Cablegate: Iom Deems China Taking Positive Steps to Fight
DE RUEHBJ #0326 0390711
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080711Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
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UNCLAS BEIJING 000326
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SUBJECT: IOM DEEMS CHINA TAKING POSITIVE STEPS TO FIGHT
1. (SBU) In a January 28, 2010 telcon with Embassy Beijing
and Department representatives, Tom Sinkovits, Head of Office
for the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Liaison Office in Beijing stated that human trafficking was a
high interest issue in the upper ranks of the Chinese
government. While characterizing China's approach to combat
trafficking as "a work in progress," the IOM official
nonetheless praised how far China had come in a short time.
For instance, he noted for U.S. interlocutors that the PRC
National Plan of Action to combat trafficking had been
implemented in 2008 and that Chinese officials were working
closely with IOM to address trafficking related issues.
2. (SBU) According to Sinkowits, China had demonstrated that
there was high-level political will driving cooperation and
progress on fighting human trafficking. He cited signs of
progress at the provincial level, the recent "serious"
crackdowns on trafficking by the Ministry of Public Security
(MPS) and the All-China Women's Federation's interest in
working to reintegrate trafficking victims into society as
3. (SBU) Sinkovits told U.S. officials that, from the vantage
point of IOM, the MPS and Ministry of Civil Affairs work with
IOM to build coordination among various Chinese government
agencies to provide support for trafficking victims was a
positive indicator of the PRC's willingness to work with
international partners to establish best practices. Sinkowits
also stated that the Chinese officials were aware of the
source of IOM funding for these projects, adding that they
were "grateful" and "welcomed" the U.S. involvement.
4. (SBU) Sinkovits also cited the government's efforts to
expand the MFA's consular department to provide support to
Chinese victims of trafficking abroad as a clear sign that
China is placing more emphasis on the care of Chinese
victims. According to IOM, official Chinese government
figures put the number of known trafficking victims at
approximately 10,000 women and children. Of note, Chinese
officials have now acknowledged that the vast majority of
these victims were from internal trafficking. In the past,
most Chinese government officials refused to acknowledge that
trafficking was a domestic problem.
5. (SBU) Deficiencies still remain, according to Sinkowits.
He noted that China lacks a legal definition of human
trafficking and that there remains no clear legislation to
protect victims of trafficking. Also of note is that China
lacks a criminal law related to trafficking in men.
6. (SBU) With a worldwide reputation as the leading
international agency on migration-related issues, the
diplomatic community in Beijing has found IOM to be a
reliable point of reference when assessing the government's
efforts to addressing trafficking.