Wikileaks - MCCLXXV

Monday, 05 September, Year 3 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu





REF: STATE 132759

34. (SBU) There have been some unintended consequences of PCCK Articles that were meant to curb trafficking and protect victims. For example, under UNMIK Regulation 2001/4, trafficking victims are not required to testify against their exploiters in order to receive assistance and are entitled to repatriation without delay. Consequently, some victims leave Kosovo before their traffickers go to trial. UNMIK Regulation 2005/16 requires documentation from would-be workers in Kosovo. It has helped Border Police officers identify and curb trafficking at border entry points, but the KPS, international organizations, and NGOs report that it has led traffickers to use more clandestine means of entry or to provide the victims with employment contracts for work as waitresses or dancers. Finally, Article 139 provides for prosecution of persons who knowingly use or procure the sexual services of a victim of trafficking. This article punishes clients of trafficking victims, but its deterrent effect is limited due to the difficulty in proving that a client knew he or she was procuring the services of a trafficking victim.

35.(SBU) No new anti-trafficking laws were passed during the reporting period. Kosovo law permits civil claims for criminal offences and allows compensation for material, emotional, or moral damage. There are no non-criminal statutes specifically designed to enable civil penalties against alleged trafficking crimes.

Question 25B: Punishment of Sex Trafficking Offenses: What are the prescribed and imposed penalties for trafficking people for sexual exploitation?

36. (SBU) PCCK Article 139 on trafficking in persons provides for two to 12 years imprisonment for engaging in trafficking in persons (three to 15 years if the victim is a minor), seven to 20 years plus a fine of up to 500,000 Euros for organizing a group to commit the offense, six months to five years for negligently facilitating trafficking in persons, three months to five years for procuring sexual services of a known trafficking victim (two to 10 years if the victim is under the age of 18). Public officials convicted of trafficking offenses are subject to greater sentences. Under Article 139, an official would receive five to 15 years in prison for engaging in trafficking, at least ten years for organizing a group to commit the offense, and two to seven years for negligently facilitating trafficking in persons or procuring sexual services of a trafficking victim (five to 12 years if the victim was a minor).

37. (SBU) PCCK Article 140 provides for punishment of one to five years imprisonment for withholding identification documents of victims of trafficking. If the perpetrator is an official in the exercise of his or her duties, the punishment is three to seven years imprisonment.

Question 25C: Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses: What are the prescribed and imposed penalties for trafficking for labor exploitation, such as forced or bonded labor? If your country is a source country for labor migrants, do the government's laws provide for criminal punishment -- i.e. jail time -- for labor recruiters who engage in recruitment of workers using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers with the purpose of subjecting workers to trafficking in the destination country? If your country is a destination for labor migrants, are there laws punishing employers or labor agents who confiscate workers' passports or travel documents for the purpose of trafficking, switch contracts without the worker's consent as a means to keep the worker in a state of service, or withhold payment of salaries as means of keeping the worker in a state of service?

38. (SBU) PCCK Article 137 on establishing slavery, slavery-like conditions and forced labor provides for imprisonment of two to 10

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years for general cases, three to 10 years if the perpetrator has a domestic relationship with the victim, three to 15 years if the victim is a child, and five to 12 years if the perpetrator is an official (five to 20 years if the victim is a child).

39. (SBU) Trafficking in persons for other than sexual exploitation is rare in Kosovo, and statistics on imposed punishments for forced labor and involuntary servitude do not exist. There are no records of such cases ever being tried in Kosovo.

Question 25D: What are the prescribed penalties for rape or forcible sexual assault? (Note: This is necessary to evaluate a foreign government's compliance with TVPA Minimum Standard 2, which reads: "For the knowing commission of any act of sex trafficking . . . the government of the country should prescribe punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault (rape)." End Note.)

40. (SBU) PCCK Article 193 covers rape and forcible sexual assault. It provides for prison sentences of two to 10 years imprisonment for rape (five to 20 years if the victim is under 16); three to 10 years if the victim is unprotected or his or her security is in danger; five to 15 years if the victim is tortured or injured or if a dangerous weapon is used, if the perpetrator has caused the victim to become intoxicated, if the offense is committed by more than one person, or if the perpetrator knows the victim is vulnerable because of age, a handicap, illness or pregnancy, or if the perpetrator has a domestic relationship with a victim between the ages of 16 and 18; and five to 20 years if the perpetrator has a domestic relationship with a victim under the age of 16. If the victim dies, the minimum sentence is 10 years in prison.

Question 25E: Law Enforcement Statistics: Did the government prosecute any cases against human trafficking offenders during the reporting period? If so, provide numbers of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences imposed, including details on plea bargains and fines, if relevant and available. Please note the number of convicted traffickers who received suspended sentences and the number who received only a fine as punishment. Please indicate which laws were used to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence traffickers. Also, if possible, please disaggregate numbers of cases by type of TIP (labor vs. commercial sexual exploitation) and victims (children under 18 years of age vs. adults). If in a labor source country, did the government criminally prosecute labor recruiters who recruit workers using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers or by imposing fees or commissions for the purpose of subjecting the worker to debt bondage? Did the government in a labor destination country criminally prosecute employers or labor agents who confiscate workers' passports/travel documents for the purpose of trafficking, switch contracts or terms of employment without the worker's consent to keep workers in a state of service, use physical or sexual abuse or the threat of such abuse to keep workers in a state of service, or withhold payment of salaries as a means to keep workers in a state of service? What were the actual punishments imposed on persons convicted of these offenses? Are the traffickers serving the time sentenced? If not, why not?

41. (SBU) From January 1, 2008 to through December 31, 2008, the Kosovo judiciary worked on 56 trafficking in persons-related cases, 32 of which were unresolved cases from previous years. During the reporting period, 24 cases were completed, resulting in 15 convictions. Fourteen traffickers received prison terms, all greater than five years. Six cases were transferred to other courts, three were dismissed based on lack of evidence, and one trafficker received a suspended sentence. None received fines.

42. (SBU) Limiting factors on effective prosecution included a weak witness protection system that inhibited more extensive undercover

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operations. Victims returning to their homes without testifying against their traffickers or refusing to testify against their traffickers further weakened prosecutions. The Kosovo Special Prosecutor's Office (KSPO) continued its focus on building strong cases against trafficking networks instead of going after individual bars also affected the number of trafficking convictions. Before 2007, prosecutors tended to go after bars, only to see them reopen again a few months later with the same trafficked women.

43. (SBU) There is no evidence to suggest that Kosovo is a source or destination for forced laborers. KPS reports that no forced labor cases came to its attention in 2008.

Question 25F: Does the government provide any specialized training for government officials in how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking? Specify whether NGOs, international organizations, and/or the USG provide specialized training for host government officials.

44. (SBU) The GOK provides training on recognizing and investigating trafficking in persons. KPS Training Department officers provide specialized and Balkans-specific training to recruits at the Kosovo Center for Public Safety, Education, and Development. During the reporting period, KPS Training Department officers at the Kosovo Center for Public Safety, Education, and Development provided anti-TIP training to 56 police recruits and officers. The KPS also provided training for an additional 13 Training of Trainers (TOT) during 2008. The KPS THBS section, in cooperation with NGOs and other government institutions, conducted 18 training sessions, 11 of which were given to other KPS officers. 45. (SBU) The MOIA held an additional four TIP sessions with students at the University of Pristina. The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology conducted two anti-TIP training sessions at schools in Kacanik, including the distribution of anti-TIP materials, and an anti-TIP class given by certified trainers. The Ministry of Culture held 14 anti-TIP workshops for young children and adolescents. 46. (SBU) A number of international and national training organizations also provide comprehensive training programs on trafficking in persons to Kosovo judges and prosecutors. The Kosovo Judicial Institute, the primary national training organization, provided training on prosecuting trafficking and similar crimes twice in the reporting period. The United States Government embedded a Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) in the KSPO in 2007. Among her duties are training, monitoring, mentoring and advising a prosecutor dedicated to TIP cases. Nevertheless, many involved in counter-trafficking work say that judges and prosecutors would benefit from more training.

Question 25G: Does the government cooperate with other governments in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? If possible, provide the number of cooperative international investigations on trafficking during the reporting period.

47. (SBU) Kosovo is still developing regional law enforcement relationships since declaring independence in February 2008. During the year Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Croatia recognized Kosovo's independence. Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Greece have not recognized Kosovo, and this limits effective regional law enforcement cooperation. Kosovo is not able to join Interpol, Europol, and the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative due to some countries' resistance to recognizing Kosovo's independence. Kosovo cooperated with Interpol and Europol during the reporting period under UNMIK's auspices, and these competencies are transferring to EULEX.

48. (SBU) The KPS reported two cooperative international investigations of trafficking cases during the reporting period (one case with Montenegro, another with Albania). KPS officers report

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good cooperation with their Albanian counterparts through the Albanian Liaison Office, as well as with their Montenegrin counterparts. The liaison relationship with both Albania and Montenegro yielded specific information on trafficking cases in Kosovo.

49. (SBU) Prior to Kosovo's declaration of independence, the KPS, under the UNMIK umbrella, held bi-monthly meetings with the Serbian Ministry of Interior. The KPS no longer has the monthly meetings with the Serbian Ministry of the Interior due to Serbia's refusal to engage directly with GOK institutions. Kosovo maintains an office to coordinate its dealings with Interpol and Europol. The KPS provides requested information to international organizations and foreign governments, but police officers complain that regional countries do not always reciprocate in sharing information.

50. (SBU) The National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator (NATC) reports good cooperation with some of his counterparts in neighboring countries, and Kosovo continues to pursue international agreements combating TIP and participates in regional fora when diplomatic conditions allow. The MOIA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Albania to coordinate efforts in dealing with organized crime and TIP. The GOK is negotiating a similar agreement with the Government of Macedonia. The NATC also participated in an International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) conference discussing Transnational Referral Mechanisms (TRM) and promoting regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe in Vienna, Austria in November 2008.

Question 25H: Does the government extradite persons who are charged with trafficking in other countries? If so, please provide the number of traffickers extradited during the reporting period, and the number of trafficking extraditions pending. In particular, please report on any pending or concluded extraditions of trafficking offenders to the United States.

51. (SBU) Prior to independence Kosovo was unable to enter into formal extradition treaties because it lacked status as a sovereign state. Instead, UNMIK possessed the authority to enter into international agreements to transfer Kosovo citizens to other countries on a case-by-case basis, and extradite foreign nationals under UN Security Council Resolution 1244. As a newly independent state, Kosovo is reviewing its treaty obligations and has not yet negotiated any new extradition treaties. UNMIK has not yet transferred extradition competencies to the GOK. Since the end of the conflict in 1999, UNMIK extradited eight people and facilitated the transfer of four Kosovo residents to foreign countries. No persons were extradited for trafficking during the reporting period. The GOK's Ministry of Justice, with UNMIK's help, extradited from Kosovo an additional 12 people and received 25 Kosovo citizens since 1999; none were extradited for trafficking during the reporting period.

Question 25I: Is there evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional level? If so, please explain in detail.

52. (SBU) There is no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking on a local or institutional level. Nevertheless, KPS has reported that foreign trafficking victims often arrive in Kosovo with valid documents and employment contracts registered by local attorneys and stamped by municipal authorities. They believe the attorneys and local authorities may be aware that the girls are being trafficked into Kosovo to work as prostitutes, despite the fact that the traffickers are asking them to draft and register employment contracts stating the girls will be waitresses or dancers.

53. (SBU) The GOK is tackling corruption. It established the Kosovo

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Anti-Corruption Agency and the Police Inspectorate of Kosovo (PIK) in July 2006, and the Kosovo Special Prosecutors' Office (KSPO) in September 2006. The Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency began its operations in February 2007; according to its head, Hasan Preteni, it submitted 21 corruption cases to prosecutors by June, and expects to submit approximately 50 more for the second half of 2008.

54. (SBU) The PIK is an independent body within the MOIA designed to promote police efficiency and effectiveness, hold police accountable for their actions, and investigate alleged major violations of law. The PIK forwards the results of investigations revealing violations to the recently formed Senior Police Appointment and Disciplinary Committee (SPADC) for possible further action. SPADC will commence full operations in 2009. 55. (SBU) Through January 2009, the PIK investigated 2,024 active cases, of which 789 were based on complaints from citizens, and 1,235 were from the KPS itself. Of those cases, 168 were being investigated further, 323 were deemed unfounded, 482 investigations were completed and forwarded to SPADC, and 781 were turned over to the Professional Standards Unit (PSU), which focuses on investigating and punishing minor police offenses. The remaining 270 cases are still under investigation. 56. (SBU) The PSU handles the investigation and punishment of minor police offenses and is run by the KPS. Between January and December, the PSU opened 989 cases, most commonly involving unauthorized absence from duty, leaving the area of assignment, and damage or loss of police property. As of December, 716 of these cases were completed, 500 were deemed to have merit, and 212 were deemed unfounded. Four remain open. The PSU closed one case without investigative measures due to the resignation of the accused officer. Sanctions ranged from dismissal to temporary suspension or mandatory training. As of December, a total of 273 cases were still under investigation; in cases involving violations of the criminal code, many of the employees were suspended temporarily pending a court decision.

57. (SBU) The KSPO is currently working the most complex and sensitive cases under the tutelage of international prosecutors, with a transition underway to EULEX prosecutors to assist in this role. Eventually Kosovo nationals at the KSPO will take full responsibility for sensitive cases, including corruption, organized crime and trafficking. There are currently six special prosecutors on staff with plans to add four more. The KSPO also has nine legal officers. One prosecutor specializing in TIP cases began work in February 2007, and remains engaged on TIP cases. The KSPO's authorized strength is ten special prosecutors.

Question 25J: If government officials are involved in trafficking, what steps has the government taken to end such participation? Please indicate the number of government officials investigated and prosecuted for involvement in trafficking or trafficking-related corruption during the reporting period. Have any been convicted? What sentence(s) was imposed? Please specify if officials received suspended sentences, or were given a fine, fired, or reassigned to another position within the government as punishment. Please indicate the number of convicted officials that received suspended sentences or received only a fine as punishment.

58. (SBU) There were no government officials investigated or prosecuted for involvement in trafficking or trafficking related corruption during the reporting period, and Post has found no evidence of government officials being involved in trafficking during this reporting period. The GOK is aware that susceptibility to corruption is a problem in Kosovo due in particular to the low salaries local law enforcement officials receive. In 2006, the GOK established three government bodies whose mandates include anti-corruption work: the Police Inspectorate of Kosovo (PIK), the Kosovo Special Prosecutors' Office (KSPO) and the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency. (See paragraphs 54-57 for a more detailed

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examination of their results.)

Question 25K: Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized? Specifically, are the activities of the prostitute criminalized? Are the activities of the brothel owner/operator, clients, pimps, and enforcers criminalized? Are these laws enforced? If prostitution is legal and regulated, what is the legal minimum age for this activity? Note that in countries with federalist systems, prostitution laws may be under state or local jurisdiction and may differ among jurisdictions.

59. (SBU) Voluntary prostitution is a minor offense under the Kosovo Law on the Preservation of Public Peace and Order Article 18(6), and the law punishes the prostitute, but not the client. The prostitute may receive up to 60 days in jail and, if foreign, face deportation. In 2008, the KPS arrested 22 individuals for prostitution or possible engagement in prostitution. A client may only be punished under PCCK Article 139 if he or she knowingly procures the services of a trafficking victim. In practice, it is difficult to prove that a client had such knowledge.

60. (SBU) Under PCCK Article 201, providing the premises for prostitution or recruiting, organizing or assisting a person with the crime of prostitution is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to three years. If prostitution is practiced within a 350-meter radius of a school or other locality used by children, the facilitator may receive six months to five years in prison. Facilitating prostitution for someone between the ages of 16 and 18 in punishable by one to 10 years imprisonment, and doing so for someone under the age of 16 is punishable by one to 12 years imprisonment.

Question 25L: For countries that contribute troops to international peacekeeping efforts, please indicate whether the government vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced nationals of the country deployed abroad as part of a peacekeeping or other similar mission who engaged in or facilitated severe forms of trafficking or who exploited victims of such trafficking.

61. (SBU) Kosovo does not contribute troops to international peacekeeping operations.

Question 25M: If the country has an identified problem of child sex tourists coming to the country, what are the countries of origin for sex tourists? How many foreign pedophiles did the government prosecute or deport/extradite to their country of origin? If your host country's nationals are perpetrators of child sex tourism, do the country's child sexual abuse laws have extraterritorial coverage (similar to the U.S. PROTECT Act) to allow the prosecution of suspected sex tourists for crimes committed abroad? If so, how many of the country's nationals were prosecuted and/or convicted during the reporting period under the extraterritorial provision(s) for traveling to other countries to engage in child sex tourism?

62. (SBU) There is no evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, that child sex tourism exists in Kosovo.

Question 26A: What kind of protection is the government able under existing law to provide for victims and witnesses? Does it provide these protections in practice?

63. (SBU) Protection and assistance to trafficking victims are governed by the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that were designed with the help of UNMIK, international organizations, and NGOs in 2006. The GOK further updated the procedures in October to include Transnational Referral Mechanisms (TRM) and establish common procedures for communicating and interacting with other countries. Both foreign and local VOT are eligible for the same benefits,

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although foreign victims who wish to return to their countries of origin also have a right to IOM repatriation assistance. Under the SOPs for VOT, when police or social workers suspect that someone is a trafficking victim, a KPS officer must fill out a Basic Data Form and call a victims' advocate from the Ministry of Justice Victims' Assistance and Advocacy Division (VAAD).

64. (SBU) Victims' advocates assist all trafficking victims with legal advice and support from identification through reintegration. Victims' advocates also give victims information on medical and psychosocial support services available to them. In the case of minors, social workers from the MLSW's Center for Social Work (CSW) must be present for any questioning of the victim. The CSW representatives assist minors from identification through reintegration.

65. (SBU) If KPS determines that the person is a victim of trafficking, and the victim agrees, they will place him or her in the MOJ-run Interim Security Facility (ISF). If the victim is a child, police must seek agreement from a representative of the CSW. On the second or third day, IOM discusses repatriation options with foreign victims. If the victim is from Kosovo, the CSW discusses reintegration options. At that point, if the victim is not high risk, he or she will normally go to a local NGO shelter to await repatriation or social reintegration within Kosovo.Kosovo 2009 TIP Report Submission continued SEPTEL - Part 2 of 3.


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