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DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, EUR/PGI, EUR/WE DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO USAID PASS TO ACBLANK
E.O. 12958: DECL: N/A TAGS: KCRM, PHUM, KWMN, SMIG, KFRD, ASEC, PREF, ELAB, SP, KT SUBJECT: NINTH ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT FOR SPAIN
REF: (A) SECSTATE 05577 (B) 08 SECSTATE 132759
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1. (SBU) Pursuant to REFTELS, the following is input from Embassy Madrid and CG Barcelona for the eighth annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Post will need to supply an update cable to incorporate additional legal and judicial statistics. Embassy POC is Political Officer Hugh Clifton, Tel. (34) 91-587-2294, Fax. (34) 91-587-2391.
Staff hours spent in preparation of this report are as follows: POLITICAL COUNSELOR - FE-OC: 5 HOURS POLITICAL OFFICER - FS-04: 65 HOURS POLITICAL SPECIALIST - LES-10: 30 HOURS
2. (SBU) Spain maintains an active set of political, legal and social mechanisms to combat trafficking in persons (TIP). The Spanish government (GOS) places a high priority on fighting TIP and coordinates this fight with national and international law enforcement, regional and local governments, and non- governmental organizations (NGOs). During the reporting period, Spain took continued measures to assist trafficking victims, take down trafficking networks, prosecute perpetrators, prevent future trafficking, and reduce the demand for commercial sex. Spain's efforts were highlighted by its signing in June of the Council of Europe's Convention to Fight Trafficking in Persons and the government's approval in December of an ambitious, three- year, 61-point plan to combat TIP for the purposes of sexual exploitation. The GOS has strict rules on the books for Spanish nationals caught participating in international child sex tourism, and Spanish peacekeepers deployed abroad receive anti- TIP training through participation in multilateral efforts.
3. (SBU) Spain remains both a transit and destination country for internationally trafficked persons, primarily women between the ages of 18 to 25 trafficked for prostitution. Spain is generally not a country of origin for trafficking. Statistical data and information on Spanish government efforts to combat TIP come from the Ministry of Interior, which includes the Spanish National Police (SNP) and the Civil Guard (GC), the Spanish national courts, and NGOs. There are at least 50,000 people in Spain who are victims of TIP, according to the Spanish Network Against TIP -- a coalition of more than 20 diverse and active NGOs, hereafter referred as the Network -- and the GC reported in 2008 that 90 percent of TIP victims in Spain are European, followed by those from Africa and Asia. Spanish law enforcement maintained an aggressive operational tempo against traffickers and participated in several European-wide operations, including ongoing efforts to shut down the Spanish portions of several transnational networks trafficking in and exploiting Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian and other Eastern European women.
//STATISTICS AND DATA//
4. (SBU) The SNP once again furnished Post with a restricted internal report that provides detailed information on TIP enforcement trends, including TIP-related arrests and the number of trafficking victims identified during the reporting period. As of May 31, 2008, the SNP unit that covers TIP-related issues, the Immigration Networks and Falsified Documents Unit (UCRIF), had carried out 219 investigations into crimes of exploitation of immigrants in Spain and had arrested 315 people, which put them on track to surpass the number of TIP-related investigations and arrests conducted in 2007, according to Spanish press reports. The GOS continues to distinguish between trafficking crimes and migrant smuggling, and government statistics and information clearly reflect this distinction. As
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in previous years, information on specific TIP-related investigations, convictions and sentencing was available through an on-line subscription to the Spanish affiliate of WESTLAW (www.westlaw.es). The GOS continues to make progress in normalizing the compilation of its TIP-related judicial statistics, and our Ministry of Justice contacts have confirmed to us that by 2009 they hope to have a one-stop shop database that will greatly facilitate our access to this information.
5. (SBU) Embassy officials at all levels remained engaged in the TIP process with the GOS to encourage action against human trafficking.
-- The GOS responded and continued to vigorously investigate and prosecute all severe forms of trafficking identified in the country and convicted and sentenced the persons responsible for such acts.
-- Spain continued its bilateral cooperation with source countries to improve cross border cooperation to prevent and combat human trafficking, and conducted a number of joint anti- TIP operations.
-- The GOS continued to fully fund previously-funded victims' services NGOs and worked with these NGOs to ensure that trafficking victims are advised of and offered all available rights and benefits. These NGOs receive funding at the federal level (from the Ministries of Equality and of Labor and Social Affairs), regional level (Madrid province) and city level (Madrid City). The same occurs for anti-TIP NGOs based in Spain's other major cities and regions.
-- Spain has a multi-disciplinary approach to fighting trafficking and includes NGOs and relevant agencies in each case. In 2008 the GOS created a Ministry of Equality in part to oversee the final stages of the formulation of and the implementation of the government's long awaited anti-TIP plan. Spain's anti-TIP working group -- now under the day-to-day management of the Ministry of Equality, which reports to the Office of the First Vice President -- includes the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Labor, and Foreign Affairs. This group reached out to NGOs during the drafting process of the national action plan and solicited comments and advice on early drafts. The National Plan was officially approved in December 2008 and came in to force in January 2009.
-- We have no information on any Spanish military officials deployed abroad engaging in or facilitating forms of trafficking, or exploiting victims of such trafficking. On February 6, 2009, the GOS approved a royal decree with a new ethics code for the Spanish Armed Forces, which among other things, obliges the military to protect the defenseless, such as women and children, from prostitution or sexual violence. We likewise have no indication of Spanish public officials participating in or facilitating trafficking.
//SPAIN'S TIP SITUATION//
6. (SBU) Checklist 23 A. Statistical data and information on Spanish government efforts to combat TIP come from the Ministry of Interior -- which includes the Spanish National Police (SNP) and the Civil Guard (GC), the Ministry of Justice, the Spanish national courts, and NGOs. There are at least 50,000 people in Spain who are victims of TIP, according to the Spanish Network Against TIP -- a coalition of more than 20 diverse and active NGOs -- and the GC reported in 2008 that 90 percent of TIP victims in Spain are European, followed by those from Africa and Asia. As in previous years, information on specific TIP-related
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investigations, convictions and sentencing was available through an on-line subscription to the Spanish affiliate of WESTLAW (www.westlaw.es). The GOS continues to make progress in normalizing the compilation of its TIP-related judicial statistics, and our Ministry of Justice contacts have confirmed to us that by 2009 they hope to have a one-stop shop database that will greatly facilitate our access and confidence in this information.
7. (SBU) Checklist 23 B - D. Spain continues to be both a destination and transit country for trafficked persons for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and to a lesser degree, forced labor in the domestic agriculture section. Spain is generally not a country of origin for trafficking. Trafficking in women and girls is mostly for sexual exploitation and prostitution. Available data over the past year from Spanish law enforcement and NGOs indicates that trafficked women were usually 18 to 25 years of age, but some girls were as young as 16. Women were trafficked primarily from Eastern Europe (Romania, Russia, and Ukraine), Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela), and sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria). Asians, including Chinese, were trafficked to a much lesser degree and more often for labor rather than for sexual exploitation.
8. (SBU) Checklist 23 E. Proyecto Esperanza, one of the leading anti-TIP NGOs, reports that traffickers are most often groups of delinquents or organized crime groups and less often smaller groups of two to four people who are less organized and have fewer infrastructures at their disposal. The Spanish chapter of Save The Children also highlights that there has been an increase in the number of instances of minors - especially from Romania - being trafficking into Spain and forced to beg in the streets for money. In recent years, law enforcement authorities and NGOs have seen increasing incidents of victims being trafficked by individuals and smaller groups of traffickers. Methods used by traffickers to maintain control of their victims have included physical abuse, forced use of drugs, withholding of travel documents, and threats to the victim's family, although now traffickers also threaten the victims with informing their families about what they do if they do not pay what they "owe" them. Traffickers also lured some victims from other regions by using violence, intimidation, coercion and deceit. Other methods utilized include abuse of a position of authority or by taking advantage of a victim's needs or vulnerability. Often, trafficked victims are lured by false promises of employment in service industries and agriculture, but then forced them into prostitution upon their arrival. The media reported that criminal networks often lured their victims by using travel agencies and newspaper advertisements in their home countries that promised assured employment in Spain. In the case of Romanian organized networks, women were typically forced into prostitution. One continuing trend NGOs reported seeing again in 2008 is an increase in instances of traffickers allowing their victims to keep a portion of the money they earned through prostitution to dampen the victims' desire to escape the trafficking network.
//SETTING THE SCENE FOR SPAIN'S ANTI-TIP EFFORTS//
9. (SBU) CHECKLIST 24 A. Spain acknowledges that it has a serious trafficking problem and government officials at the highest levels addressed the problem of trafficking during the reporting period and pledged to continue the anti-TIP fight. Spain maintains an active set of political, legal and social mechanisms to combat trafficking in persons (TIP) and coordinates this fight with national and international law enforcement, regional and local governments, and non-
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governmental organizations (NGOs). Spain has a multi- disciplinary approach to fighting trafficking and includes NGOs and relevant agencies in each case.
10. (SBU) CHECKLIST 24 B. The GOS in 2008 created a Ministry of Equality in part to oversee the final stages of the formulation of and the implementation of the government's long awaited anti- TIP plan. Spain's anti-TIP working group -- now under the day- to-day management of the Ministry of Equality, which reports to the Office of the First Vice President -- includes the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Labor, and Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Interior continues to coordinate day-to-day law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking and the SNP has a special unit, the Immigration Networks and Falsified Documents Unit (UCRIF), which covers TIP-related issues. The UCRIF intelligence unit analyzes statistical data and trends, while coordinating efforts and sharing data with the GC and Interpol. Regional offices of the national police conduct quarterly reviews to set goals for combating trafficking and to assess progress in meeting these goals from the previous quarter. In its capacity as the rotating chair of the Council of Europe (COE), Spain - represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Equality, the Spanish Diplomatic School - also organized a seminar in Madrid during December 2-3, 2008 on the COE's Convention to Fight Trafficking in Persons. Civil society representatives, Spanish government authorities, and COE representatives attended.
11. (SBU) CHECKLIST 24 C-D. While funding could always be increased, Spain treats TIP efforts as a priority and will fund its three-year national anti-TIP action plan with 44 million euros (roughly $57 million dollars). We have no evidence that there is any TIP-related corruption in Spain's government and the GOS does not lack the resources to aid victims. GOS efforts over the past year to finalize and enact its national action plan against TIP have allowed it to systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts on all fronts and has shared its assessments with relevant NGOs in Spain, and also international organizations such as the OSCE.
//INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS//
12. (SBU) Checklist 25 A. Spain has specific laws to prohibit trafficking in persons and other activities related to sexual and labor exploitation. These laws are applied in practice and are adequate to cover the full scope of trafficking offenses. New legislation implemented since 2007 includes a law to allow Spanish Judges and Prosecutors to pursue suspected TIP mafias outside Spanish borders. Previously, these Spanish officials did not have extra-territorial jurisdiction to follow these cases, but the new law modified the Organic Law of Judicial Power and incorporated "trafficking in persons and illegal immigration" into the category of crimes of "universal jurisdiction," along with terrorism, genocide, prostitution, and drug trafficking. Additionally, the Spanish Congress approved in late 2007 a change of the Spanish Penal Code that allows the pursuit of ships believed to be transporting trafficked persons or illegal immigrants, even if they are not in Spanish waters, and even if the ship's final destination is another EU country.
13. (SBU) Continue Checklist 25 A. Article 318 of Spain's criminal and penal code is the main piece of legislation that penalizes trafficking in persons. In the legislation, trafficking in human beings and trafficking in children are distinct crimes. Different paragraphs in Spain's Criminal Code penalize activities related to trafficking as it is defined in the Palermo Protocol. This includes, for both adults and children, crimes of sexual exploitation, labor exploitation, and
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slavery or practices similar to slavery, and domestic servitude. Spain also has legal provisions addressing the protection and assistance of victims, protection and assistance of witnesses, special measures for protection and assistance to children, residence permits for victims of trafficking, and compensation of victims. There are several other penal codes related to trafficking in persons, including: Article 312, Crimes Against the Rights of Foreigners; Article 313, Crimes Involving Forced Labor; and the "Ley Organica" (Organic Law for measures related to citizen security, domestic violence and the social integration of the foreigner).
14. (SBU) Continue Checklist 25 A. Prostitution and the procurement of prostitutes are decriminalized in Spain, but forcing others into prostitution and organizing prostitution rings are crimes. Furthermore, it is illegal for anyone to profit from the prostitution of another. Spanish law makes it illegal for pimps or brothels to receive money from the prostitute's activities, even if the prostitute consents. Spanish law prohibits the involvement of minors (under the age of 18) in prostitution. The activities of the prostitute are not criminalized, but the activities of the brothel owner/operator, clients, pimps, and enforcers are criminalized. Spain continues to review its laws regarding prostitution. The central Spanish government remains the principal authority for anti-trafficking enforcement while leaving the legal status of prostitution to Spain's 17 regional governments.
15. (SBU) Checklist 25 B. Spanish criminal law was amended in September 2003 to adapt Spanish legislation to that of other European Union countries. This amendment raised the penalty for the crime of trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation to a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of ten (previous sentencing guidelines ran from 2-4 years behind bars). Sentencing guidelines in convictions for encouraging, favoring, or facilitating the trafficking of persons from, in transit, or destined for Spain for the purpose of sexual exploitation are subject to imprisonment of 5 to 10 years, with an increase to 12 to 15 years if trafficking is carried out with violence, intimidation, deceit or abuse of the victim. Spanish courts at all levels use a combination of available penal codes in prosecuting crimes related to trafficking in persons to ensure a conviction because of a frequent lack of testimony from victims.
16. (SBU) Article one (13) of the above mentioned law modifies Article 318 bis. of the Penal Code:
-- Four to eight years in prison for a person who, directly or indirectly, promotes or facilitates the illegal trafficking of people or illegal immigration from, in transit within, or with a destination of, Spain.
-- If the human trafficking is for sexual exploitation, the prison sentences range from five to ten years.
-- If the person committing the crime uses his/her position of authority to facilitate the trafficking, or if he/she is a public servant, the penalty will be 6-12 years.
-- In the event the victim of the crime is under age or has his/her life put in danger, or if the criminal belongs to an organized crime or trafficking ring, then the sentences applied will be on the higher scale.
17. (SBU) While Article 318 has been designed as the primary statute in TIP cases, the Network highlights that prosecutors in many instances charge TIP defendants with violation of Article 188 of the Penal Code instead. Article 188 covers forced
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prostitution and profiting from the prostitution of another person and carries a lesser penalty of two to four years.
18. (SBU) Spanish judges often combine a trafficking sentence with a sentence for crimes involving theft, illegal detention, forgery of documents, or extortion. When a defendant is convicted of an additional crime two separate sentences must be served. Once sentenced, prisoners generally serve 75 percent of their sentence before being eligible for parole. A Spanish Supreme Court judge ruled in 2006 that each request for a reduction in sentence for good behavior must be applied to each sentence individually, meaning it is now much more difficult for criminals prosecuted on multiple counts related to trafficking to see parole.
19. (SBU) Checklist 25 C. Article 313 and the Organic Law 11/2003 cover forced labor. The sentencing guidelines are four to eight years in prison for the person who, directly or indirectly, promotes or facilitates human trafficking from, in transit within, or to Spain. While the just approved National Integral Plan against TIP focuses primarily on sexual exploitation, there will be some modifications to the laws penalizing forced labor. Spanish officials tell us that they have begun work on a second national action plan that specifically targets trafficking for the purposes of forced labor.
20. (SBU) Checklist 25 D. The penalty for rape is 6 to 12 years in prison, increasing to a possible 15 years with aggravating circumstances. The penalty for forcible sexual assault is 1 to 4 years in prison, 4 to 10 years with aggravating circumstances. Prescribed penalties for encouraging, favoring, or facilitating the trafficking of persons from, in transit within, or to Spain for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor now stand at 5 to 10 years, with a possible 12 to 15 years with aggravating circumstances.
21. (SBU) The GOS has ratified all of the mentioned instruments, and the dates of ratification are:
-- ILO Convention 182 (April 2, 2001) -- ILO Convention 29 (August 29, 1932) -- ILO Convention 105 (November 6, 1967) -- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (December 18, 2001) -- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (March 1, 2002)
In June of 2008, Spain signed the Council of Europe's Convention to Fight Trafficking in Persons, which entered into force in February of that year. Both houses of the Spanish Parliament have approved of the Convention and Spain intends to deposit its ratification with the COE in early 2009, while Spain still holds the COE rotating Presidency.
22. (SBU) Checklist 25 E. The Embassy engaged with relevant Spanish authorities to reinforce the importance of law enforcement and judicial statistics. Our contacts in the Spanish police, Civil Guard, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Justice facilitated our access to prosecution data. Additional information on specific TIP-related investigations, convictions and sentencing in Spain was available on-line through a subscription service to the Spanish affiliate of WESTLAW (www.westlaw.es). The Spanish government continues to make commendable progress in normalizing the compilation of its TIP-related judicial statistics, and our National Court contacts have reconfirmed that by 2009 they aim to have a one-stop shop database for all TIP-related law enforcement and judicial
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statistics. In the meantime, the Special Prosecutor for TIP crimes has informed the Embassy that by mid-year his office should have information on TIP judicial statistics. Spanish authorities track TIP cases separately from illegal immigration and false documentation. Under Spanish labor laws, the government treats as traffickers and criminally prosecutes employers who confiscate workers' passports and use physical or sexual abuse to keep workers in a state of service. Traffickers serve an average of 75 percent of their sentence before being eligible for parole, but Spanish penal law limits the number of traffickers who receive early parole.
23. (SBU) Checklist 25 F. The GOS provides specialized anti- trafficking training to law enforcement agencies. Training is provided to new recruits at the SNP academy in Avila. NGOs continue to remain active in helping law enforcement agencies devise specialized training curriculum for officers who will be working trafficking cases. Officials from Proyecto Esperanza and other NGOs participated throughout the reporting period, at the invitation of the national police, in a "Specialized Course on Trafficking in Persons Investigations." NGOs tell us the SNP are increasingly sensitized to and trained for the special demands of TIP investigations.
24. (SBU) Checklist 25 G. The GOS has bilateral accords with several countries that are major sources of TIP victims in Spain, and the GOS regularly cooperates in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases.
25. (SBU) Checklist 25 H-J. The GOS can extradite persons charged with trafficking, including its own nationals, but there have been no instances during the reporting period of the GOS extraditing Spanish nationals charged with TIP offenses. The GOS also has bilateral agreements with TIP source countries to extradite persons who are charged with trafficking. Spanish officials from the President on down are committed to fighting TIP, and we have no evidence of any Spanish government involvement in or tolerance of human trafficking. -- 4. (C) COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST. Barbalic pointed out in the meeting that he is a political appointee, not a career diplomat, and it was evident in this meeting that he also understands that he and his mission will face tremendous challenges in preparing to win election to the Council and in fulfilling Bosnia's responsibilities as a member. Like Barbalic, we believe BiH's election to the Council to be likely, and we will want to offer early assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina to prepare for 2010. We will follow up with the BiH mission in the coming weeks to see if there are specific areas where we could be useful. We recommend that the Department also reach out to the BiH Ministry of Foreign of Affairs to offer the benefit of our experience as a permanent member and to help with resource planning. END COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST. Rice