Ref ID: 09TRIPOLI154
Date: 2/17/2009 13:44
Origin: Embassy Tripoli
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Header: VZCZCXRO4249PP RUEHTRODE RUEHTRO #0154/01 0481344ZNR UUUUU ZZHP R 171344Z FEB 09FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLITO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4502INFO RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 1405RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 0763RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0898RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0836RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0492RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0384RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0015RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0023RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0060RUEHC/USAID WASHDCRHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DCRUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DCRUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DCRUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DCRUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5027
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 TRIPOLI 000154 SENSITIVE SIPDIS DEPT FOR NEA/MAG, G/TIP, G (ACBLANK), INL, DRL, PRM, INR, AND NEA/RA (CHATTERJI) E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KTIP, KCRM, KWMN, KFRD, ASEC, PREF, PHUM, PGOV, SMIG, ELAB, LY SUBJECT: LIBYA 2009 TIP REPORT SUBMISSION REF: 08 STATE 132759
1.(SBU) Below is Embassy Tripoli’s submission for the 2009 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Responses are keyed to reftel questions:
LIBYA’S TIP SITUATION
–23A. International Organizations, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) are the most reliable sources for information on trafficking in persons. During the year, IOM commissioned a study on migration written by a Libyan scholar in collaboration with a high-ranking military official. The study included previously unpublished statistics and legislation on migration in general, providing a useful baseline for understanding trafficking as a phenomenon in Libya. Libya’s large irregular migration problem dwarfs its trafficking issues. As such, several authorities within the government deal with trafficking-related issues and legislation ancillary to counter-smuggling work. The authorities include the General People’s Committee (GPC; Ministry-equivalent) for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, the GPC for Justice, the GPC for Public Security and the GPC for Manpower and Labor. Both migrants and trafficking victims are routinely smuggled to Europe, especially Italy and Malta, en route to varied locations on the continent.
— 23B. Libya is both a transit and destination country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. While most foreigners in Libya are economic migrants, in some cases large smuggling debts and illegal status leave them vulnerable to various forms of coercion, resulting in cases of forced prostitution and forced labor. As in previous years, there were isolated reports that women from sub-Saharan Africa were trafficked to Libya for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Precise figures are unavailable, though foreign observers estimate that one-half to one percent of Libya’s 1.5 to 2 million foreigners may be victims of trafficking, primarily migrants who became victims due to labor fraud or smuggling debts.
— 23C. Migrants generally come to Libya in transit to Europe or to find employment as laborers and domestic employees. In the isolated cases of sub-Saharan African women trafficked to Libya, victims were lured to Libya with the promise of legitimate employment.
— 23D. Economic migrants without formal contracts are at highest risk of becoming victims of trafficking through labor fraud due to their lack of legal status and protections under labor laws. International organizations report isolated cases of sub-Saharan African women being lured to Libya with the promise of legitimate work; smugglers then tried to coerce those women into sex work in Europe. — 23E. Libya is both a transit and destination country for economic migrants. Migrants, especially those of sub-Saharan origin, often seek the services of smugglers to cross Libya’s desert border and travel onward the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Smugglers can use their leverage over migrants to make them victims of trafficking. Labor fraud and abuse constitute the highest trafficking threat. Libyan individuals employing irregular migrants sometimes withhold payment or travel documents, creating trafficking victims out of economic migrants.
SETTING THE SCENE FOR THE GOVERNMENT’S ANTI-TIP EFFORTS
— 24A. Libyan officials and citizens suffer from a general lack of awareness of trafficking as a phenomenon distinct from illegal immigration and smuggling. International organizations made some inroads with individual officials through workshops and trainings, but the lack of awareness on an institutional level continues to be the greatest obstacle to tackling the trafficking portfolio. TRIPOLI 00000154 002 OF 005
— 24B. The GPC for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, the GPC for Justice, the GPC for Public Security and the GPC for Manpower and Labor are all involved in anti-trafficking efforts. The GPC for Public Security often takes the lead on trafficking-related issues, though the government lacks a formal mechanism for managing its response to trafficking.
— 24C. Libyan officials and citizens suffer from a general lack of awareness of trafficking as a phenomenon distinct from illegal immigration and smuggling. The Government lacks a framework to both prosecute trafficking and to manage victim assistance. Corruption is thought to be a factor in smuggling operations; it is unknown whether corruption contributes to trafficking. With a migrant population estimated at over 35% of the overall population, the government lacks the capacity to effectively address trafficking.
— 24D. Government migration records are not centralized and the government lacks capacity to systematically monitor its nascent anti-trafficking efforts. Skeptical of outside interference, the government does not publicly release records or assessments, though IOs have formed relationships with authorities who have begun to release some information privately.
INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS
— 25A. Libya does not have a single law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons; however, it does have laws criminalizing prostitution and sexual exploitation. In addition, the 1970 labor law lays out specific rights of workers and criminalizes exploitative labor practices, such as holding an employee’s passport. IOM held workshops with government officials in January and February 2009 aimed at developing new laws to effectively manage migration and reduce the level of irregular migration. One day was devoted to the phenomenon of trafficking, though no draft legislation has been distributed. IOM will execute a G/TIP grant to provide training for up to 100 prosecutors and judges to discuss strategies and frameworks for combating trafficking. A new criminal code is reportedly in draft and circulating through the GPC system. The draft has not been made available to diplomatic missions and its scope has not been publicly disclosed.
— 25B. No information was available about specific punishments for trafficking-related sexual exploitation.
— 25C. Libyan laws on smuggling impose stiff penalties for convicted smugglers, including confiscation of all assets, including property, located in Libya. While no information was available about specific penalties for trafficking for labor exploitation, the Government sometimes used other areas of its criminal code to prosecute perpetrators of labor fraud. Offenders were made to repatriate victims of trafficking to their country of origin and provide back pay.
— 25D. The law criminalizes rape and forcible sexual assault; however, it does not specify a punishment.
— 25E. The Government did not publicly release statistics on investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of traffickers. Press reports indicated that some traffickers were tried under other criminal statutes for trafficking-related offenses, though the disposition of those cases is unknown.
— 25F. IOM manages a G/TIP grant to provide training to GOL officials to recognize, investigate, and prosecute trafficking. The Government of Italy and the European Commission sponsored workshops through IOM to develop strategies and legislation to manage migration in general, with sessions devoted to training on combating trafficking. IOM partnered with the Libyan NGOs the Waatasimu Charity Association and the International Organization for Peace, Care, and Relief to deliver training for semi-official civil society activists. TRIPOLI 00000154 003 OF 005
— 25G. No information was available on the GOL’s cooperation with other governments in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases.
— 25H. Post is not aware of any cases in which a Libyan national has been extradited from Libya for a trafficking-related offense.
— 25I. There is no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking on any level.
— 25J. There is no evidence that government officials are involved in trafficking.
— 25K. The law criminalizes prostitution; however, the law was not consistently enforced.
— 25L. The government does not participate in international peacekeeping operations.
— 25M. The government does not have an identified child sex tourism problem.
PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
— 26A. The government does not have a framework or standard procedure to identify and provide for victims and witnesses. In practice, the government allows international organizations assisting refugees and migrants to provide assistance to vulnerable Eritreans, Ethiopians, Somalis, Sudanese, and Iraqis to screen for evidence of trafficking.
— 26B. The government maintains a network of migrant detention centers throughout the country. International observers with regular access to detention facilities described the conditions as adequate and noted improvement in detention conditions since 2005. In particular, trafficking victims in detention centers generally receive satisfactory medical care. The government does not provide victims with access to either legal or psychological services.
— 26C. The government regularly cooperated with the IOM office in Tripoli and provided in-kind assistance with IOM-hosted anti-trafficking training. In-kind assistance included free use of government-owned conference facilities, free meals for training participants, free in-country travel for participants, and free interpretation and use of interpretation equipment. In addition, the government provides diplomatic support to the UNHCR mission in Tripoli, which, despite the lack of a formal MOU, enjoys regular access to government facilities and migrant detention centers in which victims of trafficking sometimes intermingle with the general migrant population.
— 26D. The government continues to fail to provide adequate protective services to victims of trafficking. Like other irregular migrants, trafficking victims may be susceptible to punishment for unlawful presence in Libya as a result of trafficking. The government does not adequately distinguish between trafficking victims in need of protective services and other migrants.
— 26E. Post is unaware of any long-term benefits the government makes available to victims of trafficking.
— 26F. The government does not have a specific referral process to transfer victims detained by authorities to NGO-run facilities. In practice, NGOs and International Organizations had developed relationships with officials to provide care for some individuals identified as victims of trafficking and self-identified victims of labor fraud trafficking availed themselves of IOM-run Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programs. TRIPOLI 00000154 004 OF 005
— 26G. The government continues to seek clarification on what might constitute a formal victim recognition program. Working-level officials from the GPC for Public Security and the GPC for Manpower and Labor participated in workshops designed to build awareness of the problem of trafficking and formulate responses to manage a response.
— 26H. The government continues to seek clarification on what might constitute a formal victim recognition program.
— 26I. Trafficking victims were susceptible to punishment for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficking. For instance, victims, intermingled with illegal migrants, may have been deported without receiving medical, psychological or legal aid. Detention and deportation data is not centralized and is incomplete. Statistics do not differentiate between irregular migrants and victims of trafficking.
— 26J. The government does not actively encourage victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders.
— 26K. During the year, the government cooperated with IOM a workshops for law enforcement officials designed to raise awareness of trafficking. The government provided in-kind assistance, including conference and catering facilities, to other training programs designed to equip prosecutors with tools to both investigate and prosecute trafficking and for GPC employees to help formulate legal and policy responses to trafficking. During the year, the government at times contacted either IOM or UNHCR to alert them to situations involving vulnerable migrants and to solicit assistance on either voluntary repatriation or resettlement to third countries.
— 26L. Post knows of no Libyan nationals that have been repatriated as victims of trafficking.
— 26M. IOM and UNHCR both work with potential victims of trafficking in Libya. Both organization provide training for government officials responsible for implementing counter-trafficking programs and provide protective services to vulnerable migrant populations. Both IOM and UNHCR receive adequate funding from external sources, obviating the need to seek funding from the government.
— 27A. The government did not conduct any anti-trafficking public information campaigns during the reporting period. The government allowed IOM to conduct anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking campaigns in the irregular migrant community through their civil society organizations.
— 27B. Law enforcement officials informally screen migrants for potential victims of trafficking, focusing on nationality and fraudulent documents. Detention facility managers began proactive notification of International Organizations for vulnerable populations, including potential victims of trafficking.
— 27C. The Government designated an anti-trafficking coordinator in early 2007. Libyan bureaucracy is not regularized and depends on personal connections. The extent to which the various offices charged with managing Libya’s response to trafficking coordinate action remains unknown. The death of a key official in early 2008 slowed international cooperation on migration issues.
— 27D. The government does not have a national plan of action to address trafficking in persons.
— 27E. No information was available on steps the government took during the reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. TRIPOLI 00000154 005 OF 005
— 27F. No information was available on steps the government took during the reporting period to reduce participation in international child sex tourism by nationals of the country.
2.(U) Post spent a total of 23 hours in the preparation of the TIP report: FS-04 Officer: 20 hours FS-06 EFM: 1 hour LES-9 FSN: 1 hour FS-02 Officer: 30 minutes FS-01 Officer: 30 minutes
3.(SBU) The point of contact for TIP issues is Pol/Econ Officer Chris Andino. CRETZ