201965 4/13/2009 6:19 09MADRID373 Embassy Madrid UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 09MADRID187|09MADRID298 VZCZCXRO8108 PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG DE RUEHMD #0373/01 1030619 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 130619Z APR 09 FM AMEMBASSY MADRID TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0500 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 1423 RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 3944 RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MADRID 000373
DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, EUR/PGI, EUR/WE DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO USAID PASS TO ACBLANK
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KCRM, PHUM, KWMN, SMIG, KFRD, ASEC, PREF, ELAB, SP, KTIP SUBJECT: SPAIN: FURTHER INFORMATION FOR NINTH ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT
REF: A. MADRID 298 B. MADRID 187
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1.(SBU) This cable assembles answers to various questions posed by the Department into a front-channel cable as further information to supplement Embassy Madrid's ninth annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report and a previous addendum (REFTELS). Embassy POC is Political Officer Hugh Clifton, Tel. (34) 91-587-2294, Fax. (34) 91-587-2391.
2. (SBU) Post firmly believes that the GOS's efforts during 2008 merit Spain's continued inclusion in the Tier 1 category of countries combating TIP. The GOS is firmly committed to combating TIP and that it undertook a series of concrete actions to carry out this political will. Leading Spanish anti-TIP NGO in Spain, Proyecto Esperanza, concurs, telling the Embassy that - while there is always more that could be done - the GOS deserves the Tier 1 ranking this year. In light of the GOS's long-awaited passage in December 2008 of its ambitious, three-year, 61-point plan to combat TIP for the purposes of sexual exploitation and the GOS's signing in June of the Council of Europe's Convention to Fight Trafficking in Persons, it would be particularly counterproductive to downgrade Spain after it addresses successfully one of the NGO communities specific concerns.
//ADDITIONAL STATISTICS RE: OPERATION ZARPA VICTIMS//
3. (SBU) As mentioned in REF A, the GOS made great inroads dismantling what has been described as the largest network for trafficking in Russian women for sexual exploitation. Utilizing judicial detentions to disrupt trafficking, Spain initiated part III of Operation ZARPA, an ongoing Spanish National Police (SNP) investigation that began in November 2006, and whose first detentions took place in April 2007 and continued with part II in June 2007. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) has supplied additional statistics to Post on this Operation. The cumulative total of the three phases of the operation resulted in the detention of 599 Russian prostitutes who were in Spain illegally. Of those, 25 have been declared protected witnesses, 13 have been obtained permanent residency through relatives in Spain, six have obtained residency permits for collaborating with the GOS against organized crime networks, and six have returned voluntarily to Russia. Furthermore, 201 women were deported to their country of origin while an additional 348 have been ordered to leave Spain. The MOI notes that this operation took place before the approval of the GOS's 30-day "reflection period" during which time the victims could decide on whether or not they wanted to cooperate with the GOS. Our MOI contact cites "enormous progress" since then in the way that the Spanish screen and identify TIP victims and how they handle TIP cases. Spain is making a serious and sustained effort to lead international anti-trafficking efforts.
//CLARIFICATION ON JUDICIAL DATA//
4. (SBU) Following emails with G/TIP, Post understands that there were differing definitions of "suspended sentence," which impacted the results reported in Para 3 of REF A. Another factor that led to a misunderstanding was the fact that - in keeping with last year's report - Post had combined two categories to come up with the statistic of 54 percent of TIP convictions having resulted in a fine or a suspended sentence. Post has now separated those two categories. The revised, separated statistics are: 95 percent of the 107 convictions we found were for sentences of 1 year or more. Five percent of the 107 convictions received a suspended sentence (less than a year). Forty-eight percent of the 107 convictions received a fine. The GOS is still finalizing comprehensive judicial statistics for TIP cases in 2008, however our contacts in the prosecutor's office have assured us many times that the GOS is entirely amenable to providing the data to Post when everything is ready. They also inform us that they expect this process to be faster in 2010, when retrieving data for 2009.
//FEDERAL FUNDING FOR PROTECTING VICTIMS//
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5. (SBU) Para 29 of REF B reviews a detailed case study of statistics for the types of victims that a federally-funded NGO - Proyecto Esperanza - assisted in 2008. Because Spain's central government has devolved funding for social issues to the regional level, the bulk of funding to protect TIP victims derives from the autonomous regional governments. To use Proyecto Esperanza as an example, last year the regional government provided 364,000 euros (approximately USD 465,000), the national government provided over 60,000 euros (over USD 76,000) and the city government gave 77,000 euros (nearly USD 100,000). All three figures are higher than the funding provided in 2007, when the federal government provided the NGO 110,000 euros (approximately USD 160,000), the regional government provided over 27,000 euros (over USD 39,000) and the city government gave 40,000 euros (USD 58,000). Our GOS contacts say that they are increasing funding for the current year and note that the National Action Plan calls for increases across the board in the support they will provide to anti-TIP NGOs. It is important to note that in early March 2009, the GOS approved the creation of two million euros for a fund to help trafficking victims, as called for in the recently passed national plan combat TIP for the purposes of sexual exploitation. This money will cover the costs associated with specific programs (medical, legal, and psychological) for TIP victims and the will support the actions of NGOs who work in support of combating TIP.
//TIP VICTIMS WHO CHOOSE TO COLLABORATE WITH GOS//
6. (SBU) Proyecto Esperanza notes that - following the December 2008 passage of the GOS national plan to combat TIP - the legal frameworks guiding Spain's immigration, asylum, and penal code policies are under revision, as laws are updated to reflect what has been prescribed in the National Plan. Traditionally, victims who cooperate receive a residency permit valid for one year, which is renewable for a two-year period if the victim obtains a legal job. At this point, to destigmitize victims, they are asking for the renewal not as TIP victims but as any other immigrant would do. If the victim can secure a second renewal for a total of five years, then the permit is for permanent residency. Consequently, victims who change their minds about collaborating can reconsider at any of these junctures.
//FORMAL REFERRAL MECHANISM//
7. (SBU) As reported in Para 38 of REF B, Spain has indeed established a formal referral mechanism, although admittedly this was done late in the reporting period. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) contact has identified this anti-TIP working group as the entity which fulfills that role.
//MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS' PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS//
8. (SBU) Post confirms that the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla conducted anti-TIP awareness campaigns. Madrid's campaign continued its theme from the previous year: "Because you pay, prostitution exists... Do not contribute to the perpetuation of 21st century slavery."
//A GOVERNMENT-FUNDED HOTLINE//
9. (SBU) The government does fund NGOs - such as Proyecto Esperanza - that provide 24-hour phone numbers for TIP victims, but the money is not specifically earmarked for this purpose and Proyecto Esperanza informs Post that the NGO does not consider this to be a national hotline. The call is not free and there is no standard number to dial at the national level. There is a national hotline for gender-based violence that most women are likely to use to report trafficking related concerns.
10. (SBU) Project Esperanza note that Romanian TIP victims form the largest victim group by nationality in Spain, but highlight the unusual circumstance that - due to revisions in
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the EU law - they are no longer considered irregular immigrants. This is also the case for Bulgarian TIP victims. Citizens from Romania and Bulgaria now enjoy freedom of movement and the right to work in all other EU member states.
//CHINESE TIP VICTIMS IN SPAIN//
11. (SBU) Chinese TIP victims who become involved in forced labor are a very small community in Spain. Neither our NGO nor GOS sources have any specific information regarding particular sectors of the economy in which Chinese victims are most often found.
//SPECIALIZED SERVICES FOR SPECIFIC TIP VICTIM GROUPS//
12. (SBU) Project Esperanza was not aware of any specialized victim protection services offered by the GOS to child victims or males who are forced labor trafficking victims.
//PRE-DEPLOYMENT TRAINING FOR SPANISH PEACEKEEPERS//
13. (SBU) Post understands that peacekeepers are included among the Spanish military who receive pre-deployment trafficking awareness training.
14. (SBU) Post has no reason to believe that the OSCE will issue a negative report about Spain, especially in light of the fact that the GOS in 2008 shared a draft of its national plan with the OSCE for input and feedback. CHACON