Viewing cable 07REYKJAVIK49, SEVENTH ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP)
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|07REYKJAVIK49||2007-03-01 17:05||2011-01-13 05:05||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Reykjavik|
VZCZCXRO2214 OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG DE RUEHRK #0049/01 0601759 ZNR UUUUU ZZH O 011759Z MAR 07 FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3167 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 REYKJAVIK 000049 SIPDIS SENSITIVE, SIPDIS DEPT FOR EUR/NB:JMAHER, G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, AND EUR/PGI STATE PASS USAID E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PHUM KCRM KWMN ELAB SMIG ASEC KFRD PREF IC SUBJECT: SEVENTH ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT FOR ICELAND REF: 06 STATE 202745 ¶1. (SBU) Embassy point of contact on the trafficking in persons (TIP) issue is Political Officer Brad Evans, tel. +354-562-9100x2294, fax +354-562-9139, unclassified e-mail EvansBR@state.gov. From February 20 until April 1, point of contact is Economic Officer Fiona Evans, tel. +354-562- 9100x2295, fax +354-562-9139, unclassified e-mail EvansFS@state.gov. Hours spent on preparation: - Polofficer (FS 03) 20 hrs - Econofficer (FS 03) 8 hrs - Polassistant 60 hrs - DCM 2 hrs Total: 90 hrs The following questions and answers correspond to the format provided reftel. ¶2. (SBU) Overview of a country's activities to eliminate trafficking in persons: -- A. Is the country a country of origin, transit, or destination for international trafficked men, women, or children? Provide, where possible, numbers or estimates for each group; how they were trafficked, to where, and for what purpose. Does the trafficking occur within the country's borders? Does it occur in territory outside of the government's control (e.g. in a civil war situation)? Are any estimates or reliable numbers available as to the extent or magnitude of the problem? What is (are) the source(s) of available information on trafficking in persons or what plans are in place (if any) to undertake documentation of trafficking? How reliable are the numbers and these sources? Are certain groups of persons more at risk of being trafficked (e.g. women and children, boys versus girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, etc.)? There were no confirmed cases of trafficking in the reporting period. There were a handful of alleged victims. There were isolated cases of destination and theoretically cases of origin as well. Putative cases fall into several categories: undocumented Eastern European workers in construction and manufacturing; 'mail-order' or 'Internet' brides (both Eastern European and Asian) trapped with abusive, controlling Icelandic husbands; and underpaid and/or mistreated workers in nightclubs and massage parlors. The only information available on TIP is hearsay. Post's sources (especially NGOs) maintain that TIP does exist in Iceland. NGOs know of concrete examples of trafficking, yet they cannot give an accurate estimate of how widespread TIP is in Iceland. There are no plans to undertake documentation of trafficking. There is concern that undocumented foreign workers in Iceland's booming construction sector may be exploited. Most sources stress that the men willingly work illegally in Iceland in order to make up to four times the normal income in their Eastern-European/Baltic home countries and opine that these are cases of immigrant and employment law violations rather than trafficking in persons. The 'victims' enter the country on tourist visas or as Schengen zone residents and proceed to work without obtaining work permits. Judging by anecdotal evidence from press accounts, such cases may number in the dozens, but no Icelandic institution has undertaken a formal estimate. The number of strip clubs in the Greater Reykjavik area started decreasing in 2003 when changes in local regulations to outlaw lap dances was enacted. In the past year two erotic nightclubs have been opened in prominent downtown Reykjavik locations, raising suspicions among activists that prostitution and possibly trafficking could be on the upswing again. -- B. Please provide a general overview of the trafficking situation in the country and any changes since the last TIP Report (e.g. changes in direction). Also briefly explain the political will to address trafficking in persons. Other REYKJAVIK 00000049 002 OF 010 items to address may include: What kind of conditions are the victims trafficked into? Which populations are targeted by the traffickers? Who are the traffickers? What methods are used to approach victims? (Are they offered lucrative jobs, sold by their families, approached by friends of friends, etc.?) What methods are used to move the victims (e.g., are false documents being used?). As in previous years, suspected trafficking cases are spoken of anecdotally rather than as part of a broader trend of confirmed cases. TIP awareness had faded into the background for a few years after tougher local regulations were enacted to clamp down on strip clubs. On May 1, 2006 restrictions on the free flow of labor from the 10 new EEA/EU countries were removed, allowing citizens of these countries to enter Iceland and obtain residence permits without first having a confirmed employment-based permit to be in the country (as is the case for non-EEA/EU nationals). The free flow of labor has facilitated the entry of Eastern European and Baltic citizens, with a steep rise in the number of people coming from these countries. At the end of 2006 there were 18,327 foreign citizens with legal residence in Iceland, or 6 percent of the total population, but sources suggest that many foreign workers go underreported. With this heavy inflow of labor, concerns have been raised that it is likely more problematic to keep track of possible instances of human trafficking than before. In the reporting period the media paid attention to less-than-ideal and often unsanitary housing for foreign workers. Political will: The government, most notably the Minister of Justice, has declared its opposition to TIP and its intent to combat the problem in the broader scheme of efforts to deal with the threat of transnational crime (including reorganization of police districts and increases in intelligence and analytical units that could have an impact on TIP -- see below). The Ministry of Justice has designated its Head of Legal Affairs as the primary government point of contact on TIP issues, and this official enjoys good relations with the law enforcement and NGO communities. That said, the government has not carried out a formal survey of the problem and has no apparent plans to do so. The government emphasizes the role that its other efforts against transnational crime play in combating TIP, but has thus far been reluctant to expend assets in TIP-specific directions. Post believes this is in some ways an understandable result of the small size of most government institutions in the country (the entire population of Iceland is roughly 300,000). TIP has been raised in parliament on a handful of occasions during the reporting period, though an opposition-sponsored bill to increase protections and services for TIP victims looks unlikely to pass in this legislative session. In a recent case highlighting the broad anti-TIP consensus here, a planned four-day-gathering of pornography industry moguls in Reykjavik in March 2007 caused outrage among all segments of Icelandic society, including NGOs, the national government and the Reykjavik City Council. Minister of Trade and Industry Jon Sigurdsson said of the conference: "We have no assurances that this is not a case of modern day slavery. People talk of human trafficking. I would rather talk of it as slavery...it is intolerable." The conference was cancelled three weeks prior to its start when the hotel cancelled the reservations of the group and the organizers could not find a new location on such short notice. -- C. What are the limitations on the government's ability to address this problem in practice? For example, is funding for police or other institutions inadequate? Is overall corruption a problem? Does the government lack the resources to aid victims? Iceland consistently ranked in independent surveys as one of the world's least corrupt societies. Funding for police and other institutions that are on the TIP front lines is adequate for a reactive approach but inadequate to fund active measures to prevent potential new cases. These efforts got a boost on January 1, 2007, with the launch of an intelligence and analytical unit within the office of the National Police Commissioner, intended to strengthen REYKJAVIK 00000049 003 OF 010 proactive measures to combat international organized crime that might expand into Iceland, including TIP. Also on January 1, realignment of police districts in the greater Reykjavik area came into effect with the hope that consolidated resources will increase efficiency within police districts and improve communication and response in complex investigations, including prostitution and human trafficking cases. Programs to provide emergency shelter and crime victim compensation, which in theory could be used to help TIP victims, have rarely been tested in the trafficking context. -- D. To what extent does the government systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts -- prosecution, prevention and victim protection) and periodically make available, publicly or privately and directly or through regional/international organizations, its assessments of these anti-trafficking efforts? There is no systematic government monitoring of anti- trafficking efforts as such ? i.e., none beyond ordinary recordkeeping as to laws proposed and passed. Primary responsibility for anti-trafficking work lies with the Ministry of Justice, which oversees the police, courts, and border control authorities. The MOJ's Director of Legal Affairs serves as the primary TIP Point of Contact for the government and has coordination responsibility within the government (e.g., with the Ministries of Social Welfare and Foreign Affairs on victim protection and international obligations, respectively; and with other law enforcement and judicial authorities under the authority of the MOJ) and outside the government (e.g., with NGOs and activist groups). This designation of the MOJ as lead government agency on the issue was consolidated in the summer of 2006. The MOJ has initiated an all-party TIP working group for the purposes of coordination between state and non- governmental actors as well as liaison with other Nordic and Baltic countries on the issue. The working group is discussing the means available for a systematic survey of the TIP problem as well as anti-TIP efforts. ¶3. (SBU) PREVENTION: -- A. Does the government acknowledge that trafficking is a problem in that country? If no, why not? Government officials acknowledge that Iceland, despite its geographic isolation and privileged, homogeneous population, is not wholly unique and thus probably has a trafficking problem. They are, however, hard-pressed to supply examples of specific cases and maintain that Iceland does not suffer from the same TIP problem as other Nordic and Baltic countries. -- B. Which government agencies are involved in anti- trafficking efforts and which agency, if any, has the lead? The following agencies are involved in anti-trafficking efforts: -- Ministry of Justice (including the Directorate of Immigration, State Prosecutor's Office, and National Commissioner of Police and local police forces -- including as of January 1, 2007, the Keflavik Airport Police Commissioner, previously under the authority of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs): lead agency. Ragna Arnadottir, Director of Legal Affairs at the MOJ, is the national Point of Contact on TIP issues. -- Ministry for Foreign Affairs -- Ministry of Social Affairs (including the Equal Rights Office and Directorate of Labor) -- C. Are there, or have there been, government-run anti- trafficking information or education campaigns? If so, briefly describe the campaign(s), including their objectives and effectiveness. Do these campaigns target potential trafficking victims and/or the demand for trafficking (e.g. "clients" of prostitutes or beneficiaries of forced labor). There has been no Icelandic government public outreach or information campaign on TIP in the reporting period. The government has carried out information campaigns regarding the change in labor laws to allow free movement of workers from the new Eastern European and Baltic member states of the EU. These campaigns (largely through print media and REYKJAVIK 00000049 004 OF 010 posters/flyers in government offices such as the Directorates of Immigration and Labor Affairs) targeted both employers (to inform them of their responsibility to request work permits for their immigrant employees) as well as immigrant employees (to inform them of their rights and obligations under Icelandic labor law, which are the same as those of Icelandic citizens). These efforts were supported by Iceland's major labor unions. -- D. Does the government support other programs to prevent trafficking? (e.g., to promote women's participation in economic decision-making or efforts to keep children in school.) Please explain. There are no government trafficking-prevention programs as such. -- E. What is the relationship between government officials, NGOs, other relevant organizations and other elements of civil society on the trafficking issue? NGO representatives complain that the government does not invite their participation in the early stages of legislative drafting and policy planning. Government officials express the view that inviting civil society to comment on fully-drawn proposals ought to be sufficient. In spite of this tension, individual relationships within the small circle of those who regularly work on this issue are cordial and professional. A working group consisting of representatives from NGOs and the government ? one from sexual abuse crisis center "Stigamot," one from the country's sole Women's Shelter, and the government's national POC on trafficking issues (from the Ministry of Justice) ? was established in January 2007. The group also has associate members from other NGOs and government agencies, including representatives from the Keflavik District Police Commissioner's office whose jurisdiction includes Keflavik International airport (Iceland's only international airport). It will oversee and keep track of what is being done to prevent and fight TIP in Iceland, by guaranteeing the flow of information through direct communications channels with institutions and NGOs. The working group will also work on improving conditions, the rehabilitation and repatriation of TIP victims if necessary. The working group will report on its activities to the European Women's Lobby. The working group is also planning to prepare a booklet with TIP information for distribution at municipal social service centers. -- F. Does the government monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking? Do law enforcement agencies screen for potential trafficking victims along borders? The government monitors immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking; and screens for potential trafficking victims at Keflavik International Airport. The country has no land borders. -- G. Is there a mechanism for coordination and communication between various agencies, internal, international, and multilateral on trafficking-related matters, such as a multi-agency working group or a task force? Does the government have a trafficking in persons working group or single point of contact? Does the government have a public corruption task force? There is no purely domestic anti-trafficking task force; nor is there a public corruption task force. However, government representatives on the anti-TIP working group (see point E above) coordinate their activities in advance of the working group meetings. The Ministry of Justice's Director of Legal Affairs is the national Point of Contact on TIP issues. -- H. Does the government have a national plan of action to address trafficking in persons? If so, which agencies were involved in developing it? Were NGOs consulted in the process? What steps has the government taken to disseminate the action plan? Iceland does not have a national plan of action to address TIP. In 2003 the Minister of Justice and Minister of Social Affairs, along with her Nordic counterparts, agreed to prepare a national plan of action to address TIP before the REYKJAVIK 00000049 005 OF 010 end of 2005. The government's plans have languished and the delays have resulted in some criticism from the opposition parties in parliament, most recently in January ¶2007. The current Minister of Justice has said that actions speak louder than action plans, and that he feels that current actions are adequate to meet the problem, pointing to such actions as stepped-up police readiness to combat international organized crime through increased allocations to national police offices dealing with international cooperation and intelligence analysis, as well as the merging of police districts in the greater Reykjavik area to pool resources for complex investigations such as TIP. As a result, the capital area police now have their first multi-officer investigative unit devoted to sexual abuse and prostitution cases, a mandate which also includes cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation. ¶4. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS: -- A. Does the country have a law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons--both for sexual and non-sexual purposes (e.g. forced labor)? If so, please specifically cite the name of the law and its date of enactment? Does the law(s) cover both internal and external (transnational) forms of trafficking? If not, under what other laws can traffickers be prosecuted? For example, are there laws against slavery or the exploitation of prostitution by means of force, fraud or coercion? Are these other laws being used in trafficking cases? Are these laws, taken together, adequate to cover the full scope of trafficking in persons? Please provide a full inventory of trafficking laws, including civil penalties against alleged trafficking crimes, (e.g., civil forfeiture laws and laws against illegal debt). Passed into law March 10, 2003, Article 227a of Iceland?s General Penal Code outlaws trafficking in persons. The government has not yet brought any prosecutions under it, choosing instead to use General Penal Code Articles 57 and 155, which outlaw alien smuggling and document forgery, respectively. -- B. What are the penalties for trafficking people for sexual exploitation? Trafficking of persons for sexual exploitation is punishable by up to eight years in prison. -- C. Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses: What are the prescribed and imposed penalties for trafficking for labor exploitation, such as forced or bonded labor and involuntary servitude? Do the government's laws provide for criminal punishment -- i.e. jail time -- for labor recruiters in labor source countries who engage in recruitment of laborers using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers that result in workers being exploited in the destination country? For employers or labor agents in labor destination countries who confiscate workers' passports or travel documents, switch contracts without the worker's consent as a means to keep the worker in a state of service, or withhold payment of salaries as means of keeping the worker in a state of service? If law(s) prescribe criminal punishments for these offenses, what are the actual punishments imposed on persons convicted of these offenses? Trafficking of persons for forced labor is punishable by up to eight years in prison. The laws provide for criminal punishment for anyone who procures, removes, houses or accepts someone who has been subjected to unlawful restraint, deprived of freedom, threat, or unlawful deception by awakening, strengthening or utilizing his/her lack of understanding of the person concerned about circumstances or other inappropriate method. The same penalty shall be applied to a person accepting payment or other gain. -- D. What are the prescribed penalties for rape or forcible sexual assault? How do they compare to the prescribed and imposed penalties for crimes of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation? Rape is punishable by up to 16 years in prison, but even especially brutal rapes rarely draw sentences of more than six years, with one or two years' imprisonment more common. REYKJAVIK 00000049 006 OF 010 As there have been no prosecutions for sex trafficking in Iceland it is impossible to compare actual penalties. -- E. Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized? Specifically, are the activities of the prostitute criminalized? Are the activities of the brothel owner/operator, clients, pimps, and enforcers criminalized? Are these laws enforced? If prostitution is legal and regulated, what is the legal minimum age for this activity? Note that in many countries with federalist systems, prostitution laws may be covered by state, local, and provincial authorities. Prostitution in Iceland is illegal as a main source of income. It is permissible for individuals to engage in isolated sales of sex, however, as long as both parties are at least 18 years old. The activities of clients are not criminalized. It is illegal for any third party to earn his or her income from someone's prostitution (the exact term in the law is "promiscuity"), e.g. by pimping or renting out premises. The government introduced a bill in parliament on October 4 that would make prostitution legal even as a main source of income but would ban its advertisement. It is not clear whether the bill will pass into law before the Althingi (parliament) adjourns in March 2007. The opposition Left Green party has for several years introduced a bill in the Althingi to criminalize the activities of clients, as in Sweden, but the government has repeatedly blocked the bill's passage on the ground that Iceland does not confront the level of street prostitution seen in its Nordic neighbors. -- F. Has the government prosecuted any cases against traffickers? If so, provide numbers of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, including details on plea bargains and fines, if relevant and available. Does the government in a labor source country criminally prosecute labor recruiters who recruit laborers using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers or impose on recruited laborers inappropriately high or illegal fees or commissions that create a debt bondage condition for the laborer? Does the government in a labor destination country criminally prosecute employers or labor agents who confiscate workers' passports/travel documents, switch contracts or terms of employment without the worker's consent, use physical or sexual abuse or the threat of such abuse to keep workers in a state of service, or withhold payment of salaries as a means to keep workers in a state of service? Are the traffickers serving the time sentenced: If no, why not? Please indicate whether the government can provide this information, and if not, why not? (Note: complete answers to this section are essential. End Note) The Government has not prosecuted any cases against traffickers. In the one case (dating from 2005) wherein a massage parlor owner was convicted of exploiting a Chinese national employee in a way that could have been construed as human trafficking, the defendant was convicted of document forgery and required to pay damages to the victim. -- G. Is there any information or reports of who is behind the trafficking? For example, are the traffickers freelance operators, small crime groups, and/or large international organized crime syndicates? Are employment, travel, and tourism agencies or marriage brokers fronting for traffickers or crime groups to traffic individuals? Are government officials involved? Are there any reports of where profits from trafficking in persons are being channeled? (e.g. armed groups, terrorist organizations, judges, banks, etc.) The Ministry of Justice and police say they have no data on who is behind any alleged trafficking beyond individual business owners who themselves stand to profit. Due to the size and low visibility of the problem, Post is unable to obtain further information to determine whether there are notable trends in this regard. -- H. Does the government actively investigate cases of trafficking? (Again, the focus should be on trafficking cases versus migrant smuggling cases.) Does the government use active investigative techniques in trafficking in REYKJAVIK 00000049 007 OF 010 persons investigations? To the extent possible under domestic law, are techniques such as electronic surveillance, undercover operations, and mitigated punishment or immunity for cooperating suspects used by the government? Does the criminal procedure code or other laws prohibit the police from engaging in covert operations? Police are not permitted to engage in covert operations, but the government does use other active investigative techniques, including electronic surveillance. The law does not provide for immunity for cooperating suspects, but in practice deals do get made. In general, opportunities for mitigated punishment are de facto available, but there is no precedent to evaluate their use in trafficking cases. -- I. Does the government provide any specialized training for government officials in how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking? Students from the Icelandic National Police College annually participate in classes held by the Keflavik Airport Commissioner of Police and Customs that include instruction on recognizing and investigating human trafficking issues. Senior Keflavik officials have themselves been funded by the government to attend trafficking courses abroad, e.g. at the European Police Academy. --J. Does the government cooperate with other governments in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? If possible, can post provide the number of cooperative international investigations on trafficking? No such cooperation took place in the reporting period, but experience with other types of international crime, including alien and drug smuggling, suggests that such cooperation would be forthcoming if requested. -- K. Does the government extradite persons who are charged with trafficking in other countries? If so, can post provide the number of traffickers extradited? Does the government extradite its own nationals charged with such offenses? If not, is the government prohibited by law form extraditing its own nationals? If so, what is the government doing to modify its laws to permit the extradition of its own nationals? Iceland has not been asked to extradite a trafficking suspect to another country. Icelandic law does not permit extradition of Icelandic nationals, and no changes to the law are currently planned. -- L. Is there evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional level? If so, please explain in detail. No; not applicable. -- M. If government officials are involved in trafficking, what steps has the government taken to end such participation? Have any government officials been prosecuted for involvement in trafficking or trafficking- related corruption? Have any been convicted? What sentence(s) was imposed? Please provide specific numbers, if available. There is no evidence of government officials being involved in trafficking, and no government officials have ever been prosecuted or convicted for such activity. -- N. If the country has an identified child sex tourism problem (as source or destination), how many foreign pedophiles has the government prosecuted or deported/extradited to their country of origin? What are the countries of origin for sex tourists? Do the country's child sexual abuse laws have extraterritorial coverage (like the U.S. PROTECT Act)? If so, how many of the country's nationals have been prosecuted and/or convicted under the extraterritorial provision(s)? Not applicable. -- O. Has the government signed, ratified, and/or taken steps to implement the following international instruments? Please provide the date of signature/ratification if REYKJAVIK 00000049 008 OF 010 appropriate. --ILO Convention 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor. Ratified 5/29/2000. --ILO Convention 29 and 105 on Forced or Compulsory Labor. Convention 29 ratified 2/17/1958; Convention 105 ratified 11/29/1960. --The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography. Ratified 7/9/2001. --The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. Signed 12/13/2000. The Protocol is presently under review at the Ministry of Justice (along with the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which Iceland signed on May 16, 2005) to examine the need for further changes to Icelandic law once the two agreements are ratified. According to the MOJ's POC for trafficking issues, the Protocol, COE Convention, and any further legal changes will be cleared through the Icelandic interagency process and prepared in time to be submitted to the Althingi (parliament) during its next session starting October 2007. ¶5. PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS: -- A. Does the government assist victims, for example, by providing temporary to permanent residency status, relief from deportation, shelter and access to legal, medical and psychological services? If so, please explain. Does the country have victim care and victim health care facilities? Does the country have facilities dedicated to helping victims of trafficking? If so, can post provide the number of victims placed in these care facilities? There is no de jure provision for government assistance to TIP victims. In theory, municipal social services and medical care are available to victims as to other citizens and, thanks to reimbursements to municipalities from the Ministry of Social Affairs, foreigners. In cases involving unaccompanied children, municipal and state child protection services are responsible for assistance. The national and local governments may also refer to NGOs that provide food, shelter, legal advice, and health care. While there is also no de jure provision for grants of residence to TIP victims, in practice the Immigration Authority has used its discretion to offer permits to foreign women escaping abusive, exploitative marriages. In January 2007 a Nigerian woman was granted a residence permit on humanitarian grounds due to domestic abuse from her Icelandic husband. This was the first case of its kind, and while applauded by activists, the government's ad hoc decision was also criticized for not setting any clear framework for future similar cases. Neither government nor Embassy sources could identify any TIP victims assisted during the reporting period. An opposition-sponsored bill to institutionalize protections for TIP victims was introduced in December 2006 and is under parliamentary consideration, but its odds of passage look slim. Government officials have indicated that the law's provisions are unnecessary given the low number of alleged TIP victims and the fact that services can be made available to such individuals even without the law's passage. -- B. Does the government provide funding or other forms of support to foreign or domestic NGOs for services to victims? Please explain. The primary NGOs that provide services to victims of what REYKJAVIK 00000049 009 OF 010 may be trafficking receive considerable financial assistance from the government. The 2007 state budget allocates IKR 32.5 million (US $464,300) to the Women?s Shelter and IKR 31.5 million (US $450,000) to the Icelandic Counseling and Information Center for Survivors of Sexual Violence (Stigamot). Other NGOs have varying allocations from the state budget. One of those is the Women?s Advice Center, a legal clinic that will receive IKR 800,000 (US $ 11,400) in 2007. These funds are not specially earmarked for services to TIP victims. The government does not provide funding to foreign NGOs for services to victims. -- C. Do the government's law enforcement and social services personnel have a formal system of identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come in contact(e.g. foreign persons arrested for prostitution or immigration violations)? Is there a referral process in place, when appropriate, to transfer victims detained, arrested or placed in protective custody by law enforcement authorities to NGOs that provide short- or long-term care? Again it is unclear that there are any victims of trafficking per se, but the Icelandic Red Cross has in the past assisted persons alleged to have been smuggled. Such individuals have been housed in hostels and guesthouses in advance of their deportation. The government-sponsored TIP working group that includes government and NGO representatives has helped to further open lines of communication between these groups. NGOs that provide services that might be of use to TIP victims (e.g., the sexual abuse crisis center, the women's shelter) report that referrals and communication by police in possible cases of interest is generally improving. However, in one case that received media attention in September 2006, two Polish women were deported to their home country after police suspected them of prostitution. Public comments by police officials indicated that the women denied being TIP victims, while NGO representatives have complained that the women were not given access to social workers or counselors to determine whether or not they had been victims of abuse. -- D. Are the rights of victims respected, or are victims treated as criminals? Are victims detained, jailed, or deported? If detained or jailed, for how long? Are victims fined? Are victims prosecuted for violations of other laws, such as those governing immigration or prostitution? While there were no identified trafficking victims in the reporting period, possible trafficking victims have been prosecuted under laws governing immigration. Typically they have been detained and jailed for from 30 to 45 days in advance of deportation. The Keflavik Police Commissioner reported to post in 2006 that some have been offered residence in Iceland on compassionate grounds, but in every instance they have turned down the offer -- he believes because they are desperate to return to their countries of origin to arrange repayment of their traffickers in order to avoid violent retaliation against themselves and their families. However, he was not able to offer further evidence to support this speculation, and did not point to specific facts elicited during interviews with such individuals to support the claim. The same office reported no cases that aroused strong interest during this most recent reporting period. In the case of the two Polish women noted above, the women were in Iceland for less than two weeks while Reykjavik city police investigated their case. They were deported shortly after they were arrested and denied being victims of trafficking. -- E. Does the government encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking? May victims file civil suits or seek legal action against the traffickers? Does anyone impede the victims' access to such legal redress? If a victim is a material witness in a court case against a former employer, is the victim permitted to obtain other employment or to leave the country pending trial proceedings? Is there a victim restitution program? REYKJAVIK 00000049 010 OF 010 The government encourages victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking. Victims may file civil suits or seek legal action against the traffickers. No one impedes victims' access to such legal redress. There is no specific provision in the law to permit a material witness in a court case against a former employer to obtain other employment or leave the country; however, the government has adequate discretion to make such accommodations. There is no specific restitution program for victims for trafficking in persons, but there is one for victims of violence. -- F. What kind of protection is the government able to provide for victims and witnesses? Does it provide these protections in practice? What type of shelter or services does the government provide? Does it provide shelter or any housing benefits to victims or other resources to aid the victims in rebuilding their lives? Where are child victims placed (e.g. in shelters, foster-care, or juvenile justice detention centers)? Please see section 5A, above. -- G. Does the government provide any specialized training for government officials in recognizing trafficking and in the provision of assistance to trafficked victims, including the special needs of trafficked children? Does the government provide training on protections and assistance to its embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are destination or transit countries? Does it urge those embassies and consulates to develop ongoing relationships with NGOs that serve trafficked victims? The answer to each of these questions is no. That said, the Nordic Baltic Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings, of which Iceland is a member, intends to deepen the cooperation between Nordic and Baltic embassies in order to increase efforts to assist victims of trafficking and eradicate TIP. The Task Force also encourages the governments of the Nordic and Baltic states to develop networks that facilitate the exchange of information on trafficking trends and to educate the diplomatic corps working in countries of destination. -- H. Does the government provide assistance, such as medical aid, shelter, or financial help, to its repatriated nationals who are victims of trafficking? There have been no such cases identified in the reporting period. While repatriated nationals would benefit from the same social safety net as any other Icelander, there are no programs specifically for victims of trafficking. -- I. Which international organizations or NGOs, if any, work with trafficking victims? What type of services do they provide? What sort of cooperation do they receive from local authorities? NOTE: If post reports that a government is incapable of assisting and protecting TIP victims, then post should explain thoroughly. Funding, personnel, and training constraints should be noted, if applicable. Conversely, the lack of political will to address the problem should be noted as well. Please see 5A and 5B above for descriptions of government/NGO coordination on support to potential victims of trafficking. VAN VOORST