Wikileaks - DCLXXIX

Sunday, 04 September, Year 3 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu







(SBU) Summary: The Portuguese government has moved energetically to implement a national plan of action (CAIM) developed in 2005, which brings together government agencies and NGOs in a comprehensive effort to monitor trafficking, provide assistance to victims, bring traffickers to justice, and raise awareness in the general population. A multi-agency center comprising 12 full-time employees was established during the reporting period to gather trafficking-related data and shape the government's policy responses. The Monitoring Center designed a comprehensive website, which came on line in March, that includes the latest trafficking-related news, general resources available to trafficking victims, and relevant national and international legislation, and will provide national trafficking-related data to a controlled group of clients. Portugal opened the first government-funded and operated assistance center for trafficking victims, and it passed a new immigration law that facilitates issuance of residency permits to former trafficking victims. In a positive trend, the numbers of people trafficked for labor exploitation decreased, due to a combination of better enforcement and a weak economy.

Embassy Lisbon's point of contact on trafficking is Ausenda Vieira, Head of the Monitoring Center for Trafficking in Persons, under the Ministry of the Interior, tel: 351-21-323-6428 (direct) or 351-21-323-6409/10/11 (switchboard), fax: 351-21-323-6425. The Embassy's Political-Economic Assistant spent over 70 hours researching and meeting with Embassy contacts in preparation of this TIP report cable. The Political-Economic Counselor dedicated approximately 10 hours to this report.

Embassy Lisbon's report follows, keyed to the checklist in paragraphs 27-30 of the tasking message.


27. Overview of a country's activities to eliminate trafficking in persons:

-- A. Is the country a country of origin, transit, or destination for internationally trafficked men, women, or children? Provide, where possible, numbers or estimates for each group; how they were trafficked, to where, and for what purpose. Does the trafficking occur within the country's borders? Does it occur in territory outside of the government's control (e.g. in a civil war situation)? Are any estimates or reliable numbers available as to the extent or magnitude of the problem? What is (are) the source(s) of available information on trafficking in persons or what plans are in place (if any) to undertake documentation of trafficking? How reliable are the numbers and these sources? Are certain groups of persons more at risk of being trafficked (e.g. women and children, boys versus girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, etc.)?

Portugal is a country of origin, transit, and destination for international trafficked men, women, and children. The trafficking occurs across a mostly unsupervised border with Spain and also within Portugal. It does not occur in territory outside the government's control. A full-time body run by the Ministry of the Interior (with assistance from other government agencies and NGOs) to monitor and gather statistics/data on trafficking-related developments began full-time operation in January 2007. The trafficking data are being collected in a central database using input from the various entities which track trafficking cases, including police, security sources, and NGOs.

Men: There are no reliable available data on trafficking of men for forced labor;

Women: According to the 2004 ACIME report "Migrant Trafficking", backed by non-government sources, approximately 5,000 women, 80% of which Brazilian, are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation annually;

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Children: Neither government authorities nor NGOs have direct knowledge of trafficking of children but estimate that there are between 50-100 Roma minors, brought to Portugal by family networks, used as street beggars.

The principal sources of information on trafficking in persons are the following:

1. The Monitoring Center for Trafficking in Persons; 2. The Portuguese Immigration Service (SEF); 3. The High Commission for Immigration and Ethnic Minorities (ACIME); 4. The Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV); 5. The International Organization for Migration (IOM); 6. The Commission for the Equality and Rights of Women (CIDM); 7. The Ministry of Justice; 8. The Association for Family Planning (APF).

These sources are reliable; however, because there had been, until recently, a lack of coordination between the various government organizations and NGOs, available data are limited. With the national monitoring center up and running, new reliable procedures have been implemented to facilitate the gathering of comprehensive trafficking data. All police who handle a possible trafficking case are now required to fill out a standard detailed form with information about the case, and to submit it to the monitoring center. This form is carefully analyzed by the center's work group, made up of multi-agency staff, who decide whether or not the case is, indeed, trafficking. If so, it is recorded in the database and cross-referenced with other cases. All government officials involved in each trafficking case will have access to this confidential form.

Reliable information on trafficking can also be found in CAIM's new web page ( This comprehensive site became available in February 2007 and provides a wealth of information, including CAIM's objectives, national/international partnerships and legislation, links to government and NGO organizations for assistance to victims, information guides for victims, media coverage of trafficking cases, national and international trafficking reports. It will soon show details of trafficking cases in Portugal, including numbers of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions. Access to sensitive data will be closely controlled.

Persons more at risk of being trafficked are women, for sexual exploitation, but there were reports of men being trafficked for forced labor.

B. Please provide a general overview of the trafficking situation in the country and any changes since the last TIP Report (e.g. changes in direction). Also briefly explain the political will to address trafficking in persons. Other items to address may include: What kind of conditions are the victims trafficked into? Which populations are targeted by the traffickers? Who are the traffickers? What methods are used to approach victims? (Are they offered lucrative jobs, sold by their families, approached by friends of friends, etc.?) What methods are used to move the victims (e.g., are false documents being used?).

There have been no changes in direction of trafficking victims. The persons trafficked are manly from Brazil (women for sexual exploitation) nd, to a lesser extent, from Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Romania) and from African cuntries (Nigeria and Lusophone countries). Sometrafficking victims are transited through Portugalen route to other European countries.

Portuga is not a significant country of origin.

Since its election in March 2005, the Socialist government has moved energetically to address trafficking. In December 2005, it launched a pilot project (CIM - Cooperation, Action, Investigation and World Vision) to combat the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation in Portugal. Task forces from the Ministries of Justice and Interior, the

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Commission for the Equality and Rights of Women (CIDM), the High Commission for Immigration and Minorities (ACIME), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), various NGOs, and police and security forces collaborated in designing the CAIM project and work together on a regular basis to carry out its objectives. One of the project's main goals ) to establish a full-time body in the Ministry of Interior to monitor trafficking-related developments through the creation of a database with comprehensive statistics ) was implemented in January 2007. This monitoring center has also created a registry for filing legal complaints (See paragraph 27A) with security forces and has opened the first government-financed safe-house specifically for trafficking victims.

Trafficking for labor exploitation is currently not covered in the Penal Code. The current Penal Code criminalizes trafficking for sexual exploitation purposes only when the crime occurs "in a foreign country". Trafficking for sexual exploitation in Portuguese territory is not contemplated by the law. Proposals for the revision of the Portuguese Penal Code, submitted to Parliament in February 2007, will broaden the definition of trafficking and will include tougher penalties for trafficking crimes (see paragraph 29A). This will be the first time trafficking inside the country - both for labor and for sexual exploitation purposes - is explicitly defined as a crime punishable under the Penal Code; presently, it is dealt with indirectly, under a number of different penal provisions. Passage of the Penal Code reforms is a virtual certainty since the Socialists submitted the bills and control an absolute majority of parliamentary seats. When approved by Parliament ) predicted for April 2007 ) these new provisions will go into effect by the end of 2007.

Women trafficked for sexual exploitation are harbored in rooms/apartments in or near brothels or clubs. Upon arrival, their passports are withheld and they are turned over to a brothel or club operator. Many, especially Brazilian women, have initially consented to prostitution activities but may later be subjected to violence and threats. Trafficked men are housed in similar conditions, usually close to construction sites where they work. They have usually consented to the labor activity but are sometimes victims of violence, threats, fraud, coercion, peonage, and debt bondage. Police and NGOs have reported that Romanian (mostly Roma) children, brought to Portugal by family networks, are sometimes forced to beg on street corners.

Trafficking victims are not normally kept locked up. Reports from victims who have escaped describe limited freedom of movement, such as accompanied shopping trips. Victims are often offered lucrative jobs and are usually approached by friends of friends.

C. What are the limitations on the government's ability to address this problem in practice? For example, is funding for police or other institutions inadequate? Is overall corruption a problem? Does the government lack the resources to aid victims?

The government's ability to address this problem in practice is limited by serious financial constraints, the consequence of the implementation of necessary budget austerity measures. Nonetheless, given the importance placed by the current government on combating trafficking, funds have been made available for the new CAIM project, which includes police training and subsidies to NGOs that shelter and assist victims, and for the establishment of the Monitoring Center for Trafficking. ACIME depends on government funds but has limited resources.

Overall corruption is not a problem.

The government has limited resources to aid victims. It places victims in its recently opened government-funded safe-house for trafficking victims (See paragraph 30A), and continues to refer victims to NGOs, for both protection and assistance. One of these NGOs, APAV, has a funding agreement with the government, receiving public subsidies covering 80%

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of its expenses (See paragraph 30A).

D. To what extent does the government systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts -- prosecution, prevention and victim protection) and periodically make available, publicly or privately and directly or through regional/international organizations, its assessments of these anti-trafficking efforts?

Before the opening of the Monitoring Center for Trafficking Victims, in January 2007, there was minimal monitoring of anti-trafficking efforts, mainly due to lack of coordination among police, government entities, and NGOs. Annual statistical summaries provided by the GOP were for classes of crimes that included trafficking but did not isolate TIP in its own statistical category. Information gathering was mainly the responsibility of the government's High Commission on Immigration and Ethnic Minorities (ACIME), the chief organization that coordinated assistance to trafficking victims and immigrants.

With the new Monitoring Center in operation, there is now an official government entity specifically charged with gathering and processing trafficking data. The center is further tasked with sharing the information it acquires with appropriate authorities such as the security forces, health care professionals, and the justice system, and with preparing awareness campaigns for the public in general. As an integral part of the CAIM project, the center collaborates with its CAIM partners in devising the GOP's trafficking policy responses. It also plays a key role in fostering collaborative anti-trafficking efforts with other governments.


-- A. Does the government acknowledge that trafficking is a problem in the country? If not, why not?


-- B. Which government agencies are involved in anti- trafficking efforts and which agency, if any, has the lead?

1. The Monitoring Center for Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of the Interior (has the lead); 2. The Commission for the Equality and Rights of Women (CIDM), under the Ministry for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers; 3. The Ministry of Justice; 4. The Portuguese Immigration Service (SEF); 5. The High Commission for Immigration and Ethnic Minorities (ACIME); 6. The Republican National Guard (GNR); 7. The Judicial Police (PJ); 8. The Public Security Police (PSP)

C. Are there, or have there been, government-run anti- trafficking information or education campaigns? If so, briefly describe the campaign(s), including their objectives and effectiveness. Do these campaigns target potential trafficking victims and/or the demand for trafficking (e.g. "clients" of prostitutes or beneficiaries of forced labor)?

Yes, the government sponsored the following anti-trafficking information and education campaigns:

1. State-owned RTP television broadcasts a daily program "Nos" ("We") on immigration, covering a wide spectrum of immigrant-related issues including human trafficking. It aims to raise awareness and increase prevention of human trafficking and sexual exploitation among immigrants in Portugal.

2. On May 11, 12 and 13, 2006, the government's Plan for the Elimination of Exploitation of Child Labor (PETI), in collaboration with the ILO and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), organized a conference on child labor. Participants included delegations headed by the labor ministers of each of the eight CPLP member countries

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(Portugal, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome e Principe, and East Timor). The goal of the conference was to actively commit these participating governments to the prevention and elimination of the worst forms of child labor/trafficking in Portuguese-speaking countries. The labor ministers signed a mutual agreement and drew up a joint action plan to combat child labor.

3. On May 22-24, 2006, in Cascais, the governments of Portugal and Brazil organized the "First Luso-Brazilian Seminar on Trafficking in Persons and Illegal Migration." Among the high-level government speakers from both countries were Portuguese Interior Minister Antonio Costa and Brazilian Justice Minister Marcio Thomaz Bastos. The seminar provided an opportunity for government officials of both countries to exchange information on trafficking cases across the Atlantic and to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

4. On June 29 & 30, 2006, in Lisbon, the Labor Ministry organized the conference "Action against Labor Trafficking and Exploitation of European Migrants", sponsored by the ILO's International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMP). The goal was to share good practices in combating and preventing labor trafficking in Europe. It also sought to increase cooperation among European countries of origin, transit, and destination, such as Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, UK, and Portugal through improved monitoring measures and information-sharing. Participants included high-level government representatives, security forces, labor unions, employers' organizations, NGOs, and labor and migration experts.

5. In June 2006, state-owned RTP 2: television channel aired the documentary series "Sex Traffic" about two Moldovan sisters who move to London in search of employment and are sold to traffickers for sexual exploitation in various Balkan countries.

6. On October 9, 2006, the Portuguese Youth Institute sponsored an international conference in Lisbon entitled "Towards a Europe without Borders", on human trafficking in Portugal. The conference was attended, among others, by human rights organizations, NGOs, and university professors and students.

7. In October 2006, the movie "Transe" ("Trance"), by renowned national director Teresa Villaverde, was released in theaters throughout the country. The movie focuses on a young girl from St. Petersburg who decides to seek a better life in Western Europe but is kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery. The film, as well as main actress Ana Moreira, was critically acclaimed in the Cannes Film Festival. One critic labeled it "hard to watch, but important to see."

8. On November 20 and 21, 2006, Portugal's chapter of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized in Lisbon an "International Seminar on Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation." The seminar included high-level government speakers such as the Minister for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the deputy ministers for Interior, Justice and the Council of Ministers, and former EU Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs Antonio Vitorino. Among the international speakers were Franco Frattini, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for freedom, security, and justice issues, and representatives of EU member-states including Italy, Norway, and Sweden. Dr. Eleanor Gaetan, State's Senior Coordinator for Public Outreach in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons was also a guest speaker. Her presentation on "Anti-Slavery's Essential Ally ) Media Leadership in Documenting the Unthinkable" focused on the media's role in combating trafficking.

9. The government, through ACIME, continues to target information campaigns toward immigrant populations in Portugal and in source countries vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking in Portugal. It broadcasts a weekly television program informing immigrants of their rights, duties, and legal protections. It also continues to educate Portuguese employment firms about penalties stipulated in the

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2003 immigration law.

10. RTP broadcasts, on a regular basis, public service ads warning against trafficking. These adds are sponsored by the government (ACIME), media (Diario de Noticias daily newspaper, TSF radio station, LusoMundo media group), and NGOs (IOM and APAV).

All of these events/campaigns include and target potential trafficking victims and consumers (e.g. "clients" of prostitutes or beneficiaries of forced labor).

Furthermore, Portuguese media coverage of the ongoing trial of the Casa Pia orphanage child-abuse case has significantly elevated awareness of the TIP problem in Portugal and constitutes a compelling public awareness campaign. A reflection of growing awareness is the fact that reports to police of sexual crimes against minors tripled from 364 in 2002 to 1075 in 2004 (latest statistics). Although the overwhelming majority of cases occurs within the family unit and is not considered trafficking, the attention focused on Casa Pia has raised awareness of TIP-related sexual exploitation as well.

D. Does the government support other programs to prevent trafficking? (e.g., to promote women's participation in economic decision-making or efforts to keep children in school.) Please explain.

Yes, the government is strongly committed to children's rights and welfare; it continues to amply fund systems of public education and medical care. It provides 9 years of compulsory, free, and universal education for children through the age of 15. The Institute for Solidarity and Social Security, responsible for implementation of the Government's programs for children, promotes a program to coordinate assistance to children of immigrant families and a program to support early childhood. The Government provides preschool education for children starting at age 4 and free/low cost health care for all children until the age of 15.

The Parliament approved the Equal Opportunity Law in March 2006, and it took effect in August 2006, ensuring women equal access to political office. The law requires that at least 33% of a party's candidates in national legislative, European Parliament, and local government elections be women.

E. What is the relationship between government officials, NGOs, other relevant organizations and other elements of civil society on the trafficking issue?

They act in concert to address trafficking, referring cases to one another as required. Some NGOs, such as the IOM, APAV, APF, Irmas Adoradoras and Irmas Oblatas, have signed MOUs with the government to track, assist, and reintegrate trafficking victims. These NGOs, and others, are involved in the CAIM project through assistance to and professional training and reintegration of victims. Through CAIM, NGO staff receives training on dealing with trafficking victims.

F. Does the government monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking? Do law enforcement -- liked to cut 40,000 troops last year and another 35,000 this year, Deng said, but has been unable to do so. He and other senior SPLA leadership had informed Government of Southern

Sudan (GOSS) President Salva Kiir that the SPLA will face serious problems unless the government summons the political will to carry out serious downsizing. For this, international support for DDR programs is vital. So far, Deng claimed, UN-backed DDR programs have made virtually no impact in the south. Even in the southern capital of Juba, he explained, there are three or four current and former militia groups who have been neither disarmed nor effectively integrated into the SPLA.

6. (C) The SPLA also perceives a growing threat from Khartoum. The Sudan Armed Forces' (SAF) new chief of staff is "very, very difficult" and part of a hawkish cabal that includes Sudanese Minister of Defense Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, Deng said (Ref. B). On March 4, Deng claimed, Khartoum deployed 800 militia to the Bentiu area. SAF said these forces were "part of their component" of a Joint Integrated Unit (JIU), Deng said, but "we told them no, they should bring only regular SAF forces." The SPLA chief also complained that both SAF and ex-militia elements are being incorporated in an unauthorized Petroleum Security Force now deployed in the oilfields along the border between northern and southern Sudan. Deng accused SAF of training additional militia "near Khartoum," explaining that many of the trainees are southerners and that SPLA was well apprised of the program. SAF has also embarked on an ambitious military procurement program from Russian, Belarussian and Chinese suppliers, Deng asserted.
7. (C) The SPLA leadership provided a sobering and remarkably candid assessment of their army's shortcomings and the challenges it faces both today and in the short-term future. A well-designed and administered program of non-lethal assistance is essential to making the SPLA more professional, and therefore a more effective guarantor of peace. The diversion of budget resources from development programs to paying military salaries is particularly disturbing. Equally essential is the political will in the GOSS and the SPLA to undertake necessary reforms, including significant downsizing. End comment. HUME

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