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HUNGARY: 2010 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID     10BUDAPEST98
SUBJECT     HUNGARY: 2010 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT
DATE     2010-02-18 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION     UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ORIGIN     Embassy Budapest
TEXT     UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 BUDAPEST 000098

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR: G/TIP MEGAN HALL, EUR/CE JAMIE MOORE, G FOR LAURA PENA, EUR/PGI: JODY BUCKNEBERG, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTIP, KCRM, KFRD, KWMN, ELAB, PGOV, MCA, PHUM, PREF, SMIG, KMCA, EU, HU
SUBJECT: HUNGARY: 2010 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT

REF: SECSTATE 2094

BUDAPEST 00000098 001.2 OF 012

The entire cable is sensitive but unclassified; please treat accordingly.

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SUMMARY
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1. We believe the Government of Hungary (GOH) fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The GOH has improved its efforts to combat trafficking and followed through on its proposals to address the problem. Notably, the government improved its support for victims, providing $88,500 to NGOs working against trafficking in persons (TIP), up from zero financial support in 2008. Convictions for traffickers increased in 2009, with 87 percent receiving a prison sentence.

A new pilot program established in cooperation between the Office of Justice and National Police Board established three victim support centers to proactively contact and support victims of violent crimes. At the end of December, the GOH signed a contract with an NGO to open a new shelter for trafficking victims. The government referral system, designed in cooperation with the GOH and NGO victims’ assistance centers, continued to work effectively during the year.

Hungary has established a solid anti-TIP framework through its National Strategy but now needs to continue implementing an action plan with the TIP stakeholders. Hungary needs to further support important services for trafficking victims, either directly or through NGOs, and increase training efforts for law enforcement officials, in particular, outside of Budapest.

2. Responses below are keyed to questions posed in para 25-35 of reftel:

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HUNGARY’S TIP SITUATION
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— A. Key government agencies, NGOs, and international organizations provided the majority of the TIP-related information to Post. The Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement (MOJ) is the lead government agency on TIP issues and is the primary point of contact on all related issues. Other government agencies involved were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Several NGOs provided information related to victims assistance, prevention efforts, and government cooperation.
These NGOs included the International Office of Migration (IOM), the Hungarian Baptist Aid (HBA), the Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA), the Foundation for the Women of Hungary (MONA) and the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC).

Post considers the sources to be generally reliable. HBA has requested to remain anonymous.

— B. Hungary is primarily a country of origin and transit, and secondarily a destination country for women trafficked for sexual exploitation. There were no official estimates of the actual number of victims trafficked from, to, or through Hungary. Officials reported that 94 trafficking victims, all Hungarian nationals, were identified during 2009 compared to the 75 victims reported in 2008. Abroad, MFA consular officers identified 28 Hungarian trafficking victims.
Officials could not clearly establish how many victims were internally trafficked as traffickers rotated victims internally and internationally.

Internal trafficking for sexual exploitation originates primarily from eastern Hungary and terminates either in Budapest or along the Austrian border. The impact of Hungary’s acceptance into the U.S. visa waiver Program on November 17,2008 is being closely monitored by government officials. MFA reported that three trafficking victims requested assistance from Hungarian consulates in the U.S.

Recent trafficking trends suggest that Hungary is becoming less of a destination country and more of a transit country. Rising poverty rates have increased the supply of domestic victims, thus reducing the demand for international victims. Additionally, the implementation of the visa free Schengen zone has made it easier for traffickers to traffic external victims through Hungary en route to other countries. In December 2009, the EU lifted the visa requirements for citizens from Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Authorities report no increase in trafficking activities resulting from this change. Victims were trafficked internationally from Hungary to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, SWITZERLAND, Spain, Ireland, the United States (U.S.). The Netherlands and SWITZERLAND are increasingly becoming the destination country of choice for Hungarian traffickers. In a September news report, Dutch police claimed that 20-25 percent of the women in Amsterdam’s red light district were Hungarian, mainly from the northeastern city of Nyiregyhaza. Correspondingly, NGOs reported that the trafficking unit in the Zurich police department employed a full-time Hungarian-speaking staff member to respond to the sharp increase in Hungarian trafficking victims following SWITZERLAND’s entry into the Schengen zone in early 2009. These women and girl prostitutes, mainly of Roma ethnicity, were chiefly from Eastern Hungary, notably from the towns of Berettyoujfalu and Puspokladany. The principal countries of origin for victims of trafficking through Hungary were Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, countries of the former Yugoslavia, and China. Victims trafficked to Hungary included ethnic Hungarians from western Romania for purposes of sexual
exploitation including male minors.

— C. The only trafficking cases within and from Hungary which came to the attention of the authorities were cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation. TIP victims in Hungary are forced to solicit clients on rural roads, city streets, in brothels (disguised as lap-dance bars or massage parlors), and in some cases, apartments or private homes. Traffickers use threats, force and emotional attachment to ensure compliance. Victims are usually housed in apartments owned by traffickers or outbuildings on their property. In most cases, virtually all victims’ earnings (as well as, in cases of trafficking to or from Hungary, the victims’ travel documents) are taken by the trafficker. Many victims are enticed through employment ads promising well paying work, either legal or illegal, but many are also deceived about such false opportunities by personal acquaintances, family friends or family members. While government officials comment that it is not uncommon for trafficking victims to use fraudulent documentation, a significant number travel with bona fide documents, making it difficult to identify victims as they are unaware of their intended victimization.

— D. Victims trafficked within and outside Hungary are trafficked for sexual exploitation. The majority of internally trafficked victims originated in the poorer regions of the eastern part of the country. The high-risk groups included young, rural women mainly of Roma origin and adult female orphans. A large percentage of the victims, especially the underage female victims, originate from orphanages, state care homes and juvenile correctional facilities, either when they leave or are released at age 18, but a number are also trafficked while they are still in these state institutions and homes, according to NGOs. The young women, and sometimes boys, are especially vulnerable to exploitation in prostitution and human trafficking. MONA reported the ongoing and prevalent phenomenon of underage girls in a Budapest correctional facility/state care home, were recruited and prostituted by male pimps during the hours that they were allowed to leave the facility. In turn, the young victims (most between 14 and 16-years-old) recruited and prostituted other girls in the home. When orphans leave
these institutions at age 18 (only some are permitted to stay longer in state homes or apartments, under certain conditions until age 24), the state gives the orphan a one-time average stipend of HUF 500,000 (approximately $2,700). This amount is usually less than what is needed for an apartment lease and living expenses, but more than what they have seen until
then. NGOs claimed that this stipend is a danger factor, as pimps and traffickers aware of the stipend, seek to take it from the newly-released young adults.

There is also a mentorship program available to those over the age of 18, but in practice it is not used very often, and is not viewed by NGOs as very effective. The orphans usually have a lower education level compared to other young adults; have very few employment or higher education options; and often have a very weak or perhaps nonexistent family or support network. As a result, most of these women find themselves indigent and homeless in a matter of weeks. Out of desperation, they often turn to prostitution and quickly find themselves at the mercy of traffickers and/or pimps.

— E. According to government officials and NGOs the majority of traffickers were individuals or small, family-based groups. There is evidence that women are sold into prostitution by their families. This typically happens in very low-income families. The principal recruitment methods used by traffickers included employment ads promising well paying work for waitresses or dancers published in free weekly publications, on the internet, or spread by word of mouth, for instance, at discos. Post has no evidence that bona fide employment, travel agencies, or marriage brokers are fronting for traffickers. However, in two cases where the victims were exploited for their labor in the U.S., authorities assume that Hungarian employment agencies were involved. Some victims know they are being recruited to perform illegal work, but do not expect to have to perform sexual services.

Other methods included ‘boyfriends’ that groomed young girls and women, creating an emotional attachment and buying them gifts, and in the worse cases, raping and threatening them
before prostituting them. Authorities in SWITZERLAND and Italy claim that a high percentage of Hungarian trafficking suspects have Roma ethnicity. While government officials comment that it is not uncommon for trafficking victims to use fraudulent documentation, especially with victims under 18-years-old, a significant number travel with bona fide documents, making it difficult to identify victims as they are unaware of their intended victimization. Traffickers transported victims in cars, trains, planes and buses.
Victims are usually housed in apartments owned by traffickers or outbuildings on their property. Virtually all victims’ earnings (as well as the victims’ travel documents) are taken by the trafficker.

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THE GOVERNMENT’S ANTI-TIP EFFORTS
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— AQhe government recognizes that trafficking in persons is a problem in Hungary that requires continued law enforcement, prevention, and victim assistance efforts.

— B. The government’s National Strategy Against Trafficking in Persons came into force on April 10, 2008, establishing the framework of cooperation for government agencies involved in trafficking issues. The Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement had the lead on all trafficking issues and coordinated the government activities through a State Secretary-level national coordinator. Other government agencies involved included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor The National Strategy details the Trafficking situation in Hunary and lays the groundwork for the formation of a National Action Plan. It also describes the principle tasks of the National Coordinator position to include the  development of an action plan and a requirement to maintain routine communication with key stakeholders. The inter-ministerial working group invites NGO participation to its quarterly meetings. According to NGOs, the National Coordinator rarely, if ever, attended the working group meetings. The government claimed that the implementation of the Action Plan is ongoing, though NGOs stated that they are still unaware of the Action Plan.

— C. The government reported budgetary limitations in combating TIP. Government ministries fund TIP programs “out of hide” as there was no specific allocation for TIP. During the year, the government spent 245.7 million Hungarian Forints (HUF) (approximately $1.3 million) on anti-trafficking efforts including HUF 229 million (approximately $1.2 million) on prosecution and enforcement resources to include a special TIP investigation unit, a hotline, and crisis centers. In 2009, the government provided HUF 16.7 million (approximately $88,359) to TIP NGOs, HUF 4.5 million (approximately $23,800) for research, HUF 3.2 illion (approximately $17,200) for training, HUF 3 million (approximately $15,800) for prevention, HUF 6 million (approximately $31,700) for shelter support. In 2008, the GOH did not support any TIP NGO. Representatives from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) reported that trafficking laws are narrow in scope and fail to fully address the TIP problem. They cited the example of pandering, saying that the law does not treat it as a TIP crime, thus
weakening their ability to combat it. The National Assembly has considered legislation to include pandering as ‘a TIP crime for many years without success. NBI cited that the absence of any special TIP judges or prosecutors, as well as untrained country police officers, as limiting factors.

— D. The National Strategy established a mechanism for the GOH to systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts, but there was minimal operational evidence. The national coordination mechanism requires regular communication and meetings with key TIP stakeholders, which occurred 12 times during the year. The GOH replied to external queries from international organizations and took part in elaborating the international and ED documents on trafficking. However, the government did not release regular internal reports on trafficking. The individual agencies involved in anti-TIP efforts operated independently of each other, relying on informal communication channels to share information.

— E. Hungary has a reliable birth registration and citizenship process. The citizenship law is based on the principles of jus sanguinis, meaning that a person acquires citizenship by birth from a parent who is a citizen. Hungary also offers a naturalization path to citizenship. Upon meeting specific criteria, immigrants to Hungary are entitled to a residency permit. It is unknown what percentage of the small immigrant community is undocumented, specifically from the Chinese and Vietnamese population.

— F. All investigative and prosecuting agencies were integrated into the law enforcement database (ENYUBS), which increased data collection. Implemented in late 2008, the database tracks TIP and TIP-related crimes in a centralized crime database. The database allows police officers across Hungary to use it to flag any crime that they believe could have a TIP connection. Officials from the NBI Department of Trafficking in Human Beings have access to the flagged data and can examine it to determine whether there is any connection to a TIP offense.

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INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS
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— A. In 1999, the crime of TIP was specifically introduced into the Hungarian Criminal Code. The definition of TIP was modified in 2001 to harmonize with the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes. Under paragraph 175/B of the Hungarian Criminal Code, any person who sells, purchases, conveys, receives another person or exchanges a person for another person, including the person, or who recruits, transports, houses, hides, or appropriates people for such purposes for another party, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment not to exceed three years. The basic penalty for traffickers is one to five years imprisonment if the criminal act is committed for the following purposes: sodomy or sexual penetration; to subject the victim to forced labor; to the detriment of a person kept in captivity; for the unlawful use of the human body; in criminal conspiracy; or in a pattern of criminal profiteering. The penalty for these offenses increases to two to eight years if it is committed to the detriment of a person who is in the care, custody, supervision, or treatment of the perpetrator, or if it is carried out by force, by the threat of force, by deception, or by tormenting the injured person. The penalty increases to five to ten years if trafficking involves making illegal pornographic material. During this reporting period, the GOH amended article 175/B paragraph 5 of the penal code, which increased the penalty involving victims under 12 years of age, from a minimum of five to fifteen years, to five to twenty years up to life imprisonment. Any person who makes preparations for TIP is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by
imprisonment not to exceed two years. The law covers both internal and transborder trafficking cases.

The GOH acknowledges that the Hungarian Supreme Court has set strict evidentiary requirements for proving the crime of TIP, which makes successful prosecutions under paragraph 175/8 difficult. Prosecutors must prove that a person was bought and sold. Unfortunately, prosecutors often try traffickers under other criminal statutes, which are related to trafficking and easier to prosecute but carry lighter sentences, in the hopes of providing a greater chance of conviction. The numbers of these “non paragraph 175/B” prosecutions are included in the Unified Statistical System of Investigations and Prosecutions (ENYUBS). These TIP-related statutes may include laws against slavery, kidnapping, promotion of prostitution, living on the earnings of prostitution, pandering, human smuggling, violation of personal freedom, changing the custody of a minor, or changing the family status.

— B. The basic penalty for trafficking people for sexual exploitation is imprisonment between one to five years if the criminal act is committed for the purpose of sodomy or sexual penetration. The penalty increases to two to eight years if it is committed to the -detriment of a person who is in the care, custody, supervision, or treatment of the perpetrator, or if it is carried out by force, by the threat of force, by deception, or by tormenting the injured person. The penalty increases to five to ten years if trafficking for the purpose of making illegal pornographic material is involved. This reporting period, the GOH amended article 175/8 paragraph 5 of the penal code which increased the penalty involving victims under 12 years of age, from a minimum of five to fifteen, to five to twenty years up to life imprisonment.

— C. The basic penalty for labor trafficking offenses is imprisonment between one to five years if the criminal act subjects the victim to forced labor. As with sexual exploitation, the penalty increases to two to eight years if it is committed to the detriment of a person who is in the care, custody, supervision, or treatment of the perpetrator, or if it is carried out by force, by the threat of force, by deception, or by tormenting the injured person. If the victim is under 12 years of age, the penalty is five to fifteen years up to life imprisonment. The law provides for criminal punishment for both recruiters who engage in recruitment of laborers using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers that result in workers being trafficked in the destination country, as well as for employers or labor agents who confiscate worker’s passports or travel documents switch contracts without the workers’ consent, or withhold payment of salaries to keep workers in a state of service. If the perpetrator is a Hungarian citizen he/she can be punished for a TIP offense, regardless of the place of the perpetration.
If the offender is not a Hungarian citizen, Hungarian law should be applied. If the perpetration is in another country but the offender has connection to Hungary, Hungarian law can be also applied pursuant to the Hungarian Criminal Code. The GOH did not enact any new legislation on labor trafficking offenses since the last TIP report.

— D. The penalties for rape or forcible sexual assault are similar to trafficking penalties. The basic penalty is between two to eight years imprisonment. The penalty increases to five to twenty years if the victim is under 12, and if the victim is under the care of the perpetrator or if more than one person has sexual intercourse with the victim on the same occasion, knowing about each other’s acts.

— E. The GOH initiated 27 investigations and brought charges against 16 persons suspected of TIP crimes in nine cases during the year. In one case, authorities seized nearly HUF 200 million (approximately $1 million) in cash, cars and other property from two suspects. According to Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement data, 23 perpetrators were convicted for 31 TIP sexual exploitation crimes. Of the 23 convictions for sexual exploitation, 20 convictions resulted in sentences ranging from eight months to nine years in prison. Twelve of these convictions resulted in prison sentences of less than three years. Three convictions carried a three to four year sentence, while the remaining five were sentenced to more than five years. Of the 23 total convictions, three resulted in suspended sentences. Of these, four sentences included additional fines. Fines in three of the cases were between HUF 300,000 – HUF 500,000 (approximately $1,600 – $2,600). In the other case, the fines were HUF 4 million (approximately $21,164). There was no additional information available to explain the disparity between the fines in these four cases. In one case HUF 351,400 (approximately $1,900) was confiscated.

Compared to 2008, penalties for convicted traffickers were more severe in 2009. In 2008, the 16 reported convictions resulted in only nine prison sentences with seven cases ending in a suspended sentence. Only 56 percent of convicted traffickers received a prison sentence in 2008. By contrast, in 2009, 20 of the 23 convicted traffickers, or 87 percent, received a prison sentence, while only three received suspended sentences. Disturbingly, a breakdown of the conviction data by county revealed that all nine convictions originating in Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg County were sentenced to less than three years, with one suspended sentence. This county is the easternmost county in Hungary and is reportedly also from where many internally trafficked victims originate. There is no evidence available to explain why the sentencing patterns appear to be less strict in this county relative to the rest of the country.

— F. The GOH conducted regular training for consular officers destined for overseas assignments. In cooperation with IOM, the GOH elaborated training materials that police personnel deliver to their communities. The material describes the main methods of recruitment tactics and the most common ways of exploitation, including the risks of working or staying abroad. The GOH reported that county police forces delivered regular training for professionals, youth child protection facilities, and churches. However, the NBI reported that it did not receive any additional funds from the GOH to support TIP training for police officers, including victim sensitivity training.

The government provided the HBA and IOM with HUF 3 million (approximately $15,800) for six trafficking-prevention training sessions for the staff of an unaccompanied minor shelter. MONA, the Women’s Rights Association, and the Association of Street Social Helpers (NANE), held three two-day training sessions for police officers and law-enforcement officials. The training provided 55 law enforcement officials with tools to better combat trafficking and assist victims, raise awareness about the connection between trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation and prostitution, and to increase participants’ sensitivity towards victims of trafficking and persons in prostitution.

–G. The government cooperates with other nations, mainly the Netherlands, on a regular basis as most TIP cases have an international component. Most of the cooperation is done with
information exchanges, however there were three cases involving operative cooperation. These cases included Germany and Austria.

— H. The GOH is willing to extradite foreign nationals charged with trafficking, unless the suspect may be subject to the death penalty. Hungary generally does not approve the
extradition of its own nationals. The U.S. – Hungary extradition treaty, for example, includes a provision that allows each country to deny extradition of its own citizens.
In such cases where citizenship is the only reason for denial, the denying country is obligated to conduct a trial within its own justice system. During the reporting period, authorities extradited eight persons from Hungary on trafficking charges, while two persons were extradited from abroad to Hungary.

— I. There is no evidence of government involvement in, or tolerance of trafficking, at the local or institutional level.

— J. There is no evidence that government officials are involved in trafficking.

— K. The GOH investigates, prosecutes, and convicts police officers or military troops working in foreign missions. Police and military officers committing a crime are immediately suspended from office, sent back to Hungary, and prosecuted. The foreign mission and the sending country are notified without delay. According to the information of the Office of the Military Prosecutor there were no criminal procedures launched in TIP cases committed by Hungarian peacekeeping troops during the reporting period.

— L. The GOH and multiple NGOs confirmed that there is no evidence that Hungary is a destination for child sex tourism. However, NGOs and the media reported that Hungary, Budapest
in particular, became a destination for sex tourism, mainly stag parties. Low cost airlines, inexpensive alcohol and prostitution services appealed to Western European male tourists. In flight magazines on routes to Budapest feature strip clubs and ‘massage parlors’.

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PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
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— A. In 2001, Parliament adopted the Witness Protection Act, which stipulates protection of victims/witnesses of trafficking. The program is available for foreign nationals as well. Endangered witnesses can be moved to a protected residence within Hungary or to another country and their identity can be altered. The state socially and financially supports protected persons. No trafficking victims participated in the Witness Protection Program in 2009.
Additionally, Parliament adopted the Act on Entry and Stay of Third Country Nationals (Act No. 2 which came into force on July 1, 2007. This act grants foreign trafficking victims a reflection period of one month to decide whether they will cooperate with authorities. During this period, victims are entitled to a temporary residence permit and may only be expelled from the country if their continued residence presents a serious threat to national security, public security, or public policy. After the expiry of the reflection period, if they decide to cooperate with authorities, they are entitled to a residence permit valid for six months. The government’s implementing decree (No. 114/2007) ensures that victims of trafficking have access to accommodation, health care, and various forms of financial support during their period of legal stay in the country. Reportedly, no trafficking victims applied for temporary
residence permits.

Several NGOs expressed concern that the government’s legal interpretation of “victim” is often times too narrow to include victims of trafficking, thus making it difficult for these organizations to secure government funding. NGOs also complained that the 30 day reflection period is not long enough for victims to work through the trauma and decide to testify. Hungarian victims are not granted a reflection period, but must decide right away if they will cooperate. No trafficking case is tried without the victim’s testimony.

— B. There were approximately 60 regional and local victim protection offices and 11 regional crisis centers where trafficking victims could receive short-term psychological, social, and legal assistance. The MSAL supports an assistance hotline (the National Crisis Management and Information Telephone Services – OKIT). Among other target groups, this hotline also provides assistance to victims of trafficking in the form of emotional support and referral to the shelter(s) for victims of trafficking. Child TIP victims are placed in state care juvenile facilities, when circumstances do not allow them to return to their families. There are currently two TIP adult victim care facilities operating in Hungary.
One shelter has been owned and operated by an NGO, HBA, since 2005. The government supported HBA’s shelter operations in 2007, providing HUF 13 million (approximately $74,901 at that time). During the reporting period, the NGO operated the shelter exclusively with private donations. In 2009, the HBA shelter provided assistance to 45 trafficking victims during the reporting period, of which nine were referred by the crisis hotline and two were referred by NBI, but the majority from the crisis hotline. The six bed facility offers a range of services to victims, including legal, medical, and psychological assistance, as well as full room and board, repatriation assistance for third country nationals, and reintegration services. Trafficking victims are permitted to stay in the facility for up to six months, though some stay longer. The HBA also provides additional assistance to the victims to make the transition out of the facility. Options include a transfer to another, non-trafficking victim facility, repatriation to their country of origin, transfer to another shelter in the country of origin, or assistance with gaining legal residence in Hungary.

The second shelter is government funded. On December 30, the government signed an initial and renewable six-month contract valued at HUF 6 million (approximately $31,700) with the NGO, HIA, to support a shelter exclusively for trafficking victims. The six-person capacity shelter provides legal, medical, psychological and social services to victims. Due to limited funding, the new shelter will only accept Hungarian victims returning to Hungary from abroad, or Hungarian victims trafficked internally within Hungary.

Some NGOs expressed concern that neither the shelters, nor the government, share information as to what services the shelters provide, what kind of training their staff receives, general data on victims such as the number of victims assisted, from where or to they were trafficked. Some TIP NGOs that refer victims to the shelters have almost no information about what will happen to the victims once they arrive. Some argue that data on victims and their traffickers would help devise better policies and programs to combat trafficking and protect victims.

Some NGOs criticized the government for the lack of transparency in contracting for shelter services in 2009, as it did not release any public tender for support to run a shelter.

— C. All government funding comes from the federal budget but may be administered at the county level. The GOH, directly and indirectly, provides trafficking victims with access to legal, medical, or psychological services. In October 2009, the 2005 Crime Victim Support and State Compensation Act was amended easing the application process and requirements. Under this act, Crime victims can receive compensation (lump sum or allotments) and psychological services. In 2009, no TIP victims applied for this benefit.
MSAL operated a crisis hotline, which was successful in directing trafficking victims to the appropriate service providers. The hotline, funded entirely by the MSAL, employed a staff of 12 operators and one director position. Several other NGOs reported that the crisis hotline operated successfully and effectively during the year.

Although the government offers temporary residency, short-term relief from deportation, and shelter to trafficking victims who cooperated with police and prosecutors, authorities claim that no one applied or received such support. During the year, the government allocated a total of 245.7 million forints (approximately $1.3 million) to anti-trafficking efforts including: HUF 70 million (approximately $370,370) to trafficking victim assistance programs, HUF 4.5 million (approximately $23,800) for research, HUF 3.2 million (approximately $17,200) for training, HUF 3 million (approximately $15,800) for prevention, HUF 6 million (approximately $31,700) for shelter support, and HUF 157 million (approximately $829,630) on prosecution and enforcement resources to include the special trafficking in persons investigation unit.

The Office of Justice Victim Support Service ran a pilot program from September to December with the National Police Board and three county victim support service centers. The aim of this pilot project was to proactively contact and support more victims of violent and deliberate crimes. When the police take a victim’s statement, they request written permission to share the victim’s personal data with the victim support service, which then immediately contacts the victim. If the pilot program proves effective, the government plans to broaden the program to the whole country.

— D. The Act on Entry and Stay of Third Country Nationals (Act No.2) described above (para. A) provides foreign trafficking victims certain rights that facilitate their stay in Hungary. No foreign victims were identified in 2009.

— E. The GOH did not directly provide longer-term housing benefits to victims, or other resources to assist victims to rebuild their lives. The GOH provided financial support to NGOs that delivered such services.

— F. A formal victim referral program process, with an emphasis on victim protection, has been in place since 2005. According to one NGO, the referral system is functioning well. NGOs reported that courts and prosecutors’ offices use the referral program to their satisfaction. The police updated their directive on counter-trafficking measures in 2007, which provides guidance to all policemen on how to appropriately handle trafficking cases. The guidance places a special emphasis on victim identification, international coordination, and cooperation with NGOs.

— G. There are no figures or estimates of the actual number of trafficking victims in Hungary. However, 94 trafficking victims were identified during the reporting period. Of these, two were referred by NBI, and nine by the GOH-operated crisis hotline, to the victims’ assistance NGO for follow-up. Law enforcement officials referred two victims to care facilities. The GOH provided assistance to any trafficking victims through government-funded assistance programs during the year (see para C above).

— H. NGOs reported that law enforcement officials are successfully proactive at identifying possible trafficking victims. Police officers receive a manual on TIP explaining the causes of victimization, interrogation methods for the victim-witness, and specific investigation techniques and tactics. The manual was compiled in the framework of a regional training program of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and the International Center for Migration policy Development (ICMPD) on implementation of the regulations of Palermo Protocol. Hungarian authorities do not register persons engaged in prostitution. As a result, there is no formal mechanism in place to screen for trafficking victims among this population.

— I. It is not GOH policy to jail, detain, fine, or deport victims of trafficking, and there were no reports that any of these occurred during the reporting year. According to both the GOH and NGOs, the directive on counter-trafficking measures from the Hungarian National Police to all police officers across the country has had a positive effect on the treatment and identification of trafficking victims.

— J. The GOH officially encourages victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. Twenty-seven victims assisted in the GOH’s investigations, resulting in charges against 16 persons suspected of TIP crimes during the year. In 2001, Hungary adopted its Act on Witness Protection. In theory, the program grants physical protection to witnesses. The program is available to victims of trafficking, provided they are willing to testify in a court of law.

— K. The GOH conducts regular training sessions for consular officers to raise their awareness about potential TIP victims they may encounter while posted abroad. The training program,
developed by the MFA’s Consular Department and I0M, is mandatory for all Hungarian consuls and is part of the manual issued to all consular officers. The training also serves as a model for other Foreign Ministries in the region. In 2009, consular officers identified 28 Hungarian trafficking victims: six in Germany; six in Italy; six in Austria; three in the United States; two in the United Kingdom; two in Spain; one in Greece; one in South Africa; and, one in SWITZERLAND. In the two U.S. cases the victims were employed as housekeepers and au-pairs/babysitters. In all cases, the MFA worked with local victim assistance organizations and referred many of the victims directly to those agencies for assistance.

— L. Repatriated nationals who are trafficking victims have access to the range of social services available to all Hungarians. Once repatriated, the GOH does not directly provide any additional assistance to these victims. Instead, the victims are normally referred to the NGO-operated victim care facilities for follow-up.

— M. The most active organization concerned with trafficking is IOM. Since 1999, IOM has conducted the most in-depth training on trafficking in Hungary. In 2009, IOM and the GOH carried out a prevention campaign and training workers at an unaccompanied minor shelter. IOM also refers Hungarian victims identified by their offices outside of Hungary to the
victims’ care facility in Budapest.

The HBA has done considerable street-level work, operates a victims’ shelter, and provides counseling services to trafficking victims and prostitutes, as well as international relief services. The NGO finances trafficking awareness programs for its own social workers and experts.

Women United Against Violence (NANE) is a small, but active, NGO. Although NANE’s primary focus is on violence against women, it provides counseling to trafficking and domestic
violence victims and promotes public awareness of these issues.

The Foundation for the Women of Hungary (MONA) primarily focuses on women’s empowerment, it lead a project to establish inter-professional support services in Hungary to promote the fight against trafficking in women, prostitution, and violence against women. The project aims to establish cooperation between the governmental authorities for a more appropriate legal policy by organizing training for policemen, and forums for the target groups to foster professional cooperation.

The European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) is an international public interest law organization engaging in a range of activities aimed at combating anti-Romani racism and human rights abuse of Roma. Currently they are researching regional trafficking trends among the Roma.

The Cordelia Foundation is a small NG providing relief to victims of torture and organized crime. They also work on refugee assistance.

The Hungarian Prostitute Interest Association (HPIA) is a small but active NGO that seeks to raise government awareness on the plight of prostitutes. HPIA conducts surveys on the working conditions of street prostitutes, rehabilitates prostitutes, and counsels them on how to avoid being victimized by traffickers.

———-
PREVENTION
———-

— A. The MOJ and the Hungarian National Police, in cooperation with IOM and the Hungarian Oil Company Ltd. (MOL) launched a demand-side campaign from March to June 2009. The three month campaign employed press conferences, radio interviews, an article in “Cop” magazine, and posters placed in 100 gas station restrooms to reach the target audience of 25-45 year old males. The posters which showed a bed with money on it and handcuffs, stated “You can get out of it, but can she?” was intended to get the audience to consider how hiring a prostitute could support the trafficking industry.

The slogan stressed the lack of choice that TIP victims have. Other ‘giveaways’ like badge holders and coasters with the slogan and the MOJ website address on them were distributed to members of the target group. Additionally, IOM developed anti-demand related information that was posted on the MOJ website. MOJ stated that nearly 10,000 target group members received the campaign materials and the on-line information material was downloaded 4,000 times. MOJ financed the campaign with HUF 3 million (approximately $15,800). Some NGOs complained that the campaign was not visible enough and that the message was not clearly about TIP victims.
Additionally, the government funded IOM to provide a six-session trafficking prevention training course to shelter staff at the unaccompanied minor shelter.

— B. Since December 21, 2007, Hungary has been a member of the Schengen zone and continues to place a high importance on monitoring its borders. A wide range of modern techniques are in place to detect illegal border crossings (such as sensors, infra-red cameras, etc). Immigration and emigration patterns are monitored and law enforcement agencies pay special attention to cases where TIP may occur during the entrance procedure at the borders. NNI police officials noted however, that the removal of border controls between Hungary and its
neighboring Schengen countries has reduced the number of immigration officials screening potential victims and offenders as they cross these borders.

— C. The GOH established a formal mechanism to facilitate communication between the key TIP stakeholders upon adopting the National Strategy on April 10, 2008. In practice however, this mechanism is minimally used. Though the working group meets quarterly and invites NGO participation, NGOs reported expressed their disappointment in the lack of available data from the government. Additionally, the GOH did not establish an internet group for stakeholders to share information as planned.

The multi-agency working group, which also incorporated NGOs and IOs, met quarterly The US-Hungary bilateral working group, which previously existed to provide information to for the TIP Report, was dissolved with the adoption of the National Strategy.

— D. The National Strategy laid the foundation for the creation of a National Action Plan, setting an implementation deadline of August 31, 2008. However, at the end of the reporting year, MOJ stated that the Action Plan was still being developed, with no clear indication of implementation.

— E: Aside from the gas station poster campaign, there were no reports that the GOH had taken any measures during the reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. However, in 2007 Parliament amended the Hungarian Criminal Code to stipulate that any person who pays for sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18 is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment up to three years.

— F. Law enforcement agencies have no knowledge of Hungarian nationals participating in international sex tourism. The Hungarian Criminal Code stipulates that Hungarian law shall be applied to crimes committed in Hungary, as well as to any conduct of Hungarian citizens abroad, which are deemed criminal in accordance with Hungarian law. Hungarian nationals can be prosecuted on the basis of this article if they commit a criminal offense abroad.

— G. An assessment regarding Hungary’s efforts to ensure that its troops deployed abroad for international peacekeeping missions do not engage in or facilitate trafficking or exploit trafficking victims was unavailable for this reporting period. According to the information of the Office of the Military Prosecutor there was no criminal procedures launched in TIP cases committed by Hungarian peacekeeping troops.

————
PARTNERSHIPS
————

— A. Both the NBI and the Hungarian Consular Service established good cooperation with their partner authorities in Austria, the Netherlands, SWITZERLAND, and Italy. As mentioned previously, the government relies heavily on the expertise and services provided by IOM and the two faith-based organizations managing trafficking victim shelters.

— B. The government currently exchanges information in investigations and in consular cases with other countries, principally with Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, SWITZERLAND, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Spain, Germany, Slovenia France, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
Though the government participates in the EU-funded transnational project on the fight against trafficking in human beings, they do not provide financial assistance.

————–
CHILD SOLDIERS
————–

There were no reports of child soldiers in Hungary.

——–
TIP HERO
——–

3. Post nominates Deputy Head of Department for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Mrs. Iren Duani Adam as the 2010 TIP Hero. Mrs. Adam has demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication to improving victim’s assistance services provided by the government of Hungary. She has been an active member of the TIP working group since 2005 and has proposed and carried out several key TIP initiatives. Due to her initiative MSAL signed an agreement to open the first TIP shelter in Hungary in 2005. That same year, she orchestrated the operations for the crisis hotline, which refers TIP victims to assistance centers. For the past several years, Mrs. Adam has organized several training opportunities for professionals assisting TIP victims. She continues to work closely with NGOs to improve TIP victim assistance. In 2009 she campaigned for and was granted funding to establish a second TIP victim shelter, managed by the NGO, Hungarian Interchurch Aid. In addition to her achievements, Mrs. Adam continues to provided extensive information every year to supplement the annual TIP report.

Iren Duani Adam has been vetted through the Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS). No derogatory information about her was returned.

———————
POST POINT OF CONTACT
———————

4. Post’s POC for trafficking is Christina Hernandez, phone:
36 475-4598, fax: 36 475-4027.

The number of hours spent in preparation of the TIP report cable includes the following:
FS-03 Christina Hernandez- drafter 80 hours, FS-03 Jon Martinson- reviewer 1 hour, FS-01 Paul O’Friel- reviewer 2 hours, DCM Jeffrey Levine- reviewer 2 hours, AMB Eleni Kounalakis- reviewer 1 hour.

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ADDED     2011-09-04 04:02:26
STAMP     2011-09-04 04:02:26
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FINGERPRINT1

SLOVAKIA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID 10BRATISLAVA71
SUBJECT SLOVAKIA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
DATE 2010-02-18 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ORIGIN Embassy Bratislava
TEXT UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 BRATISLAVA 000071

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR G/TIP, G-LAURA PENA, EUR/CE, EUR/PGI, G, INL, DRL, PRM
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USAID, DOJ, DHS, DOL, TREASURY DEPT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM, PHUM, KWMN, SMIG, KFRD, ASEC, PREF, ELAB, KMCA
SUBJECT: SLOVAKIA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

REF: 10 STATE 2094

BRATISLAVA 00000071 001.3 OF 010

SUMMARY

A. Slovakia continues to make strides in strengthening and expanding its anti-TIP programs. A generous victim assistance program provides both Slovak and foreign victims with a minimum of 180 days of fully funded crisis intervention and reintegration services. Although estimates on the total number of victims in Slovakia have not changed, the assistance program has grown significantly in the past year, with a nearly 60 percent increase in victims identified and participating.

The GOS is making serious efforts to identify foreign victims through outreach to asylum-seekers and immigration detention camps and public information campaigns. Training activities  in 2009 focused on areas that had been identified as gaps last year: border police and community workers working with vulnerable Roma, who make up an increasing percentage of Slovak victims. Despite these efforts, the GOS has not yet identified foreign victims.

There is still room for improvement in investigation and prosecution of traffickers. Training and capacity-building of police investigators, prosecutors, and judges will enhance the GOS’s track record in getting convictions and prison time for traffickers.

End summary.

B. Answers below are keyed to section and paragraph numbers in reftel. Embassy Bratislava point of contact is:

Name: Anne Debevoise
Position: Consular Officer
Phone: 421 2 5922 3291
Fax: 421 2 5441 8861
E-mail: debevoiseab@state.gov

C. Total time to complete TIP report:

FSN: 50
FS04: 50
FS02: 30
FS01: 1

1. SLOVAKIA’S TIP SITUATION

A. SOURCES OF INFORMATION

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI), police, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and NGOs are reliable sources of information regarding the number and kinds of TIP victims.

In March 2010, the government will open an International TIP Information Center in the city of Kosice in eastern Slovakia. The MOI has devoted USD 75,400 to the center, which will centralize the collection of TIP data for Slovakia and facilitate information sharing with neighboring countries.

B. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN AND TRANSIT

Slovakia is considered a source and transit country for trafficking in persons. IOM estimates that 150 to 200 individuals are trafficked each year. IOM states that due to the small number of known victims who are third country nationals or those trafficked only within Slovak borders, the country cannot be classified as a destination country, though some women may be forced to work briefly in Slovakia while in transit to their final destinations in Western Europe.

According to NGOs, most of the victims trafficked through Slovakia come from the former Soviet Republics (especially Moldova and Ukraine), Bulgaria, the Baltics, the Balkans and China. Victims are mainly trafficked to the Czech Republic, Germany, United Kingdom, and Ireland, with smaller numbers going to SWITZERLAND, Sweden, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Croatia, and Slovenia.

NGOs have reported some cases of internal trafficking within Slovakia, usually of Roma women trafficked from the eastern to the western part of the country.

Slovak victims usually come from economically depressed regions of Slovakia with high levels of unemployment, especially eastern Slovakia. They are trafficked for sexual exploitation, as well as for forced labor.

C. CONDITIONS

Victims report being trafficked after accepting offers from relatives, acquaintances, or unlicensed agencies to arrange for work abroad. Some consciously enter into prostitution only to become trafficked at a later date. Because they are willing participants (at first) the victims tend to be transported to their destination country on public transportation with no resistance.

Roma victims, in particular, are likely to know their traffickers. Some Roma women enter into prostitution knowingly, fleeing the conditions of an abusive home or poor living conditions in a Roma settlement, and become victims of trafficking in the destination country. The NGO Caritas reported that one of its Roma clients was a young woman who grew up in an orphanage, was trafficked by an acquaintance, and was living in his apartment in Prague while being sexually exploited. We also heard from NGOs that several of the Roma victims they have helped are mentally handicapped.

The NGO Dotyk described groups of Roma men who traveled to the UK with the promise of jobs on farms. Upon arrival, traffickers took their travel documents and told the men they owed USD 12,500 for their travel and living costs. The men said they were sent out to commit theft to pay off their debts. The Police Anti-Trafficking Unit reported that traffickers are also increasingly applying for and collecting social benefits in the UK on behalf of their victims.

Roma activists have reported trafficking of Roma children for begging. According to a Roma NGO, the practice is highly organized. Traffickers from within the Roma community send children (either by themselves or with their mothers or other women) by bus to Austria, Italy and Germany to work the streets. Traffickers then withhold the victims’ identity papers in order to keep them from escaping.

D. VULNERABLE GROUPS

The MOI, IOM, and NGOs all report that an increasing percentage of Slovak TIP victims are Roma. The NGO Dotyk reported that while five years ago their typical TIP client was an ethnically Slovak woman in her late teens to early twenties, in the past few years they have found that the majority of victims are poorly-educated, vulnerable Roma from segregated settlements, ranging in age from teen to middle-aged. Other NGOs have found that about half of their TIP clients are Roma. They also report an increase in cases of trafficking of Roma men for forced labor.

E. TRAFFICKERS AND THEIR METHODS

According to police, as well as the testimony of some victims and offenders, trafficking in Slovakia is usually an organized criminal activity. Small-scale Slovak perpetrators feed victims into larger international syndicates at their destinations. Organized trafficking groups consist of Germans, Czechs, Russians, Ukrainians, Albanians, Italians, Macedonians, Poles, or Slovenes.

Male and female Slovak traffickers usually have prior knowledge and direct experience in the sex industry in Western Europe. They typically utilize employment or hostess agency schemes, but also rely on personal connections with women. Roma trafficking victims in particular tend to know their traffickers, who are often also Roma. The Police Anti-Trafficking Unit reports that Roma traffickers operate in groups based on family clans.

2. SETTING THE SCENE FOR THE GOVERNMENT’S ANTI-TIP EFFORTS

A. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF A PROBLEM

The government acknowledges that TIP is a problem in Slovakia.

B. INVOLVED AGENCIES

The MOI State Secretary, Vladimir Cecot, has since 2007 been the National Coordinator for anti-TIP activities and presides over the Interagency TIP Expert Group. Cecot and his staff have demonstrated a sustained commitment to upgrading GOS efforts to combat TIP. The Director of the MOI’s Department of Security Strategies, Jozef Hlinka, is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the Expert Group and oversees the implementation of the National Program. Hlinka chaired the Expert Group meeting in December 2009 to discuss progress on the 2008-2010 National Action Plan. This included drafting the update of the National Program, organizing inter-agency cooperation, tracking TIP statistics, distributing funds for anti-TIP projects, and working with NGOs to develop those projects.

In addition to the Expert Group, some prevention activities are coordinated by the working group established within the Government Council for Crime Prevention. Other ministries that
advise MOI on TIP include the Ministries of Justice, Education, Finance, Health, Labor and Social Affairs, and Foreign Affairs, as well as the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Falling under the Police Anti-Organized Crime Bureau, the Police Anti-Trafficking Unit, which has 10 dedicated officers, coordinates most activity regarding trafficking both within Slovakia and with INTERPOL; members of the unit have traveled overseas to participate in seminars and training. The unit documents and investigates crimes, monitors known places of prostitution, investigates suspicious travel or employment schemes, and contributes to public awareness by giving presentations at conferences and conducting training.

The Border and Alien Police are responsible for monitoring border crossings for evidence of trafficking, with the customs directorate and the MFA also playing a role.

The Equal Opportunity Office at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOL) supports NGO activity through grants, manages the implementation of international protocols regarding workers’ rights, and works to reduce violence against women.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) coordinates with IOM to bring TIP awareness discussions into high school classrooms.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is responsible for strengthening safeguards for victim protection.

The General Prosecutor is responsible for the prosecution of traffickers.

C. GOVERNMENT LIMITATIONS

The National Program’s 2009 budget to fight trafficking was approximately $400,000, with $275,000 granted to NGOs to provide training, prevention, and victim assistance. Anti-TIP police remain funded at past levels, supporting 10 officers at the national police headquarters. Government corruption is not a problem for trafficking in persons. NGOs report that they believe government resources devoted to anti-TIP efforts are more than sufficient for their needs, and in fact are more generous that many other European countries, especially in the area of victim assistance. The NGO Caritas said that its budget for victim assistance was much more generous than it could use during 2009.

Inability to identify foreign victims remains a limitation, but in 2009 the GOS expanded its training program for border police and social workers, and its outreach to illegal migrants and asylum-seekers in order to identify foreign victims.

Effective investigation and prosecution of traffickers is also a limitation. NGOs familiar with the Slovak police reported that investigators have difficulty conducting large-scale investigations on TIP, particularly on traffickers’ finances, due to a lack of capacity. They are more likely to focus on low-level traffickers than to find connections to organized crime. The NGOs recommended that the existing police anti-TIP unit develop a trained, specialized investigator to handle TIP cases.

D. GOVERNMENT SELF-MONITORING

The MOI provides internal assessments and baseline information regarding the nature of trafficking in Slovakia. The National Program for 2008-2010 contains an assessment of the Program’s performance during the 2007 reporting period. In 2008, the UNODC and the MOI conducted a joint evaluation of Slovakia’s TIP programs. As a signatory to the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking convention, Slovakia is subject to regular monitoring of its TIP activities. The evaluating body, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), will conduct its first evaluation of Slovakia starting in February 2010.

E. ESTABLISHING IDENTITY OF POPULATION

Local vital records offices (matrika) issue birth certificates for each town and city. Matrika offices also accept applications for Slovak citizenship and forward them to the MOI for approval. All Matrika offices report to the MOI, which maintains a central database of all citizens and residents. Slovak law requires that all residents in Slovakia register their permanent or temporary residence with the police department in their district of residence.

F. DATA GAPS

The MOI’s National Coordinator’s office serves as the clearinghouse for TIP data. It is capable of gathering the required data, but is unable to provide some more detailed information on criminal cases (e.g. the number of cases that were related to sexual vs. economic exploitation.) The International TIP Information Center, scheduled to open in March 2010, is intended to gather and assess data and should improve the quality of TIP information for Slovakia.

3. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS

There have been no changes in laws against TIP, sex and labor trafficking, or rape during the reporting period.

A. EXISTING LAWS AGAINST TIP

TIP is defined and criminalized through Section 179 in the Criminal Code. Trafficking in children is a separate crime, covered by sections 180 and 181. Other related legislation includes: Section 367 on Procurement (Pimping), Section 208 on torture of a close person or person in one’s charge, Section 371 on endangering morality. The law states explicitly the extra-territorial nature of this crime and acknowledges that the crime also entails fraudulent means, violence, threat, or other forms of coercion to elicit agreement from a victim older than 18 years (for section 179) for the crime of trafficking. These laws are being used in trafficking cases and adequately cover the full scope of trafficking. Slovak law allows a renewable 40-day “tolerated stay” status for foreign victims of serious crimes, including trafficking in persons.

On January 30, 2007, Slovakia signed the Council of Europe’s (COE) Convention of 2005 on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. It ratified the document on March 27, 2007. The Convention subsequently entered into force on February 1, 2008. It is a comprehensive treaty, focusing mainly on the protection of trafficking victims and safeguarding their rights. It also aims to prevent trafficking and to prosecute traffickers. The Convention applies to all forms of trafficking, whether national or international, and whether related to organized crime. It applies to men, women and children equally, whatever the form of exploitation (labor or sex acts). The Convention provides a mechanism to guarantee each signatory’s compliance with its provisions. Starting in February 2010, the COE’s Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) will carry out an evaluation of Slovakia’s performance for the period 2007 to 2009.

In the past several years, Parliament has amended and ratified other relevant trafficking legislation to conform with EU directives and UN requirements, such as the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. In 2006, Parliament passed a law on victim assistance requiring police to provide victims of any crime information on organizations that can help them.

B. PUNISHMENT OF SEX TRAFFICKING OFFENSES

The GOS increased the minimum sentences for trafficking in 2006. The provision on trafficking (both for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation) states that any person, who entices, enlists, transfers or receives another person to or from abroad with the intention to engage such person in sexual intercourse or exploitation is liable to a term of imprisonment of four to ten years. A four-to-ten year sentence is also applicable to a person who exploits another person through forced labor, involuntary servitude, slavery, or other similar forms of exploitation. The penalty increases to a 7-to-12 year prison term if a) the perpetrator gains considerable profit, b) the offense is committed against a protected person, c) the offense is committed with a special motive, or d) the offense is committed in conjunction with another grave illegal activity, such as organized crime. The penalty increases to 12-to-20 years if a) the perpetrator gains extensive profit, b) the offender causes serious bodily harm or death or other extraordinarily serious effect, or c) the offense is committed as a member of a dangerous group. Lastly, a term of 20-to-25 years can be applied if the perpetrator gains large-scale profit or causes serious bodily harm to or the death of multiple persons.

C. PUNISHMENT OF LABOR TRAFFICKING OFFENSES

The penalty for trafficking for labor exploitation is the same as for trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Slovakia criminally prosecutes labor recruiters who use false or deceptive offers of employment, or who confiscate employee’s passports. Articles 179, 181-184 and Article 241 of the anti-TIP law are used to prosecute such cases.

D. PENALTIES FOR RAPE

The range of sentencing for rape is five-to-ten years’ imprisonment and could be increased to 7-to-15 years depending on the age of the victim or whether violence was used. The sentence may be further increased to 15-to-20 years if the act results in serious bodily harm, and 20-to-25 years if the perpetrator causes the death of the victim or the crime is committed in a crisis situation. The penalties for rape are on par with penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

E. LAW ENFORCEMENT STATISTICS

According to official statistics, 3 TIP cases reached the point of investigation by the General Procurator during the reporting period. For these cases, three perpetrators were identified, all men. Nine victims were identified, all women. It was not reported whether these were cases of sexual or economic exploitation. There were no cases of trafficking of children investigated during the reporting period.

The MOJ reported a total of ten convictions for TIP in 2009, and one for trafficking in children. Of the ten TIP convictions, six were under section 246 of the criminal code, which was effective until December 31, 2005, and four were under section 179 of the criminal code, which is effective starting January 1, 2006. The single conviction of trafficking in children was pursuant to sections 180 and 181. There were nine convictions for pimping under section 367 of the criminal code. For the ten TIP convictions, eight perpetrators received suspended sentences and two received prison terms.

(NOTE: it is common for Slovak judges to grant suspended sentences for first-time offenders for crimes with a maximum sentence of two years or less. However, TIP offenses have a minimum sentence of four years. End note.)

The one person convicted of trafficking in children received a prison sentence. Details on the length of the sentences were not provided. There were no fines imposed. It was not reported whether the TIP convictions were for sexual or economic exploitation.

In 2009, the General Procurator investigated 19 cases of pimping, leading to nine charges and three convictions.

The government actively investigates cases of trafficking through the specialized anti-trafficking unit at Police Headquarters in Bratislava. The anti-TIP unit first conducts a preliminary investigation, then assists local police officials directly involved with the case, or assists investigators from the Bureau for Organized Crime if the case involves organized crime or has international implications. The police conduct inspections of suspected places of prostitution, and monitor internet sites.

At the regional level, TIP is investigated by four specialized officers (two in the city of Zilina, one in the city of Trnava, and one in the city of Kosice) who have experience in related crimes, such as pimping, rape and other sexual violence.

F. TRAINING

IOM and NGOs built on their 2008 GOS-funded training program, training 319 individuals in victim identification, care, and prevention in 2009. IOM and NGOs trained border police and migration and asylum-seekers’ camp employees; police officers working as community liaisons; police academy instructors; labor inspectors; members of the GOS’s Plenipotentiary for Roma Affairs; social workers working in Roma communities; Catholic nuns and priests; and secondary school teachers.

The 10 officers in the Police Anti-trafficking unit located in Bratislava have been fully trained in TIP, and often participate in international trainings. All police districts have at least one officer who receives some additional instruction and, among his/her other duties, serves as a point of contact with the Anti-trafficking unit.

NGOs and the GOS agree that more training is necessary, especially for prosecutors, judges, and Roma community social workers in eastern Slovakia. IOM reported that follow-up training will be necessary in the next year to ensure that newly hired officials are fully trained.

G. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION

The GOS cooperated with 14 international investigations on TIP during the reporting period. Additionally, police had 65 working-level contacts and requests for information regarding a total of 223 victims and 184 suspects. Over 40 of these cases involved the UK, demonstrating that cooperation with the British police is especially close. Most of these cases consisted of requests from abroad for Slovak police assistance in cases involving Slovak victims and suspects, mostly in the UK, Ireland, and Germany.

Many international investigations occur in the framework of Interpol and Europol. Additionally, Slovak embassies abroad have a police attache who assists with joint investigations.

The government plans to use its new International TIP Information Center (see section 1A) to improve cooperation and information-sharing with other European countries.

H. EXTRADITION

Slovakia extradited four TIP suspects in 2009. Slovakia did not request the extradition of any suspects.

Based on the Law on Criminal Court Procedures, Slovakia can extradite persons for any crime with a corresponding sentence longer than one year, except a crime political in nature. Slovak citizens can only be extradited in cases governed by a treaty signed by Slovakia. The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime allows Slovakia to extradite traffickers. Slovakia has a bilateral extradition agreement with the U.S. which allows for the extradition of non-Slovaks to the United States.

I. GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN TRAFFICKING

There is no evidence of governmental involvement in or tolerance of trafficking.

J. STEPS TO END GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN TRAFFICKING

According to police and NGOs, there were no cases of government officials involved in trafficking.

K. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF NATIONALS DEPLOYED ABROAD

During the reporting period, Slovakia did not report any cases of trafficking involving nationals deployed abroad.

L. CHILD SEX TOURISM

Slovakia is not identified as a destination for child sex tourism. The trafficking in children law, like the trafficking in persons law, reflects extraterritoriality.

4. PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS

A. PROTECTION FOR VICTIMS AND WITNESSES

NGOs receive GOS funding from the National Program to provide specialized victim assistance program for repatriated Slovaks, internally trafficked Slovaks, and foreign victims. The victim assistance program provides financial support for a minimum of 180 days (and is often extended, according to NGOs), including 90 days each of crisis intervention and reintegration. According to NGOs and the MOI, the Slovak program is among the most generous in the EU.

According to IOM, the situation in Slovakia continues to improve every year. The generous package of victim support – including legal, psychological, medical, and social help – has encouraged returning victims to seek assistance. The GOS is ready to provide the same level of assistance to foreign victims once they are identified.

Slovak law provides for a renewable 40-day “tolerated stay” for foreign victims of serious crimes, including TIP. This status gives the victim the right to work. In addition to the “tolerated stay” law, Slovak authorities are required to postpone deportation of any third-country national who seeks to enter a witness protection program or who claims asylum, thus providing temporary residency status.

The government provides witness protection for victims. NGOs, through their victim assistance grants, provide protection for victims housed in their shelters by the use of a private security firm. Other witness protection measures include recorded testimony or testimony through video connection, which is now mandatory for minors. Another law explicitly states that the victim and perpetrator must be kept separate during the judicial procedure, thus requiring video testimony for most current trafficking cases.

B. VICTIM CARE FACILITIES

The government provides dedicated shelters through its NGO programs. In 2009, the MOI funded six NGOs with approximately USD $241,000 for victim care. Three of these NGOs – IOM, Dotyk, and Caritas – provided shelter for TIP victims. There are no specialized facilities for male victims of TIP. There was one child participant in the National Program; an NGO provided reintegration services to her while she was living at home with her family.

Foreign victims have the same access to shelter as Slovak victims.

C. VICTIM SERVICES AND FUNDING

Through NGO grants totaling $241,000 in 2009, National Program victim assistance program provides Slovak and foreign TIP victims with medical, psychological, and legal services for a minimum of 180 days. The program also provides secure shelter, food, clothing, and job retraining and job-seeking help free of charge. Victims do not have to cooperate with police in order to join the program. However, victims who do cooperate with police investigations of traffickers can receive services for the duration of their cases, which could last several years.

D. PROVISIONS FOR FOREIGN TIP VICTIMS

Slovak law provides for a renewable 40-day “tolerated stay” for foreign victims of serious crimes, including TIP. This status gives the victim the right to work. In addition to the “tolerated stay” law, Slovak authorities are required to postpone deportation of any third-country national who seeks to enter a witness protection program or who claims asylum, thus providing temporary residency status.

Foreign victims are eligible for the same benefits as Slovak victims under the National Program. However, these measures were not put in practice during the reporting period due to a lack of identified foreign victims.

E. LONG TERM SHELTER

NGOs reported that the government resources devoted to assisting TIP victims are quite generous. Victims participating in the National Program are able to stay in state-funded shelters and rehabilitation programs for at least 180 days. Victims cooperating with police investigations can stay as long as their cases are ongoing, which may take several years.

F. NATIONAL REFERRAL MECHANISM

The Expert Working Group adopted a National Referral Mechanism in December 2008. This provides a standard operating procedure throughout the country for law enforcement officials who come into contact with a trafficking victim, and enables them to reach out to the most readily available state and NGO resources to assist the victim. The National Referral Mechanism is posted on the MOI website, where it is also available to the public.

G. TOTAL NUMBER OF VICTIMS

During the reporting period, NGOs working with the MOI reported assisting 59 trafficking victims, a significant increase from the 37 assisted in 2008. 27 of these victims participated in the National Program, compared with 17 in 2008. NGOs assisted the 32 victims who declined to participate in the Program through other funding.

According to the NGOs, of the 27 participants in the National Program, 19 were victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, seven of forced labor, and one of forced begging.

According to Slovak law, police are required to offer potential TIP victims the assistance of NGOs working under the National Program.

NGOS reported that the main reason that victims declined to participate in the National Program was that they had criminal records and were uncomfortable with contact with the authorities. Additionally, some victims were drug addicts and were unwilling to abide by the rules of the program, which ban drug use.

H. IDENTIFYING AND REFERRING VICTIMS

Slovak law requires authorities to provide information about organizations offering support services to potential TIP victims. Under the National Program, the GOS has trained border police and social workers who interview illegal migrants and asylum-seekers to screen for foreign victims. Officials also have access to a manual developed by IOM on victim identification. These officials have materials available in seven languages to provide potential victims information about the services available.

The National Program has also funded training of social workers and religious workers who work in vulnerable Roma communities on victim identification.

Prostitution exists in a legal gray area in Slovakia: it is neither legal nor illegal. (Pimping is illegal.) Therefore, the sex trade is not regulated and there are not regular mechanisms for authorities to screen sex workers for trafficking victims. However, the GOS-funded NGO Prima does work with sex workers and assists with victim identification.

I. RIGHTS OF VICTIMS

When an individual is identified as a trafficking victim, the victim’s rights are respected and he or she does not face fines or jail sentences. However, it has been reported that unidentified victims have been treated as illegal migrants or prostitutes and have been detained or deported.

J. INVESTIGATION

The National Program encourages victims to participate in cases against their traffickers. Twelve victims participated in such cases during the year, according to the police. Six cases involved forced labor, five sexual exploitation, and one forced begging. Victims may file civil suits against their traffickers in addition to criminal charges. Slovakia also has a victim’s compensation law that allows for a one-time reimbursement for victims of violent crime, paid by the Ministry of Justice.

Foreign victims cooperating with the police in cases may stay in Slovakia under renewable 40-day tolerated stay status, and may work.

K. TRAINING FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

As described in Section 3F, the MOI, in cooperation with IOM and other NGOs, provided training to 319 law enforcement officers, government officials, and community workers. The training included victim identification. how to communicate with victims, victim assistance, and general information about TIP. TIP is also included in the human rights curriculum at the Police Academy. Lastly, the MOI educated local governments, central government branches and law enforcement agencies on trafficking and victim assistance.

Slovak embassies helped six Slovak victims return home during 2009. Slovak missions abroad provide travel documents, assistance with money transfers, contacting relatives, arranging services, and travel home. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs helps refer repatriated victims to NGOs for assistance.

L. GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE

The MOI-funded National Program package of services described in sections 4.A-C is available to repatriated Slovak citizens as well as foreign victims identified in Slovakia.

M. NGO ASSISTANCE

Most NGOs aiding trafficking victims in Slovakia are domestic, although they may have loose cooperation agreements with NGOs abroad. Some of these Slovak NGOs are: Dafne, Dotyk, Prima, Storm, Slovak Caritas, the Cultural Association of Roma in Slovakia, the Association of Community Centers in Kosice, Naruc, and Victims’ Support Slovakia. They provide a wide range of services, from preventive awareness education and identifying victims to arranging for repatriation transport to post-trafficking needs such as medical, mental health, legal, and protective services, and work re-training courses.

In 2009, NGOs received approximately USD 275,000 from the GOS for anti-TIP programs, including USD 241,000 for victim care, and remaining funds for training and prevention.

5. PREVENTION

A. ANTI-TRAFFICKING CAMPAIGNS

Government officials and agencies cooperated with NGOs on anti-trafficking information and education campaigns, targeting potential trafficking victims, but also educating local government workers, teachers, students, community centers, journalists, local police, and the border and alien police.

Since 2008, the GOS has funded part of a public-private partnership for a national TIP hotline. Under this agreement, the telephone company T-Mobile provides the phone line free of
charge, and IOM staff (paid for through the National Program) man the phone lines. In 2009, the phone line received 840 phone calls. Since the phone line started in June 2008, it has
identified eight trafficking victims.

The GOS also funded a number of other TIP information campaigns, including: billboards and leaflets in nine languages for potential foreign victims; leaflets for potential Slovak victims; internet ads on Slovak-language websites; television ads for the TIP hotline; a mobile TIP information center for youth that traveled around the country and distributed leaflets and showed a film about TIP; 5300 posters posted at bus stations, police stations, migrants and asylum-seekers camps, and Slovak embassies abroad; and 600 copies of the National Program distributed to Slovak embassies and government officials.

B. MONITORING OF MIGRATION PATTERNS

According to the MOJ, in 2009, the GOS investigated 55 cases of human smuggling. Thirty-three people were charged, and 25 were convicted of smuggling.

Slovakia has a well-controlled border with Ukraine, which is its only non-Schengen border. Foreign law enforcement officials have reported that Slovakia’s border security is the envy of many neighbors. However, Slovakia continues to be a transit country for illegal migrant smuggling to Western Europe. NGOs and law enforcement have reported that since Slovakia’s border with Ukraine is so secure, illegal migrants (and presumably traffickers) enter the Schengen zone through Poland, and then may cross undetected from Poland into Slovakia before heading further west.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) believes that the majority of smuggled or trafficked persons that have claimed asylum in Slovakia “disappear” by terminating their asylum cases after being registered at reception and refugee facilities. UNHCR reported that better implementation in recent years of Slovakia’s Readmission Treaty with Ukraine has reduced the number of migrants in Slovakia. An agreement among the GOS, NGOs and UNHCR allows NGOs to monitor the border situation to ensure that asylum seekers are not sent back to their country of origin. The Ministry of Labor funds a facility for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.

As described in section 3F, in 2009 IOM trained border police and social workers dealing with illegal migrants and asylum-seekers in TIP victim identification.

C. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION

The National Coordinator at the MOI is the focal point for inter-governmental coordination on trafficking. Within his office, he has designated the Director of the Department of Security Strategies to be the working-level point of contact. The National Coordinator convened the High-Level Expert Group in December 2009, and again invited the U.S. Embassy to participate. The group is designed to have the political weight to enforce measures to combat TIP. The Expert Group includes Directors and State Secretaries from the Ministries of the Interior, Justice, Labor, Finance, Health, and Foreign Affairs, as well as, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the General Prosecutor, five NGOs, IOM, and UNODC.

D. NATIONAL ACTION PLAN

The National Program contains a National Action Plan for the fight against trafficking in persons. The plan, valid for 2008-2010, calls for the establishment of an increased network of victim support services (specifically regarding legal, psychiatric, medical, and social assistance), the creation of repatriation protocols for Slovak victims identified abroad, and increased media and youth outreach campaigns.

The agency responsible for its development is the MOI, in cooperation with other ministries. The MOI invites NGOs to participate in its Expert Group meetings, to contribute their perspective on the implementation of the National Program and Action Plan, as well as logical next steps in coming years. We have observed that cooperation between the MOI and NGOS is very good, and that NGOs have reported satisfaction with the MOI’s level of attention to and funding for trafficking.

E. REDUCING DEMAND FOR COMMERCIAL SEX ACTS

Part of the training provided by the MOI and NGOs under the National Program educated key interlocutors from municipal offices, schools, and law enforcement about TIP and the criminal consequences of participation in illegal commercial sex acts. Participants in these trainings were provided with additional materials to distribute in their communities, to raise awareness about the role of consumers in perpetuating the illegal sex trade. However, Slovakia is not considered a destination country for TIP victims.

F. MEASURES TO REDUCE PARTICIPATION IN CHILD SEX TOURISM

The Anti-Trafficking Unit of the police did not report any cases of Slovak nationals who had traveled abroad for child sex tourism during the reporting period. However, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, TIP trainings do include an explanation of the Palermo protocol and the domestic penal code’s instruments to prosecute traffickers.

G. MEASURES TO ENSURE PEACEKEEPERS DEPLOYED ABROAD DO NOT ENGAGE IN TIP-RELATED ACTIVITIES

The National Program provides anti-TIP training for government personnel stationed abroad. This training focuses on the consequences of participation in illegal commercial sex acts. The MOI and Ministry of Defense are responsible for the training, which is also incorporated into police and military personnel basic training.

6. PARTNERSHIPS

A. PARTNERSHIPS

The GOS regularly engages with other governments through international conferences and training. In January 2010, MOI officials represented the GOS at a conference on TIP in Central and Eastern Europe organized by DHS-ICE and the Austrian police and held in Traiskirchen, Austria. The conference shared best practices in combating TIP.

The GOS’s focal point for TIP in the MOI has a close relationship with the six NGOs through which it provides victim assistance and prevention activities. For its 2010 programs, it has expanded to seven NGOs and increased its budget by ten percent.

Slovakia participates in all EU and Council of Europe structures and working groups that seek to monitor and control trafficking in persons.

B. INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

As described in section 3G, Slovak police regularly work with their counterparts in other countries on international investigations. Additionally, the MOI has a program in place to assist foreign victims with voluntary return to their home countries, should they wish it.

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RUSSIA BLOCKING NEW REP ON MEDIA FREEDOM AT OSCE

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID 10USOSCE54

SUBJECT RUSSIA BLOCKING NEW REP ON MEDIA FREEDOM AT OSCE

DATE 2010-02-19 00:00:00

CLASSIFICATION CONFIDENTIAL

ORIGIN Mission USOSCE

TEXT C O N F I D E N T I A L USOSCE 000054

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2030

TAGS: PGOV, OSCE, KPAO, PHUM, PREL

SUBJECT: RUSSIA BLOCKING NEW REP ON MEDIA FREEDOM AT OSCE

 

REF: USOSCE 35

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Carol Fuller for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

1. (C) The process to replace the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM) has reached a deadlock with the overwhelming preponderance of the OSCE participating States (pS) on one side and Russia on the other. (Ref A).

Kazakhstani Permanent Representative Ambassador Kairat Abdrakhmanov told USOSCE CDA several weeks ago he was confident Russia would ultimately withdraw its candidate – in time for the consensus candidate to take up the position before the current RFoM leaves office on March 10. However as the date draws closer, signs of Russian intransigence are growing stronger. Representatives of SWITZERLAND, Greece, and Spain (in her capacity as representative of the EU Presidency) told USOSCE that EU and other countries had been demarched by the Russians in an effort to get agreement on a new round of balloting for the RFoM. In their weekly meeting on February 16, USOSCE CDA told Abdrakhmanov there was no need for a new round of voting and the U.S. would not agree to one. Abdrakhmanov confirmed his opposition to another round of voting and stated that FM Saudabayev would raise this with Russian FM Lavrov on February 22. This is a test of Kazakhstani leadership in protecting and nurturing the OSCE’s Human Dimension, and we will continually remind the CiO of this.

Background

2. (C) Miklos Haraszti is the current OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. After six years in office, he will reach the end of his second term on March 10, 2010. The process to replace him began in September 2009. By mid-December 2009, the overwhelming preponderance of OSCE pS – with the only voiced exception being the Russian Federation – agreed that the next RFoM should be Dunja Mijatovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (and an ethnic Serb). Russia has refused to withdraw its candidate Mikhael A. Fedotov. The Russian delegation in Vienna claims that because Fedotov met with Russian President Medvedev, they are now unable to withdraw his candidacy.

3. (C) At the weekly meeting February 16 between the U.S. and the OSCE Chair in Office (CiO), the Kazakh representative told USOSCE CDA Carol Fuller the Russians were pushing for a new round of voting on the RFoM candidacy. Kazakh Ambassador Abdrakhmanov previously said he was confident the Russians would back down before Haraszti left office. CDA made clear that it was “totally unacceptable” for a single country to block consensus in this manner and we saw no need for a new round of voting and would not agree to one. CDA said the CiO either had to extend Haraszti’s term (which would require consensus from all pS) or get the Russian Federation (RF) to withdraw their candidate. CDA noted that the RF did precisely the same thing in 2004 when Haraszti was selected – resulting in a three month gap with no RFoM. Abdrakhmanov assured CDA that Kazakhstan also opposed holding a new vote.

4. (C) Also on February 16, Deputy Chief of Mission from the Swiss delegation told A/DCM the Swiss had been demarched by the Russian Federation seeking Swiss agreement to call for a new round of voting for the next RFoM. Similarly, the Spanish Ambassador (in her capacity as representative of the EU Presidency) said the Russians were demarching various EU countries on the topic. Canadian Permanent Representative told CDA the Russian behavior may be designed to enable the Russian MFA to prove it has done everything to bring about consensus on the Russian candidate, to no avail.

5. (C) COMMENT: Media freedom is one of the highest profile issues in the human dimension, particularly under the Kazakh CiO, given how many Central Asian countries have restrictions on media activities. A prolonged gap in the RFoM office would suit the Russians and Central Asian states, removing an important source of information and material for critical statements in the PC overwhelmingly directed at those countries. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov will be meeting with Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Saudabayev in Astana on February 22 and the Kazakhstanis have promised that this issue will be high on the agenda. (Note: Convincing Russia to allow the OSCE to work inside Afghanistan is also on the agenda.) It is essential we continue to make clear to the Kazakhstanis in Vienna, Washington and Astana that a successful management of this transition, in accordance with the wishes of most participating States, is what we had in mind when indicated to FM Saudabayev in Washington in early February that Kazakhstan needed to protect and nurture the OSCE’s Human Dimension.

FULLER

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CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT (CD)/FMCT: SWISS FRUSTRATED BY DELAY AND ARE FAVORABLE TO INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID     10BERN76
SUBJECT     CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT (CD)/FMCT: SWISS
DATE     2010-02-25 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION     CONFIDENTIAL
ORIGIN     Embassy Bern
TEXT     C O N F I D E N T I A L BERN 000076

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ISN/MNSA (W.MENOLD), IO/T, AND EUR/CE; USMISSION GENEVA FOR CD DEL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2020
TAGS: PARM, MNUC, KNNP, PREL, SZ
SUBJECT: CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT (CD)/FMCT: SWISS FRUSTRATED BY DELAY AND ARE FAVORABLE TO INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS

REF: A. STATE 13698
B. CD GENEVA 4

Classified By: Acting POLE Counselor Chris Buck; reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

1. (U) Poloff delivered reftel A message on February 24 to Andreas Friedrich, Head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Section of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). Friedrich’s deputy, Jean-Daniel Praz, joined the meeting.

2. (C) Friedrich said that SWITZERLAND is very frustrated by the delay in negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT), due to Pakistan’s refusal to join consensus on a program of work (POW). Referring to the Pakistani PermRep’s February 18 statement to the CD Plenary (reftel B), Friedrich expressed some pessimism that an agreement on a POW can be reached soon. He said that, in the meantime, the Swiss government is favorably disposed to pursuing informal consultations and side activities among CD representatives in Geneva in order to prepare the ground for what they hope will be eventual FMCT negotiations. Friedrich also noted that SWITZERLAND continues to make available Swiss PermRep Juerg Streuli to chair such future negotiations.

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COUNCIL OF EUROPE: APPLAUDING GEORGIA; CONCERN ABOUT BELARUS

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID 10STRASBOURG3
SUBJECT COUNCIL OF EUROPE: APPLAUDING GEORGIA; CONCERN ABOUT
DATE 2010-02-26 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION CONFIDENTIAL
ORIGIN Consulate Strasbourg
TEXT C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STRASBOURG 000003

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO FOR EUR/ERA EUR/RUS AND EUR/CARC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/25/2020
TAGS: PHUM, PREL, COE, BO, FR, GG, RS
SUBJECT: COUNCIL OF EUROPE: APPLAUDING GEORGIA; CONCERN ABOUT BELARUS

REF: STRASBOURG 02

STRASBOURG 00000003 001.2 OF 002

CLASSIFIED BY: Vincent Carver, CG, Strasbourg, State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
SUMMARY
– – – – –

1. (C) The Council of Europe (COE) welcomed Georgia’s transparency and efforts at political and human rights reforms, although it noted that Tblisi should increase efforts to involve the opposition in the parliamentary process. There is, however, increasing fatigue among member-states when discussing the consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia – in large part because of Russian stonewalling and threats. The Secretary General is exploring a “new approach” to build on the limited common ground between Russia and Georgia. On Belarus, COE member-states noted that Minsk’s failure thus far to renew authorization for the COE’s “Information Point” office in Minsk and the GOB’s recent move against the Union of Poles complicate greater COE-Belarusian engagement. The Swiss reported that their FM may meet Lukashenko today (February 25) in Kiev to discuss these issues. Delegations supported the continued (limited) COE programs concerning Chechnya.

End summary

GEORGIA: MUCH PROGRESS, MORE TO DO
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

2. (U) The COE’s Democracy Committee discussed Georgia’s fulfillment of its COE obligations, prospects for greater engagement with Belarus, and its program for Chechnya February 25. The Secretariat characterized Georgia’s attitude as “open and constructive,” and said that Tblisi has made progress in “practically every field.” Still, Georgia has not met its commitment of signing and ratifying the COE’s Convention on Regional and Minority Languages and constitutional reform is an “ongoing work where the landscape is not always clear.” The Secretariat added that a large part of the political opposition is not represented in the parliament and that some in the opposition had presented visiting Secretariat officials with lists of “political prisoners” – their term, not the COE’s, he noted.

3. (U) Most delegations praised Georgia’s transparency and progress in the judicial and anti-corruption fields. Several noted Tblisi’s reform efforts continued despite the war with Russia. Russia and Greece were more muted but did agree that Georgia had made progress, although the Russian added that he would like to see how the “so-called legislation on the Occupied Territories” is being adjusted to meet Venice Commission recommendations. The Georgian Ambassador acknowledged that “sporadic problems” remain but stressed that Tblisi has tackled most of its systemic problems. He noted the use of minority languages in education while admitting that Georgia is responsible for signing and ratifying the Convention on Regional and Minority Languages when possible. He observed that the Georgian Parliament is scheduled February 26 to adopt amendments to its Law on the Occupied Territories in line with Venice Commission recommendations.

COE “FATIGUE” FROM DISCUSSING AUG 2008 CONFLICT
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

4. (C) Reflecting what several delegations have told us privately is “Georgia Fatigue” from the 18 months of discussion of the consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia (during which the Russians skillfully threatened the end of any cooperation with the COE should Moscow be placed on a par with the “aggressors”) the COE Council of Ministers’ Deputies (resident ambassadors) February 24 voiced informal support for the Secretary General’s “new approach” to find common ground among the parties to the conflict. The Georgian Ambassador reviewed a lengthy list of COE documents and decisions calling for the review of both Georgia’s and Russia’s COE commitments. The Russian Ambassador, noting his consistent position, appealed to all “to stop participating in endless discussions initiated by Georgia” and start thinking of the what the COE can do constructively in the conflict zone. The EU welcomed Georgia’s “Engagement through Cooperation” initiative for the breakaway territories (REFTEL) and reiterated strong support for Georgian’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Many delegations echoed the EU Ambassador.

BELARUS: STEPS FORWARD AND BACK
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

5. (U) The Secretariat noted that it is still waiting for Minsk to renew the authorization for the COE’s “Information Point” office in Minsk to operate – the current authorization expires in mid-March. The Secretariat observed that a seminar on COE values, held in Minsk with Swedish assistance, attracted a wide range of participation from ministries, the parliament, and others. SWITZERLAND noted that Swiss FM Calmy-Rey, as Chair of the COE’s Council of Ministers, met Belarusian FM Martynov on the margins of the Wehrkunde in Munich. Calmy-Rey emphasized to her Belarusian counterpart the need for Minsk to renew the Information Point’s authorization, to issue a moratorium on the death penalty, to ensure freedom of the media, and to open the political scene to the opposition – “The ball,” the Swiss FM reportedly told her counterpart, “is in Belarus’ court.” The Swiss Delegation noted that Martynov had claimed that Minsk is working on such issues but that the population continues to support the use of the death penalty; in any case, there are only “a few” executions every year. He also agreed that a limited number of opposition members could attend the April session of the COE’s Parliamentary Assembly, but only as guests seated in the public gallery. The Swiss also noted that Calmy-Rey might meet Lukashenko in Kiev later that (February 25) day to make similar points.

6. (U) The Polish Delegation stressed that it had always supported COE-Belarusian rapprochement, but that Warsaw does not see progress on the human rights front by Minsk. Lithuania agreed and said that Belarus must demonstrate some progress before the COE considers further cooperation. Russia, however, noted that it has no difficulty with Belarus’ accession to the Convention Against Trafficking in Human Beings. The Secretariat noted that any accession would be problematic given the Belarusian response February 24 to the COE that it would not extend privileges and immunities to Belarusian national experts who would be members of a COE expert group. Belarus also wants to reserve the right to renounce any agreement it makes in connection with its possible accession to the Convention while remaining a party to the Convention. Both the Secretariat and the Irish Chair of the Democracy Committee suggested a “wait and see” approach.

7. (C) The Irish Ambassador told us privately February 25 that, while Belarus has not made much progress on human rights, “It is in a bubble, with many wanting to burst out.” She added that the COE is one of several international organizations seeking to increase engagement with both civil society and the working-level of the GOB.

COE PROGRAMS ON, BUT NOT IN, CHECHNYA
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

8. (U) The Secretariat and Russian Delegation praised the COE’s (limited – under 300,000 Euros) programs for Chechnya. Several delegations observed that the programs are largely educational and awareness-raising and are not held inside the Chechen Republic. The UK Ambassador called for more concrete programs, including action plans, on democracy. Germany called for the broadening of the program to cover Dagestan and Ingushetia. Lithuania asked about involvement of NGOs, such as Memorial, that are not linked to the government in Grozny. The Secretariat replied to some of the pointes by noting that Russian Ombudsman Lukin viewed seminars held outside Chechnya as opportunities to broaden the horizons of some of the Chechen participants. That said, the Secretariat added that the improved security situation in Chechnya could mean holding programs “closer to the region.

CARVER

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TURKEY: USMISSION GENEVA CONSULTATIONS ON DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID     10ANKARA209
SUBJECT     TURKEY: USMISSION GENEVA CONSULTATIONS ON
DATE     2010-02-09 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION     CONFIDENTIAL
ORIGIN     Embassy Ankara
TEXT     C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000209

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR EUR/SE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/04/2020
TAGS: PHUM, PREL, KIRF, UN, TU, AORC
SUBJECT: TURKEY: USMISSION GENEVA CONSULTATIONS ON DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS

REF: GENEVA 94

Classified By: POL Counselor Daniel O’Grady for reasons 1.4(b,d)

1. (C) SUMMARY. USMission Geneva Charge d’Affaires Griffiths and Deputy Legal Adviser Mansfield visited Ankara February 1 to discuss the defamation of religions resolution and draft
treaty being planned by the OIC in the UN Human Rights Council. They met with Turkey’s Ambassador for Human Rights Binnur Fertekligil, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs Head of the Foreign Relations Department, Ali Dere, both of whom supported the proposed U.S. Action Plan while emphasizing the importance of differentiating between freedom of expression and respect for religions. Ambassador Jeffrey recommended the Spanish Government be asked to press Turkey for support on this issue as well. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) At the MFA, Ambassador for Human Rights Binnur Fertekligil stressed that the Islamic world is particularly sensitive about the defamation of religion topic since there has been an unfortunate trend associating Islam with violence and terrorism, especially since the events of September 11. Fertekligil said it is important to be open with OIC countries about the likely negative political outcomes of a treaty on defamation of religions. She emphasized that first and foremost, the U.S. and EU countries should acknowledge the sensitivities of OIC countries on this issue, while explaining to the Islamic world that individuals — not religions — are the holders of human rights. She said freedom of expression is a must, but freedom of expression should not make people feel rejected or insulted, and should not create a hostile environment because that can lead to violence. Fertekligil opined that freedom of expression in the EU includes some exceptions/restrictions, and is therefore different from how it is viewed in the U.S. She added that it would be useful to have a written text that would set out how to uphold the freedoms of religion and expression with the notion that people nonetheless have responsibilities in exercising their freedom of speech. She mentioned hate speech as a good basis from which to make those distinctions.

3. (SBU) Fertekligil noted that governments also need to work hard to bring their citizens back to the mainstream when the sensitive line between freedom of expression and insulting religions is crossed. If not, she said, governments create “fault lines” of division. Within this context, the Alliance of Civilizations is very important for Turkey. It is constructive and positive, and unifies states rather than dividing them. Seeking tolerance, harmony, and greater mutual understanding are the foundational goals of the Alliance. Turkey is ready to help the U.S., she said. It supports the U.S. action plan, and will seek a broader consensus on this issue in order to successfully implement the plan.

4. (SBU) In a separate meeting, Ali Dere, the Head of the Foreign Relations Department at the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) told Griffiths and Mansfield that freedom of expression is also an important topic for Turkey.
However, people in Europe need to be more responsible and not cross the line between freedom of expression and insulting religions. He stated that Muslim communities in Europe feel
oppressed due to recent events like the minaret ban in SWITZERLAND. He suggested that, perhaps, freedom of expression is not perceived as a two-way street in Europe.
Dere stressed that the Diyanet will support the U.S. action plan, and will support initiating a constructive dialogue about this sensitive issue. However, he reiterated, all governments need to consider Muslim communities’ concerns while discussing these regulations and treaties.

5. (C) COMMENT: As Ambassador Jeffrey indicated to the USMission Geneva delegation, although the Turkish MFA and Diyanet support this topic, they do not represent the opinions of Turkey’s head of government. Still, PM Erdogan is a vigorous advocate for the Alliance of Civilizations, and Spain and Turkey have worked closely together on issues of Christianity and Islam. Given the strong personal relationship between Spanish President Zapatero and PM Erdogan, Washington should consider asking Spain to contact Turkish officials to deliver the same message about opposing the defamation of religion resolution and treaty during the March meeting. If Turkey were to vote against the defamation resolutions, it would have a significant impact on other OIC countries.

6. (U) USMission Geneva has cleared this cable.
Jeffrey

“Visit Ankara’s Classified Web Site at http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turkey”

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Jamaica: 2010 Investment Climate Statement

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID     10KINGSTON118
SUBJECT     Jamaica: 2010 Investment Climate Statement
DATE     2010-01-29 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION     UNCLASSIFIED
ORIGIN     Embassy Kingston
TEXT     UNCLAS KINGSTON 000118

SIPDIS
STATE FOR WHA/CAR (VDEPIRRO) (WSMITH) (JMACK-WILSON)
WHA/EPSC (MROONEY) (FCORNEILLE)
EEB/IFD/ODF (MSIEMER)
EEB/ESC/IEC (GGRIFFIN)
EEB/IFD/OIA (TWALSH)
EEB/TRA (VLIMAYE-DAVIS)
INR/RES (RWARNER)
INR/I (SMCCORMICK)
SANTO DOMINGO FOR FCS AND FAS
TREASURY FOR ERIN NEPHEW
EXPORT IMPORT BANK FOR ANNETTE MARESH
USTDA FOR NATHAN YOUNG AND PATRICIA ARRIAGADA
OPIC FOR ALISON GERMAK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON, EINT, EINV, ENRG, PGOV, KTDB, KCOR, OPIC, USTR, XL, JM
SUBJECT: Jamaica: 2010 Investment Climate Statement

Jamaica: 2010 Investment Climate Statement

* Openness to Foreign Investment
* Conversion and Transfer Policies
* Expropriation and Compensation
* Dispute Settlement
* Performance Requirements and Incentives
* Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
* Protection of Property Rights
* Transparency of Regulatory System
* Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
* Political Violence
* Corruption
* Bilateral Investment Agreements
* OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs
* Labor
* Foreign-Trade Zones/Free Ports
* Foreign Direct Investment Statistics
* Web Resources

Openness to Foreign Investment

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The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) seeks to attract foreign direct investment and markets itself to companies in Europe, North America and the Caribbean region. The GOJ encourages foreign investment as a source of development and has no policies or regulations that reserve certain sectors exclusively for Jamaicans. Prime Minister Bruce Golding (Jamaica Labor Party), elected in September 2007, after 18 years of rule by the People’s National Party, publicly warns of the negative consequences of red tape as a hindrance to potential foreign investment.

Numerous measures which once inhibited foreign investment, such as the Foreign Exchange Control Act and the list of areas reserved for local investment only, have been eliminated. Thus, Jamaica does not have any legal impediment to direct foreign investment and applies the principle of national treatment to foreign investors.

With the investment landscape reformed, attention has turned to the reduction of processing and approval times for investment-related applications. In particular, USAID has been providing assistance to the GOJ and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica for a Regulation, Legislation, and Process Improvement Project (LEGS and REGS) to remove some of the obstacles to doing business in Jamaica. The project staff is currently revising an existing Developer’s Manual to provide updated information on the administration, legislation, regulation and requirements involved in the development approval process in Jamaica. The manual has been revised, but there is still much streamlining required in achieving
the Prime Minister’s 90- day turnaround deadline for approvals.

The LEGS and REGS Project has been paying dividends, as a 2009 World Bank Doing Business Report listed Jamaica in the top ten countries for the Latin America and Caribbean Region in which it was easiest to do business. Jamaica ranked above its regional peers and compared favorably with OECD countries in areas such as starting a business and hiring and firing workers. It should be mentioned that, while Jamaica’s Redundancy Act makes it expensive to cut staff due to the relatively high severance payments tied to length of service (see Labor section below), the Jamaican system still ranks higher than its regional peers in the 2009 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report for the category of Hiring Workers. It only scores lower than its peers in the subcategory of Firing Costs.

The Companies Act and the Securities Act govern acquisitions, mergers and takeovers for publicly traded companies. In 1996, the Securities Act was revised to bring it in line with international regulations. The takeover code was redesigned to ensure the integrity of the securities market while protecting minority shareholders. Jamaica’s legal system is based on English common law principles and rules covering the enforceability of contracts are based thereupon. The Jamaican judicial system therefore recognizes and upholds the sanctity of contracts. However, in the 2009 World Bank Doing Business Report, Jamaica slipped 25 rank positions for Enforcing Contracts, falling from 102 in 2008 to 127 in 2009. There are no limits on foreign ownership or control, and the Embassy is not aware of any economic or industrial policy that has discriminatory effects on foreign investors.

Foreign investors are generally granted national or Most Favored Nation treatment, subject to the rules of their Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITS). There are no screening mechanisms for foreign investments, but if investors apply for government incentives, they could be required to meet some basic pre-requisites and due diligence may be done by the approving agency. This process is not discriminatory and is not intended to impede investment. Jamaica has also undertaken a comprehensive program of trade and financial liberalization, and no sector remains closed to foreign investment. However, projects that affect national security, have a negative impact on the environment, or involve sectors such as life insurance, media or mining are subjected to regulation and certain restrictions.

Jamaica’s privatization program is open to participation by foreign investors, except for those that are on the restricted list due to national security concerns. The National Investment Bank, which administers privatization, is mandated to ensure that the process is fair and transparent. However, in some privatization transactions, the participation of local investors may lead to added points in the scoring of proposals. When large entities are being privatized, advertisements are placed in international newspapers such as the Financial Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal to attract foreign investors. An information memorandum accompanies privatization proposals and includes the specific requirements under which bidders are allowed to participate and the criteria by which proposals will be evaluated. Foreign investors have won most of the privatization bids in the last five years. The government is currently reviewing some of the remaining parastatals with an eye to divestiture.

The country is party to both multilateral and bilateral treaties, which provide for non-discrimination. Local laws do not distinguish between local and foreign investors. The Embassy is not aware of any discrimination against foreign investors at the time of initial investment or after the investment is made. However, under the Jamaican Companies Act, investors are required either to establish a local company or to register a branch office of a foreign-owned enterprise. Branches of companies incorporated abroad must also register with the Registrar of Companies if they intend to operate in Jamaica. The Companies Act, which came into effect in February 2005, allows foreign companies to hold lands
without registering in Jamaica. There are no laws or regulations requiring firms to adopt articles of incorporation or association, which limit or prohibit foreign investment, participation or control. The Embassy is not aware of any other ways private firms could restrict foreign investment.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) flow was USD 779 million in 2007, down from 850 million in 2006 according to the United Nations’ World Investment Report. The dynamism in FDI was most evident in the construction, telecommunications, tourism, and mining sectors.

Despite significant foreign investment over the years, Jamaica’s annual GDP growth has been an anemic 1 percent on average, indicating that foreign investment does not directly translate into GDP growth. Jamaica appears to lack the absorptive capacity to benefit from investments requiring high skilled employment, and a significant portion of inputs are not sourced locally.

The introduction of competition in the telecommunications sector has attracted three mobile providers and multiple internet service provides including three licenses that are being issued to wireless service providers. The GOJ has issued two additional fiber-optic licenses to reduce the cost of Internet rates. Highway 2000, Jamaica’s first toll road, is being constructed by French company Bouygues under a build, operate, and transfer (BOT) model. Two segments of the project, costing over USD 500 million, are completed. A third leg connecting Kingston and the resort area of Ocho Rios should be completed by end of 2010.

With the onset of the global economic crisis, there has been significant slowdown in some of Jamaica’s critical foreign exchange earners. Growth in the bauxite and tourism sectors has slowed. The construction boom of the last three years, which brought in over USD 1 billion in FDI in the accommodation sector, has weaned. Future projects in the sector have been postponed until the global economic climate improves. This includes investments from Spanish hotel chains and the high-end Harmony Cove Tourism Development. A Brazilian company, Infinity BioEnergy, is in negotiations to acquire the assets of Jamaica’s sugar industry.

Conversion and Transfer Policies
——————————–

Jamaica has no restrictions on holding funds or on transferring funds associated with an investment, as the country liberalized its foreign exchange market in 1991. However, foreign exchange transactions must be conducted through authorized foreign exchange dealers, cambios and bureaux de change at market-determined rates. Foreign exchange is generally available, but companies tend to source large amounts of foreign exchange over a three to four day period. There are currently no plans to change the policies affecting investment remittances and there is no delay period currently in effect for remitting investment returns. There is no legal parallel market (tiered system) for foreign exchange following liberalization and there are no limitations on the inflow or outflow of funds for any transaction. Recently surveyed U.S. companies indicated no problems or delays in accessing foreign exchange or remitting investment returns.

Expropriation and Compensation
——————————

Property rights are protected under Section 18 of the Jamaican Constitution. Expropriation of land may take place under the Land Acquisition Act, which provides for compensation on the basis of market value. Expropriation can take place before compensation is paid, but interest for the period between the expropriation and the compensation settlement must be paid. According to the law, the purpose of any expropriation must be transparent, and compensation for expropriated property must be adequate. If informal negotiation on compensation fails, the investor has recourse in the courts. Jamaica has signed bilateral agreements for the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments with a number of countries, including the United States. The Embassy is not aware of any litigation between the Jamaican government and any private individual or company based on expropriation or on compensation for expropriation. There are currently no laws that force local ownership.

Dispute Settlement
——————

Disputes between enterprises are handled in the local courts, but foreign investors can refer cases to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). There have been cases of trademark infringements in which U.S. firms took action and were granted restitution in the local courts. The Jamaican Constitution provides for an independent judiciary with a three-tier court structure. Claims may be brought before the Magistrate or Supreme Court. Appeals on decisions made in these courts can be taken before the Court of Appeal and then to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the United Kingdom. Plans were afoot for the Privy Council to be replaced by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which will consider and determine appeals in civil and criminal matters from common law courts within CARICOM member states. However, the then-opposition Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) opposed the process and took the case to the Privy Council which supported their position. If Jamaica were to replace the Privy Council with the CCJ it will likely require a national referendum, although it is not likely in the near-term. Jamaica has effective means for enforcing property and contractual rights through: (1) The Judgment and Awards (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act; (2) The Judgment (Foreign) (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act; (3) The Arbitration (Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Awards) Act; and, (4) The Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Act.
Under these acts, judgments of foreign courts are accepted and enforced in all cases where there is a reciprocal enforcement of judgment treaty with the relevant foreign state.

A number of disputes, involving foreign investors and GOJ, on the one hand, and foreign investors and a local association, on the other, arose during 2005. The first dispute, which is yet to be resolved as of early 2010, involves the implementation of a levy by the GOJ on in-coming telephone calls for a Universal Access Fund to finance computers and other information-related activities in Jamaican schools. However, U.S. long-distance telephone companies have been resisting the move and have requested that the Federal Communications Commission put pressure on Jamaica to desist from collecting the fees.

There is a Bankruptcy Act dealing with personal insolvency, a Companies Act dealing with corporate insolvency, and other statutes such as the Bills of Exchange and the Sale of Goods Acts dealing with commercial matters. There are also extensive common law principles, which are written and consistently applied. Under the bankruptcy laws, creditors can petition for an order against an individual or a winding up order against the company and will be entitled to share in the assets of the bankrupt on a pro-rata basis, after certain specified preferential creditors such as redundant employees. The claimant has the option of settling a claim in the currency in which the debt or obligation was incurred or in local currency.

Jamaica, a signatory to the International Center for Settlement of Disputes (ICSID) since 1965, accepts international arbitration of investment disputes between Jamaicans and foreign investors. Local courts also recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards. International arbitration is also accepted as a means for settling investment disputes between private parties. However, acting in its role as an international tribunal, the CCJ will interpret and apply the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. There is no formal domestic arbitration body in Jamaica, but disputing parties can use arbitration proceedings to settle their disputes. These proceedings would be guided by the Arbitration Act which sets out the procedures disputing parties would follow once they agree on arbitration and is read in conjunction with the Arbitration Clauses Protocol Act, which in turn makes reference to how foreign arbitral awards will be addressed. If a foreign investor’s country has a BIT with Jamaica, then the rules of this treaty would apply. Other foreign investors are given national treatment and civil procedures would apply.

Performance Requirements and Incentives
—————————————

Jamaica is a signatory to the World Trade Organization Agreement and is in compliance with most Uruguay Round obligations, including the TRIMS Obligations. There are no performance requirements imposed as a condition for investing in Jamaica. The GOJ offers a number of incentives to attract investments, particularly those that generate foreign exchange and expand employment. Some current incentives are non-compliant with the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and should have been phased out by 2003, but have not been. However, Jamaica was granted an extension by the WTO to revise its incentives and is awaiting reports from the World Bank-affiliated Foreign Investment Advisory Service and a local Tax Review Committee to complete the process. Chief among the current incentives are:

(a) The Export Industry Encouragement Act (EIEA) – entitles companies manufacturing products for export to non-CARICOM member countries benefits such as exemption from income and dividend taxes for up to ten years, and exemption from import duties on raw material and machinery during the incentive period. Service industries were included in 1990 and in 1996 the EIEA was amended to include companies that do not export 100 percent of their output.

(b) The Hotel Incentives Act – entitles hoteliers to income and dividend tax relief for up to ten years. Hoteliers may also receive an exemption from import duties for constructing or expanding hotels, but must have at least ten rooms and facilities for other activities. Income tax relief is granted for 15 years to hotels that meet certain qualifications including: having 10 to 350 rooms, facilities for holding conferences and operation by a qualified general manager. The Resort Cottages Incentives Act allows for income and dividend tax relief and duty-free importation of articles required to construct and equip resort cottages for up to seven years.

(c) The Motion Picture Industry Encouragement Law – motion picture producers can receive duty relief on imported goods for use in motion picture production as well as income tax exemption from the date of release or exhibition of each motion picture produced in Jamaica for a period of nine years. Producers are also granted a tax deduction of 70 percent of the capital expenditure incurred in acquiring facilities either in the year in which the cost is incurred or in any subsequent year at the option of the producer.

(d) Approved farmer status under the Income Tax Act – certified persons or companies engaged in growing food or seed crops, horticulture, aquaculture, tobacco and animal husbandry are eligible for income tax relief for up to ten years, renewable as well as concessionary duty rates on farm vehicles.

(e) The International Finance Company Act – available to finance companies conducting business solely with foreigners. With regard to Jamaican operations, non-residents must hold at least 95 percent of the loan capital. Profits of an approved corporate body are taxed at a rate of only 2.5 percent.

(f) The Shipping Incentives Act – approved shipping corporations are granted import duty and income tax concessions for a period of ten years.

(g) The Foreign Sales Corporation Act – provides exemption from income tax for five years for qualified income arising from foreign trade. U.S. law through the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) reinforces this incentive.

(h) The Industry Modernization Program (IMP) and Moratorium on Duties – under the IMP, companies are exempt from general consumption tax on capital goods acquired for modernization. The Minister of Finance may award a moratorium on import duties on capital items for up to three years to companies, which do not qualify under existing incentive legislation and have the potential to contribute significantly to foreign exchange earnings.

(i) Accelerated Depreciation – certified companies are allowed to deduct 50 percent of the full cost of new machinery in the year of purchase and a further 50 percent in the following year.

(j) Other Incentives – a number of development banks provide concessionary financing for projects. The Jamaican National EXIM Bank provides concessionary interest rate loans for trade financing, while the Development Bank of Jamaica offers reduced lending rates to the productive sectors. The National Investment Bank of Jamaica also provides equity and quasi-equity financing for key economic sectors listed under the National Industrial Policy.

Foreign investors and their investment are generally granted national treatment status, subject to the rules outlined in their BIT. In essence, Jamaica has no performance requirements, except for companies with Free Zone status, which must export at least 85 percent of their output. Foreign firms are allowed to participate in GOJ-financed or subsidized R&D programs on a national treatment basis. Work permits are granted by the Ministry of Labor for a specified period, but are subject to the individual obtaining a working visa from the Jamaican Consulate available in or near their home state. Since 2005, foreign nationals who are conducting business on short-term basis will not require a business visa once they will be in Jamaica for a period not exceeding thirty days. However, foreign nationals will need a business visa to enter Jamaica if they are conducting business for periods exceeding thirty days. Foreign nationals who need visas for entry to Jamaica will require a business visa to conduct business.

All importers are subject to the same procedures when trading in goods and services. To qualify for entry certificates, importers must obtain, inter alia, a supplier invoice, a certificate of value and origin, a declaration of value, and a bill of lading and sight. Products imported into Jamaica must also meet specific acts administered by the Jamaica Bureau of Standards. In December 2001, Jamaica imposed the International Organization for Standardization ISO date representation (yy/mm/dd) as the official format for trade, but date labels are still accepted in the traditional European style (dd/mm/yy). The Jamaican economy is relatively open, but some non-tariff barriers remain. For instance, the Veterinary Division requires certification from a U.S. federal agency for all products containing animal and animal by-products irrespective of quantity or form. Highly processed products such as cookies and chips therefore require certification from a government veterinarian. The Coffee and Coconut Industry Boards also have to issue import certificates for coffee beans and cooking oils, respectively, but importers can experience lengthy delays in obtaining these permits. Under intense pressure from farmers cooperatives, the GOJ instituted a 100 percent Common External Tariff (CET) plus an 80 percent Additional Stamp Duty (ASD), compounded to 260 percent, on whole chicken and leg-quarters and a number of imported vegetables.

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
——————————————-

All private entities are entitled to establish and own business enterprises and engage in all forms of remunerative activity, subject to, inter alia, labor, registration and environmental requirements. Private entities are also free to establish, acquire and dispose of interests in business enterprises. Public and private enterprises have equal access to markets, credit and business operations, such as licenses and supplies. However, if the GOJ has to compete with the private sector, it will do so on a competitive basis so as to not distort the market.

Protection of Property Rights
—————————–

The Jamaican Constitution guarantees property rights. Jamaica has a system of registered titles set out in the Registration of Titles Act, which recognizes and provides for the enforcement of secured interests in property by way of mortgage. It also facilitates and protects the acquisition and disposition of all property rights, though working through Jamaica’s cumbersome bureaucracy can result in significant delays. In particular, it sometimes takes a long time for landowners to secure titles. Squatting, especially on crown (government) lands has also become a challenge in the last ten years. Jamaica is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and is a signatory of the Bern Convention.
Jamaica and the U.S. have an Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and a BIT, which provide assurances to protect intellectual property. However, Jamaica remains a special 301 “Watch List” country, largely because the patent law is not compliant with the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Work is advanced on a new Patent & Designs Bill, including new rules and fee structures. It is anticipated that the Bill which will be fully TRIPS compliant could be passed by the next legislative year. A Geographical Indications Act (GI) was passed in 2004 to protect products that originate from localities where a particular quality or reputation is attributable to its geographical origin. The Geographical Indications Act and regulations is now fully in force and TRIPS compliant. General law provides protection for trade secrets. Protection against unfair competition is also provided by the general law and the Fair Competition Act.

The Copyright Act of 1993, as amended, complies with the TRIPS Agreement and adheres to the principles of the Bern Convention, and covers works ranging from books and music to computer programs. Amendments in June 1999 make explicit the provision of copyright protection on compilations of works such as databases and make it an offense for a person to manufacture or trade in decoders of encrypted transmissions. It also gives persons having rights in encrypted transmissions or in broadcasting or cable program services a right of action against persons who infringe their rights. The act needs to be amended to give effect to the provisions of the WIPO WCT and WPPT (Internet) Treaties to which
Jamaica acceded in 2002. The Trademark Act of 1999 is also compliant with the TRIPS Agreement and provides the owner of registered trademarks exclusive rights for up to ten years, renewable. It provides for the protection of “well-known” marks under the Paris Convention on Industrial Property Rights of which Jamaica is a signatory. A TRIPS compliant Layout Designs Act has also been in effect since June 1999. The act provides protection for layout-designs for integrated circuits and gives the rights owner the exclusive right to reproduce, import, sell or otherwise commercially exploit the layout-design and to authorize other persons to do so. That right is in place for ten years and may be transferred by the rights owner.

Transparency of Regulatory System
———————————

A Fair Competition Act (FCA) was implemented in 1993 and is administered by the Fair Trading Commission. The main objective of the FCA is to prevent business interests and government policies from hindering the efficiencies to be gained from a competitive system. The FCA deals with misleading advertisements, price-fixing, collusion, unfair trading practices and interlocking directorships. To date the FTC has investigated over 5,000 cases, the majority of which are  onsumer protection related.

There are laws and policies covering taxation, labor, health and other issues to avoid distortions or impediments to the efficient mobilization and allocation of investment. However, investors argue that the Redundancy Act, which deals with severance payment, is a disincentive to investment funds. In 2001, the mandate of the Anti-Dumping and Subsidies Commission was expanded through the implementation of a Safeguards Act, which protects producers from import surges. The GOJ also established the Office of Utilities Regulation to act as regulator of the country’s utilities.

Although there has been improvement in the approval process for investment projects, it can still take anywhere from three months for Free Zone projects to over a year for green-field projects. Having recognized the problem, the GOJ has intensified its efforts to reduce bureaucracy as well as improve transparency and customer service levels within the public sector. A Ministry of Development was established to deal with investment bottlenecks. As stated above, the private sector, GOJ and USAID have also joined forces to implement a project (LEGS and REGS) to identify and deal with key legislation, regulations and processes that constrain business. The project is currently addressing the reform process with regard to the approval for development and building permits. It should be noted that as a result of this work, Jamaica was the top reformer globally this year on Dealing with Construction Permits, in the World Bank Doing Business 2009 Report, improving its rank on that indicator by 25 spots to 49th place.

The Embassy is not aware of any informal regulatory processes managed by NGOs or private sector associations or of any private sector and/or GOJ effort to restrict foreign participation in industry standards-setting consortia or organizations. However, in December 2004, the Free Trade Commission (FTC) implemented a non-legislative code of conduct governing the petroleum industry. The mandates of this code place restrictions on property sales and contracts between marketing companies and retailers, and are enforceable through fines levied by the FTC. Proposed legislation is available for public comment and submissions are generally invited from members of the public for items considered to be
controversial. The legal, regulatory and accounting systems are transparent and consistent with international norms, and Jamaica has adopted the new International Financial Reporting System.

Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
——————————————-

Since the 1980s, Jamaica has initiated reforms aimed at fostering private sector activity and increasing the role of market forces in resource allocation. These reforms intensified in the 1990s, resulting in trade, financial and capital account liberalization. This has led to the availability of credit on market terms and foreigners are allowed to borrow freely on the local market at market-determined rates of interest. While some major financial products are still lacking, the private sector still has access to a variety of credit instruments.

Jamaica has an effective regulatory system established to encourage and facilitate portfolio investment. The Financial Services Commission and the Bank of Jamaica jointly regulate portfolio investment. At the end of September 2008, the country’s four largest commercial banks had total assets amounting to over USD 6 billion or 90 percent of the entire assets of commercial banks. Five of the country’s seven commercial banks, including the four largest, are foreign-owned. During the mid-1990s there was a meltdown in the financial sector often referred as “FINSAC”, but since 1998 there has been consolidation and increased output performance in the sector. Significant strides have also been made in terms of the regulatory framework, which are now in line with international standards. The non-performing loans portfolio as a percentage of the total asset base has moved from seven percent in 2000 to 2.4 percent at the end of September 2008.

Based on the Rule 404 of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), fully paid shares shall be free from any restriction on the right of transfer and from all liens. Two listed companies have clauses within their memoranda and articles of association that restrict foreign investors, but these predate the JSE. JSE listing arrangements allow for 20 percent of issued share capital to be listed, but there is no requirement that stipulates that this threshold must be maintained after listing. The rules of the JSE and the Security Acts also have specific provisions relating to the process of takeover and mergers, but these are general and, given that there are no specific provisions (except in the cases mentioned above) regarding restrictions to foreign participation, it follows that there are no specific measures designed to protect against hostile foreign takeovers.

Political Violence
——————

Jamaica has a few incidents involving politically motivated damage to projects and/or installations. Although, crime poses a greater threat to foreign investments than do politically motivated activities. In April 2009 there were small sporadic disturbances in response to a new gas tax, although they were nothing like the three days of rioting in 1999 in response to a similar gas tax hike. The resort city of Montego Bay experienced a day of social unrest in 2003, in response to alleged police excesses. The street demonstration, which included the blocking of roads, affected the flow of tourists between hotels and the airport. At the 2008 Jamaica Labour Party’s annual conference there was a shooting that resulted in a death. Violent crime, rooted in poverty, unemployment, and drug trafficking, is a serious problem in Jamaica, particularly in Kingston. Sporadic gang violence and shootings are concentrated in certain inner city neighborhoods, but can occur in other areas. Extortion is a serious problem in certain areas of the commercial district and on large construction projects. In 2009 the GOJ also diverged from the past and has been less cooperative with the USG in its response to requests for the extradition of alleged leaders of high-profile criminal organizations. This issue of concern will be closely monitored during 2010.

Corruption
———-

Jamaica has a Corruption Prevention Act (CPA), which established a Corruption Prevention Commission in 2003 to, among other things: (1) receive, examine and document the statutory declarations of public sector workers; (2) receive and investigate any complaint regarding an act of corruption; and, (3) conduct investigation into acts of corruption, if satisfied there are reasonable grounds to do so. To date there has been no enforcement, as the commission lacks the capacity to enforce the filing of declarations. Recent reports suggest that non-compliance is running at over 30 percent. However, the commission will be working with the Director of Public Prosecution to have enforcement measures implemented. The Embassy is not aware of any disproportionate application of corruption measures against foreign investors, but some members of the private sector perceive that the law is not applied impartially among locals. During a recent panel discussion on governance, a GOJ Senator also stated that Jamaica had not done well in eliminating corruption from the public sector.

Jamaica is a signatory of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and has ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. Anti-corruption initiatives have been taken within the Jamaica Constabulary Force as well as some private sector organizations. Prosecutors also continue to take part in regional anti-corruption conferences, with one such conference developed by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ). However, Jamaica is not a signatory to the UN Anticorruption Convention. The Embassy is not aware of any U.S. firm identifying corruption as an obstacle to foreign investment. Transparency International (TI) performed a formal study of corruption in 2003. The TI report identifies
widespread political, petty, and narcotics-related corruption as being prevalent in Jamaica. According to Transparency International’s Perception Index, the perception of corruption in Jamaica has worsened in the past three years. The island has slid from a score of 3.7 out of 10 in 2006, to 3.3 in 2007, to 3.1 in 2008, down to 3.0 in 2009. This score places Jamaica in the same category as Dominican Republic, Madagascar, and Senegal.

Corruption may well be the single greatest concern among Jamaicans, most of whom believe it one of the root causes of the high crime rate. In the past year, 16 police officers have been arrested for alleged acts of corruption, but only one has been at senior level. Despite numerous allegations of public corruption, the last conviction of a politician on corruption charges was in 1981. In recent times only one politician has been arrested on charges of corruption; he is currently awaiting trial.

Under the Corruption Prevention Act (CPA), it is an offense to solicit or accept a bribe. Public servants can be imprisoned for up to ten years and fined as much as JMD ten million if found guilty of engaging in acts of bribery. Individuals and companies are also criminally liable if they bribe foreign public officials and can be prosecuted and face the same penalties. The legislation covers public officials who meet the JMD two million salary threshold and those working in sensitive positions such as police and military officers. However, it is well known that a number of public officials have been delinquent in complying with mandatory filing. The creation of the CPA could be viewed as evidence that GOJ officials are taking anti-corruption efforts seriously.
However, financial constraints have crippled the commission’s ability to fully execute its mandate of enforcing asset declarations. In 2007, The GOJ passed into law the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), a powerful legal tool that allows for both criminal and civil forfeiture and criminalizes money laundering related to narcotics offenses, fraud, firearms trafficking, human trafficking, terrorist financing and corruption, and applies to all property or assets associated with an individual convicted or suspected of involvement with a crime.

More active enforcement of the POCA by the GOJ would certainly strengthen anti-corruption efforts.

U.S. investors should be aware of the U.S. provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) which, in general, prohibits corrupt payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information. http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa/

The CPA also contains provisions for the extradition of Jamaican citizens for crimes of corruption. In April 2002, Prime Minister Patterson tabled a code of conduct in Parliament for government ministers. The 49-point code covers such issues as conflict of interest and integrity in the conduct of public and private business. The agency responsible for combating corruption is the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption. Other “watchdog” organizations operating in Jamaica include Transparency International, Jamaicans for Justice, Families Against State Terrorism and the Farquharson Institute of Public Affairs.

Bilateral Investment Agreements
——————————-

Jamaica has investment treaties with the United States (Feb. 1994, which came into force in March 1997), Argentina (Feb. 1994), France (Jan. 1993), Italy (Sept. 1993), Germany (Sept. 1992), Netherlands (Apr. 1991), SWITZERLAND (Dec. 1990), the United Kingdom (Jan. 1987), China (1998), Cuba (May 1997), Egypt (Feb. 1999), Indonesia (Feb. 1999) and Zimbabwe (Feb. 1999) and is presently negotiating bilateral investment agreements with South Korea, Costa Rica, Belgium, Russia and Canada. Jamaica has also signed and ratified double taxation agreements with the U.S., Canada, CARICOM, China, SWITZERLAND, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs
——————————————-

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation has identified infrastructure, telecommunications, construction, tourism and renewable energy as areas where its programs can have an impact in Jamaica. OPIC political risk insurance can insure up to USD 40 million per project. OPIC also provides medium to long-term financing to ventures with significant U.S. participation. OPIC can normally guarantee or lend from USD 0.1 to 250 million per project. OPIC has historically committed more than USD 750 million in insurance and financing to support over 80 projects in Jamaica in industries such as construction, energy, telecommunications, and tourism. The country became a signatory to the Multilateral
Investment Guarantee Agency in 1986 and ratified the agreement in 1987.

The foreign exchange market remained relatively stable for the first nine months of 2008, depreciating by 1.6 percent. However, by October the effects of the global financial crisis became evident, with the local currency slipping by over eight percent to the first week of December. The sharp depreciation has been underpinned by a confluence of demand and supply factors led by increased margin calls from overseas creditors. Demand pressures were also compounded by increasing Jamaican dollar liquidity as local financial institutions converted maturing debt instruments into hard currency. The increased demand for hard currency could not have come at a worse time, as it coincided with the slow period for inflows and the traditional demand spike for foreign currency to purchase Christmas supplies. But one of the single greatest shocks to the foreign exchange market came from the negative ratings released by the three main ratings agencies. But a currency adjustment was not unexpected given the 16.8 percent spike in inflation to September, 2008, which represented an almost 15 percent real appreciation in the currency. And with confidence waning and rising inflation rendering returns on local instruments negative, investors were always going to switch to foreign assets to hedge against any further erosion in real returns. High commodities prices led by oil imports had also influenced a USD 793 million deterioration in the current account balance to June 2008. With foreign investment inflows drying up and the capital market shut, there would have been a shortfall in the supply of foreign inflows required to finance the current account, thus forcing the exchange rate to adjust.

To address the instability, the Central Bank drew on its arsenal of monetary tools to temper demand pressures. On October 15, the Bank introduced a temporary USD loan facility for institutions affected by margin calls. Two days later the Bank complemented this response by hiking interest rates by up to 1.2 percent. The bank followed up by facilitating the flow of credit among financial institutions to moderate the pressures in the foreign exchange market, while assisting the continued functioning of the inter-bank credit market. At the same time, the Bank sold over USD 400 million or 20 percent of its stock of Net International Reserves (NIR) to the currency market to shore up supplies, thus, bringing NIR down from USD 2.1B in 2007 to USD 1.7B in December 2008.
However, these policy responses were not sufficient to alleviate the demand pressures in the currency market, due to a build up in Jamaica dollar liquidity stemming from maturing debt instruments. To remove this liquidity, the Bank embarked on an even more aggressive monetary program, offering an attractive short term instrument with interest payable at 20.5 percent as well increasing the cash reserve requirement by two percentage points to 11 percent. Interest rates were further hiked to as high as 24 percent for one year instruments. These measures were accompanied by an 18-month GOJ USD indexed bond with a coupon of 11.5 percent.

Labor
——-

Jamaica had an estimated labor force of 1.3 million at the end of January 2008, of which 10.2 percent was unemployed. Since 1999 there has been a steady increase in the numbers of people trained in information technology, particularly for call centers, and most of these workers have been absorbed by the growing call center industry. There has also been a jump in the number of university graduates, but the numbers have been depleted by migration to North America and the UK. This has apparently led to a shortage of highly educated and experienced labor as evidenced by the number of advertisements for these workers in the newspapers weekly. On the other hand, there has been a marked increase in the number of work permits issued to expatriates, particularly in the services sectors. In 2007, a total of 5,927 permits were issued, down 6.3 percent, suggesting a falloff in the demand for permits as some tourism projects are completed.

Jamaica has an active and strong trade union movement with membership equal to an estimated 20 percent of the labor force, although the movement is considerably weaker now than historically has been the case. Labor relations have traditionally been adversarial due to the level of distrust between workers and management. However, both parties have attempted to enhance the relationship between them by enacting a program for the management of labor cooperation (PROMALCO).

Jamaica has a number of labor friendly laws including the Employment (Termination and Redundancy Payments) Act, 1974 (as amended) (ETRPA). Under the Act, subject to some exclusions, employees with not less than two years continuous employment, who are dismissed on the grounds of “redundancy” are entitled to redundancy payment. As a general rule, workers with up to ten years continuous employment are entitled to two weeks payment for every year as well the requisite notice pay, while workers with over ten years continuous employment are entitled to three weeks payment plus notice pay (notice pay is the period in which the employee must give notice to their employer before leaving their position except in certain cases such as firing for cause).

Jamaica has ratified the following ILO Conventions: Right of Association (Agriculture) Convention 1921 – ratified July 8, 1963; Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 – ratified December 26, 1962; and, Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 – ratified December 26, 1962. The GOJ is adopting the ILO policy on HIV/AIDS in the workplace. The GOJ, working in conjunction with the ILO and local stakeholders, has also developed a national plan of action on flexibility in working time to guide flexible working arrangements in Jamaica. Under the Work Permit Act, a foreign national who wishes to work in Jamaica must first apply for a permit issued by the Ministry of Labor. The law, which seeks to give first preference to Jamaicans, requires organizations planning to employ foreign nationals to prove that attempts were made to employ a Jamaican national.

Foreign-Trade Zones/Free Ports
——————————

Jamaica’s Free Zones Act allows investors to operate solely with foreign exchange in activities such as warehousing, refining, manufacturing, redistribution, processing, assembling, packaging, and services such as insurance and banking. Incentives offered include a 100-percent tax holiday in perpetuity, no import licensing requirements, and exemption from customs duties on construction and raw materials, capital goods, and office equipment. Manufacturing companies operating in the Free Zones are allowed to sell 15 percent of their production on the local market with the approval of the responsible minister. Duty-free zones are primarily found in airports, hotels, and tourist centers and, as with free zone activities; do not discriminate on the basis of nationality. The Kingston and Montego Bay Free Zones provide factory space for the above listed activities. Amendments have also been made to the Jamaica Export Free Zone Act to allow for the establishment of Single Entity Free Zones, with individual companies now designated as free zones. The Kingston Free Zone has recently developed an Informatics Park.

For foreign trade zone information investors can contact:

Ms. Beverly Williamson, Senior Vice-President, Business Management and Special Projects, Kingston and Montego Bay Free Zones, 27 Shannon Drive, Kingston 15, Tel: (876) 922-0290-8; 923-5274-5/6021;
Fax: (876) 923-6023. 1 Mangrove Way, Montego Bay Free Port, P.O. Box 1377, Montego Bay, Tel:(876) 979-8696; Fax (876) 979-8088;
Email:bwillaimson@portjam.com

Mr. Horace Sutherland, General Manager, Factories Corporation, 1 King St. Kingston, Tel: (876) 924-9600 -1; Fax: (876) 924-9630;
Email: factories@cwjamaica.com

Foreign Direct Investment Statistics

Foreign Direct Investment Statistics

Table 1: FDI Stock in Jamaica (USD Million)

2002 2004 2005 2006 2007
2008

Inward 4409 5783 6335 7264 8580 9456

Outward 872 1079 1174 1257 817 1452

Source: World Investment Report, 2005

Table 2: FDI Stock as a Percent of GDP

2002 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Inward 56.7 66.4 65.1 68.8 77 65.7

Outward 11.2 12.4 12.1 11.9 12 10.1

Source: World Investment Report, 2005
Table 3: Inward FDI (USD Million)

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Agriculture/Manufacturing 88.2 43.5 118.9 40.8 46.7 75.2

Distribution

Information Technology 105.7 17.9 55 58.2 164.5 257

Communication

Minerals and Chemicals 30.9 9.8 12.8 11.6 5.2 2.3

Insurance 10.7 10.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Tourism 114.3 114.6 106.7 185.7 196.9 196.0

Mining 149.7 57.3 111.6 335.8 216.6 74.2

Other 63.0 170.2 75.9 118.1 59.3 714.3*

Sub-Total 562.6 423.6 480.9 750.1 689.2 1319.0

Retained Earnings 158.1 178.0 201.6 132.1 177.3 177.5

Divestment 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

TOTAL 720.7 601.6 682.5 882.2 866.5 1436.6

*Includes inflows arising from the acquisition of majority
shareholdings in a local conglomerate by a Trinidad & Tobago firm.

2008 figures are preliminary

Source: Bank of Jamaica

Table 4: Inward FDI as a percentage of GDP (%)
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Agriculture/Manufacturing 0.87 0.39 1.00 0.36 0.05

Distribution

Information Technology 1.05 0.16 0.46 1.27 1.84

Communication

Minerals and Chemicals 0.31 0.09 0.11 0.04 0.02

Insurance 0.11 0.09 0.00 0.00 0.00

Tourism 1.13 1.03 1.56 1.52 1.40

Mining 1.48 0.52 2.81 1.68 0.53

Other 1.68 0.68 0.99 0.46 5.12*

Sub-Total 5.56 3.81 6.29 5.33 9.45

Retained Earnings 1.56 1.60 1.11 1.37 0.84

Divestment 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

TOTAL 7.13 5.41 5.72 6.70 10.29

See notes in Table 3

Source: Computed from BOJ and Statistical Institute of Jamaica data
Table 5: FDI Projects Facilitated by Jamaica Promotions by Sector (USD Million)

03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09

TOTAL 105.8 153.8 233.2 265.7 328.3 431.1

Agriculture 2.9 6.4 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Creative Industries 14.2 12.3 15.0 0.0 10.1 18.1

Info Tech. 45.9 11.4 64.3 55.7 50.9 160.1

Manufacturing 31.1 0.0 11.1 38.9 53.2 65.9

Mining/Chemicals 0.4 4.6 16.0 1.3 5.6 5.0

Tourism 11.1 119.2 123.9 169.8 208.5 160.1

Source: Jamaica Promotions Agency (JAMPRO)

Table 6: FDI Projects Facilitated by JAMPRO by Selected Country of Origin, FY 99-07
Country and Sector JDOLS Millions

BELGIUM

Tourism 100.0

CANADA

Film 126.7

Information Technology 7,068.2

Manufacturing 546.3

Mining and Chemical 213.5

CAYMAN ISLAND

Tourism 78.2

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Information Technology 276.0

Manufacturing 284.9

GERMANY

Film 131.3

ITALY

Tourism 58.3

JAPAN

Film 14.2

RUSSIA

Film 228.5

SOUTH AFRICA

Manufacturing 27.2

SPAIN

Tourism 26,536.0

ST. LUCIA

Manufacturing 88.6

TAIWAN

Agriculture 570.4

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Mineral and Chemical 1,466.8

Manufacturing 2,327.0

U.S.A.

Agriculture 182.0

Film 1,414.9

Information Technology 13,508.7

Manufacturing 2,367.0

Mining and Chemicals 674.2

Textiles 102.5

Tourism 6,378.3

UNITED KINGDOM

Film 277.9

Information Technology 9,277.1

Manufacturing 1,842.3

Tourism 124.1

MULTIPLE OWNERS

Film 784.6

Tourism 1,629.1

Source: JAMPRO (does not capture all new investments)

Jamaica has a long history of attracting foreign direct investment from the United States. Among the major U.S. investors operating in Jamaica are:

———-
Accounting
———-

KPMG Peat Marwick

Price Waterhouse-Coopers

———–
Advertising
———–

Lindo Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB)

McCann Erickson (Ja.) Ltd.

————————–
Agribusiness and Beverages
————————–

ADM Milling Company

Coca Cola Jamaica

Nabisco Brands, Inc.

Pepsi-Cola Jamaica Bottling Plant

Kraft

—————–
Banking & Finance
—————–

Citibank N.A.

————————-
Chemicals/Pharmaceuticals
————————-

Alkali Group of Companies

Antilles Chemical Co.

Cetco Water Laboratories

Diversey-Lever Jamaica Ltd.

Fabcon (Caribbean) Ltd.

Industrial Gases Ltd. (IGL)

Sherwin Williams W.I. Ltd.

Smithkline Beecham International

—————————–
Computers and Data Processing
—————————–

ACS

Data Key Processors Jamaica Ltd.

Fargo Electronics

IBM World Trade Corp.

Jamaica Digiport Int’l Ltd.

Media Track Inc.

Microsoft

New Horizons Learning Centre

Productive Business Solutions Ltd.

Standard Data Systems

—————–
Consumer Products
—————–

Colgate Palmolive

F. W. Woolworth & Co. (Ja.) Ltd.

Gillette Caribbean

Johnson & Johnson

KIWI Brands Caribbean Ltd.

Mead Johnson

Meineke

PriceSmart

—————
Courier Service
—————

EB/IFD/OIA (TWALSH)
EEB/TRA (VLIMAYE-DAVIS)
INR/RES (RWARNER)
INR/I (SMCCORMICK)
SANTO DOMINGO FOR FCS AND FAS
TREASURY FOR ERIN NEPHEW
EXPORT IMPORT BANK FOR ANNETTE MARESH
USTDA FOR NATHAN YOUNG AND PATRICIA ARRIAGADA
OPIC FOR

FedEx

UPS

International Bonded Couriers

———
Insurance
———

American Home Assurance Co.

Blue Cross Shield of Jamaica

————————–
Manufacturing and Assembly
————————–

Baywind Manufacturing Ltd.

3-M Interamerica Inc.

Custom Marble & Design Jamaica Ltd.

Econ Industries Inc.

Goodyear (distributor)

Hofmann and Leavy Jamaica Ltd.

Jamaica Bow Co. Ltd.

Jockey International Jamaica Ltd.

Johnson & Johnson

Sealy Mattress Company

Singer Sewing Machine Co. Ltd.

Sportswear Producers Ltd.

West Indies Nutritional Corporation Ltd.

Williamson Dickie Jamaica Ltd.

—————
Mining & Energy
—————

Alcoa Minerals of Jamaica, Inc.

Jamaica Energy Partners

Jamaica Private Power Company Ltd.

Kaiser Bauxite Company

Texaco Caribbean Inc.

——————
Project Management
——————

Boyken-Mortimer International LLC

——————————–
Tourism and Hospitality Industry
——————————–

Air Tran

American Airlines

American Express Int’l Inc.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines

Baskin Robbins

Chester’ Chicken

Church’s Fried Chicken

Continental Airlines

Delta Airlines

Hertz (Liberty) Car Rental

Hilton (Kingston) Hotel

Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort

Jet Blue

Pizza Hut

Popeye’s Chicken and Seafood

Renaissance Jamaica Grande Hotel

Restaurants Associates Ltd. – Burger King

Restaurants of Jamaica Ltd. – Kentucky Fried Chicken

Ritz Carlton Hotel

Spirit Airlines

Subway (Ja.) Ltd.

TCBY Frozen Yogurt

Wendy’s

Wyndham Rose Hall Hotel

Parnell

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COLOMBIA REACTS PRUDENTLY BUT FIRMLY TO ALLEGED VENEZUELAN INCURSIONS

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID     10BOGOTA121
SUBJECT     COLOMBIA REACTS PRUDENTLY BUT FIRMLY TO ALLEGED VENEZUELAN
DATE     2010-02-01 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION     SECRET//NOFORN
ORIGIN     Embassy Bogota
TEXT     S E C R E T BOGOTA 000121

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/01
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, KJUS, ETRD, OAS, CO, VE
SUBJECT: COLOMBIA REACTS PRUDENTLY BUT FIRMLY TO ALLEGED VENEZUELAN INCURSIONS

REF: BOGOTA 3011

CLASSIFIED BY: Wililam R. Brownfield, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

SUMMARY

——-

1. (C/NF) Minister of Defense Silva told the Ambassador that an alleged January 27 Venezuelan overflight of Colombian airspace was a deliberate provocation and that he expected more such incidents. According to the GOC, a Venezuelan military helicopter crossed into the Colombian department of Arauca, overflew a Colombian Army base, and remained in Colombian airspace for about 20 minutes on January 27. In remarks to the press from Davos, Foreign Minister Bermudez demanded explanations from the GBRV and said the GOC would file a formal complaint with the OAS and then the UN if the GBRV did not provide an adequate reply. President Uribe publicly continued to urge a cautious and prudent response. Venezuelan officials denied the charge, but agreed to investigate. Separately, the GOC captured and deported a Venezuelan National Guard sergeant who crossed into Vichada department and fired his rifle. The repeated GBRV incursions increase the political pressure on the Colombian government to strengthen its air and border defenses. End Summary.

GOC REPORTS VENEZUELAN MILITARY CROSSINGS, GBRV DENIES AND DOWNPLAYS

————————————

2. (U) The GOC alleged that a Venezuelan military helicopter entered the Colombian department of Arauca on the morning of January 27th and flew over the city of Arauca – including the headquarters of the Colombian Army’s 18th Brigade – before returning to Venezuelan airspace near the city of El Amparo (Apure state). Minister of Defense (MOD) Gabriel Silva said he was “absolutely certain” the incursion had taken place and claimed the GOC had proof of the flight from both the Armed Forces and Colombian citizens. (NOTE: Several Colombian media outlets ran interviews with Arauca residents discussing the flight. A long distance photo appeared in the press. End Note.)

3. (SBU) Separately, Sergeant Juan Vicente Gomez Martinez of the Venezuelan National Guard crossed into Puerto Carreno (Vichada) on January 28 and fired his rifle. No injuries were reported. Colombian media reported that Colombian Marines captured Gomez and turned him over to local prosecutors, who found no basis to prosecute him and deported him to Venezuelan authorities.

4. (SBU) The GOC sent the GBRV a strongly worded diplomatic note on January 28th advising that the GOC was “deeply worried” by the flight’s “flagrant violation of national sovereignty,” and that the GOC demanded an explanation. The letter also stressed that the Colombian military had acted prudently and responsibly by not reacting to the alleged incursion. GOC Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez also said the GOC would demand an explanation for the Gomez incident.

5. (U) GBRV Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro categorically denied any overflight had taken place (calling it a “Colombian false positive”), while Vice Minister of Defense Daniel Machado said the GBRV would investigate but suggested Colombian authorities had mistaken Venezuelan airspace for Colombian. Machado denied knowing  any details of the Gomez incident, but said such small incidents were bound to occur along borders like that of Colombia and Venezuela.

GOC REACTS PRUDENTLY BUT FIRMLY

———————

6. (U) Speaking from the World Economic Forum in SWITZERLAND, President Uribe told reporters that he was sure the overflight had been an accident, and he urged his administration to react with total prudence. Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez followed Uribe’s lead, stressing that the GOC was awaiting the official GBRV response, was committed to acting through diplomatic channels, and would lodge a formal complaint with the OAS and then the UN, if the GBRV reply failed to satisfy Colombian concerns.

7. (S/NF) MOD Silva was more forceful in his public reaction, saying he believed the flight was no accident. Silva was much more candid in a January 28 meeting with the Ambassador, saying that he saw the incursions as part of a pattern of increasing Venezuelan provocations. Silva added that he believed the GBRV helicopter pilot had been on a suicide mission and that he anticipates the next provocation will be a maritime border incursion by GBRV forces, probably in disputed waters of the Gulf of Venezuela. He confirmed that Colombian forces had standing orders not to fire unless fired upon.

8. (U) Congressman Santiago Castro, Vice President of the House, called the alleged overflight a provocative act of military aggression, and he demanded the GOC invest up to $3 billion USD in anti-air defenses to protect Colombia from similar Venezuelan threats. Castro contended that Colombia should have the ability to react more strongly in the future, arguing that a calm reaction to the next Venezuelan violation of Colombian airspace would signal weakness, not prudence. Castro added that Colombia should not enter into an arms race with Venezuela, but opined that the defense budget should be changed this year to make anti-air defenses a priority. He added that Congress would hold a classified session to discuss such security measures.

BROWNFIELD

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OSCE: FEB. 10 FSC FOCUS ON SALW AND VIENNA DOCUMENT

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

ID     10USOSCE39
SUBJECT     SUBJECT: OSCE: FEB. 10 FSC FOCUS ON SALW AND
DATE     2010-02-12 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION     UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ORIGIN     Mission USOSCE
TEXT     UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 USOSCE 000039

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR VCI/CCA, VCI/NRRC, EUR/RPM, EUR/PRA, EUR/CARC,
SCA/CEN, SCA/RA, PM/WRA, ISN/CPI
NSC FOR SHERWOOD-RANDALL, HAYDEN, MCFAUL, HOVENIER, NILSSON, FRIEDT
OSD FOR ISA (WALLENDER, KEHL)
JCS, EUCOM, USAREUR AND CENTCOM: FOR J-5

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OSCE, PARM, PREL, KCFE, RS, XG
SUBJECT: SUBJECT: OSCE: FEB. 10 FSC FOCUS ON SALW AND VIENNA DOCUMENT

1. (SBU) Summary: This and next week’s Forum on Security Cooperation focus on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in accordance with Ministerial Decision 15/09, which tasks the
FSC to develop a Plan of Action by May 2010. Working Group “A” reviewed the Danish and UK proposals on improving the Vienna Document. Both proposals garnered support around the
table, though many delegations ) including Russia — remain uninstructed at the moment. The working group also discussed the Austrian proposal for a reference guide in support of the
Code of Conduct Questionnaire, which now has garnered eight co-sponsors. The U.S. met separately this week with Greece and the CPC to work out issues related to the Food-for-thought SALW; a draft revision will be shared with the U.S. before circulation at the FSC. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Under Agenda Item 1 General Statements, the UK (Cliff) announced the MOD’s green paper, “adaptability and Partnership: Issues for a Strategic Defense Review” was available as of February 3 through its webpage (www.mod.uk).
He said the goal was to decide the future shape and role of the armed forces in the first Strategic Review since 1998.
The UK noted key focal points were 1) Afghanistan remained the main effort but the UK must also prepare for the future; 2) domestic security was dependent upon a stable, rules-based
international order; 3) the UK Defense posture must be adaptable, flexible and agile to respond to risks; 4) reaffirmed commitment to strengthen regional organizations (“like OSCE”); 5) strengthen Allied relations; and support international collaboration in defense acquisitions.

3. (SBU) The CPC (Salber) briefed on the end-of-January conclusion of the first (470 tons) of six cycles for the soviet-era rocket fuel (melange) elimination project in Ukraine. CPC noted the second cycle (480 tons) was underway, and a progress report would be available in the coming week.
Salber also noted the need for additional funding to remove an estimated 16,000 tons of highly toxic and volatile melange, and thanked those pS who have already donated to the project. Salber acknowledged negotiations with the U.S. on a possible contribution to this project. Donor pS Denmark, Finland, and Sweden made statements in support of the project and appealed for both additional funding and donors to help cover the estimated 10 million Euros necessary to fully finance the melange elimination project in Ukraine.

4. (SBU) The UK announced it was making an extra-budgetary donation of 15,000 Euros for Task Nine of the Comprehensive Program to address SALW storage site concerns in the
Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan expressed appreciation and asked for additional donors.

Security Dialogue on Small Arms and Light Weapons
——————————————— —-

5. (SBU) Under Agenda Item 2, the FSC received presentations from Fabio della Piazza of the Council of the EU Office of the High Representative’s Personal Representative on Non-Proliferation of WMD (which also handles SALW issues), and from Daniel Prins, Chief of the Conventional Arms Branch of the UN Office on Disarmament Affairs.

(Note: The Greek FSC Chair (Marinaki) reminded pS that this plenary was the first of two dealing exclusively with SALW issues “in accordance with the spirit” of Ministerial Decision 15/09 on SALW. Next week’s plenary features Ambassador Sune Danielsson, Head of the Secretariat Wassenaar Arrangement. End note.)

6. (SBU) Piazza’s presentation covered the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) from an EU perspective. Prins focused on the Biennial Meeting of States (BMS), noting regional implementation was the “least developed” dimension of the UN Plan of Action (PoA), and advocating for OSCE to align its regional activities to the two-year UN reporting cycle to inform on national and regional progress. Spain/EU (Anson) emphasized the need for prevention, cooperative strategies, and multilateralism in support of an ATT.

7. (SBU) The U.S. (Neighbour) advocated improved implementation of existing measures within the OSCE, attention to the UN PoA, support for the UN international Tracing Instrument, and recommendations on brokering controls from the UN Group of Experts. Turkey (Bekar) noted linkages between illicit trade in SALW and terrorism.

8. (SBU) The intervention from a Russian SALW expert from Moscow was a singular oddity. He expressed confusion over the relationship between ATT and SALW, asking delegates to “bear in mind nuances” as the discussion was “outside the scope of the OSCE.” He emphasized the importance of establishing controls throughout the SALW life-cycle from production to trade and the need for legally binding standards to prevent illicit trafficking, and raised concerns about trade in SALW to areas of conflict, noting the case of weapons to Georgia prior to the August 2008 conflict.

(Comment: We do not believe he was properly briefed on the FSC format and mandate. End comment.)

9. (SBU) In a response to Sweden, della Piazza opined that linking ammunition to SALW could add value to the UN discussion

(note: Russia argued the link was “tenuous” because SALW and ammunition were “very different discussions.” End note.)

Prins said the OSCE could play a role in helping coordinate national responses to UN processes to streamline, but not duplicate activities.

Working Groups “B” and “A”
————————–

10. (SBU) There were no topics discussed under Working Group “B.” Working Group “A” focused on the Danish and UK Food for Thought papers respectively on Vienna Document 1999 (VD99); the Greek Food for Thought paper on an SALW OSCE Plan of Action; and the Austrian “reference guide” to the Code of Conduct Questionnaire.

Vienna Document-Plus
——————–

11. (SBU) Following Denmark’s (re-)presentation of its paper on “VD-plus” to establish a procedure for incorporating relevant FSC Decisions into VD99 (FSC.DEL/9/10), Germany (Risse) made a strong statement in support of the proposal and offered up language that ) once accepted ) Germany could co-sponsor. Germany proposed adding to the draft decision:

“To include in all upcoming FSC decisions to update the Vienna Document precise wording on how to change the respective parts of the current version.”

Germany also questioned the utility of the proposed five-year Vienna Document Review Meeting (VDRM), considering the length of time it takes to “take a decision” (sic). Furthermore
Germany challenged the association of the proposed VDRM with Rules of Procedure that would govern a “special FSC meeting” intended for administrative decisions only.

12. (SBU) SWITZERLAND (Halter) underscored that “nothing can be agreed until everything was agreed,” and raised questions about the modalities for a VDRM, especially regarding “automatic updates.” He called developing a calendar “premature”, and asked for clarification of the Danish proposal in the light of discussions in the Corfu Process.
Sweden (Byren) pointed out future decisions should be as close as possible to the agreed rules of procedure, adding, “with a better calendar and following agreed rules of procedure Sweden could support the Danish proposal.” Italy (Negro) and Austria (Eischer) complemented the proposal as a good procedural framework. Austria agreed to the German language addition.

13. (SBU Denmark (Petersen) also accepted the German proposed language addition as “in line with Denmark’s idea.” In response to SWITZERLAND, Petersen noted the special challenge of attempting to incorporate agreed decisions into VD99 without having to take a major decision to make additions.
He said the five-year cycle was precisely to give guidance and institutional knowledge to FSC newcomers at regular intervals, but Denmark would be open to discuss what intervals work best. In response to Sweden, Petersen pointed out the proposal allowed one month for the implementation of a VD-plus provision to address any confusion and to sort out any resource implications. Denmark was not planning to issue a revised version of its proposal until after input from more pS.

The UK’s Vienna Document “package”
———————————-

14. (SBU) The UK (Gare) reiterated its intent to provide a substantive package on measures for updating VD99 to “kick start” negotiations, and was open for co-sponsors. Denmark noted the complementarities between its VD-plus proposal and the UK “package.” Sweden called the UK proposal a first step on moving forward with strengthening VD99. France (Simonet) called it a sensible way to move forward.

(Note: France told USDel just prior to the FSC, it decided not to table its own Food-for-Thought paper to avoid complicating the effort to get consensus on the UK initiative. This decision was reached following a U.S.-France-UK luncheon on February 9, where the UK (Gare) appealed to France to delay circulating the French paper until after the UK effort was successful. Afterwards, Gare told Simonet that afterwards she would support the French proposal which — to our understanding ) was circulated only among the U.S., UK, and Germany. End note.)

15. (SBU) Russia (Ulyanov), though “uninstructed,” welcomed the Danish and UK proposals as interesting and reasonable. He called the German addition “tenable.” Regarding the focus
on Chapters V and IX of VD99, Ulyanov suggested the proposed “package” probably would need to be revised. He requested CPC to circulate a compilation of relevant FSC texts and
decisions, including Chairman’s statements, regarding changes to VD99.

16. (SBU) Comment: The Holy See (Tempesta) made a surprising intervention recalling the sequence of events that led up to the decision creating VD99, including a “line-by-line review of the whole document, and advocated for identifying a facilitator to assist in keeping the FSC on task. Luxembourg (Pilot) endorsed the idea of a facilitator and supported focusing on Chapters V and IX. Russia was unenthusiastic with the suggestion of a facilitator as proven “insufficient.” The UK called the suggestion “biting off more than we can chew.” We suspect that most delegations would wholeheartedly agree with the UK comment. End comment.

SALW and Code of Conduct
————————

17. (SBU) Sweden, Germany, and France made statements in support of the Greek paper on developing an SALW Plan of Action (FSC.DEL/213/09). Russia called the Greek proposal “difficult to judge procedurally” and suggested there needed more analysis of what has been done and how many pS comply with the OSCE Document on SALW. Note: U.S., Greece, CPC, Sweden (as chair of the informal working group on SALW), and Hungary (as incoming FSC Chair) went over U.S. comments on the Greek proposal separately from the FSC. Greece will provide a marked-up copy for Washington’s review before moving forward on any revisions for further consideration in the FSC Working Group “A.” End note.

18. (SBU) Austria’s Food for Thought paper on the reference guide for the Code of Conduct Questionnaire (FSC.DEL/14/10) garnered co-sponsorships from UK, Germany, Norway, Sweden, SWITZERLAND, Hungary, Finland and Canada. Italy said preliminary reviews of the Austrian proposal were positive.

19. (SBU) The next FSC Plenary and Working Groups are scheduled for February 17.

FULLER

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FEBRUARY 4, 2010 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TAIWAN ARMS, IRAN, EXCHANGE RATE, MUNICH CONFERENCE, GITMO UIGHURS

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

ID     10BEIJING294
SUBJECT     FEBRUARY 4, 2010 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TAIWAN ARMS, IRAN,
DATE     2010-02-04 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION     UNCLASSIFIED
ORIGIN     Embassy Beijing
TEXT     UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000294

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, PARM, ETRD, MNUC, CH, JA, IR, SZ

SUBJECT: FEBRUARY 4, 2010 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TAIWAN ARMS, IRAN, EXCHANGE RATE, MUNICH CONFERENCE, GITMO UIGHURS

BEIJING 00000294 001.2 OF 002

1. Key points at the February 4, 2010 MFA press briefing were:

— The announced sale of arms to Taiwan is a “gross intervention” into China’s internal affairs and in complete disregard to China’s “stern” opposition.

— China has taken note of the report regarding Tehran’s plans to sell enriched uranium and is in consultation with relevant parties on the fuel supply of Tehran’s research reactor.

— China has improved its “market-based, managed and floating” exchange rate system and will continue to give “full play” to market supply and demand in the formation of its exchange rates. The Renminbi exchange rate has nothing to the U.S.’s current trade deficit with China.

— Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend the upcoming Munich Security Conference. Meetings between U.S. and Chinese delegates are still under consultations.

— Relations between SWITZERLAND and China will be undermined by SWITZERLAND’s announcement that it will take two Uighur detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan
————————-

2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said that sanctions will “surely” be imposed on U.S. companies involved in the sale of arms to Taiwan. The sale of arms goes against the three joint communiques between the U.S. and China, especially the August 17th communique. Keeping good relations between the two countries is conducive to world peace, in the interest of both countries and their people, and conducive to world peace and stability.

3. When asked if the threat of sanctions now, and not at the announcement of arms sales in 2008, signified a change in attitude to the U.S., Ma replied that he would allow those who are making such comparisons to draw their own conclusions.

4. In response to a question about the impact of the arms sales on China’s relations with Taiwan, Ma referred those interested to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

Tehran’s Plans to Sell Enriched Uranium
—————————————

5. Ma said that the Chinese government is aware of reports that Tehran has plans to sell enriched uranium and is in consultations with relevant parties, including IAEA, to reach an agreement as soon as possible and settle the issue.

Control of the Exchange Rate
—————————-

6. Spokesman Ma stated that he had not seen statements President Obama recently made about the Renminbi exchange rate, but that the current trade deficit that the U.S. has with China is not related to the value of the RMB. The Chinese government views the exchange rate as a major factor in stabilizing international markets. Ma stated that he hopes that the U.S. will regard the issue in an “objective and fair light,” and that “accusations and pressure” will not resolve the issue.

Gao Zhisheng
————

7. Spokesman Ma responded to questions regarding the location of missing lawyer Gao Zhisheng by stating “I don’t have the information that you are looking for.” When asked if he could speak to the relevant authorities and have an answer by the next press briefing, he said that it “might be possible.”

Yang Jiechi to Attend the Munich Security Conference
——————————————— ——-

8. According to Ma, the Munich Security Conference will focus on four major points 1) Energy and Transportation Security, 2) Climate Change, 3) Nonproliferation and 4) NATO Development. Ma stated that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend, and will post relevant statements on the MFA website.

9. Asked if China would intensify its relations with NATO at the Munich Security Conference, Ma responded that the two sides have types of contact that will continue in the future.

Guantanamo Uighurs to SWITZERLAND
———————————

10. SWITZERLAND’s announcement of plans to accept two Uighur brothers currently held at Guantanamo Bay will undermine relations between the two countries, Ma said. China maintains that these two are members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which he called a terrorist group, and that all signatories of the UN Charter must not shelter those who finance, plan or commit terrorist acts. Ma said that China made its position clear to Swiss representatives at the first working group meeting of bilateral free trade negotiations.

Other News
———-

11. China currently has at least three laws that govern the censorship of internet content and Google is obligated to comply with those laws.

12. The Chinese government is working with Indonesian authorities to rescue a seven member team of mountain climbers stranded at a base camp on Puncak Jaya.

HUNTSMAN

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