WikiLeaks cable: GNZ shares draft of its action plan against human trafficking

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

April 10, 2007
GNZ shares draft of its action plan against human trafficking

date:2007-04-10T05:44:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:07WELLINGTON285
destination:VZCZCXYZ0001 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHWL #0285/01 1000544 ZNY
CCCCC ZZH R 100544Z APR 07 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE
WASHDC 4124 INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 1659 RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY
BRASILIA 0121 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 4808 RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA
LUMPUR 0167 RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0042 RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG
0123
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:07WELLINGTON191
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000285

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, EAP/ANP, EAP/RSP
E.O. 12958: DECL:...


?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000285

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, EAP/ANP, EAP/RSP
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2017
TAGS: KCRM, PHUM, KWMN, SMIG, KFRD, ASEC, PREF, ELAB, NZ
SUBJECT: GNZ SHARES DRAFT OF ITS ACTION PLAN AGAINST HUMAN
TRAFFICKING
REF: WELLINGTON 191

Classified By: DCM David Keegan,for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (SBU) Summary: On March 29, GNZ shared with DCM and Poloff a draft of its national action plan against human trafficking. From an operational standpoint, NZ government agencies already have an effective program in place to prevent trafficking. The "Action Plan" seeks to further improve interagency coordination, increase outreach to non-government stakeholders with existing or potential anti-trafficking roles, and raise public awareness of the dangers of trafficking. The Plan will be formally implemented by December 2007 following ministerial approval this April and subsequent public consultation. Data from GNZ's present enforcement and monitoring efforts, as well as from NZ programs that monitor all suspicious travel, suggest that New Zealand has little or no trafficking problem. By increasing its engagement with civil society, GNZ will reduce further New Zealand's risk of becoming a destination country by complementing existing government programs with joint private-public efforts to identify potential cases and assist victims. End summary.

"National Action Plan": (aka National Outreach Plan)

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2. (C) On March 29, GNZ officials delivered to DCM and Poloff a draft of New Zealand's long-anticipated national plan of action against human trafficking. Building on GNZ's existing competencies to detect and prevent human trafficking, the GNZ began developing the plan in December 2004 and implemented much of it at the same time the formal drafting was taking place. Through the planning process, GNZ has sought to enhance linkages between government agencies and improve engagement between government and civil society. The planning process followed extensive consultations with Embassy Wellington on trafficking issues in the wake of GNZ's first listing in the TIP Report in 2004. The Department of Labour took the lead in developing the plan, in consultation with the Ministries of Justice (MoJ) and Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). On April 4, the draft plan will be sent to the Foreign, Immigration, and Justice Ministers for their approval. It will then be the focus of a series of public consultations, including a national workshop of non-governmental organizations. GNZ officials have invited Emboffs and G/TIP to attend the workshop, with the date to be determined. GNZ expects the plan will be formally in place by December 2007.

3. (C) In handing over the plan, head of the IWG Arron Baker, National Manager - Border Security & Compliance Operations, Department of Labour, told us that the drafting of the action plan was "a process of developing awareness, of linking private and public interests, and of developing better intelligence from civil society." Indeed, the title of the plan, the National Plan of Action to Prevent People Trafficking (NPA), is something of a misnomer as it really is an outreach plan to improve coordination between Government and non-government stakeholders (such as NGOs, the travel industry, and academics) who have or could play an anti-trafficking role. The Plan also seeks to raise public awareness of the dangers of trafficking.

Monitoring for Trafficking: Part of a Surveillance Spectrum

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4. (C) To place the national plan of action in context, Arron Baker outlined GNZ's priorities with regard to illegal migration. First and foremost, GNZ places priority on national security. Second priority is the issue of smuggling and trafficking; third is to identify and punish individual immigration violations. Baker reminded us that NZ's successful counter-terrorism programs also position the GNZ to detect smuggling and trafficking cases.

Three Action Phases; One Already Complete

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5. (C) The NPA is divided into three phases. Phase One is substantially complete and involved government agencies establishing a common understanding of people trafficking and developing the essential elements of a national plan. Phase Two seeks to encourage civil society, particularly NGOs, to address human trafficking issues by enhancing government referral mechanisms and enhancing victim assistance, reintegration and -- as appropriate -- return. Target NGOs include the Help Foundation, NZ Prostitutes Collective, Shakti Community Council, Amnesty International, Salvation Army, Stop Demand and ECPAT. Under Phase Three, the GNZ will complete the plan's implementation and develop bilateral and multilateral agreements to prevent global trafficking. (Note: GNZ officials already cooperate with Indonesia and Sri Lanka on trafficking issues. End note.)

Phase One: Monitoring and Enforcement in Action

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6. (C) When GNZ began developing its action plan in December 2004, its monitoring and enforcement capabilities were substantially in place. The planning process seeks to extend and improve non-government stakeholder participation in identifying potential cases of trafficking and assisting victims. For example, New Zealand's continuing efforts to identify potential victims of trafficking begin upstream in potential source countries. New Zealand has an Advance Passenger Processing (APP) system that requires airlines to identify passengers who may be seeking to enter New Zealand illegally before they board an overseas flight. Airline representatives have received training from GNZ officials and the government-funded NGO ECPAT New Zealand on techniques to identify victims of trafficking and other illegal migration victims as well as perpetrators. The GNZ also has an Advanced Passenger Screening system (APS), through which GNZ Airline Liaison Officers (ALO) at posts overseas and officials in New Zealand screen flights prior to departure. Data from these systems are joined with U.S. and Australia data streams as part of the Regional movement Alert List (RMAL) program. The Department of Labour has offered to have Emboffs join GNZ officials in Auckland to observe screening techniques as applied against arriving flights.

7. (SBU) Monitoring for potential trafficking victims continues after passengers have arrived in New Zealand and clear immigration and customs, primarily through field investigations. Immigration, visa, border control and other law enforcement officers have been trained to identify potential trafficking victims using a common set of human trafficking indictors, which have also been incorporated into computer-based systems that help officials to spot potential cases. (Note: The GNZ's human trafficking indicators have been shared separately with EAP/ANP.)

8. (SBU) During the nine months from June 2006 to March 2007, New Zealand law enforcement officials conducted 1,300 investigations to identify illegal migration, including trafficking. The investigations included raids on horticultural workers as well as ten targeted raids on eight Auckland brothels suspected of employing foreign sex workers. Not a single trafficking case was found in any of the 1,300 investigations, although 31 illegal migrants were identified. Twenty-nine of the illegal migrants were found to have come from Hong Kong (8), South Korea (1) and Malaysia (20), all of which enjoy a visa free travel program with New Zealand. Although the number of illegal migrants remains small compared to the overall number of visa-free entrants, GNZrecognizes the need to prevent more wide-spread abuses. In the case of Malaysia, while migrants are circumventing border control, New Zealand Immigration is effectively identifying illegal migration cases through field compliance operations in New Zealand, such as brothel raids. GNZ will continue to monitor Malaysia's visa free travel status, and rescind it if that proves the only way to more effectively manage illegal migration from that country. In this regard, Thailand
provides a precedent. As a result of a half-dozen historic trafficking cases involving Thai sex workers in 1999 and 2001, GNZ removed Thailand's visa free travel status. Recent compliance operations have not identified Thai prostitutes working illegally in New Zealand. Moreover, GNZ compliance operations have not identified any illegal migrants from Brazil or the Czech Republic working in the sex industry or elsewhere in the economy, though both countries recently have
gained visa free status. (Note: There is some anecdotal reporting, albeit unconfirmed, that Brazilian and Czech sex workers are working illegally as prostitutes. End note.)

NZ's anti-trafficking program approaches maturity

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9. (C) New Zealand has implemented an enforcement and victim assistance regime that largely prevents illegal migrants from working in the sex trade and has discouraged human trafficking through an aggressive screening program overseas and investigative follow-up in New Zealand. The government, together with NGOs, now provides children at risk of underage prostitution and illegal migrants a range of services to prevent their exploitation or redress their exploitation when it occurs. By upgrading interagency cooperation and enhancing coordination with NGOs, GNZ will better position itself to prevent New Zealand becoming a destination country for human trafficking.

McCormick

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