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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02ANKARA8696
2002-11-27 14:50:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

GOT MOVES ON TRAFFICKING-IN-PERSONS INITIATIVES

Tags:   ASEC  KWMN  KCRM  PHUM  TU  TIP  IN  TURKEY 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 008696 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/26/2012
TAGS: ASEC KWMN KCRM PHUM TU TIP IN TURKEY
SUBJECT: GOT MOVES ON TRAFFICKING-IN-PERSONS INITIATIVES

(U) Classified by DCM Robert S. Deutsch; reasons 1.5 (b) and
(d).




1. (C) Summary. MFA Deputy DirGen for Consular Affairs
Topcuoglu told us 11/26 the GOT has established an
inter-agency task force to address trafficking-in-persons
(TIP) in Turkey. The group's first priority is to establish
and adopt the GOT's National Action Plan on TIP. The plan,
currently in its final drafting stage, takes a three-pronged
approach: finalize the legal framework for combating TIP and
its organizers, provide better assistance to victims in
Turkey, and implement training and awareness programs.
However, Topcuoglu warned current GOT internal procedures
continue to slow implementation of many programs. End
summary.




--------------------------


GOT Task Force and National TIP Action Plan


--------------------------






2. (U) Nov 26 MFA Deputy DirGen for Consular Affairs
Topcuoglu reviewed with us GOT progress on tackling TIP.
Composed of approximately 25 members, the GOT TIP task force
has met twice thus far and continues to meet every 15 days.
The group is chaired by the MFA Directorate General for
Consular Affairs and contains members from the Ministry of
Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of
Health, Directorate of Status and Problems of Women, and
Child Protection Institution. Smaller coordinating bodies
are found within the Ministry of Interior in order to
streamline MOI's response to TIP. After determining the
scope of each agency's TIP authority, the task force drafted
an eleven-point National Action Plan which will become the
framework for the GOT's fight against TIP.




3. (C) Pending finalization by the relevant ministries, the
National Action Plan seeks to first strengthen and finalize
the legal framework for TIP by amending its Labour Law and
Working Permission for Foreigners and its citizenship law.
Whether Turkey's current eyewitness protection law for
certain crimes is applicable to cases of human trafficking
needs to clarified. Second, the National Action Plan
concentrates upon victim assistance. Governors from the
eastern city of Igdir to the western city of Istanbul have
been tasked to identify existing buildings that could be used
for victim shelters. Following the establishment of victim
shelters, a victim hotline would be established in 16 cities
determined to be high TIP destinations. GOT has further
contacted NGOs to determine their potential role of
assistance to victims. Lastly, GOT seeks to implement
comprehensive training and awareness programs aimed at the
judiciary and law enforcement agencies in order to emphasize
responsiveness to both victim assistance and prosecution of
TIP organizers.




4. (C) Topcuoglu cautioned the change in government has led
to delays in the ratification time of the Palermo Convention
on Trafficking which is required for the Turkish Ministry of
Finance to allocate funding for any potential GOT
initiatives. She further added that statistics based upon
the trafficking law passed in August 2002 would not be
available until June 2003 at the earliest. The Turkish
Ministry of Justice requires the courts to submit statistical
information (i.e., number of cases filed, how these were
reconciled) only twice a year. We stressed the importance of
concrete actions and suggested NGOs may be able to help with
certain aspects of the National Action Plan. Topcuoglu
stated the Task Force was exploring all possibilities.




--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------






5. (C) Embassy comment: The creation of an inter-agency task
force is a strong step by the GOT to combat TIP. The
ministerial-level personnel changes caused by the November 3
GOT elections have caused the ratification of the Palermo
Convention and other legal changes to be delayed. However,
working-level non-constitutional reforms, such as victim
identification and NGO coordination could be implemented
fairly quickly without bueracratic interference. End comment.
DEUTSCH