Cablegate: Portugal: Tip Action Guide to Combat Tip

Published: Mon 20 Oct 2008 09:34 PM
DE RUEHC #1745/01 2942141
P R 202134Z OCT 08
E.O. 12958: N/A
1. This is an action request (see para 5).
2. The 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report rates countries as
Tier 2 when host governments are not meeting the minimum
standards to combat trafficking in persons (TIP) as defined
by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), but are
making significant efforts to do so. Remaining on Tier 2,
however, is not guaranteed; governments must continue to
combat TIP and especially address areas that need further
work. All Tier 2 countries will move to Tier 1 if and when
they evidence satisfaction of all of the minimum standards.
Tier 2 countries are also subject to slipping to Tier 2 Watch
List or Tier 3 if they do not continue to make significant
efforts to meet the minimum standards from one year to the
3. Please keep in mind the TIP Report measures host
government efforts. To be useful for tier placement
purposes, there should be a concrete role or tangible
value-added by a host government in activities by NGOs,
international organizations, or posts.
4. The following explains steps the government needs to take
in order to fully comply with the Minimum Standards for the
elimination of trafficking, and therefore qualify for a Tier
1 ranking, and offers suggestions to address specific areas
of concern highlighted in the 2008 TIP Report. Legal
standards are excerpted from the Trafficking Victims
Protection Act, as amended. Implementation Principles are
excerpted from guidance issued in 07 State 150188 (October
29, 2007) and are not specific to any country or region.
Country specific points are not exhaustive, but offer steps
and possible ways to address specific areas of concern. The
Department assesses government efforts each year. All
governments must show concrete evidence of serious and
sustained efforts in eliminating severe forms of trafficking
from the previous year. Tier ranking determinations will be
based on the government's efforts to comply with the Minimum
Standards to Combat TIP during the April 2008 - March 2009
reporting period.
5. Begin action request: Post is requested to explain to
the host government the areas of specific concern noted in
the TIP Report and why the government failed to meet the
minimum standards (and thus did not meet the requirements for
Tier 1 placement). Post may offer steps in para 6 to the
host government as possible ways to address specific areas of
concern. While the list is not exhaustive, it should focus
the host government on deficiencies in meeting the minimum
standards and examples of ways to overcome them. As every
year, the Department will weigh the government's level of
support and participation in reported activities, as well as
the efficacy and sustainability of government actions, in
light of its resources and capabilities.
Begin Action Guide and internal numbering.
1. Legal Framework: The government should criminally prohibit
TIP and punish such acts.
(A) For TIP crimes, punishment should be prescribed that is
commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible
sexual assault.
(B) For TIP crimes, punishment should be prescribed that is
sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately reflects
the heinous nature of the offense.
Implementation Guideline: At minimum, governments must
criminalize and prescribe penalties for all forms of
trafficking relevant in the country, including forced labor.
This must include the elements of "severe forms of
trafficking in persons" -- force, fraud, and coercion.
Although desirable, this need not be accomplished through a
comprehensive law, so long as relevant elements of
trafficking, specifically including fraud/deception and
coercion along with force, are covered by the country's laws.
Sanctions for sex trafficking should be on par with rape.
The prescribed penalties for sex trafficking crimes or
trafficking involving rape, kidnapping or death should be
substantially similar to those for rape, taking into account
the full range of sentences available. Consistent with the
UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, criminal
penalties to meet this standard should include a maximum of
at least four years deprivation of liberty, or a more severe
STATE 00111745 002 OF 005
COMPLIANCE: The government was fully compliant as reported
in the 2008 TIP Report.
Positive results that should be maintained:
-- The Government of Portugal strengthened its penal code in
2007 to broaden the definition of trafficking in Portugal and
increased prescribed penalties for traffickers. Portugal
prohibits transnational and internal trafficking in persons
for both labor and sexual exploitation through Article 160,
which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent
and commensurate with those for other serious crimes.
Notably, the penal code revisions provide for criminal
punishment for labor recruiters in source countries whose
knowing use of fraudulent or deceptive offers result in
workers being trafficked in the destination country.
2. Prosecution and other Law Enforcement Efforts: The
government should show serious and sustained efforts to
combat TIP by vigorously investigating and prosecuting TIP
acts, and convicting and sentencing persons responsible for
such acts.
(A) The government must provide data regarding
investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences,
consistent with its capacity to do so, or it shall be
presumed not to have vigorously investigated, prosecuted,
convicted or sentenced such acts.
Implementation Guideline: All governments, consistent with
their capacity to do so, are required to submit full
comprehensive data on trafficking enforcement actions,
including length of sentences actually imposed on convicted
traffickers, as evidence of their vigorous law enforcement
efforts. Imposed sentences should involve significant jail
time, with a majority of cases resulting in sentences on the
order of one year imprisonment or more, but taking into
account the severity of an individual's involvement in
trafficking, imposed sentences for other grave crimes, and
the judiciary's right to hand down punishments consistent
with that country's laws. Convictions obtained under other
criminal laws and statutes can be counted as trafficking if
the government verifies that they involve trafficking
COMPLIANCE: The government was partially compliant as
reported in the 2008 TIP Report.
Positive results that should be maintained and/or exceeded:
-- The government prosecuted 65 traffickers in 2006, and
convicted 49 trafficking offenders. Eight convicted
traffickers served jail time.
Recommended measures to bring the country into full
compliance with Minimum Standards:
-- Punishments imposed by Portuguese courts continue to be
inadequate; the majority of traffickers, sentences are
suspended. Ensure convicted trafficking offenders receive
prison sentences commensurate with the heinous nature of the
offense committed.
3. Victim Protection and Assistance: The government should
demonstrate serious and sustained efforts to combat TIP by
protecting TIP victims and encouraging their assistance in
the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers.
Protection should include:
(A) provisions for legal alternatives to victims, removal to
countries in which they would face retribution or hardship.
(B) ensuring that victims are not inappropriately
incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized solely for
unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of being
Implementation Guideline: Critical factors considered in
whether a country fully satisfies this part of the minimum
standards are: (1) Formal, systematic screening procedures
that proactively identify victims and guide law enforcement
and other front line responders in the process of victim
identification. (2) Shelter, health care, and counseling
should be available to victims, allowing them to recount
their trafficking experience to trained social counselors and
law enforcement at a pace with minimal pressure. Shelter and
care may be provided in cooperation with NGOs, but part of
the government's responsibility includes funding and referral
to NGOs providing services; to the best extent possible,
trafficking victims should not be held in immigration
STATE 00111745 003 OF 005
detention centers, or other detention facilities. Factors
also considered and strongly recommended for favorable
placement are: (1) Victim/witness protection, rights and
confidentiality; i.e., governments should ensure that victims
are provided with legal and other assistance and that,
consistent with its domestic law, proceedings are not
prejudicial to victims' rights, dignity or psychological
well-being; and that victims are provided information in a
language they understand. (2) Source and destination
countries share responsibility in ensuring the safe, humane
and, to the extent possible, voluntary
repatriation/reintegration for victims. At a minimum,
destination countries should contact a competent governmental
body, NGO or IO in relevant source country to ensure that
trafficked persons who return to their country of origin are
provided with assistance and support necessary to their
well-being. Trafficking victims should not be subjected to
deportations or forced returns without safeguards or other
measures to reduce the risk of hardship, retribution, or
COMPLIANCE: The government was fully compliant as reported
in the 2008 TIP Report.
Positive results that should be maintained and/or exceeded:
-- The Government of Portugal sustained its efforts to
protect trafficking victims throughout the reporting period.
Victims are allowed a 30-60-day reflection period to decide
whether or not they wish to press charges against traffickers
and, regardless of their decision, they have the right to a
one-year residency permit. Once detained and identified by
authorities, victims reportedly are transferred to shelter
facilities and do not face penalties for unlawful acts
committed as a direct part of their being trafficked. Police
continued to receive training on how to recognize trafficking
victims and are required to fill out a standard detailed form
with information when they encounter suspected trafficking
cases. The government reported that police counsel all
potential victims on the assistance available to them,
including legal and medical remedies. The government's 20
immigrant support centers located throughout the country
provide ad hoc support services to approximately 1,200
immigrants a day, a figure that reportedly includes
trafficking victims. The government reported it distributed
anti-trafficking pamphlets at these centers to potential
trafficking victims. The government continued to fund the
majority of costs for an NGO-run shelter, and provided a
fixed subsidy for each victim, including their children, for
Recommended measures to ensure the government continues to
fully comply with Minimum Standards:
-- Continue to implement procedures to proactively identify
trafficking victims among vulnerable groups (such as women in
prostitution and immigrants) nationwide and refer potential
victims to service providers through a formalized, national
referral mechanism.
-- Consider providing data on the number of victims
identified and who accept assistance and researching why few
trafficking victims opt to receive protection and assistance
from NGOs and the government shelter.
4. Prevention: The government should demonstrate serious and
sustained efforts to combat TIP by adopting measures to
prevent TIP. Measures such as:
(A) steps to inform and educate the public, including
potential victims, about the causes and consequences of TIP,
(B) measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts and
for participation in international sex tourism by nationals
of the country,
(C) measures to ensure that its nationals who are deployed
abroad as part of a peacekeeping or other similar mission do
not engage in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in
persons or exploit victims of such trafficking,
(D) measures to prevent the use of forced labor or child
labor in violation of international standards.
Implementation Guideline: The government should provide/fund
a hotline or similar mechanism that offers victims and
potential victims assistance/information about TIP. Per the
new amendments to the Minimum Standards, starting with the
April 2007- March 2008 reporting period to be covered in the
2008 TIP Report, countries should, for example where
applicable: (1) Reduce demand for commercial sex acts:
Implement or support some form of visible awareness campaign
STATE 00111745 004 OF 005
that educates the clients of the sex trade (and potential sex
trafficking victims) if the country has a significant sex
trafficking problem, or a campaign that targets those who
form the demand for victims of forced labor about the nature
of the relevant form of TIP. Nations with legalized
prostitution should make additional efforts to proactively
identify TIP victims among those in prostitution in the
legalized sex trade. This includes the systematic and
sensitive screening of persons in the legalized sex trade.
(2) Address child sex tourism: Countries that have a
significant number of nationals traveling abroad as child sex
tourists should undertake an awareness campaign that targets
tourists traveling to known child sex tourism destinations.
(3) Address trafficking and exploitation committed by
multinational peacekeepers: Governments with more than 100
troops on peacekeeping or other similar missions abroad
should provide anti-TIP training for these troops (directly
or through multilateral efforts), and should investigate and,
if appropriate, prosecute any allegations of trafficking
crimes or crimes of facilitating trafficking or exploiting
trafficking victims committed by these troops abroad and
referred to it by the UN or another competent organization.
COMPLIANCE: The government was not fully compliant as
reported in the 2008 TIP Report.
Positive results that should be maintained and/or exceeded:
-- The Government of Portugal continued its proactive efforts
to prevent trafficking in 2007. For example, in November
2007, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), in
cooperation with the Council of Europe, launched the
campaign, are not for Sale8 and SEF teams traveled
throughout the country and to Brazil to disseminate and
publicize the campaign. The government took some steps to
reduce demand for commercial sex acts by sponsoring awareness
campaigns that incorporated anti-demand aspects. In an
additional effort to reduce demand, the government amended
its criminal code in 2007 to provide specific penalties for
clients who knowingly procure the services of a trafficking
victim for sexual purposes.
Recommended measures to ensure that the country continues to
fully comply with Minimum Standards:
-- Although the Government of Portugal contributes troops to
international peacekeeping efforts abroad, it did not conduct
specific anti-trafficking prevention training targeted at its
military. The government should conduct specific
anti-trafficking prevention training for military personnel
going abroad.
-- While there is no specific evidence that Portugal is a
source or destination for child sex tourism, it is an
identified phenomenon in many other Western European
countries. The government should consider steps to raise
awareness among nationals from engaging in child sex tourism
5. Corruption and Official Complicity: The government should
vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence
public officials who participate in or facilitate TIP, and
take all appropriate measures against officials who condone
such trafficking.
(A) This should include nationals of the country who are
deployed abroad as part of a peacekeeping or other similar
mission who engage in or facilitate severe forms of
trafficking in persons or exploit victims of such trafficking.
(B) The government must provide data regarding such
investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, or
it shall be presumed not to have vigorously investigated,
prosecuted, convicted, or sentenced such acts.
Implementation Principle: Governments, consistent with their
capacity to do so, must provide full comprehensive data on
actions taken against TIP related complicity. Information on
general government corruption does
not satisfy this minimum standard, except in cases in which
specific cases of complicity are not reported by the
government or known to the USG, but where there is a
reasonable probability of such complicity within the wider
context of generalized corruption in that country.
COMPLIANCE: There were no specific cases of complicity
reported by the government in the 2008 TIP Report.
Recommendation for measures to ensure that the country fully
complies with Minimum Standards:
-- Continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute
STATE 00111745 005 OF 005
trafficking-related corruption at all levels of law
enforcement. Share comprehensive data on investigations,
prosecutions, and convictions of complicit officials, and the
lengths of sentences imposed on those convicted, if specific
cases of complicity have occurred.
End Action Guide and internal numbering.
6. The Department appreciates Post's continued efforts to
address trafficking in persons issues.
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media