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Cablegate: Mali: Tip Tier 2 Watch List Action Plan

VZCZCXYZ0005
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #4215 3110747
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051607Z NOV 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY BAMAKO IMMEDIATE 1294-1297

UNCLAS STATE 114215

SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDED SENSITIVE CAPTION)

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTIP PREL KCRM KWMN PHUM SMIG ML
SUBJECT: MALI: TIP TIER 2 WATCH LIST ACTION PLAN
(2009-2010)

REF: A. A. 2008 STATE 132759
B. B. 2007 STATE 150188
C. C. 2009 STATE 005577
D. D.
E. 2009 STATE 62182
1. (U) This is an action request (see paras 2-4).

2. (SBU) 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 Mali 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.

3. (SBU) Action request continued: Post is further
requested to emphasize to the Government of Mali 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 Mali 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. (SBU) 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. (SBU) 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 host
governments and embassies 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 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. (SBU) 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 standards.


7. (SBU) 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 very 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.

-- Mali was placed on Tier 2 Watch List in this year's Report
because of a lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat
severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year
(or other relevant criteria).

-- We offer the following recommended actions (Action Plan
for the Short-term) to tackle specific shortcomings
highlighted in the 2009 TIP Report. We believe these to be
within the reasonable ability of your government to fulfill
in the near-term and encourage you to take prompt action for
a positive narrative in the interim assessment. New tier
evaluations will not occur at the interim assessment. We
will reconsider a government,s tier placement 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.

-- We would welcome the Government of Mali,s comments on
these recommendations and any other ideas you might have to
advance our common struggle against trafficking in persons.

-- In addition to the short list of recommendations
corresponding to our concerns that resulted in your
government,s placement on the Tier 2 Watch List in the 2009
TIP Report, we offer additional suggestions of actions that
your government may choose to take (Action Plan for the Long
term). These further measures would be in addition to
Mali,s continuation of its current efforts to combat
trafficking in persons.

End talking points.

9. (SBU) Begin Action Plan for Mali:

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:

1. Increase efforts to prosecute and convict child
trafficking offenders by investigating areas of the
country where trafficking exists and investigating suspected
traffickers for the purpose of arrest and prosecution. For
example, in March 2008, officials arrested suspected
traffickers of 26 children to Mali from Guinea. In June, the
suspects were released pending trial, but as of
March 2009, no trial date had yet been set. Follow-up
on this and similar cases by moving forward with prosecutions
of suspects.

Progress on this item will be measured by increased reports
of trafficking prosecutions and convictions.

Take legal action against hereditary slavery. Currently, no
legislation criminalizing slavery exists in Mali, making
prosecution of slavery related cases difficult. Mali has,
however, ratified the 1981 African Human Rights Charter,
which prohibits slavery. In addition, existing statutes
regarding involuntary detention may be used in the
prosecution of such cases. Moreover, Criminal Code Article
242 prohibits individuals from entering into agreements or
contracts that deprive third parties of their liberty,
another law that could be used to prosecute slavery cases.
Anti-slavery activists have brought six slavery cases to the
attention of judicial officials, one of which is that of a
black Tamachek child taken from his parents in 2007 by an
individual claiming traditional ownership rights over the
child. The Government of Mali should take steps to apply
these slavery-related laws to prosecute the six cases brought
to courts by anti-slavery activists.

2. Increase efforts to rescue child trafficking victims
and individuals subjected to conditions of hereditary
slavery.

a. Investigate areas of the country where trafficking
exists and remove victims from exploitation. For
example, reports indicate that children are trafficked from
neighboring countries to work in Malian rice fields,
located in the zone of the Office du Niger. In
addition, children are also reportedly trafficked to Malian
gold mines, where they rub poisonous mercury into their
hands to separate gold from soil. Malian authorities should
make greater efforts to investigate reports of forced child
labor in these and similar cases.

b. Rescue individuals subjected to conditions of slavery.

Progress on this item will be measured by increased
investigations by Malian authorities into child
trafficking and hereditary slavery and increased rescues of
victims of these forms of exploitation.

II. Action Plan for the Long-Term: Other measures the
government should consider to boost its overall
anti-trafficking efforts:

Prosecution:

-- Draft and enact a law prohibiting the trafficking of
adults.

-- Draft and enact a law prohibiting traditional hereditary
slavery.

-- Develop a centralized crime database to record the number
of trafficking cases investigated and the number of suspected
traffickers arrested, prosecuted, and convicted in Mali. For
those convicted, the database should record the length of
sentences imposed.

-- Incorporate into the national law enforcement curricula a
course on trafficking. The course should cover techniques
for a) investigating trafficking cases; b) arresting
traffickers and collecting evidence for their prosecution; c)
rescuing victims and referring them for care; and d)
interviewing victims to obtain testimony for prosecution.

Protection:

-- Consider developing a trafficking victim database that
records the number of victims identified by police and
referred to NGOs for care. The database should, to the best
extent possible, record the type of trafficking the victim
experienced, the age and gender of the victim, and the place
of origin of the victim.

-- Increase efforts to interview rescued victims of
trafficking and traditional hereditary slavery in order to
collect evidence to prosecute their exploiters.

Prevention:

-- Reach out to the Government of Cote d,Ivoire to
collaborate to combat trafficking of Malian children to Cote
d,Ivoire,s cocoa sector. In 2000, Mali and Cote d,Ivoire
signed a bilateral agreement to address this, but since
cooperation stalled when civil war broke out in Cote
d,Ivoire.

-- Take steps to increase public awareness-raising about
trafficking and traditional hereditary slavery through radio
broadcasts and visits of government officials to communities
throughout Mali to educate the population about these crimes.

End Action Plan.

10. (U) Department appreciates post's continued assistance
and efforts in the fight to eliminate trafficking in persons.
CLINTON

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