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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Memorandum of Justification Consistent With the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, Regarding Determinations With Respect to "Tier 3" Countries


September 14, 2009

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Pursuant to Section 110(d) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (the “TVPA” or the “Act”), the President has made determinations regarding the 17 countries placed on Tier 3 in the Department of State’s 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report. The President has determined to sanction Burma, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Eritrea, Fiji, Iran, Syria, and Zimbabwe. The United States will not provide certain non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance to the Governments of Burma, Cuba, the DPRK, Eritrea, Fiji, Iran, Syria, and Zimbabwe until such governments comply with the Act’s minimum standards to combat trafficking or make significant efforts to do so. The United States will not provide funding for participation by officials or employees of the Government of Cuba in educational and cultural exchange programs until that government complies with the Act’s minimum standards to combat trafficking or makes significant efforts to do so. Furthermore, the President determined, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, that provision of certain assistance to the Governments of Burma, Eritrea, Fiji, Iran, Syria, and Zimbabwe would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. The President also determined, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, that provision of all bilateral and multilateral assistance to Chad, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritania, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan that otherwise would have been cut off would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

The determinations also indicate the Secretary of State’s subsequent compliance determination regarding Swaziland. It is significant that one of the 17 Tier 3 countries took actions that averted the need for the President to make a determination regarding sanctions and waivers. Information highlighted in the Trafficking in Persons Report and the possibility of sanctions, in conjunction with our diplomatic efforts, encouraged this country’s government to take important measures against trafficking.

Section 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act interferes with the President’s authority to direct foreign affairs. We, therefore, interpret it as precatory. Nonetheless, it is the policy of the United States that, consistent with the provisions of the Act, the U.S. Executive Director of each multilateral development bank, as defined in the Act, and of the International Monetary Fund will vote against, and use the Executive Director’s best efforts to deny any loan or other utilization of the funds of the respective institution to the Governments of Burma, Cuba, the DPRK, Eritrea, Fiji, Iran, Syria, and Zimbabwe (with specific exceptions for Eritrea, Fiji, and Zimbabwe) for Fiscal Year 2010, until such governments comply with the minimum standards or makes significant efforts to come into compliance, as may be determined by the Secretary of State in a report to the Congress pursuant to section 110(b) of the Act.

Explanations of the President’s determinations regarding each of the 17 countries follow.

Swaziland

On the basis of positive actions undertaken by the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland since March 2009, the Deputy Secretary of State has determined that the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. This is the standard for placement on Tier 2 of the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report.

The Deputy Secretary of State has placed Swaziland on the Special Watch List because the determination that the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland is making significant efforts is based, in part, on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

In July 2009, the Department of State began working with the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland on an action plan that outlined steps to combat trafficking. Since that time, it has accomplished each of the items in the Department’s action plan or made commitments to take additional steps over the next year, thus demonstrating “significant efforts.”

Since June 2009, the government publicly recognized human trafficking as an important problem facing the country and took tangible steps to enact and implement an anti-trafficking law. In July, the government drafted a comprehensive anti-trafficking and human smuggling bill, which, as of mid-August 2009, was nearly through its mandatory 30-day public comment period, after which it will be voted on by the parliament. Public education on the bill’s specific provisions also began in August 2009.

In July 2009, the government established a multi-sectored Anti-Trafficking Task Force comprised of officials from multiple government and law enforcement agencies, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The task force launched programs to educate the public on the draft bill, began drafting a national strategy on human trafficking, and planned the establishment of an anti-trafficking hotline. The Prime Minister and Task Force members granted numerous media interviews on the subject of human trafficking, and a local NGO was commissioned to conduct a study on the scope and magnitude of human trafficking in Swaziland.

Burma

The Government of Burma does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and it is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to sanction Burma. The President has also determined that provision of funding for programs to combat infectious disease would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Burmese military and civilian officials remain directly involved in using citizens for forced labor and the unlawful conscription of child soldiers, with reported cases of child soldiers increasing annually. Although the Burmese government has taken some steps to combat trafficking for sexual exploitation, the significant state-sanctioned use of internal forced labor, especially by the military, continues.

Impact of Sanctions: The United States generally does not provide direct assistance to the Burmese government. Existing sanctions on Burma include a ban on new investment, imports, exports of financial services, bilateral assistance, and arms sales. Additionally, travel restrictions and/or financial sanctions have been imposed against senior Burmese officials and their immediate relatives, a number of state-owned enterprises, and other individuals and entities affiliated with the regime. A partial waiver would allow for assistance to government labs and offices to combat infectious diseases.

Chad

The Government of Chad does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to waive all sanctions against Chad, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Chad has not taken sufficient steps to address the problem of trafficking in persons. Although the government released to UNICEF child soldiers captured in a rebel offensive and conducted inspections of its own military facilities to identify and release unlawful child soldiers, it failed to make efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders. The government has not sufficiently collaborated with NGOs to provide care to trafficking victims or developed a draft work plan to address and resolve the problem of unlawful conscription of child soldiers.

Chad is a partner in the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) program and strongly supports counterterrorism objectives. Chad also plays a critical role in our humanitarian response to the crisis in Darfur, currently hosting 280,000 Sudanese refugees and cooperating with the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Chad and Central African Republic. As part of this effort, Chad is tasked with providing security to civilians and humanitarians in eastern Chad. The Government of Chad has worked with the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan to encourage Sudanese rebel movements to commit to peace talks with the Government of Sudan.

Impact of Sanctions: Sanctions would affect the expenditure of $400,000 in Fiscal Year 2010 International Military Education and Training (IMET), $500,000 in FY 2010 Foreign Military Financing (FMF) funding, as well as a yet-to-be determined amount of TSCTP funding. IMET programs are critical to influencing and training current and future Chadian military leaders. The FMF program for Chad includes funding programmed for C-130 spare parts, training, and technical manuals that are critical to support Chad’s flying program. Sanctions could also affect $600,000 in Development Assistance initiatives to develop Chad’s political and social institutions. Chad is scheduled to receive a portion of $27.267 million allocated to Chad, Mauritania, and Niger from the PDEV component of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, which is designed to improve the regional security situation and the country’s ability to combat terrorism. PDEV promotes good governance, youth empowerment, and media outreach.

Cuba

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to sanction Cuba.

Justification: The Government of Cuba publishes no data on internationally or domestically-trafficked persons. Furthermore, the government dismisses as politically motivated requests for information on any anti-trafficking efforts it may be making. The government does not appear to have developed a comprehensive strategy to address the problem, and has little discernable anti-trafficking law enforcement, victim protection measures, or trafficking prevention policies in place.

Impact of Sanctions: The Government of Cuba is already subject to an extensive economic embargo tied to Cuba’s poor record on, among other things, democracy, human rights and economic reform. No Cuban government officials or employees participate in current or planned United States Government-funded educational or cultural exchange programs. The United States Government does not offer economic assistance to the Government of Cuba and will not allow any significant new investment in Cuba by U.S. companies until democratic and economic reforms are instituted. While the existing sanctions will remain in place until there are fundamental political and economic reforms in Cuba, sanctioning Cuba for activities related to trafficking in persons expresses clear U.S. disapproval of the Cuban Government’s acceptance, if not endorsement, of such activities.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)

The Government of the DPRK (“North Korea”) does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to sanction the DPRK.

Justification: The Government of the DPRK does not acknowledge the existence of human trafficking, and is making no effort to address trafficking in persons. The North Korean regime continues to use forced labor as part of an established system of political repression. The regime actively punishes trafficking victims for acts they commit that are the direct result of being trafficked. The government does not recognize trafficking as a problem and imposes forced labor conditions on its prisoners, including North Koreans forcibly returned from China. Furthermore, conditions in the DPRK drive many North Koreans to seek a way out of the country, putting them at risk of becoming trafficking victims. Women who enter northern China from the DPRK may be sold as brides and trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation. The United States strongly disapproves of the DPRK Government’s failure to address trafficking in persons.

Impact of Sanctions: Sanctioning the DPRK for activities related to trafficking in persons expresses clear U.S. disapproval of the DPRK government’s acceptance, if not endorsement, of such activities. The United States Government does not provide direct foreign assistance to the Government of the DPRK.

Eritrea

The Government of the State of Eritrea does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to sanction Eritrea. The President has also determined that provision of funding for educational and cultural exchange programs would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of the State of Eritrea did not exhibit progress toward educating government officials or the general public about human trafficking and does not appear to have made tangible efforts to conduct anti-trafficking law enforcement, victim protection, or prevention initiatives. Furthermore, Eritrea failed to demonstrate making any effort to curb abuses of Eritrean citizens who are forced to participate in the government’s national service program for indefinite periods.

Virtually all Eritrean citizens are required to perform national service and as a result involuntarily become employees in government-controlled institutions to include public health, education, library and information, and media. A partial waiver of sanctions is in the national interest as the continuation of existing educational and cultural exchanges will promote greater understanding of the United States and its people.

Impact of Sanctions: The Government of the State of Eritrea is already subject to sanctions that prohibit the sale or licensing for export of defense articles and defense services to countries certified by the United States. as not cooperating fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts. Eritrea is also designated a country of particular concern for its poor human rights record. As a result, Eritrea is subject to ongoing arms embargo referenced in 22 CFR 126.1(a) pursuant to the Presidential Action under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Sanctioning Eritrea for activities related to trafficking in persons expresses clear U.S. disapproval of the Eritrean Government’s acceptance, if not endorsement, of such activities. The United States Government does not provide direct foreign assistance to the Government of the State of Eritrea. The partial waiver will allow the provision of funding for participation by government officials or employees in educational and cultural exchange programs.

Fiji

The Government of Fiji does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to sanction Fiji. The President has also determined that provision of funding for participation of government officials and employees in educational and cultural exchange programs would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The de facto Government of Fiji has taken no significant steps to address the problem of children exploited in the commercial sex trade. It did not begin any law enforcement investigations into alleged trafficking situations. Since June, the government also made no effort to educate the public about the dangers of trafficking in Fiji, or to support organizations which attempted to do so. The de facto government is, however, beginning to engage in a positive dialogue with the United States on trafficking issues and has taken some steps to eliminate certain social practices, such as the early marriage of girls, which can lead to the trafficking of children.

Fiji’s diminished vigilance on TIP is due in large part to the illegitimate and ineffective nature of the interim government installed after the military coup d’état in December 2006. The coup ousted a democratically-elected government and, as a result, most United States assistance to the interim government is restricted and will continue to be restricted until a democratically elected government takes office.

The United States Government closely coordinates its policy and sanctions on Fiji with the Pacific Island Forum, the regional organization that includes all the Pacific Island countries, Australia, and New Zealand. The explicit goal sought by the United States and its regional partners is a restoration of democracy. A partial waiver of sanctions is in the national interest as the continuation of existing educational and cultural exchanges will promote greater understanding of the United States and its people.

Impact of Sanctions: The de facto Government of Fiji is already subject to sanctions that bar most foreign assistance. Thus additional sanctions would not increase the pressure on Fiji’s de facto government to address its trafficking problem. The partial waiver will allow the provision of funding for educational and cultural programs that involve the participation of individuals who in some cases may be affiliated with the government.

Iran

The Government of Iran does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to sanction Iran. The President has also determined that provision of funding for participation of government officials and employees in educational and cultural exchange programs would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Iran continues to dismiss criticism of its inadequate anti-trafficking efforts while continuing to punish -- often severely, including beatings, imprisonment, and execution -- victims of trafficking. The government has neither developed a comprehensive strategy to address Iran’s human trafficking problem nor instituted victim protection procedures to systematically identify and protect victims of trafficking.

A partial waiver of sanctions is in the national interest as the continuation of existing educational and cultural exchanges will promote greater understanding of the United States and its people.

Impact of Sanctions: The Government of Iran is already subject to economic sanctions due to, among other things, its support for international terrorism. The United States Government does not provide economic assistance to the Government of Iran. The partial waiver will allow the provision of funding for the participation of government official or employees in educational and cultural exchange programs.

Kuwait

The Government of Kuwait does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to waive all sanctions against Kuwait, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Kuwait has not taken sufficient steps to address the significant problem of involuntary domestic servitude, particularly by failing to establish a long-promised permanent shelter for domestic workers who have been victims of forced labor. Furthermore, it failed to enact anti-trafficking legislation that explicitly prohibits and punishes all trafficking offenses; did not provide training to law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges on investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases; did not provide evidence of increased prosecutions; and did not develop or implement procedures to proactively identify victims. The government did issue a resolution to make modest reforms to its flawed foreign worker sponsorship system that would affect some but not all foreign workers; however, a subsequent statement by authorities appears to limit the implementation of the resolution.

The granting of a full waiver of sanctions against Kuwait is in the national interest because it will allow for the continuation of democracy programs in Kuwait through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and will permit continued security cooperation to effectively combat terrorism and bolster regional security; maintaining Kuwait’s indispensable support for Operation Iraqi Freedom is a high U.S. priority.

Impact of Sanctions: Approximately $3 billion dollars in projected foreign military sales to Kuwait, $15,000 in IMET funding, and an approximately $6 million in MEPI assistance would have been restricted by sanctions under the Act. The immediate impact of sanctions would be a reduction in access necessary to maintain Kuwait’s support for our efforts to combat terrorism and in our ability to encourage Kuwait’s efforts to contribute to regional security. Sanctioning MEPI programs would have removed a key United States Government tool in promoting democratic reform and human rights in Kuwait. A full waiver has been granted in the national interest of providing these military sales in order to advance goals of combating terrorism.

Malaysia

The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to waive all sanctions against Malaysia, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Malaysia has taken some, but not sufficient steps to address the significant problems of trafficking of foreign nationals to its country for labor and sexual exploitation and the complicity of Malaysian law enforcement personnel in trafficking. The government has not markedly improved its anti-trafficking law enforcement record or shown an effort to identify and protect victims of labor trafficking, though it has increased significantly the number of sex trafficking victims identified and assisted. It has made no discernable effort to address prevalent forced labor of migrant workers. The government’s implementation of its July 2007 anti-trafficking law appears uneven. The government continues to incarcerate and summarily deport foreign victims – particularly victims of forced labor – and the new law has not curbed the practice of Malaysian employers’ confiscation of workers’ passports. The granting of a full waiver of sanctions against Malaysia is in the national interest because it will permit continued security cooperation and the promotion of democratic principles and will allow continued dialogue and engagement to combat human trafficking.

Impact of Sanctions: Approximately $1.35 million in Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related (NADR) anti-terrorism, counter-terrorism finance, and export control/border security assistance; $1.2 million in IMET funds; up to $170 million in Peacekeeping Operations funds under the Global Peace Operations Initiative; $200,000 in Economic Support Fund funds; and $140,000 in International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement would have been restricted by sanctions under the Act. A full waiver has been granted in the national interest of allowing for the uninterrupted continuation of important military-to-military security cooperation programs and to allow for military sales in order to advance regional efforts to confront terrorist activities, eliminate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and work with regional partners to ensure the security of critical maritime areas, including the Strait of Malacca and the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas.

Mauritania

The Government of Mauritania does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to waive all sanctions against Mauritania, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: A military junta seized power in a bloodless coup in August 2008. During this period, the government has not made appreciable progress in addressing trafficking, including hereditary slavery. The government did not increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders, including hereditary slave masters. Despite NGO reports of cases involving minors in slavery, the courts failed to remove young girls from abusive households or prosecute their masters. The government did not take steps to educate the public about trafficking, including hereditary slavery. A new government was inaugurated in August and has indicated its intent to address this problem.

Mauritania is a partner in the TSCTP program and strongly supports counterterrorism objectives.

Impact of Sanctions: The waiver of sanctions enables the United States government to promote more effectively democratic reform and human rights in Mauritania. The African Union (AU) declared Presidential elections held on July 18, 2009, to be transparent, with some irregularities not deemed to be outcome-determinative. The AU reinstated Mauritania’s membership and lifted its sanctions against the military junta. The action to approve a legal determination necessary to lift section 7008 coup restrictions on Mauritania in order to resume foreign assistance is currently pending signature by the Deputy Secretary.

Assistance planned to be provided to Mauritania in Fiscal Year 2010 that would be affected by sanctions includes $1.5 million in development assistance and $40,000 in IMET funding. This assistance is aimed at strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law and supporting development efforts to promote economic prosperity and social parity.

In addition, Mauritania is scheduled to receive a portion of $27.267 million allocated to Chad, Mauritania, and Niger from the Peace through Development (PDEV) component of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, which is designed to improve the regional security situation and the country’s ability to combat terrorism. PDEV promotes good governance, youth empowerment, and media outreach.

Niger

The Government of Niger does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to waive all sanctions against Niger, consistent with the provisions in the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Niger has not taken sufficient steps to address trafficking, including hereditary slavery. The government did not enact its draft 2006 legislation to combat trafficking. The government failed to strengthen efforts to punish trafficking offenders, sentencing a man who enslaved a woman for more than ten years to an inadequate two-year suspended sentence and a fine. Officials did not investigate NGO reports of Nigerien girls sold to Nigerian businessmen or take steps to rescue and provide care to seven women reported to be subjected to hereditary slavery.

Niger is a partner in the TSCTP program and strongly supports counterterrorism objectives.

Impact of Sanctions: Despite condemnation from the international community, the President of Niger has taken steps to consolidate his power and extend his term in office. Consequently, the United States has made a policy decision to restrict its development and military assistance to Niger. Should the political situation in Niger improve, the waiver of sanctions would enable the United States Government to more effectively promote democratic reform, human rights and development of Niger.

In addition, Niger is scheduled to receive a portion of $27.267 million allocated to Chad, Mauritania, and Niger from the PDEV component of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, which is designed to improve the regional security situation and the country’s ability to combat terrorism. PDEV promotes good governance, youth empowerment, and media outreach.

Papua New Guinea

The Government of Papua New Guinea does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to waive all sanctions against Papua New Guinea, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Papua New Guinea has not taken sufficient steps to address the significant problem of trafficking of women and underage girls for commercial sexual exploitation within the country. Despite committing itself to some initial efforts to address its many trafficking problems, the government has not improved its poor anti-trafficking law enforcement record or shown an effort to identify and protect victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labor.

Impact of Sanctions: A full waiver has been granted in the national interest of allowing for the uninterrupted continuation of important programs to support efforts by the Government of Papua New Guinea to participate in international peace support operations, as well as initiatives that would protect irreplaceable biodiversity resources. Papua New Guinea is home to many unique forms of tropical biodiversity. Sanctioning development assistance funding that helps to protect tropical forests ($330,000 in FY2008) and marine biodiversity ($480,000 in FY2008) would run counter to United States Government policies to protect the global environment.

Saudi Arabia

The Government of Saudi Arabia does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and it is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to waive all sanctions against Saudi Arabia, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Saudi Arabia has not taken adequate steps to address the significant problem of involuntary servitude but has indicated its willingness to work on this issue through recent actions. The government enacted a new comprehensive anti-trafficking law that purports to define and punish all forms of trafficking; however, because it is not yet clear that the law will prohibit employers from holding passports and denying exit visas, practices present in most trafficking cases, actual prosecutions under this law may be limited. There is no evidence that the government criminally prosecuted or punished any traffickers since the release of the 2009 Trafficking In Persons Report. The new law also requires the government to provide victims with access to medical assistance and security; however, it is unclear whether the law requires the government to provide the many victims currently not granted access to government facilities or shelters with temporary housing. The government began drafting procedures to identify both sex and labor trafficking victims; however, the government has not yet articulated a policy establishing screening for victims or trained government personnel to identify victims. If fully implemented, the foundational efforts made during the assessment period may constitute significant efforts at the conclusion of the 2010 reporting cycle.

The government has ample resources to address Saudi Arabia's trafficking problems but has only recently begun to show an interest in tackling this serious human rights issue. The granting of a full waiver of sanctions against Saudi Arabia is in the national interest because it will allow us to continue programs in Saudi Arabia, and it will permit continued security cooperation to effectively combat terrorism and bolster regional security.

Impact of Sanctions: Foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia likely to total significantly more than $1 billion, approximately $7 million in MEPI funds, $65,000 in IMET funding, and $300,000 in NADR assistance would have been restricted by sanctions under the Act. A full waiver has been granted in the national interest of providing these military sales in order to advance counterterrorism and regional security goals.

Sudan

The Government of National Unity of Sudan (GNU) does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to waive sanctions against Sudan, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Since April 2009, the GNU has made no progress in combating human trafficking through law enforcement or significant prevention measures. It made no effort to rescue or reintegrate victims of internal trafficking into their communities of origin, resulting in thousands of people continuing to remain in prolonged situations of forced labor and sexual exploitation. It also made no progress on demobilization of unlawful child soldiers or efforts to address the trafficking of women and girls for involuntary domestic servitude within and through the country.

The end of the 21-year civil war in Sudan, as marked by the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in January 2005, signaled a new era for Sudan. The United States continues to work with the parties to implement the peace agreement and bring about democratic transformation in Sudan. While the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement 3 years ago provided an opportunity to contribute towards the resolution of the crisis in Darfur, the conditions on the ground remain tenuous and the progress towards a bona fide peace process remains stalled. Under the CPA, we continue to implement a wide variety of programs to restore effective governance and allow economic growth in the South and other conflict areas. These include, but are not limited to, programs aimed at restoring a functioning judicial system and other elements necessary for the return to the rule of law and security, a functioning legislature, elements of a market economy, mitigating conflict, and ensuring security.

Because both humanitarian and consensus-building efforts to support a peaceful transition in Darfur have been hampered by a delayed peace process, the United States Government remains cautious in exploring opportunities to begin to support recovery activities. However, the United States Government maintains diplomatic engagement to strengthen the peace process that will eventually allow opportunities for longer-term development activities.

Bilateral programs and projects in both of these areas, in conjunction with other countries and international institutions, are currently underway. The President’s waiver of sanctions will allow these important efforts to continue as appropriate, thereby enhancing security within the country, supporting democratic development, and carrying out additional reconstruction projects in southern Sudan.

Impact of Sanctions: Comprehensive sanctions against Sudan are already in place, including those imposed under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, those related to its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, and several other sanctions. Applying additional sanctions could have affected more than $433 million in assistance to bolster security within the country and further the reconstruction of Southern Sudan.

The primary U.S. strategic objectives for Sudan are to ensure that all sides end the violence in Darfur; that both the north and the south continue working toward full implementation of the CPA, which includes transforming the defense institutions and military forces of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) to provide security for itself and its people adequately; and that Sudan not be a base for terrorist activity. U.S. assistance is being used to assist the GoSS and the GoSS’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) with security sector reform, including infrastructure, command headquarters, and transportation projects. Our objective is to convey values of democracy, civil-military relations, and human rights, and to transform the SPLA from a guerilla to a professional military force.

Prohibiting IMET and Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) funding for the GoSS/SPLA would preclude the ability to deliver necessary defense transformation services specifically cited for implementation in the United States Government Sudan Strategy, which highlights those areas of national interest of the United States. Sanctions would affect the expenditure of $300,000 in IMET funding currently allocated for the GoSS/SPLA, which is critical to training current and future military leaders in Southern Sudan. In FY 2009, PKO funded $1.5 million in security sector reform.

Sanctions would also affect programs aimed at addressing encouraging broad economic development in southern Sudan and supporting efforts towards peace in Darfur. These programs contribute to a better environment for good governance while increasing the availability of social services and strengthening nascent democratic policies and institutions.

Syria

The Government of Syria does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to sanction Syria. The President has also determined that provision of funding for educational and cultural exchange programs would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Syria made few significant efforts to address its human trafficking problem since the release of the June Trafficking in Persons Report. There was little progress in passing and enacting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law drafted in 2006. The government made no visible efforts to increase identification of trafficking victims, prosecutions of trafficking offenses, or raise public awareness of the issue of trafficking. An informal referral policy, however, has recently succeeded in transferring a small number of trafficking victims from criminal detention facilities to a shelter operating in a government-owned building. In April 2009, however, the Syrian Government ratified the 2000 UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Since the release of the June Report, the Syrian Government made initial steps toward direct engagement with the United States Government on human trafficking issues.

A partial waiver of sanctions is in the national interest as the continuation of existing educational and cultural exchanges will promote greater understanding of the United States and its people.

Impact of Sanctions: The Government of Syria is already subject to economic sanctions due to, among other things, its support for international terrorism. The partial waiver will allow the provision of funding for participation by government officials and employees in educational and cultural exchange programs.

Zimbabwe

The Government of Zimbabwe does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to sanction Zimbabwe. The President has also determined that provision of funding for programs to support the promotion of health, good governance, education, agriculture, poverty reduction, livelihoods, or family planning would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: In June 2009, the State Department began working with the Government of Zimbabwe on an action plan that outlined steps to combat trafficking. Since that time, Zimbabwe has failed to increase efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; formalize procedures for interviewing trafficking victims and transferring them to the care of NGOs; or launch a broad anti-trafficking awareness-raising campaign. Furthermore, members of security forces of local populations have not ceased using local populations for forced diamond mining. Since the release of the June 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report, however, officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Parliament, and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice agreed that enacting anti-trafficking legislation is important for Zimbabwe. The Prime Minister’s office took up the issue and began consulting with stakeholders with an eye toward drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking bill. In August, the Zimbabwean Embassy in Angola assisted in facilitating the repatriation of Zimbabwean trafficking victims who escaped forced labor situations in Luanda.

A partial waiver of sanctions is in the national interest as it will allow certain types of assistance through NGOs to promote the country’s transformation from repression and poverty to a government which respects democratic freedoms and seeks to meet the needs of its people.

Impact of Sanctions: The Government of Zimbabwe is already subject to economic sanctions due to, among other things, failure to repay debts owed to the United States [Section 620(q) of the Foreign Assistance Act and section 7012 (the “Brooke amendment”) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Act, 2009 (Div. H, P.L. 111-8)]. The partial waiver will allow the provision of funding for programs to support the good governance, health, agricultural, family planning, poverty reduction, livelihoods, private sector competiveness, and educational sectors. The fragile transition government’s ability to provide social services is weak, thereby contributing to the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economy Recovery Act, signed into law in 2001, and provisions in subsequent appropriations acts, restrict the ability of the United States to cast its vote in support of assistance to Zimbabwe at the international financial institutions, except for programs that meet basic human needs or promote democracy. These restrictions can be waived upon fulfillment of certain conditions, including restoration of the rule of law, respect for ownership and title to property, and freedom of speech and association.



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