Cablegate: Bermuda: Tenth Annual Anti-Trafficking in Persons Report For

Published: Tue 16 Feb 2010 01:01 PM
DE RUEHHT #0026/01 0471358
R 161358Z FEB 10
E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: STATE 002094
1. (SBU) (Question 25A) CONGEN Hamilton verifies that
trafficking is not a significant
problem in Bermuda. The Bermuda Police Service (BPS), the
Bermuda Department of Immigration, the Bermuda Department of
Labor and Training, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP),
social workers at King Edward Memorial Hospital, the Coalition
for the Protection of Children, the Women's Resource Center and
Amnesty International Bermuda - all reliable sources - confirm
this. The BPS and the Prosecutor's office confirmed that there
were no prosecutions of trafficking crimes in 2009.
2. (SBU) (Question 25B) Bermuda is not a country of origin,
transit or destination for internationally-trafficked men,
women, or children. The small size of the island, approximately
21 square miles and 64,000 people, argues against trafficking,
which would be obvious and very hard to conceal. The only direct
flights to Bermuda come from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., and
the Government of Bermuda (GOB) is strict in its application of
entry controls. Likewise, U.S. CBP preclearance officers are
alert to incidents of attempted trafficking aboard flights to
the U.S.
However, in 2009 the Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army
cited anecdotal evidence that trafficking into Bermuda may be a
greater problem that many people realize (perhaps 10-12 persons
per year). He said that people from Europe and Asia, mainly
women, are trafficked in the hospitality industry, as domestics
and as escorts for crew on cruise ships with the promise of
lucrative jobs. In January 2010, the Commander corroborated his
2009 views, adding "Not too much has changed regarding human
trafficking in Bermuda with the exception that the awareness
level has increased." He believes the general public has a
better understanding that it does exist, that it is "in my
backyard," which he views as a huge step. Post has not been
able to corroborate his views with others.
The GOB and three NGOs acknowledge that abuse of expatriate
workers occurs, although it is not widespread and there is no
evidence or allegations that the workers are forced, defrauded,
or coerced into continuing to provide their labor. The alleged
labor abuses may take the form of lower wages for the same work,
lower wages than agreed by contract, work hours in excess of a
contract, and warehousing of immigrants in substandard
accommodations. A Royal Gazette article on February 3, 2010,
quoted the Minister of Labor and Home Affairs, Lt. Col. David
Burch, as saying, "Recently, I have noticed an increasing trend
of abuse of workers generally, and I wish to put all on notice
that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated~For the most
part, I believe non-Bermudian workers are being treated fairly
during their employment in Bermuda. However, one case of abuse
of workers is too many and when reported will be fully
investigated and addressed." Victims rarely lodge a formal
complaint of abuse out of fear of deportation or loss of income.
NGOs report approximately two dozen cases of immigrant worker
Bermuda Immigration believes that, to the extent that it might
exist, trafficking very probably involves sham marriages to
circumvent immigration restrictions, the controls against which
have become tighter in recent years.
Since the 2008-2009 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, there
has been an increased awareness that there may be cases of
trafficking in Bermuda, as well as cases of migrant worker abuse.
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3. (SBU) (Question 25C) If there were trafficking in Bermuda,
Post posits that living conditions might be poor, with multiple
workers sharing a small room or working hours in excess of their
4. (SBU) (Question 25D) Groups more at risk of human
trafficking include men or women working in the construction or
hospitality industries, as domestics, as escorts for cruise ship
crews. Mail-order brides might also be vulnerable to
5. (SBU) (Question 25E) There is no specific information
available about traffickers or their methods, as this is not
considered a significant issue in Bermuda. Lucrative job offers
or the promise of residency could be the lures, according to the
Salvation Army.
6. (SBU) (Question 26A) The GOB does not view trafficking as a
problem. The small size of the island, approximately 21 square
miles and 64,000 people, argues against trafficking, which would
be obvious and very hard to conceal. In addition, the only
direct flights to Bermuda come from the U.S., Canada, and the
U.K., and the GOB is strict in its application of entry
7. (SBU) (Question 26B) No government agency has specific
responsibility for combating sex and labor trafficking, as the
GOB does not consider trafficking to be a problem. The
Department of Labor and Training deals with labor abuse.
Bermuda Immigration and Bermuda Customs monitor immigration and
emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. Emigration
patterns are checked by CBP at the airport pre-clearance
facility, with specific attention to custody cases. Bermuda is
generally cooperative with the U.S. and signed a Mutual Legal
Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the U.S. on January 12, 2009 that
authorizes authorities in the U.S. and Bermuda to request and
obtain assistance from each other in criminal investigations and
prosecutions and related administrative and other proceedings.
The MLAT facilitates the collection of evidence needed by
authorities in one country but located within the other country.
8. (SBU) (Question 26C) The GOB does not lack the will or the
resources to combat trafficking, but the Salvation Army
indicates there may be a lack of knowledge of the situation.
9. (SBU) (Question 26D) As trafficking is not a problem in
Bermuda, the GOB does not have a dedicated trafficking
monitoring effort. The BPS, Bermuda Customs and Bermuda
Immigration monitor crime in general and would investigate any
suspicion of trafficking.
10. (SBU) (Question 26E) Not applicable.
11. (SBU) (Question 26F) Not applicable.
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12. (SBU) (Question 27A) Bermuda has not enacted any new
legislation since the last TIP Report. The country has no law
specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. However,
Chapter 1 of the Bermuda constitution provides for the
protection of fundamental rights and freedom of the individual.
Section 3 provides for protection from inhumane treatment and
Section 4 refers to the protection from slavery and forced labor
but does not specifically refer to slavery resulting from
trafficking. The Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956
authorizes Bermuda Immigration officers to refuse entry to any
person arriving in Bermuda who is reasonably believed to have
come to Bermuda for any immoral purpose and who, being a woman
or girl, is reasonably believed to be a prostitute or to have
come to Bermuda for the purpose of prostitution. Also, various
trafficking sub-offenses are an offense under the Criminal Code
Act 1907, such as deprivation of liberty and intimidation. In
2002, Bermuda enacted the Marriage Amendment Act to prevent
marriages of convenience and to ensure that immigration
requirements are observed. The GOB considers existing law to be
adequate. To date, there has not been any official, recorded
incident of trafficking in persons in Bermuda.
13. (SBU) (Question 27B -D) There are no specific penalties for
traffickers of persons, for either sexual or labor purposes;
however, the Criminal Code does address sexual exploitation
offenses. The Criminal Code Amendment Act 2007, effective May
2008, protects children from being sexually exploited via the
internet and other means. It sanctions sexual exploitation of
young persons, including provisions against showing child
abusive material, child pornography or offensive material to a
child; using children in the production of child abusive
material or child pornography; luring children; making
distributing etc. of child abusive material or child
pornography; possession of child abusive material or child
pornography; and accessing child abusive material or child
pornography. The BPS investigates persons accessing child
internet pornography and liaises with the FBI to identify
persons resident in Bermuda who do so. In 2009, there was one
prosecution resulting in a seven-year jail term for a man
producing pornographic images of local children. A second
person, then an officer with the BPS, was charged with 15 counts
of accessing child internet pornography; as of February 2010,
that case is before the Magistrates Court pending a preliminary
inquiry and committal to the Supreme Court. The BPS operates a
Child Victims Unit, and a dedicated officer for the forensic
examinations of computers remains focused on investigating sex
crimes (and other abuse) against children.
The GOB has established a Sexual Offenders Register, records for
which the BPS is responsible, and there is a memorandum of
understanding between the BPS, Courts and Corrections to ensure
that sex offenders register their names and addresses. The
Minister for Justice liaises with the Commissioner of Police to
determine whether details of a sex offender should be released
to the public generally or to a segment of the public.
Section 184 of the Criminal Code specifically relates to
prostitution and covers women of all ages, but it does not
address prostitution of men or young boys. Section 323
prohibits sexual assault, which by definition includes the
offence of rape. The maximum penalty for a conviction is 20
years imprisonment on indictment. Section 325 of the Criminal
Code covers offenses where a weapon is used, bodily harm is
caused or threatened to the victim or more than one person
perpetrates the assault. The maximum penalty for a conviction
under this section is 20 years imprisonment on indictment.
Section 326 addresses sexual assaults involving wounding,
maiming or disfiguring the victim, the maximum penalty for which
is life imprisonment. There have been no convictions pursuant to
Section 326 in recent years.
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14. (SBU) (Question 27E) The GOB does not maintain any
trafficking-related statistics, as it does not perceive
trafficking as a significant problem in Bermuda. There is
monitoring of immigration and emigration patterns for evidence
of trafficking by Bermuda Immigration and Bermuda Customs. CBP
at the airport pre-clearance facility checks emigration patterns
and looks out for emigration cases involving child custody.
However, such cases are a rare occurrence, and CBP reported no
cases in 2009.
15. (SBU) (Question 27F) The GOB does not provide specialized
training for government officials on how to recognize,
investigate and prosecute trafficking case, as it is not a
significant problem in Bermuda.
16. (SBU) (Question 27G-H) The GOB is empowered to provide full
assistance to other countries under the Criminal Justice
(International Co-operation) (Bermuda) Act 1991. There have
been no foreign requests made in relation to trafficking in
persons. With respect to the U.S. specifically, Bermuda is
generally cooperative and on January 12, 2009 signed an MLAT
with the U.S. The MLAT formalizes and solidifies a direct
channel of contact between prosecutors in each country on
criminal matters. It provides for authorities in the U.S. and
Bermuda to request and obtain assistance from each other in
criminal investigations and prosecutions and related
administrative and other proceedings. It will improve
cooperation on a wide variety of crimes, including drug
trafficking and sex offenses and will provide procedures for
17. (SBU) (Question 27I) There is no evidence of government
involvement in or tolerance of trafficking.
18. (SBU) (Question 27J) There is no evidence that government
officials are involved in trafficking.
19. (SBU) (Question 27K) Bermuda does not commit troops to
international peacekeeping efforts, nor does it have embassies
or consulates in foreign nations.
20. (SBU) (Question 27L) Child sex tourism as not a problem in
21. (SBU) (Question 28A) There is no government funding or
support to foreign or domestic NGOs for victim services, as
trafficking is not a significant problem in Bermuda.
22. (SBU) (Question 28B) There are numerous government and NGO
programs to assist those in need that would be accessible to
trafficking victims. The Salvation Army, which faces an
increasing homeless population without sufficient shelter
facilities, feels that a safe house would be desirable. Bermuda
does not have any specialized facilities for trafficking
23. (SBU) (Question 28C) Not applicable.
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24. (SBU) (Question 28D) Trafficking is not a significant issue
in Bermuda. However, there is the rare case of a foreign bride
or groom brought into Bermuda and subsequently divorced. In
such cases, the government does not provide residency status,
and the victim is deported back to their home country.
25. (SBU) (Question 28E-F) Not applicable.
26. (SBU) (Question 28G) The GOB did not report any trafficking
cases in 2009. The Physical Abuse Center, the Salvation Army
and the Bermuda Industrial Union estimate approximately two
dozen cases of immigrant worker abuse during 2009, in the
domestic and construction industries. However, there were no
allegations of force, fraud or coercion in these cases and the
NGOs did not refer any formal complaints to the BPS in 2009.
27. (SBU) (Question 28H) There is no formal system for
identifying trafficking victims. Bermuda does not have legalized
28. (SBU) (Question 28I-J) Not applicable.
29. (SBU) (Question 28K) The GOB does not provide specialized
training for identifying trafficking victims, as it does not
consider trafficking a problem.
30. (SBU) (Question 28L) There is no record of any Bermudian
trafficking victim being repatriated. If it were to occur,
there are numerous service organizations to provide assistance
(see next question).
31. (SBU) (Question 28M) There are no international
organizations that work specifically with trafficking victims.
Were trafficking to occur, there are numerous general social
service organizations in Bermuda, including the Salvation Army,
the Physical Abuse Centre, the Women's Resource Center, the
Family Centre, Child and Adolescent Services, crisis hotlines,
Legal Aid Office, and the Court Advocate Program through the
Women's Resource Center that could provide services. The NGOs
receive some government funding, but state that it is inadequate
to meet the needs of their clients; otherwise, they describe
government cooperation as good.
32. (SBU) (Question 29A) There have been no government-run,
anti-trafficking information or education campaigns as it is not
a significant problem in Bermuda.
33. (SBU) (Question 29B) Yes. Bermuda Customs and Bermuda
Immigration monitor immigration and emigration patterns and CBP
monitors emigration patterns. The latter occasionally sees a
child custody case. Coordination between them is good. Bermuda
Immigration is the lead agency. There is no single point of
contact. Generally, coordination between Bermuda and the U.S.
is very good.
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34. (SBU) (Question 29C) There is no formal mechanism for
coordination and communication between various agencies with
respect to trafficking, as trafficking is not a significant
problem in Bermuda; however, informal coordination among
agencies is good.
35. (SBU) (Question 29D) The GOB has no national plan or
education campaigns to address trafficking in persons, as it is
not a significant problem in Bermuda.
36. (SBU) (Question 29E) Commercial sex or prostitution is not
at such levels as to be a priority in the Police Service's fight
against crime. Prostitution exists within some sectors of the
community, for the most part driven by an addiction to drugs
and/or alcohol and the desire for the prostitute to exchange sex
for those items. This largely affects those in the lower income
and/or criminal sector of this community. The Criminal Code
creates adequate sanctions against living on the earnings of a
prostitute, exercising control over a woman or girl with a view
to her prostitution and the running of brothels. Prostitution
as a whole is not organized in Bermuda and is a personal choice
for some women. For the most part incidents of prostitution
come to the attention of BPS when a `client' has property or
monies stolen or is subject of a robbery. These matters are
dealt with as reported but often there is very tenuous evidence
as the `client' seeks to downplay the event.
37. (SBU) (Question 29F) The BPS is unaware of any incidents of
child sex tourism or participation by Bermudians in
international child sex tourism.
38. (SBU) (Question 29 G) Not applicable.
39. (SBU) (Question 30A) The GOB does not engage with other
governments, civil society, or multilateral organizations to
focus attention and devote resources to addressing human
40. (SBU) (Question 30B) The GOB is empowered to provide full
assistance to other countries under the Criminal Justice
(International Co-operation) (Bermuda) Act 1991. There have
been no requests made in relation to trafficking in persons.
41. (SBU) (Questions 31-33) There have been no allegations
regarding unlawful child soldiering in Bermuda.
42. (SBU) (Questions 34-35) CONGEN Hamilton has no nominations
for heroes or commendable initiatives.
43. POC at the American Consulate General, Hamilton is Astrid
Black, telephone: 441-278-7502, fax: 441-296-9233, email . Time spent: 30
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hours. DPO J. Rosholt - 03- 1 hour; PO G. Shelton - 01- 1.5
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