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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BERLIN307 2009-03-16 05:43:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Berlin
Cable title:  

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - INTERPRETING THE STATISTICS

Tags:   KTIP KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB GM 
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1. (SBU) Summary: According to preliminary 2007 statistics provided
by the Federal Statistics Office, 95 individuals were sentenced for
human trafficking in cases where TIP was either the only crime, or
the severest of the crimes, they were sentenced for. 67 of the 95
individuals received suspended sentences (71%), but these suspended
sentences were only given to some of the persons sentenced to prison
terms of two years or less. Ten individuals received prison
sentences of between two and three years, and six individuals
received prison sentences between three and five years (none of
these sixteen sentences were suspended). These statistics do not
capture any cases in which offenders were sentenced for multiple
crimes, but among which the trafficking violation did not have the
severest penalty of the crimes for which they were sentenced.
Therefore, the German trafficking statistics under-represent the
total number of traffickers sentenced. In practice, German
prosecutors seek to prosecute TIP offenders by whatever means
possible, often prosecuting for other crimes such as human
smuggling, tax evasion, or forgery if they believe these other
charges have a higher chance of resulting in a conviction. End
Summary.


TIP Statistics for 2007


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





2. (SBU) According to preliminary numbers proved by the Federal
Statistics Office (StaB), German authorities prosecuted 155 persons
for sex trafficking under Section 232 in 2007, the last year for
which statistics are available. Of those, 123 were convicted,
including 11 persons under the juvenile justice system. Of the
remaining 112, 95 persons received prison sentences and 17 were
required to pay a fine. Of the 95 persons sentenced to prison, 89
were sentenced to two years of prison or less and 67 of these 89 had
their sentences suspended (71 percent of the total 95). Twelve of
the 89 persons sentenced to two years of prison or less did not have
their sentence suspended. Ten persons received prison sentences of
two to three years and six persons received prison sentences of
between three and five years.



3. (SBU) Sections 233 and 233(a) only became effective in 2005 and,
due to the time-intensive nature of labor trafficking
investigations, German prosecution and sentencing statistics for
2007 do not reflect the full scope of German efforts to bring labor
traffickers to justice. Nevertheless, it is clear that the extent
of labor TIP prosecutions is significantly less than sex
trafficking. German authorities prosecuted 13 persons under Section
233 in 2007. Of those, 8 persons were convicted, including two
persons under the juvenile justice system. Of the remaining six, 3
received prison sentences of less than two years (two received 6-9
months and one between one and two years) and were required to pay a
fine. All of those sentences were suspended.


Statistics Do Not Reflect Severity of Sentences


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

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4. (U) StaB's methodology does not break down multiple convictions.
As a result, the statistics fail to capture the full scope of German
efforts to bring traffickers to justice. The TIP statistics do not
include cases where human traffickers were convicted on multiple
charges in which one of the charges, such as rape or murder, carries
a higher maximum proscribed penalty. As a hypothetical example, the
nature of the German statistics is such that a person successfully
prosecuted for rape and TIP, who received prison sentences of eight
and six years, respectively, would likely receive an overall
sentence of around 11 years, but this judgement would not appear at
all in the TIP section of the statistics (it would only appear in
the statistics under the Rape category). Therefore, the trafficking
statistics under-represent the total number of traffickers
sentenced.


Number of suspended sentences misleading


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





5. (SBU) The statistics indicate that a majority of traffickers
sentenced to prison received suspended sentences in 2007. German
prosecutors are required to pursue legal action against all

BERLIN 00000307 002 OF 002


individuals accused of trafficking offenses, regardless of their
level of involvement. As a result, German prosecution of TIP crimes
is broad and many of the individuals who received suspended
sentences played auxiliary roles in TIP crimes and were not the
central figures in trafficking rings. Martin Links, a prosecutor
from Frankfurt (Organized Crime Division), told Embassy staff that
the threshold for criminal liability in TIP crimes is actually quite
low. Links described the case of a person who accompanied
trafficked women to a government office in order to register them as
residents and receive residency documentation. On the basis of this
activity, the individual was prosecuted under the Aiding TIP
statute. In another case, a woman provided lingerie to trafficked
women made to work in the sex industry and she was also prosecuted
for aiding and abetting TIP. The statistics group together and do
not differentiate between convictions for trafficking, aiding,
abetting, and attempted trafficking.


German sentencing practices


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





6. (U) The maximum sentence for TIP is 10 years, while the maximum
sentence for rape is open-ended. If a perpetrator commits a number
of different crimes (e.g., trafficking, smuggling and rape) an
aggregated sentence is formed. According to the Penal Code, the
aggregate sentence shall be less than the sum of the individual
sentences. It shall not, in the case of imprisonment for a fixed
term, exceed fifteen years. The total sentence is determined on a
case by case basis and is not based on a purely mathematical
formula. In practice, judges often increase the highest individual
sentence by half of the sum of all the other individual sentences
combined.


7. (SBU) It is standard German practice for judges to suspend prison
sentences of two years or less for all crimes, not just TIP crimes.
But suspension of prison sentences of two years or less is not
automatic. Links explained that the Penal Code allows for sentences
between one and two years to be suspended only if certain
requirements are met. Nevertheless, those who receive suspended
sentences are generally required to perform community service, pay
fines, and/or meet regularly with a parole officer. According to a
study commissioned by the German Institute for Economic Research
(DIW), 92 percent of individuals who received prison sentences (for
all crimes) of two years or less had their sentences suspended. By
this metric, the use of suspended sentences in TIP crimes is well
below the average.


8. (U) This message has been coordinated with ConGen Hamburg.

KOENIG