INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Poland: Fifth Annual (2005) Trafficking In

Published: Wed 2 Mar 2005 03:08 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 WARSAW 001168
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
G/TIP FOR JENNIFER TOPPING
G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, EUR/PGI
EUR/NCE FOR MICHAEL SESSUMS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM ELAB SMIG ASEC KFRD PREF KWMN PL KRCM
SUBJECT: POLAND: FIFTH ANNUAL (2005) TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS REPORT SUBMISSION
REF: A) 04 STATE 273089 B) 04 STATE 248963
1. (SBU) Following are responses keyed to questions in
paragraphs 18-21 of REFTEL A. Embassy point of contact
is POLOFF Tom Yeager (telephone: 48-22-504-2676, fax 48-
22-504-2613, e-mail yeagerta@state.gov). POLOFF (FP-
04) spent 65 hours collecting data and compiling
report; Two POLFSNs spent a total of 25 hours
collecting data.
2. (SBU) OVERVIEW: Answers keyed to para 18 of REFTEL A
--------------------------------------------- -------
18A. Poland is a country of origin, transit and
destination for trafficking in persons. The main groups
at risk are women and girls, with unemployed women,
women from the poorest regions of Poland, and victims
of domestic violence most at risk. Some trafficking
occurs within Poland's borders, but most cases involve
women and children being trafficked to, from, or
through Poland. The illicit nature of trafficking in
persons makes it difficult to determine the number of
victims, particularly those of Polish citizens, and
estimates vary substantially. The NGO La Strada
believes that 15,000 foreign women transit into or
through Poland to work in the sex industry (voluntarily
or involuntarily), and Polish officials do not dispute
these estimates. The main sources of information for
information and statistics contained in this cable are
international and local non-governmental organizations
(NGOs), UN officials, OSCE/ODIHR contacts, Polish
officials including those in the Ministry of Interior
Affairs and Administration, Ministry of Justice, Border
Guards and National Police. All of these have proven to
be reliable sources.
18B. Persons are trafficked to and through Poland from
countries to the east and southeast, primarily Ukraine,
Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus and Moldova. Ukraine
continues to serve as the source of the greatest number
of persons trafficked through Poland. Russia is no
longer a significant source of victims. Poles are
trafficked to Western Europe including Germany, Italy,
Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, as well as to
Japan and Israel. Police statistics based on arrests
and other direct contacts indicate that about 30
percent of the 7,300 prostitutes known to be working in
Poland are of foreign origin. Press reports have
estimated the number of foreign prostitutes at over
5,000, and Post believes these reports may be closer to
the actual number than the police data.
18C. During the past year, as a result of EU accession
and general economic improvement, there have been
noticeable changes in the direction and extent of
trafficking in Poland. Whereas previously, virtually
all of the activity involved women trafficked into the
sex trade, there is now a small but growing percentage
of victims forced to work in agricultural or other
menial trades. NGOs also report that the number of
Polish women trafficked to other countries appears to
be decreasing, but there is no hard data to support
this point.
18D. The Main National Police Headquarters now receives
data from provincial office twice yearly to attempt to
document accurately the extent and nature of
trafficking in Poland. The reliability of this data is
not known. The National Prosecutor's office maintains
statistics on investigations and prosecutions related
to trafficking, and works closely with provincial and
local prosecutors to ensure accurate reporting. In
addition, a La Strada intern works with the Polish
government to document cases.
18E. Victims are trafficked to Poland primarily for
work in "massage parlors" and "escort agencies," i.e.,
brothels. However, there have also been documented
cases of victims forced to work in agriculture, in
sweatshops and forced to beg on the streets. Victims
in the sex trade are forced to work as nude dancers or
prostitutes, and are often deprived of their passports
and identity papers, and threatened with violence. In
the case of forced prostitution, victims failing to
service a minimum number of clients each day may suffer
physical abuse. Police estimate 750 "escort agencies"
operate in Poland, with 3,500 to 3,600 women working in
them. Press sources, meanwhile, put the number of women
working in all elements of the sex industry in Poland
at anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000.
18F. Traffickers in Poland target young, unemployed or
poorly paid Polish women. In addition, they focus on
women with poor family ties and weak support networks.
According to the NGO La Strada, 80 percent of Polish
victims are under 24 years of age. Traffickers approach
young victims with promises of lucrative jobs in
Western Europe as domestic workers, dancers, cooks, or
waitresses. The victims are told that their handlers
will take care of all documentation and are asked to
turn over their passports. While some of the victims
may know they are involved in an illegal employment
ploy, many do not realize that they will be performing
forced sexual services. A second method of recruitment
is for a trafficker, usually residing permanently
outside Poland, to feign emotional involvement and
persuade his future victim to visit him abroad. In
both cases, victims are subsequently detained and
forced into prostitution through threat, blackmail or
violence. Often, traffickers are connected with
organized crime syndicates. If a victim is transported
with documentation, they travel by train or car; if
illegally, they are hidden in trucks, cars, or walking
across unguarded borders.
18G. Polish government officials at the highest levels
are aware of the seriousness of the trafficking problem
in Poland, and are taking action to address the
problem. TIP was one of the issues discussed by
Interior Minister Kalisz and U.S. Attorney General
Ashcroft at their meeting in Warsaw in December 2003.
In August 2003, a National Action Plan was adopted by
high-level representatives of 12 government agencies,
academics and NGOs (including the Ministries of
Interior and Administration, Foreign Affairs, Education
and Justice; Border Guards and National Police; NGOs La
Strada and "Nobody's Children" and the University of
Zielona Gora). The National Program is a strategy
document that seeks to coordinate the efforts of
various GOP and private sector entities involved in
combating trafficking. The Prime Minister approved the
Program in December 2003, and permanent representatives
were appointed in March 2004. A National Action Plan
for 2005 is pending (see Para 19H). Personnel in the
National Police Headquarters have been active in
outreach to local police, and provided guidance to all
Polish police units on the required treatment for
trafficking victims. However, agencies are expected to
fund anti-trafficking initiatives from their own
budgets. A reported weakness in National Action Plan
coordination is reluctance by some government officials
to fully include NGOs and other "outside" experts in
planning meetings.
18H. There is no evidence that governmental authorities
condone or are otherwise complicit in trafficking
activities. GOP law-enforcement agencies are actively
increasing their capacity to detect and apprehend
criminal groups involved in trafficking. There are
unconfirmed reports that local police have taken bribes
to ignore known trafficking activity. If any such
cases were determined to have merit, rules call for the
offender to be automatically suspended pending an
investigation. To date, there have been no cases of law-
enforcement officials punished for trafficking-related
corruption.
18I. There are no limitations on Poland's law-
enforcement activities, but government efforts on
education and victim assistance have been primarily
carried out through NGOs using foreign government
funding. According to the coordinator of the National
Police's anti-TIP section, approximately 100 officers
were trained in identification of trafficking and
victim assistance in 2004 through internal training
classes. All incoming National Police are reported to
receive basic instruction on the subject. More
advanced training programs and victim assistance
efforts conducted by foreign governments or NGOs are
welcomed by GOP officials. Societal factors may play a
role in the GOP's anti-trafficking program. Although a
CBOS survey indicates that awareness has risen
substantially over the past several years, many average
Poles still view victims of trafficking as being
responsible for their own fate.
18J. At this time, there is no overarching document,
which monitors Polish anti-trafficking efforts. The
National Police Public Affairs Unit informs the public
systematically about their efforts. The National
Prosecutor's Office of the Ministry of Justice
maintains records of investigations and legal actions
taken against traffickers.
18K. Prostitution in Poland is legal; but "pimping" or
otherwise profiting from a prostitute's activities is
illegal. Under the current version of the Polish
Criminal Code, the legal age of consent to sexual
activity is 15. However, Poland has ratified the
Palermo Protocol, the Optional Protocol to the UN
Convention on the rights of Children (of May 25, 2000),
and the EU Convention on the Rights of Children. All
of these documents prohibit prostitution by individuals
less than 18 years of age. In the opinion of the
National Prosecutor's office, according to the Polish
Constitution (Art. 87) and international law, the
provisions of these documents automatically become part
of Polish law and act to prohibit child prostitution as
therein defined. Full implementation of the protocols
and Convention will require changes, inter alia, in the
Polish Criminal, Family and Labor Codes. The
prosecutor's office additionally states that anyone
(including a parent) assisting a person under the age
of 18 to engage in prostitution would be assumed to be
benefiting financially from this assistance and would
be investigated and prosecuted accordingly.
3. (SBU) PREVENTION: Answers keyed to Para 19 of REFTEL
A
--------------------------------------------- --------
19A. The GOP acknowledges that trafficking in persons
is a serious problem and that it occurs in Poland. Law-
enforcement officials have been active in educating
local officials about the problem.
19B. Responsibility for domestic anti-trafficking
efforts lies primarily with the Ministries of Interior
and Administration and Justice; the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs is engaged on a bilateral and multilateral
level. The Plenipotentiary for Equal Rights for Women
and Men, who functions as an adjunct to the Prime
Minister's office, is also involved in anti-trafficking
programs. In all, eleven Polish government agencies are
actively involved in carrying out the National Program
against trafficking.
19C. The government has relied heavily on training
programs organized by NGOs or the University of Warsaw
TIP project to train law-enforcement personnel and
counter trafficking. This training has largely been
financed by U.S Government grants approved by G/TIP
under the FY-2002 INCLE funding plan. Grants have been
fully implemented and no further U.S. Government
funding for these or similar projects is anticipated.
The government relies on NGOs to carry out
informational and education campaigns targeted at
potential victims.
19D. The Ministry of Education supports programs aimed
at lowering the teenage dropout rate, including holding
parents responsible and assessing fines in cases of
truancy. Other GOP programs that indirectly help
prevent trafficking include public awareness campaigns
against domestic violence and child abuse as well as
job training programs for unemployed women.
19E. Resource constraints limit the government's
ability to support prevention programs. Government
officials frequently attend training and seminars
sponsored by other entities. La Strada received
approximately US$4000 from the Polish government in
2004 to carry out prevention programs. [POST NOTE: Last
year's tip report indicated La Strada received US$3000
from the GOP in 2003. The $4000 received in 2004
equates to 12,000 PLN, the same amount received in
2003, and does not represent an increase in funding]
19F. The GOP recognizes the importance of NGOs and
other elements of civil society in preventing
trafficking in persons, and actively worked with them
in the development of its National Program. The GOP
relies on -- and works closely with -- NGOs for victim
protection projects, law-enforcement training, and
prevention campaigns. The relationship between the GOP
and anti-trafficking organizations is described as open
and positive by both government officials and NGO
representatives. However, the degree of involvement
with NGOs is sometimes inconsistent, with the Ministry
of Health and Ministry of Internal Affairs and
Administration (MSWiA) occasionally characterized as
less open to cooperation and input than "front-line"
agencies such as the National Police, Border Guards
(which operate semi-independently, but within the
structure of the MSWiA) and Ministry of Justice.
19G. The GOP devotes considerable resources to
monitoring its borders. The Border Guards receive high
marks for the quality of their training and
effectiveness of their enforcement activities from
Western European counterparts. Thanks to training
programs implemented by La Strada, Polish border guards
are now trained to detect and assist victims of
trafficking. The Border Guard discovers potential TIP
victims most often during inspections that they hold to
check the legality of aliens' stays in Poland. These
checks are essentially documentary in nature.
19H. In August 2003, a coordinated National Program for
Combating Trafficking was accepted by all GOP agencies
involved in anti-trafficking efforts, as described in
18G. In December 2003, the plan was adopted by the
Prime Minister, and a Board of Directors to implement
the plan was named in spring 2004. A new National
Action Plan for 2005 was recently approved by an
interagency anti-trafficking working group, but still
requires ministerial approval. The 2005 plan
reportedly includes special provisions regarding
children and, significantly, a requirement for specific
financial support of TIP programs within ministries'
and agencies' annual budgets. There is also an active
National Anti-Corruption Strategy, managed by the
Ministry of the Interior and Administration.
19I. Polish officials participate actively in
international trafficking conferences. In April 2004,
Poland was an initial sponsor of a resolution creating
a U.N. Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in the
Commission on Human Rights. A Ministry of Justice
expert, Krzysztof Karsznicki, sits on the European
Commission's group of 20 experts on Trafficking. Mr.
Karsznicki developed special guidelines for the police
on the implementation of Palermo Protocol definitions
in practice, which the NGO La Strada referred to as a
"breakthrough" in investigation of prosecution of
traffickers. The Polish National Police (PNP)
participate in several bilateral task forces that seek
to share information, track the movements of
traffickers and victims across borders and coordinate
repatriations and casework. Bilateral efforts include
Polish task forces with the Czech, German, and Swedish
Police forces, and one multilateral task force exists
to coordinate efforts between Polish and Baltic-nation
Police forces on anti-TIP efforts. The GOP participated
in a joint Polish-Czech program sponsored by the United
Nations, but sources indicate this initiative was not
well-coordinated and that certain of Poland's
obligations regarding administrative and logistics
support for the project coordinator were not fulfilled.
19J. See Paragraphs 18G and 19H.
19K. Mr. Piotr Mierecki, Director of the Department for
European Integration and International Cooperation in
the Ministry of the Interior and Administration,
together with his staff, is responsible for
coordinating the activities of the inter-agency working
group.
4. (SBU) INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS:
Answers keyed to Para 20 of REFTEL A
--------------------------------------------- ---------
20A. Polish law prohibits forcing individuals into
prostitution, trafficking in human beings, and pimping.
The relevant sections of the Criminal Code are Articles
204(sexual trafficking) and 253 (non-sexual
trafficking) effective since September 1, 1998. The
laws cover both internal and external trafficking, and
do not require proof that the victim was coerced in
order to secure a conviction. Poland has adopted the
UN Protocol on Trafficking in Persons (Palermo
Protocol). Plans to add the Protocol's definition of
trafficking to the Polish penal code in 2004 were not
implemented. However, the National Prosecutor's Office
uses the Protocol's definition of trafficking in its
prosecutions and indicates it has not been adversely
affected by the absence of a specific definition in
Polish national law.
20B. The maximum penalty for trafficking in persons is
up to 15 years' imprisonment under Article 253 of the
Criminal Code (minimum of 3 years' imprisonment). This
Article of the Code does not require proof of
trafficking connected with prostitution. Article 204,
section 4 of the Code provides for up to 10 years'
imprisonment for trafficking involving prostitution.
Most sentences are shorter, with the most severe
sentences reserved for those convicted of trafficking
minors for the purpose of prostitution or
luring/abducting adults into prostitution abroad.
20C. According to Criminal Code Article 197, using
violence, threat, or deceit to force a person to have
sexual intercourse is punishable by one to 10 years'
imprisonment. Using such means to force a person into
other sexual activity is punishable by three months' to
five years' imprisonment. In cases involving more than
one perpetrator or excessive cruelty, the punishment
ranges from two to 12 years imprisonment, compared to
up to 15 years for trafficking under Article 253.
Polish prosecutors have expressed interest in using the
multiple perpetrator/excessive cruelty provision of the
law to sentence traffickers to longer sentences,
although this has not be tested in court.
20D. According to the National Prosecutor's Office in
the Ministry of Justice, in 2004 Polish authorities
arrested 39 persons on trafficking charges, compared to
134 in 2003. However, that office points out that
arrest statistics vary substantially from year to year,
and that, the number of arrests in 2003 was unusually
large (three times more than the prior year). Of the
39 persons arrested, 18 were prosecuted - a prosecution
rate of 46 percent, compared to 22 percent (30 of 134)
in 2003. Of those arrested, 30 were Polish citizens, 5
Bulgarians, 1 German, 1 Turkish, 1 Rumanian and 3
Vietnamese. In all, 25 trafficking cases were completed
in 2004, versus 45 in 2003. The most infamous
trafficking case of 2004 occurred in Rzeszow in eastern
Poland, where a woman of Ukrainian origin, described in
the Polish press as a "babcia" (grandmother), solicited
young women from her home region of Lwow in Ukraine who
were subsequently sold into prostitution in other
countries.
20E. Polish police believe that large organized crime
groups as well as individual operators control the
trafficking business and that victims are frequently
trafficked by nationals of their own country, with
Polish traffickers collecting a percentage to allow
passage into or through Poland. According to arrest
statistics, approximately 25 percent of traffickers are
non-Poles. Bulgarian traffickers continue to account
for a significant number of cases. Except for
anecdotal evidence from NGOs that some corrupt police
officers are complicit in trafficking, Post has
received no information or indication that Polish
government officials are involved in trafficking.
Police sources believe that employment and talent
agencies are sometimes used as fronts for trafficking
operations.
20F. The GOP actively investigates trafficking.
Advanced law-enforcement techniques, including
immunity/mitigation, covert operations, etc., are used
mainly by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI-
Poland's FBI equivalent), but the CBI is not typically
involved in the investigation of trafficking cases.
Prosecutors' ability to protect other witnesses in
trafficking cases is generally limited to withholding
of personal data from court records. Although victims'
depositions may be used in Polish criminal cases even
where defense counsel have not had the opportunity to
be present or cross-examine witnesses, the Prosecutor's
office indicates that it is likely that any defendant's
appeal of a conviction based on such evidence to the
European Court of Human Rights would be successful.
Polish Border Guards also have the ability to use
advanced law-enforcement techniques but find a shortage
of resources limiting their effectiveness in
investigating TIP (which is not their primary
function). According to the NGO La Strada, Polish
authorities lack sufficient resources to investigate
and prosecute the majority of trafficking cases
originating in Poland. In the past, they prosecuted
cases that involved persons deported from Germany, but
increasingly, cases now involve traffickers apprehended
in Poland.
20G. Incoming border guards and police officers now
receive some training on the subject of trafficking.
Specialized training led by La Strada is conducted at
the national law-enforcement training facility for
selected personnel. This training involves role-play
simulations, legal exercises, film showings, and other
awareness-building exercises. Prosecutors throughout
Poland have also taken part in training, including
courtroom simulations with volunteer judges.
20H. Poland cooperates enthusiastically with other
countries in trafficking cases and the repatriation of
victims, especially with its closest neighbors. The
main barrier to increased multinational investigations
is a lack of funds. There has been no OSCE funding for
victim assistance and repatriation since 2002, and
there is no prospect for EU funding of anti-trafficking
programs. U.S. grants under the SEED program were
concluded in 2004.
20I. The Polish constitution prohibits extradition of
Polish citizens. However, since Poland's entry to the
EU, citizens may be removed to other EU countries under
a "European Arrest Warrant," despite the constitutional
bar.
20J. Although the GOP is generally not tolerant of
trafficking, there continue to be some credible
accusations of lax attitudes among some officials and
abuses, including sexual harassment, by individual
police officers. This may be attributed to corruption
and/or a lack of awareness among rank-and-file officers
of the true nature of trafficking and the predicament
of victims.
20K. While post has received anecdotal evidence of
corruption and complicity among some police officials,
Post knows of no specific cases of trafficking
involving government officials. The internal control
office of the PNP actively disciplines and prosecutes
police officers for corruption, but post knows of no
prosecutions of corrupt police officers or other
government officials for trafficking.
20L. There is no indication that Poland has any child
sex tourism problem.
20M. The GOP ratified the ILO Convention 182 on August
9, 2002, and Conventions 29 and 105 (forced labor) on
July 30, 1958. The Optional Protocol to the Convention
on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was signed on February
13, 2002. The UN Trafficking Protocol (Palermo
Protocol) was signed by the Government of Poland on
December 12, 2000, and ratified on September 26, 2003.
On September 10, 2004, the Polish Sejm passed a bill
ratifying the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on
the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child
Prostitution and Pornography (of May 25, 2000). The
ratification bill was signed by the President on
December 31, 2004, and will enter into force one month
after the ratifying document is submitted to the UN
Secretary General.
SIPDIS
5. (SBU) PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS: Answers
keyed to Para 21 of REFTEL A
--------------------------------------------- ---------
21A. Polish law allows foreign victims to remain in
Poland legally during the investigation and trial of
their traffickers; a total of eight foreign victims
remained in Poland during 2004 under this law (two
under police protection and six under the care of La
Strada). Additional legislation has been enacted to
allow for videoconference testimony from abroad. The
lack of government financial support for victims
remains a barrier to full implementation of this law
(note: many Polish NGOs have set up shelters to fill
this need for victims as they await trial). Polish
victims are eligible for various welfare services;
however, the Polish government has not funded shelters
or medical care for trafficking victims to this point.
21B. The GOP has typically awarded grants to La Strada
to support victims, with the Office of Victims' Rights
and the Office for Women and Family Issues providing
the grants; in 2004, La Strada received approximately
$4000 through this Office. Several universities are
operating victims' assistance programs, which are
indirectly funded by the GOP. The Center for Women's
Rights and shelters operated by Caritas and other
Catholic organizations receive funding from local
governments. The City of Warsaw has budgeted US$18,000
in 2005 to fund a crisis intervention center operated
by La Strada, the first such contribution of its kind
by Warsaw's government. The national government also
provides funds to address AIDS prevention and domestic
violence.
21C. La Strada and Caritas Polska both indicate that
they are pleased with the degree of cooperation between
Polish law-enforcement and victim assistance
organizations. When identified, victims are typically
referred to the nearest assistance point in Poland.
21D. Border guards and police sometimes regard victims
of trafficking as criminals who have violated passport
laws. However, according to government and NGO sources,
increased training has markedly improved this
situation, and most rank-and-file officers now
understand the difference between smuggling and
trafficking. Polish law continues to require that
anyone found within the territory of Poland in an
"illegal" status be deported to the country of origin.
Article 316, section 3 of the Criminal Code provides an
exception to this general requirement permitting
victims to stay in Poland during the course of a
prosecutor's investigation, but requires a specific
request by the prosecutor and a judge's authorization.
As a result, some victims continue to be deported as
soon as possible, removing the opportunity for
cooperation with law-enforcement officials. Currently
pending legislation provides for a "reflection period"
of two months during which a trafficking victim would
be permitted to remain in Poland, receive support and
assistance, and decide whether to cooperate in an
investigation. Victims who decide not to cooperate
would be returned to their countries of origin, but in
such a way as to attempt to shield them from contact
with traffickers.
21E. The Polish government encourages and facilitates
victim participation in investigations and
prosecutions. As indicated above, victims, regardless
of their legal status, may now remain in country to
assist in the investigations of traffickers. This legal
authority was used successfully in eight cases in 2004
(vice 3 in 2003). Polish authorities have not
encouraged victims to file civil suits or otherwise
take legal action against traffickers. Increasingly,
NGOs are working to enhance victims' access to legal
service and inform them of their rights. Post knows of
no victim restitution program other than repatriation
of foreign victims.
21F. Two victims received direct police protection
during 2004 (vice three in 2003). The government
provides no direct victim assistance other than
detention centers for victims (and other illegal
immigrants) awaiting deportation; however, several NGOs
throughout Poland are active in operating shelters and
support programs for victims.
21G. Through a cooperative arrangement between the
Polish Ministries of Interior and Administration and
Foreign Affairs, extensive formal training for consular
officials in Polish embassies and consulates abroad is
regularly conducted. GOP officials encourage their
embassies to develop relationships with anti-
trafficking organizations in transit and source
countries.
21H. While there is no specific government assistance
set aside for repatriated nationals who are victims of
trafficking abroad, such persons are eligible for
standard unemployment and welfare benefits, and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates with NGOs to
identify repatriated Polish victims of trafficking for
assistance. NGOs allow repatriated victims to
participate in assistance programs and utilize shelters
following their return to Poland.
21I. Numerous international, national, and local
organizations are involved in anti-trafficking
initiatives in Poland, and the NGO community remains at
the forefront of Poland's anti-trafficking efforts.
International organizations such as the United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime, UNHCR, International
Organization on Migration, and OSCE are closely
involved in anti-trafficking initiatives in Poland.
NGOs active in the fight against trafficking include,
La Strada, CARITAS, Temida Association of Lawyers,
Barka Foundation for Mutual Assistance, and the Center
for Women's Rights. Prestigious academic institutions
such as the Jagiellonian University of Krakow,
University of Zielona Gora, and the University of
Warsaw are also involved in anti-trafficking education
and policy-making. These institutions work closely with
local authorities, and the relationship between NGOs
and the national government is, by all accounts,
excellent. NGO training and projects continue to be the
most effective method to enhance Poland's overall anti-
trafficking capacity.
6. (SBU) POST COMMENT: The government of Poland fully
complies with the minimum standards for elimination of
trafficking and has demonstrated a political commitment
to improving its anti-TIP programs and cooperation
among agencies, NGOs, international organizations and
other parties of interest. It has fulfilled the
majority of the goals established in the Department's
TIP Strategy for Poland (REFTEL B), including increased
training for police, prosecutors and other front-line
personnel; continued (and increased) cooperation with
neighboring states to combat traffickers; continued
anti-corruption training programs; tangible movement
toward adoption of new laws permitting trafficking
victims to remain legally in Poland to assist in
investigations and prosecutions; continued positive
development of the National Action Plan and National
Working Group; and creative, effective strategies
designed to incorporate international and EU
definitions related to trafficking and minors into the
Polish legal framework, even where legislation has not
yet been enacted to conform Polish criminal and civil
law. The most significant remaining challenge is to
provide adequate financial support for anti-TIP
programs and to increase levels of assistance for
victims and supporting NGOs. Statistics pertaining to
investigations, arrests and prosecutions, while showing
a decrease in total cases from last year, tend to
indicate an improved quality of investigations (i.e., a
higher percentage of investigations resulting in
indictments and prosecutions). Based on Poland's
continued progress and commitment to combating
trafficking, Post strongly supports the continued
inclusion of Poland in Tier I.
ASHE
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