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06WARSAW339
2006-03-01 06:42:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Warsaw
Cable title:  

POLAND: SIXTH ANNUAL (2006) TRAFFICKING IN

Tags:   PHUM  ELAB  SMIG  ASEC  KFRD  PREF  KWMN  PL  KRCM 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 WARSAW 000339 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

G/TIP FOR MEGAN HALL
G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, EUR/PGI
EUR/NCE FOR MICHAEL SESSUMS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM ELAB SMIG ASEC KFRD PREF KWMN PL KRCM
SUBJECT: POLAND: SIXTH ANNUAL (2006) TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS REPORT SUBMISSION

REF: STATE 3836

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 WARSAW 000339

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

G/TIP FOR MEGAN HALL
G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, EUR/PGI
EUR/NCE FOR MICHAEL SESSUMS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM ELAB SMIG ASEC KFRD PREF KWMN PL KRCM
SUBJECT: POLAND: SIXTH ANNUAL (2006) TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS REPORT SUBMISSION

REF: STATE 3836


1. (SBU) Following are responses keyed to questions in
paragraphs 21-25 of REFTEL. Embassy point of contact
is Political Officer Katharine Read (telephone: 48-22-
504-2676, fax 48-22-504-2613, e-mail ReadKM@state.gov).
POLOFF (FO-03) spent 45 hours collecting data and
compiling report; one political locally engaged staff
member spent a total of 45 hours collecting data.


2. (SBU) OVERVIEW: Answers keyed to para 21 of REFTEL
-------------- --------------

21A. Poland is a country of origin, transit and
destination for trafficking in persons. The main groups
at risk are women and girls, with unemployed women,
women from the poorest regions of Poland, and victims
of domestic violence most at risk. Some trafficking
occurs within Poland's borders, but most cases involve
women and children being trafficked to, from, or
through Poland. The illicit nature of trafficking in
persons makes it difficult to determine the number of
victims, particularly those of Polish citizens, and
estimates vary substantially. The main sources of
information for information and statistics contained in
this cable are international and local non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), UN officials, OSCE/ODIHR
contacts, Polish officials including those in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior
Affairs and Administration, Ministry of Justice, Border
Guards and National Police. All of these have proven to
be reliable sources.

21B. Persons are trafficked to and through Poland from
countries to the east and southeast, primarily Ukraine,
Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus and Moldova. There have also
been isolated reports of Vietnamese nationals being
trafficked into Poland. Ukraine continues to serve as
the source of the greatest number of persons trafficked
through Poland, although Moldova also serves as the
source for a substantial percentage of trafficked
persons. Poles are trafficked to Western Europe

including Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, and the
Netherlands, as well as to Japan and Israel. Police
statistics based on arrests and other direct contacts
indicate that about 30 percent of the 7,300 prostitutes
known to be working in Poland are of foreign origin.
Most trafficking involves women trafficked into the sex
trade, however, NGO experts estimate there is a growing
percentage of victims forced to work in agricultural or
other menial trades. NGOs continue to report that the
number of Polish women trafficked to other countries
appears to be decreasing, but there are no hard data to
support this point. Political will to combat
trafficking in persons remains strong; during the year
the government allocated approximately $80,000 from the
National Budget to implement the National Anti-
Trafficking plan developed by the interagency Anti-
trafficking working group. NGO experts report that
their cooperation with the government continues to
improve.

Victims are trafficked to Poland primarily for work in
"massage parlors" and "escort agencies," i.e.,
brothels. However, there have also been documented
cases of victims forced to work in agriculture, in
sweatshops and forced to beg on the streets. Victims
in the sex trade are forced to work as nude dancers or
prostitutes, and are often deprived of their passports
and identity papers, and threatened with violence. In
the case of forced prostitution, victims failing to
service a minimum number of clients each day may suffer
physical abuse. Police estimate 750 "escort agencies"
operate in Poland, with 3,500 to 3,600 women working in
them. Press sources, meanwhile, put the number of women
working in all elements of the sex industry in Poland
at anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000.
Traffickers in Poland target young, unemployed or
poorly paid Polish women. In addition, they focus on
women with poor family ties and weak support networks.
According to the NGO La Strada, 80 percent of Polish
victims are under 24 years of age. Traffickers approach
young victims with promises of lucrative jobs in
Western Europe as domestic workers, dancers, cooks, or
waitresses. The victims are told that their handlers
will take care of all documentation and are asked to
turn over their passports. While some of the victims
may know they are involved in an illegal employment
ploy, many do not realize that they will be performing
forced sexual services. A second method of recruitment
is for a trafficker, usually residing permanently
outside Poland, to feign emotional involvement and
persuade his future victim to visit him abroad. In
both cases, victims are subsequently detained and
forced into prostitution through threat, blackmail or
violence. Often, traffickers are connected with
organized crime syndicates. If a victim is transported
with documentation, they travel by train or car; if
illegally, they are hidden in trucks, cars, or walking
across unguarded borders.

21C. There are no limitations on Poland's law-
enforcement activities, but government efforts on
education and victim assistance have been primarily
carried out through NGOs using foreign government
funding, as well as increasing amounts of local and
national government funding. According to the
coordinator of the inter-ministerial working group,
officers from various government agencies were trained
in identification of trafficking victims and victim
assistance in 13 of the 16 Polish provinces during the
year. All incoming National Police are reported to
receive basic instruction on the subject. More
advanced training programs and victim assistance
efforts conducted by foreign governments or NGOs are
welcomed by GOP officials. Societal factors may play a
role in the GOP's anti-trafficking program. Although a
CBOS survey indicates that awareness has risen
substantially over the past several years, many average
Poles still view victims of trafficking as being
responsible for their own fate.

21D. During the year, the interagency Anti-Trafficking
working group produced a report that summarized the
government's implementation of the 2003-2004 National
Action Plan. The National Police Public Affairs Unit
informs the public systematically about its efforts and
publishes its trafficking statistics annually on its
website. The National Prosecutor's Office of the
Ministry of Justice maintains records of investigations
and legal actions taken against traffickers, and works
closely with provincial and local prosecutors to ensure
accurate reporting. In addition, a La Strada intern
works with the Polish government to document cases.


3. (SBU) PREVENTION: Answers keyed to paragraph 22 of
REFTEL

22A. Polish government officials at the highest levels
are aware of the seriousness of the trafficking problem
in Poland, and are taking action to address the
problem. TIP was one of the issues discussed by the
newly-appointed Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro and
Ambassador Ashe in their inaugural meeting in November.
In April, the second National Action Plan for 2005-2006
was approved by the Council of Ministers. In October,
the government approved the first-ever national budget
allocation for trafficking victim's assistance.

22B. This National Action Plan was developed by the
interagency working group composed of high-level
representatives of 12 government agencies, academics
and NGOs (including the Ministries of Interior and
Administration, Foreign Affairs, Education and Justice;
Border Guards and National Police; NGOs La Strada and
"Nobody's Children" and the University of Zielona
Gora). The National Program is a strategy document that
seeks to coordinate the efforts of various GOP and
private sector entities involved in combating
trafficking. The Prime Minister approved the Program in
December 2003, and permanent representatives were
appointed in March 2004. The Ministry of Interior has
the lead in coordinating the working group's
activities. With the exception of the approximately
$80,000 allocated by the government to the National
Action Plan for trafficking victim's assistance,
individual agencies are expected to fund anti-
trafficking initiatives from their own budgets.

22C. During the year, both Caritas and La Strada
coordinated with the Ministries of Education and Labor
and the Border Guards on four separate educational
campaigns. Caritas provides educational materials and
instruction to all public secondary school pupils in
the cities of Katowice, Szczecin, Warsaw, and Poznan.
Caritas also distributes guidebooks on how to find safe
work abroad at the unemployment offices run by the
Ministry of Labor throughout Poland. La Strada
cooperates with the Border Guards on a "safe travel"
campaign that distributes information on how to prevent
trafficking and contact information of helpful
authorities to individuals crossing the border. La
Strada also received a grant from the Ministry of
Education to produce educational leaflets to distribute
to at-risk groups throughout the country.

22D. The Government of Poland supports a variety of
social programs that indirectly work to prevent
trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Labor and
Social Policy took over competencies of the Government
Plenipotentiary for Equal Status of Women and Men in
December 2005. During the year, the Office of the
Plenipotentiary for Equal Status of Women and Men
provided financial grants to NGOs for projects realized
in two areas related to women's rights. The first
project focused on combating violence, chiefly against
women, for which it funded grants totaling
approximately $80,000. The second project, which
received approximately $25,000, involved promotion of
women in the labor market, including projects involving
women from rural areas and disabled women.

The Ministry of Education supports programs aimed at
lowering the teenage dropout rate, including holding
parents responsible and assessing fines in cases of
truancy. Other GOP programs that indirectly help
prevent trafficking include public awareness campaigns
against domestic violence and child abuse as well as
job training programs for unemployed women. The Center
for Missing and Disappeared Persons (ITAKA) cooperates
with local and regional governments in their "Don't Run
Away" program, discouraging youth from abandoning their
homes.

(note, no 22E question in Reftel)

22F. The GOP recognizes the importance of NGOs and
other elements of civil society in preventing
trafficking in persons, and actively worked with them
in the development of its National Program. The GOP
relies on -- and works closely with -- NGOs for victim
protection projects, law-enforcement training, and
prevention campaigns. The relationship between the GOP
and anti-trafficking organizations is described as
open, positive, and deepening by both government
officials and NGO representatives.

22G. The GOP devotes considerable resources to
monitoring its borders. The Border Guards continue to
receive high marks for the quality of their training
and effectiveness of their enforcement activities from
Western European counterparts. Thanks to training
programs implemented by La Strada, Polish border guards
are now trained to detect and assist victims of
trafficking. The Border Guards discover potential TIP
victims most often during inspections that they hold to
check the legality of aliens' stays in Poland. These
checks are essentially documentary in nature.

22H. Polish officials participate actively in
international trafficking conferences. In April 2004,
Poland was an initial sponsor of a resolution creating
a U.N. Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in the
Commission on Human Rights. A Ministry of Justice
expert, Krzysztof Karsznicki, sits on the European
Commission's group of 20 experts on Trafficking. Mr.
Karsznicki developed special guidelines for the police
on the implementation of Palermo Protocol definitions
in practice, which the NGO La Strada referred to as a
"breakthrough" in investigation of prosecution of
traffickers. The Polish National Police (PNP)
participate in several bilateral task forces that seek
to share information, track the movements of
traffickers and victims across borders and coordinate
repatriations and casework. Bilateral efforts include
Polish task forces with the Czech, German, and Swedish
Police forces, and one multilateral task force that
coordinates efforts between Polish and Baltic-nation
Police forces on anti-TIP efforts. There is also an
active National Anti-Corruption Strategy, managed by
the Ministry of the Interior and Administration. There
is currently a draft law in the parliament that
proposes the creation of a Central Anti-Corruption
Bureau. This was a key issue for the victorious Law
and Justice party during the fall 2005 parliamentary
campaign.

22J. In August 2003, a coordinated National Program for
Combating Trafficking was accepted by all GOP agencies
involved in anti-trafficking efforts. In December 2003,
the plan was adopted by the Prime Minister, and a Board
of Directors to implement the plan was named in spring

2004. The National Action Plan developed by the
interagency working group, in direct consultation with
NGOs, for 2005-2006 received ministerial approval in
April. In 2005, the working group also disseminated a
report on its accomplishments from the 2003-2004 Action
Plan, which includes a description of 16 in which it
has improved coordination, official training, outreach,
public education, witness protection, and victim's
assistance.


4. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS:
Answers keyed to paragraph 23 of Reftel

23A. Polish law prohibits forcing individuals into
prostitution, trafficking in human beings, and pimping.
The relevant sections of the Criminal Code are Articles
204(sexual trafficking) and 253 (non-sexual
trafficking) effective since September 1, 1998. The
laws cover both internal and external trafficking, and
do not require proof that the victim was coerced in
order to secure a conviction. Poland has adopted the
UN Protocol on Trafficking in Persons (Palermo
Protocol). The National Prosecutor's Office uses the
Protocol's definition of trafficking in its
prosecutions and indicates it has not been adversely
affected by the absence of a specific definition in
Polish national law.

23B. The maximum penalty for trafficking in persons is
15 years' imprisonment under Article 253 of the
Criminal Code (minimum of 3 years' imprisonment). This
Article of the Code does not require proof of
trafficking connected with prostitution. Article 204,
section 4 of the Code provides for up to 10 years'
imprisonment for trafficking involving prostitution.
Most sentences are shorter, with the most severe
sentences reserved for those convicted of trafficking
minors for the purpose of prostitution or
luring/abducting adults into prostitution abroad.

23C. According to Criminal Code Article 197, using
violence, threat, or deceit to force a person to have
sexual intercourse is punishable by one to 10 years'
imprisonment. Using such means to force a person into
other sexual activity is punishable by three months' to
five years' imprisonment. In cases involving more than
one perpetrator or excessive cruelty, the punishment
ranges from two to 12 years imprisonment, compared to
up to 15 years for trafficking under Article 253.
Polish prosecutors have expressed interest in using the
multiple perpetrator/excessive cruelty provision of the
law to sentence traffickers to longer sentences,
although this has not been tested in court.
23D. Prostitution in Poland is legal; but "pimping" or
otherwise profiting from a prostitute's activities is
illegal. Under the current version of the Polish
Criminal Code, the legal age of consent to sexual
activity is 15. However, Poland has ratified the
Palermo Protocol, the Optional Protocol to the UN
Convention on the rights of Children (of May 25, 2000),
and the EU Convention on the Rights of Children. All
of these documents prohibit prostitution by individuals
less than 18 years of age. In the opinion of the
National Prosecutor's office, according to the Polish
Constitution (Art. 87) and international law, the
provisions of these documents automatically become part
of Polish law and act to prohibit child prostitution as
therein defined. Full implementation of the protocols
and Convention will require changes, inter alia, in the
Polish Criminal, Family and Labor Codes. The
prosecutor's office additionally states that anyone
(including a parent) assisting a person under the age
of 18 to engage in prostitution would be assumed to be
benefiting financially from this assistance and would
be investigated and prosecuted accordingly.

23E. According to the National Prosecutor's Office, in
2005 Polish authorities initiated 22 new investigations
and continued working on 22 ongoing cases. In 2005, 31
investigations were completed, of which 19 resulted in
indictments and 12 were dismissed. Of these 12
dismissed, 10 lacked sufficient evidence and 2 lacked
physical presence of the perpetrators. In the 19 cases
that resulted in indictments, 42 individuals were
indicted under articles 253 and 204 of the criminal
code on trafficking charges, compared to 39 in 2004. 99
victims were involved in the 19 cases that resulted in
indictments. 10 of these 99 victims were minors, and 37
of the 99 victims were foreigners, 34 from Ukraine and
3 from Belarus. Of the 42 individuals indicted, 2 were
Bulgarian, 2 were German, and one was a Belgian-Polish
dual national. In the 22 cases that are ongoing, 15 are
active and 7 are suspended pending foreign legal
assistance.

According to the National Prosecutor's Office, there
were 37 convictions under article 253 of the penal code
throughout 2005. Complete sentencing data is not
available at time of post's submission for these cases.
However, according to the Ministry of Justice, from
January to July, there were 17 persons sentenced under
article 253 of the penal code. Of these persons
sentenced, 4 were sentenced to two years imprisonment,
8 were sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment and 5 were
sentenced to 3-5 years of imprisonment. There was one
additional conviction in which the sentence was
suspended, but other than that, the individuals
convicted are serving their sentences in prison.

23F. Polish police believe that large organized crime
groups as well as individual operators control the
trafficking business and that victims are frequently
trafficked by nationals of their own country, with
Polish traffickers collecting a percentage to allow
passage into or through Poland. According to arrest
statistics, approximately 25 percent of traffickers are
non-Poles. Bulgarian traffickers continue to account
for a significant number of cases. Except for
anecdotal evidence from NGOs that some corrupt police
officers are complicit in trafficking, Post has
received no information or indication that Polish
government officials are involved in trafficking.
Police sources believe that employment and talent
agencies are sometimes used as fronts for trafficking
operations.
23G. The GOP actively investigates trafficking.
Advanced law-enforcement techniques, including
immunity/mitigation, covert operations, etc., are used
mainly by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI-
Poland's FBI equivalent), but the CBI is not typically
involved in the investigation of trafficking cases.
Prosecutors' ability to protect other witnesses in
trafficking cases is generally limited to withholding
of personal data from court records. Victims'
depositions may be used in Polish criminal cases even
where defense counsel have not had the opportunity to
be present or cross-examine witnesses; the Prosecutor's
office indicates that it is likely that any defendant's
appeal of a conviction based on such evidence to the
European Court of Human Rights would be successful.
Polish Border Guards also have the ability to use
advanced law-enforcement techniques but find a shortage
of resources limiting their effectiveness in
investigating TIP (which is not their primary
function). According to the NGO La Strada, Polish
authorities lack sufficient resources to investigate
and prosecute the majority of trafficking cases
originating in Poland. In the past, they prosecuted
cases that involved persons deported from Germany, but
increasingly, cases now involve traffickers apprehended
in Poland.

23H. Incoming border guards and police officers now
receive some training on the subject of trafficking.
Specialized training led by La Strada is conducted at
the national law-enforcement training facility for
selected personnel. This training involves role-play
simulations, legal exercises, film showings, and other
awareness-building exercises. Prosecutors throughout
Poland have also taken part in training, including
courtroom simulations with volunteer judges. As part
of the National Anti-Trafficking Action Plan, 13 of the
16 Polish provinces had regional trainings in which
police, border guards, justice officials, and social
workers received training together on how to detect and
assist trafficking victims in their regions. This
training is led by La Strada and Ministry of Interior
officials. The remaining three provinces will receive
their training in 2006.

23I. Poland cooperates enthusiastically with other
countries in trafficking cases and the repatriation of
victims, especially with its closest neighbors. The
main barrier to increased multinational investigations
is a lack of funds. In October 2005, the GOP hosted an
international conference, financed by EU funds, for law
enforcement officials from neighboring countries to
address the growing problem of forced labor. Also
during the year, the British government financed an
anti-trafficking international conference where law
enforcement officials from Ukraine, Moldova, and
Belarus received training from their Polish
counterparts on how to detect, prevent, and assist
victims of trafficking.

23J. The Polish constitution prohibits extradition of
Polish citizens. However, since Poland's entry to the
EU, citizens may be removed to other EU countries under
a "European Arrest Warrant," despite the constitutional
bar. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affair's
Consular Department, there were no trafficking-related
extraditions either to or from Poland in 2005.
23K. Although the GOP is generally not tolerant of
trafficking, there continue to be some credible
accusations of lax attitudes among some officials and
abuses, including sexual harassment, by individual
police officers. This may be attributed to corruption
and/or a lack of awareness among rank-and-file officers
of the true nature of trafficking and the predicament
of victims.

23L. There is no evidence that governmental authorities
condone or are otherwise complicit in trafficking
activities. GOP law-enforcement agencies are actively
increasing their capacity to detect and apprehend
criminal groups involved in trafficking. There are
unconfirmed reports that local police have taken bribes
to ignore known trafficking activity. If any such
cases were determined to have merit, rules call for the
offender to be automatically suspended pending an
investigation. To date, there have been no cases of law-
enforcement officials punished for trafficking-related
corruption.

23M. According to the Nobody's Children Foundation, the
leading Polish NGO dealing with trafficking in
children, sex tourism has not been identified as a
problem in Poland. They deal with approximately four
cases of trafficked children per year, and have
determined that Poland is primarily a transit country
for child trafficking victims.

23N. The GOP ratified the ILO Convention 182 on August
9, 2002, and Conventions 29 and 105 (forced labor) on
July 30, 1958. The Optional Protocol to the Convention
on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was signed on February
13, 2002. The UN Trafficking Protocol (Palermo
Protocol) was signed by the Government of Poland on
December 12, 2000, and ratified on September 26, 2003.
On September 10, 2004, the Polish Sejm passed a bill
ratifying the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on
the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child
Prostitution and Pornography (of May 25, 2000). The
ratification bill was signed by the President on
December 31, 2004, and entered into force on March 4,

2005. The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish
Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children,
supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational
Organized Crime entered into force on December 25,

2003.


5. (SBU) PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS: Answers
keyed to Para 24 of REFTEL A
-------------- --------------

24A. Polish law allows foreign victims to remain in
Poland legally during the investigation and trial of
their traffickers. Also, during the year, the Law on
Aliens was amended to provide for a reflection period
during which foreign trafficking victims are allowed to
stay legally in Poland while deliberating whether or
not to participate in the prosecution of their
traffickers. Additional legislation has been enacted to
allow for videoconference testimony from abroad. Polish
victims are eligible for various welfare services.
Foreign victims are not eligible for public welfare
services, however, for the first time ever, the GOP
allocated national funding for victim assistance in

2005. This money, approximately $80,000, was provided
to La Strada for use in the shelter they opened in
2004, as well as for the care of victims they do not
house. An increased amount, of approximately $160,000,
was also allocated for victim's assistance in 2006.
During 2005, La Strada assisted 230 victims, of which
approximately 30 percent were foreigners.

24B. The GOP has significantly increased the dollar
amount of its funding to La Strada to support victims.
This funding, approximately $80,000 in 2005 and
$160,000 in 2006 comes from the national budget through
the Ministry of Interior. The Center for Women's Rights
and shelters operated by Caritas and other Catholic
organizations receive funding from local governments.
The City of Warsaw allocated approximately $25,000 in
2005 to partially fund La Strada's crisis intervention
center and victim's assistance programs. The national
government also provides funds to address AIDS
prevention and domestic violence.

24C. La Strada and Caritas Polska both indicate that
they are pleased with the degree of cooperation between
Polish law-enforcement and victim assistance
organizations. When identified, victims are typically
referred to the nearest assistance point in Poland. The
Polish government is devoting significant resources to
training law enforcement officials so that they are
able to easily identify and assist trafficking victims.

24D. Border guards and police sometimes regard victims
of trafficking as criminals who have violated passport
laws. However, according to government and NGO sources,
increased training has markedly improved this
situation, and most rank-and-file officers now
understand the difference between smuggling and
trafficking. Polish law continues to require that
anyone found within the territory of Poland in an
"illegal" status be deported to the country of origin.
However, legislation enacted in late 2005 provides for
a "reflection period" of two months during which a
trafficking victim is permitted to remain in Poland,
receive support and assistance, and decide whether to
cooperate in an investigation. Victims who decide not
to cooperate would be returned to their countries of
origin, but in such a way as to attempt to shield them
from contact with traffickers.

24E. The Polish government encourages and facilitates
victim participation in investigations and
prosecutions. As indicated above, victims, regardless
of their legal status, may now remain in country to
assist in the investigations of traffickers. This legal
authority was used successfully for the 37 foreign
victims who participated in the prosecution of their
traffickers in 2005. Polish authorities have not
encouraged victims to file civil suits or otherwise
take legal action against traffickers. Increasingly,
NGOs are working to enhance victims' access to legal
service and inform them of their rights. Post knows of
no victim restitution program other than repatriation
of foreign victims.

24F. The government provides victim assistance through
the local NGO La Strada, which currently receives
funding from the national government specifically for
the care of trafficking victims. Other NGOs such as
Caritas and the Nobody's Children Foundation also
provide victim assistance throughout Poland. According
to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if a Polish victim
requests assistance abroad, the Ministry has a list of
local NGOs that can support the victims, as well as
funds to help the victims return safely to Poland.

24G. Through a cooperative arrangement between the
Polish Ministries of Interior and Administration and
Foreign Affairs, extensive formal training for consular
officials in Polish embassies and consulates abroad is
regularly conducted. GOP officials encourage their
embassies to develop relationships with anti-
trafficking organizations in transit and source
countries.

24H. While there is no specific government assistance
set aside for repatriated nationals who are victims of
trafficking abroad, such persons are eligible for
standard unemployment and welfare benefits, and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates with NGOs to
identify repatriated Polish victims of trafficking for
assistance. NGOs allow repatriated victims to
participate in assistance programs and utilize shelters
following their return to Poland.

24I. Numerous international, national, and local
organizations are involved in anti-trafficking
initiatives in Poland, and the NGO community remains at
the forefront of Poland's anti-trafficking efforts.
International organizations such as the United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime, UNHCR, International
Organization on Migration, and OSCE are closely
involved in anti-trafficking initiatives in Poland.
NGOs active in the fight against trafficking include,
La Strada, CARITAS, Temida Association of Lawyers,
Barka Foundation for Mutual Assistance, and the Center
for Women's Rights. Prestigious academic institutions
such as the Jagiellonian University of Krakow,
University of Zielona Gora, and the University of
Warsaw are also involved in anti-trafficking education
and policy-making. These institutions work closely with
local authorities, and the relationship between NGOs
and the national government is, by all accounts,
excellent. NGO training and projects continue to be the
most effective method to enhance Poland's overall anti-
trafficking capacity.


6. POLAND'S TIP HERO

Stana Buchowska, co-founder of La Strada Poland,
celebrated ten years of regional leadership and
activism in the fight against trafficking in persons in
Central and Eastern Europe in September 2005. She and
her staff, comprised of a few dedicated full-time
employees and many volunteers, continue to run the only
shelter in Poland exclusively for trafficking victims
trying to rebuild their lives. La Strada provides
trafficking victims, regardless of nationality, with
psychological counseling, medical attention,
reemployment training, access to legal representation,
and countless other services under the auspices of
their crisis prevention and social rehabilitation
programs.

Ms. Buchowska is both a skilled, attentive practitioner
and an effective lobbyist for her cause. She works on
a daily basis with Polish law enforcement officials who
identify trafficking victims and deliver them to her
capably equipped staff. She also sits on the Polish
interagency Anti-Trafficking working group and pushes
her government to do even more to help. Ms. Buchowska
and her organization have developed such a reputation
for excellence and commitment that this year, the
Government of Poland decided to directly fund La
Strada's activities for the first time ever, allocating
over $250,000 dollars over two years to be spent
exclusively on victim's assistance. Ms. Buchowska
travels extensively throughout the region to La Strada
partner organizations, regional conferences, and to
conduct trainings in Poland's neighboring countries. La
Strada has long been considered the primary Polish
source of information on trends, statistics, and other
trafficking in persons-related issues. La Strada is
viewed as a model for nascent civil societies beginning
to involve themselves in the fight against trafficking.

Ms. Buchowska is a member of the Global Alliance
Against Trafficking in Women, as well as the recipient
of multiple awards for her service to her local,
national, and global communities. Stana Buchowska is a
dynamic, yet humble, anti-trafficking hero.

NOTE: Stana Buchowska's name, date of birth, and
nationality were cleared by RSO, CONS, and LegAtt here
at post. No derogatory information has been found.


7. (SBU) POST COMMENT: The government of Poland fully
complies with the minimum standards for elimination of
trafficking and has demonstrated a political commitment
to improving its anti-TIP programs and cooperation
among agencies, NGOs, international organizations and
other parties of interest. The GOP has increased
training for police, prosecutors and other front-line
personnel; continued (and increased) cooperation with
neighboring states to combat traffickers; continued
anti-corruption training programs; adopted a new law
permitting trafficking victims to remain legally in
Poland to assist in investigations and prosecutions;
continued positive development of the National Action
Plan and National Working Group; and pursued creative,
effective strategies designed to incorporate
international and EU definitions related to trafficking
and minors into the Polish legal framework, even where
legislation has not yet been enacted to conform Polish
criminal and civil law. The Polish government has also
demonstrated a financial commitment to assisting
Trafficking victims through the funds allocated to the
National Action Plan. Statistics pertaining to
investigations, arrests and prosecutions show a
continued commitment to quality investigations and
prosecutions. Based on Poland's continued progress and
commitment to combating trafficking, Post strongly
supports the continued inclusion of Poland in Tier I.
ASHE