MONUC and
international NGO's, has assisted with the demobilization of
2,000 children this year, according to MONUC Child
Protection. The children come from all the different
fighting factions, including approximately 40% from Mai Mai,
16% from FARDC, 10% from CNDP, 8% from FDLR, and 0.4% from
LRA. The FARDC high command is supportive of the efforts
by MONUC to remove the children. However, they have little
control in preventing the ground troops from recruiting child
soldiers. This is highlighted by the fact that nearly half of
the children demobilized this year had been recruited in the
early months of 2009. The GDRC has not agreed on UN Security
Council Resolution 1612 regarding a Plan of Action related to
child soldiers.

4. (SBU) Progress related to prosecution of those involved
in trafficking or other crimes is slow to non-existent.
Difficulty in tracking the cases is one contributing factor.
When a case does make it to trial, there is uneven
application of existing law resulting in sentences that are
below what the law requires. This is the case for sexually
based crimes. In addition, the summer firing of 100 judges
further impacted a judicial system that is lacking sufficient
numbers of magistrates overall, but particularly in rural
areas where many of the issues related to trafficking in
persons occur. A lack of proper investigations, evidence
gathering, and protection of witnesses provide further
challenges for the judicial system in prosecuting trafficking
crimes.

5. (SBU) The Ministry of Human Rights and Ministry of Gender
Affairs is very interested in an interministerial working
group to develop a national strategy on TIP as well as a
national campaign of sensitization using the media and other
public relations tools with the assistance of NGO's and the
international community. The group will be tasked with
developing an action plan to implement the recommendations.
Although the Child Protection Code passed in January,
implementation of the law is lacking and a budget is still
needed. In all sectors of the government there is a
recognition of the challenges and political will to move
toward change, but the lack of resources and will to
Qtoward change, but the lack of resources and will to
implement is a constant obstacle.
GARVELINK

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