07TBILISI2708, G/TIP VISITS GEORGIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2708 2007-11-02 07:09 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6109
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2708/01 3060709
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020709Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8053
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002708 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: G/TIP VISITS GEORGIA 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 204 
 
     B. TBILISI 1764 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: In Tbilisi on October 22 and 23, G/TIP 
Officer Brittany Brown and EUR/PGI Officer Jody Buckneberg 
visited multiple NGOs and government agencies who comprise 
Georgia's joint effort to combat trafficking in persons 
(TIP).  Accompanied by Emboffs, Brown and Buckneberg 
discussed the TIP situation in Georgia, and continuing 
efforts to combat it, with the following agencies.  End 
Summary. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
NGOs: Awareness, Training, and Assistance 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) On October 22, G/TIP met with Georgian Young Lawyers 
Association (GYLA).  Primarily a tenacious government 
watchdog, GYLA is the implementing partner entering the last 
year of USAID's three-year "No to TIP!" project.  As such, 
GYLA has implemented significant training and public 
awareness campaigns throughout Georgia, working closely with 
the Prosecutor General's office and the police.  They 
recently adopted a four-year strategy to ensure GYLA's 
continued participation in combating TIP after USAID project 
wraps up. 
 
3. (U) Tanadgoma and the Anti-Violence Network (AVN) were 
next.  The two NGOs primarily provide support to victims of 
domestic violence and their families.  The director of AVN 
also heads the domestic violence shelter in Tbilisi.  In such 
capacity, and through personal relationships, AVN and 
Tanadgoma frequently encounter and assist TIP victims as 
well.  They provided space in their shelter until the second 
TIP victim shelter was opened by the State Fund to Combat TIP 
in September 2007.  They continue to provide professional 
assistance, victim care, and support information to families 
who need TIP assistance.  The director of AVN is a member of 
the five-person "Mobile Group" that responds to TIP cases 
under Georgia's National Referral Mechanism (ref A). 
 
4. (U) G/TIP then met with the OSCE.  Although their Anti-TIP 
(A-TIP) officer recently left to work for the International 
Labor Organization (ILO), the OSCE is running several small 
grant projects to NGOs working on A-TIP activities this year. 
 They also provide oversight to the Inter-agency Coordination 
Council to Combat Trafficking in Persons (ICC).  The OSCE is 
also preparing to fund a nation-wide TIP research study to be 
conducted with ILO over the coming months. 
 
5. (U) G/TIP met next with ILO, and their A-TIP officer who 
previously worked for the OSCE.  ILO is focusing on 
researching and addressing TIP for labor purposes.  In 
addition to the upcoming research study, ILO works on many 
other facets of TIP.  Among these other activities, they are 
exploring additional ways to further improve victim 
identification and working with labor unions to broaden A-TIP 
efforts. 
 
6. (U)  The final meeting on September 22 was with the 
International Organization for Migration (IOM).  IOM has been 
working on TIP issues in Georgia and the Caucasus since 2001. 
 They work heavily on victim identification and assistance, 
including repatriation issues and transnational assistance 
cases.  IOM also provides A-TIP training.  They believe the 
government is leading the charge against TIP and takes the 
issue very seriously.  Still, they acknowledge that sustained 
effort is necessary. 
 
---------------------------------- 
Government, State Fund, Shelter #2 
---------------------------------- 
 
7. (U) On October 23, the G/TIP team met with the Ambassador 
in the Embassy.  They discussed upcoming requirements for 
2008, including training of troops destined for peacekeeping 
missions overseas, proactively identifying victims, and 
addressing/determining demand for TIP victims. 
 
8. (U) The visitors then met with Embassy INL officer and 
Emboffs working border security issues and training.  The 
serious geological challenges facing Georgia's border 
security were detailed. 
 
9. (U) Next G/TIP met with the State Fund for Victim 
Protection and Assistance (SFVPA).  The director of the SFVPA 
has worked on TIP issues and domestic violence since 1998. 
The SFVPA primarily provides protection assistance to TIP 
victims.  They oversee the implementation of the 
Rehabilitation and Reintegration Strategy (ref B) and also 
oversee the management of both Georgian government TIP victim 
shelters.  In addition, the SFVPA oversees the national A-TIP 
 
TBILISI 00002708  002 OF 002 
 
 
hotline.  SFVPA has even begun sharing its experiences with 
other East European countries that are implementing their own 
A-TIP efforts. 
 
10. (SBU) The G/TIP officers then visited the second TIP 
victim shelter in Tbilisi (opened in September, the first has 
operated for more than one year in Batumi.)  They were able 
to visit with TIP victims, see the facilities, and speak with 
the staff.  The facility is s
ecure, newly renovated and 
clean, professionally-staffed with a nurse on-site, and is 
built to host up to 10 TIP victims at a time.  Three victims 
were currently residing there.  This second shelter enables 
TIP victims to more easily cooperate with investigations and 
prosecutions in the capital city.  Prior to this second 
shelter, TIP victims would stay at the domestic violence 
shelter in Tbilisi during any court proceedings.  (Note: The 
TIP victim's shelter is considerably bigger and better 
equipped than the city's lone, independently-operated 
domestic violence shelter.  End note.) 
 
11. (U) The next visit was to the Prosecutor General's (PG) 
office.  The Prosecutor General chairs the ICC and his office 
coordinates all A-TIP activities within the government, the 
ICC, and in conjunction with NGOs.  Naturally, the PG 
prosecutes trafficking cases, and provides statistics on TIP 
efforts. 
 
12. (U) The next stop was with the Ministry of Internal 
Affairs (MOIA).  The MOIA is the home of the Special 
Operations Department (SOD), which oversees and conducts TIP 
investigations.  The Deputy Minister advised that the MOIA 
continues to train its existing and new officers on TIP 
awareness.  They also continue to work proactively with all 
partner NGOs on TIP issues.  The Director of SOD confirmed 
that his investigators do proactively investigate suspected 
TIP recruiters, and that they do have regionally-based units, 
which work in the regions and not just in Tbilisi.  They are 
also working to involve their Community Police officers more 
in A-TIP efforts.  SOD works with the SFVPA to operate the 
national A-TIP hotline. 
 
13. (SBU) The final meeting was with Member of Parliament 
Lali Papiashvili.  Papiashvili was the author and sponsor of 
the benchmark A-TIP law in 2006.  She continues to champion 
A-TIP efforts throughout the ICC, the government, and with 
partner NGOs.  This year she also sponsored and passed a law 
prohibiting benefiting from a TIP victim.  She advised that 
this has been a difficult law to implement due to many gray 
areas of interpretation.  She is encouraging a joint effort 
with the ILO to help prepare employers to address this 
problem.  Still, she notes that TIP awareness and assistance 
is increasing, and that nationwide efforts are making 
progress.  Papiashvili is now trying to further tighten 
Georgia's A-TIP legislation regarding child prostitution, and 
by extension trafficking of children.  Officer Brown advised 
that G/TIP may be able to provide some examples of existing 
legislation governing child protection. 
TEFFT

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