Cablegate: Tip - Update On German Efforts to Combat

Published: Mon 5 Nov 2007 09:30 AM
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1. In 2007, Germany's counter-TIP campaigns and awareness
raising programs brought together high-level decision makers
and NGOs. As a result of strengthened legislation penalizing
labor exploitation, NGOs and government officials are
starting to focus on improving awareness and counseling in
this area. The Federal Cabinet adopted Germany's second
Action Plan Action to Combat Violence against Women, a
comprehensive interagency plan that contains measures to
prevent and protect women from a wide range of violence,
including forced marriage, trafficking, and other forms of
exploitation. End Summary.
Awareness Raising Programs
2. The government-funded Friedrich Ebert Foundation in
cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Labor and
Social Conference Affairs held a workshop on effective
strategies against Labor Trafficking April 19-20 in Berlin.
Approximately 200 participants attended, including
representatives of the federal and state governments, the
International Labor Organization (ILO), political parties,
unions, and both national and international NGO's involved in
combating human trafficking. The aim of the conference was
to present and discuss different aspects of social inclusion
of trafficked persons and their relevance in combating human
3. Ernst Kreuzaler, Deputy Director General for International
Employment Policy of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social
Affairs, stated Germany has addressed the issue of
trafficking mainly in the context of forced prostitution.
While trafficking of labor migrants accounts for at least 25
percent of all cases of trafficking worldwide, Kreuzaler
said, labor trafficking has not received much public
attention. Although Germany introduced measures specifically
criminalizing labor trafficking in 2005, he said, German
authorities still lack reliable data on the actual scope of
forced labor. Kreuzaler said that the German Federal
Government is in the process of setting up a new national
agency/office to coordinate law enforcement activities of the
various authorities involved in combating trafficking, labor
migration, and clandestine labor.
4. On June 13, members of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag)
together with a number of NGOs held a conference on
trafficking in Berlin. Speakers included the vice president
of the Bundestag and several parliamentarians, as well as
Hiltrud Breyer, a German member of the EU parliament and an
adamant advocate of counter-TIP initiatives at the EU level.
Family Ministry Director for the Protection of Women from
Violence Birgit Schweikert applauded the U.S. T-visa program
and called on the Bundestag to adopt a similar instrument in
Germany. NGOs and the Family Ministry representative called
for more funding for TIP victims.
5. The Federal Association of Counseling Centers for Women is
conducting a national campaign "Standpoints 2007 ) For a
Violence-Free Life for Women." Federal Family Minister
Ursula von der Leyen serves as the campaign's patron. The
campaign calls on politicians, media representatives, and
other public figures throughout Germany to make statements
about the issue which are then published on the internet.
6. In November, the government-funded Association against
Trafficking in Women and Violence against Women in the
Migration Process (KOK), which represents 37 TIP counseling
centers and NGOs in Germany, will hold its annual member
meeting with a focus on labor exploitation, including an
analysis of the legal situation and sharing of best practices
on counseling approaches.
7. Publications. In October 2007, the Family Ministry
published an English version of the 2007 evaluation of German
legislation enacted in 2002 to improve the legal and social
situation of prostitutes. A copy has been pouched to G/TIP.
The Family Ministry also published a 60-page brochure
available online listing benefits and services available to
TIP victims in Germany. The publication is designed to
explain to counseling centers and authorities the benefits
that are available under German law and how to help victims
apply for them. The Family Ministry has also published
guidelines developed by the Federal-State Interagency Working
Group on Trafficking that offer standardized modules for
TIP-related training for police, counseling centers,
prosecutors and judges and other authorities. The modules
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include training on victim identification techniques and best
practices. The KOK also completed a study recommending the
establishment of national TIP rapporteurs and a study on the
situation of labor trafficking in Germany.
Law Enforcement Measures
8. Annual TIP Report ) Law Enforcement Statistics. In
August 2007, the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation
(BKA) published its annual TIP Report, which includes
statistics for the year 2006 on investigations, victims, and
traffickers. According to the report, police concluded 353
investigations against traffickers in 2006, 11 percent more
than in 2005 (317 investigations). The majority of TIP
investigations included investigations for other crimes, such
as alien-smuggling, violent crime, etc. The report also
noted that only five of the 33 TIP investigations launched
during the 2006 Soccer World Cup were actually related to the
event. The report concluded that increased police presences
and controls during the World Cup, as well as NGO awareness
campaigns, helped to prevent an increase in TIP victims
during the four-week, nationwide event.
9. Ninety-four percent of TIP victims identified in 2006 came
from countries in Europe. In 2006, the number of Polish
traffickers and victims doubled. In 2006, 775 TIP victims
were registered compared to 642 victims in 2005 (an increase
of 21 percent). The increase in victims corresponds to the
increase in TIP investigations. Twenty-three percent (181)
of victims in 2006 were German nationals, compared to 34
percent (115) in 2005. In 2006, the largest number of
foreign victims identified came from the Czech Republic (155
victims compared to 11 victims in 2005), due primarily to two
large-scale investigations involving Czech victims. Eight
percent of all registered TIP victims were under the age of
eighteen. The report also notes that solid statistics
regarding labor exploitation do not exist yet due to the fact
that the relevant provisions in the Penal Code are relatively
According to the report, the actual number of victims
continues to be much higher than the number of victims
identified. The report also states it will become more
difficult to identify TIP victims as the result of the
ongoing opening of EU internal borders.
10. The BKA continued to expand and strengthen bilateral law
enforcement and judicial cooperation against child sex
tourism, particularly in Southeast Asia. The BKA played an
instrumental role in capturing a fugitive Canadian pedophile
who had committed multiple crimes over the course of several
years. The BKA was able to de-code digitally-altered photos
of the criminal which he had posted on the Internet.
Interpol published the BKA photos, which led to the suspect's
identification and arrest.
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Legislative Developments and Government Programs
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11. Expanding Investigative Tools. The Bundestag is
currently debating a bill to amend and harmonize the
telephone surveillance law in accordance with EU law and to
adapt provisions to Federal High Court decisions. Current
legislation allows police to tap telephones in serious human
trafficking cases. The draft legislation allows for
telephone surveillance with regard to all trafficking crimes,
including labor exploitation, as well as aiding and abetting.
12. Immigration Law. In August 2007, Germany adopted
amendments to the immigration law to implement EU Council
Directive 2004/81/EC on the issuance of residence permits to
"third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in
human beings or who have been the subject of an action to
facilitate illegal immigration and who cooperate with the
competent authorities." The draft law formally codifies the
practice of granting victims a 30-day "reflection period,"
which was previously granted based on the basis of federal
immigration regulations, vice federal statute. The Family
Ministry and NGOs applauded the changes but criticize some
aspects of the legislation for not being sufficiently
far-reaching, especially with regard to immigration benefits
and social services and benefits for TIP victims.
13. Federal Action Plan to Combat Violence against Women. In
September 2007, the Federal Cabinet adopted a new Action Plan
to Combat Violence against Women, originally proposed and
drafted by the Federal Family Ministry. The Action Plan,
which includes 130 measures to be implemented by a wide array
of government agencies, updates and elaborates on the first
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Action Plan from 1999. The plan places special emphasis on
expanding inter-connecting counseling services for women
affected by violence and on strengthening cooperation between
authorities and NGOs. The plan also focuses on improving the
protection of migrants and lists numerous development
projects abroad. Among the mandated measures, the Action
Plan requires the government-funded KOK to publish a book on
the status of trafficking in Germany. The Action Plan also
requires the BKA and the Family Ministry to publish
guidelines on how to deal with traumatized victims of
trafficking and forced prostitution in order to ensure that
police, judicial authorities, immigration officials, and
welfare authorities are sensitized to the unique needs of
trafficking victims and that authorities treat victims
14. Additionally, the Action Plan requires prevention
measures and efforts to raise awareness within the German
armed forces. According to the Action Plan, training for
military personnel in advance of deployments abroad,
including UN and other peacekeeping deployments, already
includes sessions focused on sexual exploitation and abuse
and other human rights issues. Unit commanders also receive
special training on trafficking, including how to sensitize
their subordinates to monitor and enforce compliance with
relevant rules and regulations. In April, under Germany's EU
presidency, Germany and Hungary conducted the first EU
internal training on gender sensitivity, including
trafficking, for personnel participating in European Security
and Defense Policy (ESDP) missions.
15. Sensitizing Judges. The national Judges' Training
Academy, which conducts trainings for judges and prosecutors
throughout Germany, offered specific courses on how to handle
international trafficking cases and organized crime in 2007.
In 2008, the Academy will also offer training on domestic
violence and child abuse, as well as how to deal with victims
of sexual violence. The courses are geared toward
sensitizing judges and prosecutors. The training program
conforms to the new Action Plan requirements mandating
sensitivity training for professionals who deal with cases of
domestic violence. The Action Plan requires the Federal
Justice Ministry to continue to offer related training for
judges in the future.
16. International Agreements. On October 25, Germany, along
with other members of the Council of Europe, signed the
Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children
against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Under the
Convention, which takes into account new technology and
methods used by criminals, sexual exploitation and abuse of
children shall be penalized in each member state. The
Convention also requires stronger prevention measures.
According to the Justice Ministry, Germany has already
largely implemented the requirements of the Convention.
Ministry officials do not expect that ratification will
require significant new internal implementation measures.
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