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2004-07-08 14:50:00
Embassy The Hague
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001712 



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 115541

B. THE HAGUE 01446

1. SUMMARY: During a June 29 working level meeting to discuss
Dutch movement on TIP following G/TIP Director Miller's June
7 visit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Ministry of
Justice (MinJus) officials promised Embassy representatives
close cooperation bilaterally and within the EU on
Trafficking In Persons (TIP) efforts. At the same time, they
continued to push-back on benchmarks (outlined reftel A) and
the November deadline for re-evaluation. The Dutch accepted
U.S. proposals to create a document outlining agreed steps
for bilateral action on TIP. END SUMMARY.

2. Working-level MFA and MinJus officials met with Embassy
representatives on June 29 to discuss follow-up action to
G/TIP Director John Miller's June 7 meeting with MFA and
MinJus Ministers Bot and Donner (reftel B). Initially, Dutch
representatives echoed the Ministers' concerns about lack of
U.S. respect for Dutch "sovereignty" and the unilateral
imposition of U.S. - not Dutch - TIP priorities under the
benchmarks. Still, they sought continuous bilateral
engagement to make Dutch national priorities clear. The
Dutch accepted the U.S. proposal to draft jointly a document
on agreed bilateral steps, modeled after an existing document
underlying successful U.S./Dutch bilateral engagement on law
enforcement issues. The U.S. accepted a Dutch proposal to
establish monthly working group meetings on both Dutch and
U.S. TIP activities, and agreed to meet again on August 9.

National Efforts

3. On June 29, the Second Chamber (Lower House) of Parliament
adopted TIP legislation proposed by the Justice Ministry that
expands the definition of trafficking to include labor
trafficking and raises the maximum penalties for violations
to 15 years. The bill was sent to the First Chamber (Upper
House) under an expedited procedure, and GONL representatives
expect the legislation to be in place by August 1, 2004, in
accordance with the EU deadline.

4. The Justice Ministry submitted an Action Plan entitled
"Regulation and Protection of the Prostitution Sector" to
Parliament on July 2. The Justice Ministry had promised
delivery of the document to Parliament following the
November, 2003 parliamentary debate on the effects of
legalized prostitution. The plan is designed to improve
controls in the prostitution sector and touches on TIP
issues, including the "loverboy" problem. The new controls
include the development by brothel owners of a quality label
ensuring brothel compliance with legal standards (such as
refusing to employ TIP and underage victims, providing health
services, and meeting safety requirements); model contracts
for prostitutes and brothel owners; a national register of

licensed brothel owners; and support for prostitutes seeking
other means of employment. MFA officials expect Parliament
to discuss the Action Plan in September, and a report
evaluating actions taken in response to the plan to follow
next year. Post will provide a detailed summary and
evaluation of the report septel.

5. The National Rapporteur's Office will publish its Third
Report, using official 2002 TIP figures, in July, and will
publish a supplement with official 2003 figures before the
end of the year.

6. Embassy officials also met with a director of the Judicial
Training Center on June 25. He offered to provide the
Embassy with the course outline and training materials from
the center's on-going, two-day TIP training courses for
prosecutors and judges.

Efforts Within The EU

7. MFA representatives expressed interest in pushing joint
U.S./EU TIP efforts in the Balkans, particularly given Dutch
government plans to fund an International Office of Migration
(IOM) victim awareness program and an OSCE economic
empowerment program aimed at the prevention of TIP in the
Balkans. The GONL proposals will provide approximately one
million euros for each program.

8. The Dutch government decided to make TIP a priority during
their EU Presidency. The EU Commission's Expert Group on
Human Trafficking is scheduled to release its final
recommendations for EU TIP efforts in October 2004, and MFA
officials indicated they would work with the Commission to
introduce the recommendations in an informal working group
during the Dutch EU Presidency. Dutch officials expect the
new Commission - which will not be in place until November -
to review the recommendations early next year. Although the
Dutch do not feel they can launch any TIP initiatives until
the Commission weighs in on the Expert Group recommendations,
they plan to take advantage of their special relationship
with Luxembourg to put TIP on the Luxembourg Presidency

9. COMMENT: MFA and MinJus officials are still bristling from
the U.S. Continuing Action Plan benchmarks (reftel A), and
view the TIP criteria set out in the Continuing Action Plan
as reflecting U.S. priorities, not their own. The Dutch
commitment to combating TIP remains strong, however, as
demonstrated by Dutch acceptance of the U.S. proposal to
draft agreed bilateral steps, the Dutch Action Plan on
legalized prostitution, and Dutch proposals to fund TIP
programs in the Balkans. Though they insist on the right to
define their national TIP priorities, the Dutch are proud of,
and committed to, their efforts to combat TIP. END COMMENT.