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Presidential Determination with Respect to Foreign Governments' Efforts Regarding Trafficking in Persons


White House Release
Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
September 17, 2013

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Presidential Determination
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT: Presidential Determination with Respect to Foreign Governments' Efforts Regarding Trafficking in Persons

Consistent with section 110 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Division A of Public Law 106-386), as amended (the “Act”), I hereby:

Make the determination provided in section 110(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, with respect to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, not to provide certain funding for those countries’ governments for FY 2014, until such governments comply with the minimum standards or make significant efforts to bring themselves 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;

Make the determination provided in section 110(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act, with respect to Cuba, Eritrea, and Syria not to provide certain funding for those countries’ governments for FY 2014, until such governments comply with the minimum standards or make significant efforts to bring themselves 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;

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Algeria, the Central African Republic, People’s Republic of China, Guinea-Bissau, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Yemen that provision to these countries’ governments of all programs, projects, or activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i)-(ii) and 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States;

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that assistance and programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act, with the exception of foreign military sales and foreign military financing to the army of the Democratic Republic of Congo, would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States;

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Sudan, that assistance and programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act, with the exception of foreign military sales and foreign military financing to the Sudanese land forces, air forces, and popular defense force, would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States;

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Syria and Eritrea, that a partial waiver to allow funding for educational and cultural exchange programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States;

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Equatorial Guinea, that a partial waiver to allow funding for programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act to support programs to study and combat the spread of infectious diseases and to advance sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity and to support the participation of government employees or officials in young leader exchanges programming would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States;

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Syria and Equatorial Guinea, that assistance described in section 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States;

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Zimbabwe, that a partial waiver to allow funding for programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act for assistance for victims of trafficking in persons or to combat such trafficking, and for programs to support the promotion of health, good governance, education, leadership, agriculture and food security, poverty reduction, livelihoods, family planning, and macroeconomic growth including anti-corruption, and programs that would have a significant adverse effect on vulnerable populations if suspended, would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States;

And determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Zimbabwe, that assistance described in section 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act, which:

(1) is a regional program, project, or activity under which the total benefit to Zimbabwe does not exceed 10 percent of the total value of such program, project or activity;

(2) has as its primary objective the addressing of basic human needs, as defined by the Department of the Treasury with respect to other, existing legislative mandates concerning U.S. participation in the multilateral development banks;

(3) is complementary to or has similar policy objectives to programs being implemented bilaterally by the United States government;

(4) has as its primary objective the improvement of Zimbabwe’s legal system, including in areas that impact Zimbabwe’s ability to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases or otherwise improve implementation of its anti-trafficking policy, regulations or legislation;

(5) is engaging a government, international organization, or civil society organization, and seeks as its primary objective(s) to: (a) increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking in persons crimes; (b) increase protection for victims of trafficking through better screening, identification, rescue/removal, aftercare (shelter, counseling), training, and reintegration; or (c) expand prevention efforts through education and awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of trafficking in persons or training and economic empowerment of populations clearly at risk of falling victim to trafficking; or

(6) is targeted macroeconomic assistance from the International Monetary Fund that strengthens the macroeconomic management capacity of Zimbabwe; would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

The certification required by section 110(e) of the Act is provided herewith.

You are hereby authorized and directed to submit this determination to the Congress, and to publish it in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA


MEMORANDUM OF JUSTIFICATION CONSISTENT WITH THE TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PROTECTION ACT OF 2000, REGARDING DETERMINATIONS WITH RESPECT TO “TIER 3” COUNTRIES

Pursuant to section 110(d) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Div. A, P.L. 106-386), as amended (the Act), the President has made determinations regarding the 21 countries placed in Tier 3 in the Department of State’s 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report.

The President has determined to restrict assistance for Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Zimbabwe until such governments comply with the Act’s minimum standards to combat trafficking or make significant efforts to do so. Additionally, 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 those governments comply with the Act’s minimum standards to combat trafficking or make significant efforts to do so.

The President has determined, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, that provision of certain non-humanitarian, non-trade related assistance to the Governments of the DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, and Zimbabwe would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. The President has also determined, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, that permitting certain employees and officials in Syria and Eritrea to participate in educational and cultural exchanges referred to in section 110(d)(A)(ii) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. In addition, the President has determined, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, that provision of all bilateral and multilateral assistance referred to in section 110(d)(1) to Algeria, the Central African Republic, People’s Republic of China, Guinea-Bissau, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Yemen would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that 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 funds of the respective institution to the Governments of Cuba, the DPRK, Eritrea, Iran, and Zimbabwe (with specific exceptions for Zimbabwe) for FY 2014, until such governments comply with the minimum standards or make significant efforts to come into compliance, as may be determined by the Secretary of State in a report to Congress pursuant to section 110(b) of the Act.


Explanations of the President’s Determinations

Algeria

The Government of Algeria 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, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Algeria is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination and source country for women and, to a lesser extent, men, subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of Algeria did not hold any perpetrators of sex trafficking or forced labor accountable with jail time. The government continued to conflate human trafficking and smuggling, and trafficking victims were therefore commonly treated as illegal immigrants and subject to arrest, detention, and deportation. The government lacked adequate measures to protect victims. The government’s anti-trafficking committee met monthly since June 2012, but it did not publicly report its activities or accomplishments.

The President’s determination with respect to Algeria, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow for the continuation of counterterrorism and democracy programs. Specifically, Algeria is a partner in the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) program, which is designed to improve regional security, and strongly supports U.S. counterterrorism objectives. International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding, which focuses on professional military education, technical training, and English language competency programs, is geared toward professionalizing future Algerian military leaders and encouraging respect for democratic values and human rights. With respect to both TSCTP and IMET, the waiver will support U.S. efforts to cooperate with Algeria against shared terrorism threats, including al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. It will encourage responsible behavior in the Algerian security services and enable Algeria to participate in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations throughout the African continent. Participation in IMET courses, many of which take place at U.S. military institutions in the United States, exposes participants to the norms and practices of the U.S. military and lays a foundation for long-term defense relationships. Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) assistance supports Algeria’s efforts to improve its border security and combat the proliferation of weapons – including weapons of mass destruction – following the Libyan revolution and security deterioration in Mali. Finally, such a determination will allow for the continuation of Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) funds for democracy, civil society, and education programs in Algeria. Restricting MEPI programs would remove a key U.S. government tool in promoting democratic reforms and human rights in Algeria.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $1.3 million in IMET funding, $500,000 in nonproliferation, antiterrorism, demining and related programs, export control and related border security assistance (NADR-EXBS), and $6 million in economic support funds (ESF) through MEPI. Restrictions would also apply to Algeria’s share of the $2.5 million allocated to the Near East region’s TSCTP funding and would restrict Algeria from participating in regional CT programs through TSCTP Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). Restrictions could apply to any excess defense articles (EDA).

Central African Republic

The Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects, and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The CAR is a source and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and possibly for women subjected to forced prostitution. The Government of CAR did not investigate or prosecute any suspected cases of human trafficking, and it did not identify, provide protection to, or refer to service providers any trafficking victims. Furthermore, it took actions during the year which caused further harm to victims of trafficking, including forcibly detaining child victims who had previously been rescued from armed groups.

Since the TIP report was drafted, the previous President of CAR, Francois Bozize, was overthrown by a rebellion. The contents of this report therefore only apply to the previous government. CAR is presently in the midst of a fragile transition supervised by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), with support from a new peacekeeping force led by the African Union (AU) with international backing. The transitional government is also divided by rivalries between the transitional president, who is head of state and led the rebellion, and a prime minister, a human rights lawyer who leads the government and would like to see his country make more progress on TIP issues.

The President’s determination with respect to the CAR, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the U.S. government to continue providing assistance that would provide protection for civilians in Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) affected areas and implement anti-trafficking programs. Moreover, a waiver would allow for the continuation of Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) funding which promotes sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity, a U.S. national priority. CARPE works to reduce the rate of forest degradation and loss of biodiversity by supporting increased local, national, and regional natural resource management capacity. The waiver would further support anti-trafficking objectives by supporting programming to assist in the transition of the artisanal diamond industry from an illicit to a licit supply chain. This shift helps reduce opportunities for corruption and also limits the ability of predatory actors to seize land and to create illegal mining operations. Illegal mining operations typically result in significant human rights abuses, including rampant labor violations affecting men, women and children in these areas, including forced child labor. Improving tenure rights and access to land has the additional benefit of reducing conflict among local miners and of facilitating livelihood diversification, which is particularly important for local women.

A partial waiver of restrictions to allow certain government employees to participate in the Obama Administration’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is in the national interest of the United States. YALI is intended to invest in the next generation of African leaders and strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa. Absent a waiver, young Central African leaders who are government employees – including those individuals in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government, or state universities or hospitals – would be unable to participate. YALI is one of the key U.S. programs intending to foster democratic principles and human rights in CAR.

IMET-funded courses expose defense establishment personnel to U.S. military training, doctrine, and values and are intended to promote democratic values, build capacity in key areas, increase the professionalization of the forces, and build lasting military-to-military relationships. IMET support a multiyear effort to professionalize the military, focusing primarily on key themes such as human rights, accountability, rule of law, and civilian control of the military. However, FY 2014 IMET would only be provided to the CAR military in the context of a broader security sector reform program that would also be coordinated with the assistance efforts of other international partners, including the UN, AU, EU, and France.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $4 million in ESF for counter-LRA civilian protection, an estimated $2.6 million in ESF to preserve land tenure rights for alluvial diamond miners as part of the process of strengthening the chain of custody required by the UN mandated Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, $500,000 in Development Assistance (DA) for CARPE programming, and $120,000 in IMET.

China, People’s Republic of

The Government of the People’s Republic of China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and, pursuant to Section 107 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as amended, is deemed not to be making significant efforts to do so. The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects, and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. During the reporting period for the 2013 TIP Report, the Chinese government released a new national plan of action that sets forth ways in which the government will increase its efforts in victim protection and cooperation with international organizations. The government also demonstrated increased cooperation with foreign governments in extraditing alleged traffickers and repatriating victims. Through the government’s use of social media, national public awareness of human trafficking has increased over previous years. However, despite these modest signs of interest in anti-trafficking reforms, the Chinese government did not demonstrate significant efforts to comprehensively prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking and to prosecute traffickers. The government continued to perpetuate human trafficking in at least 320 state run institutions through its “re-education through labor” camps, while helping victims of human trafficking in only seven. The government also did not report providing comprehensive victim protection services to domestic or foreign, male or female victims of trafficking. In addition, as the government provides little information about arrests or prosecutions, it is difficult to determine if the government takes adequate steps to punish government officials complicit in trafficking.

The President’s determination with respect to China, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the U.S. government to continue providing assistance to promote health priorities that affect the United States, China, and the global community. The Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implement a technical collaboration program in which the CDC primarily works with the Chinese CDC counterpart to improve the coverage, efficiency, and quality of HIV/AIDS services. This collaboration develops technical guidelines and manuals to strengthen laboratory and surveillance systems. The President’s determination will also allow the U.S. government to continue implementing programming designed to promote human rights and the rule of law in China, a central U.S. government policy objective with respect to China consistent with the President’s focus on strengthening human rights protections around the world. Restricting programming in China that strengthens protections for human rights and the rule of law, increases access to legal assistance for citizens, builds the capacity of local stakeholders, and improves citizens’ awareness of their legal rights would be contrary to U.S. national interests.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $2,398,000 in Global Health Programs (GHP) funding that promotes technical collaboration between the CDC and the Chinese government. USAID funding in the estimated amount of $5.9 million for a rule of law program would also be affected by restrictions under the Act.

Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC)

The Government of the DRC 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 restrict assistance for the DRC. The President has also determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that the provision of funding for all programs, projects, and activities of assistance, with the exception of foreign military financing (FMF) and foreign military sales (FMS) to the DRC army, described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The DRC is a source, destination, and possibly a transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of the DRC did not report its application of any legal sanctions against those who recruit and use child soldiers nor did it report any law enforcement efforts to combat any other forms of trafficking. It continued to cooperate with international organizations in the demobilization of children from armed forces and improved access to military units for international monitors and child protection officers, but at times in 2012 it detained and interrogated children apprehended from armed groups. Despite evidence of a multifaceted human trafficking problem throughout the country’s 11 provinces, the government did not identify victims of other forms of trafficking, and it did not provide protective services or referrals to NGO-operated facilities to victims of other forms of forced labor or sex trafficking.

The President’s waiver with respect to the DRC, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow continued efforts to professionalize the DRC’s armed forces and programs to address serious shortfalls in good governance, health, education, and economic development. These are priorities not only for the DRC but as part of an international peace process aimed at resolving the conflict in DRC and establishing stability in the Great Lakes region. The DRC, one of the world’s least developed countries and dependent to a great degree on international assistance, also is combating an armed mutiny in its eastern provinces. The mutiny has received significant external support. This situation is further aggravated and complicated by the illicit trade in minerals. The Government of the DRC has made some limited, while not sufficient, progress to implement reforms. In the last year, the Government of the DRC signed a UN sponsored action plan to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers within its armed forces and formed a ministerial committee for this purpose. Additionally, peace in the Great Lakes is at a pivotal moment, with the signing of the peace, security and cooperation framework agreement by DRC and neighboring states, under the auspices of the African Union and the UN on February 24, and the appointment of UN and U.S. Special Envoys, and World Bank support for the economic elements of the peace process.

In this context, the United States aims to implement a rigorous security sector reform program to expand institutional and operational capacity of the military, police, and judicial institutions. This program is critical to create a more stable and secure DRC, and to reform the security sector into a trustworthy protector of the civilian population and one that respects the rule of law. Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) funds enhance strengthening command and control of the military, assist in the establishment of military training strategy and training centers, and develop the DRC military’s capability to support its force, and to build its military operational capacity. To achieve these objectives, PKO funds support military justice training and development of the military justice infrastructure; civil-military operations, civil-military relations, leadership, basic staff skills, and human rights training for junior, mid-grade and senior officers; advisors and workshops for the ministry of defense focused on developing their training plans and strategy; basic intelligence training; and mentors for the Kisangani Camp Base training center staff to develop procedures and personnel. PKO funds also support agriculture training to develop a system for the DRC military to feed themselves; medical, medical logistics and demining training; and mentors for the U.S. trained light infantry battalion deployed to participate in the counter-Lord’s Resistance Army operation. IMET-funded courses expose defense establishment personnel to U.S. military training, doctrine, and values, and are intended to promote democratic values, build capacity in key areas, increase the professionalization of the forces, and build lasting military-to-military relationships. Nonproliferation, antiterrorism, demining, and related programs-Convention Weapons Destruction (NADR-CWD) programs will destroy at-risk, obsolete, and excess weapons and munitions, while also providing stockpile management training for the DRC military and increased security of DRC stockpiles in order to reduce the risk of illicit proliferation of weapons and the accidental explosion of munitions depots in populated areas.

ESF and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) are necessary for post conflict assistance, as well as for broader stabilization efforts, improved health, and protection of vulnerable populations. In addition, new DA funding will allow infrastructure development. The limited waiver also will allow strengthened efforts to combat various forms of human trafficking, including sex trafficking, bonded and forced labor, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers. Such programs, combined with a comprehensive assessment of human trafficking patterns, will encourage more effective efforts to combat human trafficking and integration of anti-trafficking efforts into overall programs.

Finally, a partial waiver of restrictions to allow certain government employees to participate in YALI programming is in the national interest of the United States. YALI is intended to invest in the next generation of African leaders and strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa. Absent a waiver, young DRC leaders who are government employees – including those individuals in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government, or state universities or hospitals – would be unable to participate.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act apply to FMF and FMS, as well as approximately $38,000,000 in ESF, $27,000,000 in ESF-Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), $154,000,000 in GHP funds, $8,000,000 in DA, $320,000 in IMET, and $11,000,000in PKO. FMF and FMS to the DRC army are currently suspended. Restrictions may also apply to any potential EDA.

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 restrict assistance for Cuba.

Justification: Cuba is a source country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. The Government of Cuba did not report any trafficking victim identifications or procedures in place to guide officials in proactively identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable groups. The government also did not report any anti-trafficking prevention efforts, public awareness campaigns, or the existence of an anti-trafficking task force, action plan, or monitoring mechanism.

Restricting assistance for Cuba for its failure to make significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons expresses clear U.S. concern for and interest in improving the prevention and protection afforded to trafficked individuals by the Government of Cuba.

Impact of Restrictions: The United States government does not provide non-humanitarian, nontrade related assistance to the Government of Cuba. The Government of Cuba is already subject to extensive U.S. sanctions and foreign assistance restrictions. Restrictions on assistance under the Act apply to the provision of funding for participation of government officials and employees in educational and cultural exchange programs.

Equatorial Guinea

The Government of Equatorial 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 restrict assistance to Equatorial Guinea. The President has also determined that provision of funding to support programs to study and combat the spread of infectious diseases, to advance sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity, and to support the participation of government employees or officials in young leader exchanges programming would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. In addition, the President has determined that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States

Justification: Equatorial Guinea is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of Equatorial Guinea demonstrated no efforts to identify victims of human trafficking or to provide victims with necessary services, despite a mandate to do so in its 2004 anti-trafficking law. It continued to deport undocumented migrants without screening them to determine whether they were victims of trafficking or referring them to assistance services, and the government rarely notified foreign embassies that their nationals had been detained in Equatorial Guinea. Although the government demonstrated a slight increase in prevention efforts in 2012 by conducting trainings for government officials and civil society members, it did not undertake any public awareness campaigns and its interministerial commission on human trafficking remained inactive. Given its substantial financial resources, the government’s response to human trafficking has been negligible.

The President’s partial waiver with respect to Equatorial Guinea, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow for continued funding of programs supporting Equatorial Guinea’s government entities working to combat infectious diseases. The spread of infectious diseases in Equatorial Guinea could have a negative impact on regional and global public health, particularly on vulnerable populations.

The waiver will also allow the continuation of CARPE funding which promotes sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity in the Congo Basin Forest, a U.S. national priority, the second largest contiguous moist tropical forest in the world, and one of the world’s carbon sinks. CARPE works to reduce the rate of forest degradation and loss of biodiversity by supporting increased local, national, and regional natural resource management capacity.

Finally, a partial waiver of restrictions to allow certain government employees to participate in YALI programming is in the national interest of the United States. YALI is intended to invest in the next generation of African leaders and strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa. Absent a waiver, young Equatoguinean leaders who are government employees – including those individuals in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government, or state universities or hospitals – would be unable to participate. YALI is one of the key U.S. programs intending to foster democratic principles and human rights in Equatorial Guinea.

Impact of Restrictions: The United States does not provide assistance to the Government of Equatorial Guinea other than to certain nongovernment entities that may train government officials working to combat infectious diseases and to those promoting biodiversity and sustainable forest management. Restrictions would affect one potential project, funded by the Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP), that would provide an estimated $40,000 to purchase HIV/AIDS test kits for the military of Equatorial Guinea. Restrictions would also affect $50,000 in DA funds planned for CARPE programs.

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 restrict assistance for Eritrea. The President has also determined that provision of funding for participation of certain 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: Eritrea is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and to a lesser extent, sex and labor trafficking abroad. The Eritrean government did not operate transparently, nor did it publish data or statistics regarding efforts to combat human trafficking. Although the government acknowledged the existence of a trafficking problem, including by sending a letter seeking the assistance of the UN Secretary-General, and warning its citizens of the dangers that traffickers posed, authorities largely lacked understanding of human trafficking, conflating it with all forms of transnational migration from Eritrea. The government rejected responsibility for creating circumstances that drove its citizens to flee the country.

A partial waiver of restrictions to allow certain government employees to participate in educational and cultural exchange programs is in the U.S. national interest. Absent a waiver, many Eritreans who are government employees, but are not responsible for determining Eritrean government policies would be unable to participate. The restriction on participation in exchanges by officials or employees of the government would apply to individuals in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the central, regional, or municipal government of Eritrea, and would include physicians at public hospitals, educators at public institutions, and judges. Though the Eritrean government does not consistently approve exit permits to its citizens traveling for similar programs, these exchanges are one of the few venues to engage the Eritrean people.

Impact of Restrictions: The United States government does not provide non-humanitarian, nontrade-related assistance to the Eritrean government, which is already subject to restrictions 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 record on religious freedom. As a result, Eritrea is subject to an ongoing arms embargo referenced in 22 CFR 126.1(a) pursuant to the Presidential Action under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Guinea-Bissau

The Government of Guinea-Bissau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Guinea-Bissau is a country of origin and destination for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. In April 2012, the country underwent an unconstitutional change in government. As a result, the government’s anti-trafficking efforts have stalled and it is unknown whether the new government will maintain the previous administration’s commitments to combating trafficking in persons. Despite enacting an anti-trafficking law and finalizing and adopting a national action plan in 2011, the transitional government failed to demonstrate any notable anti-trafficking efforts during the reporting period for the 2013 TIP Report. It did not take law enforcement action against suspected trafficking crimes, provide adequate protection to identified trafficking victims, conduct any tangible prevention activities in 2012, or make progress on the implementation of its national action plan.

The President’s determination with respect to the Guinea-Bissau, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the United States government to promote comprehensive reform in Guinea-Bissau, including national reconciliation and respect by both civilian and military authorities for human rights. Once a democratically elected government takes office – assuming the country holds credible elections in late 2013 – funds from the ESF and DA programs may be used to promote the purposes of the Act by supporting projects that address human trafficking and improve governance and rule of law, that could include counternarcotics and anti-corruption programs. DA programs will train government and civil society to protect human rights more effectively, including by facilitating the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders who force Koranic students (“talibés”) to become beggars in Senegal. By continuing IMET funding in coordination with other donors in support of a comprehensive security sector reform program, the United States seeks to train the military to enhance the its understanding of its roles and responsibilities and instill professionalism and respect for human rights and fiscal transparency. The reform project aims to train the replacements for Bissau-Guinean military leadership accused of corruption. Furthermore, IMET assistance will protect vulnerable populations by developing a more cooperative relationship between civilian and military authorities in

Guinea-Bissau, notably the military’s respect for rule of law, democracy, and human rights. Guinea-Bissau’s stability is crucial for regional stability.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $25,000 in IMET.

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 restrict assistance for Iran.

Justification: Iran is a presumed source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. The Government of Iran did not share information on its anti-trafficking efforts in 2012, which impeded the collection of information on the country’s human trafficking problem and the government’s efforts to curb it. Publicly available information from NGOs, the press, international organizations, and other governments indicate that the Iranian government is not taking sufficient steps to address its extensive trafficking challenges.

Restricting assistance to Iran for its failure to make efforts to combat activities related to trafficking in persons expresses clear U.S. disapproval of the Iranian government’s failure to take action to combat trafficking in persons.

Impact of Restrictions: The Government of Iran is already subject to foreign assistance restrictions and economic sanctions due to, among other things, its support for international terrorism.

Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of (DPRK)

The Government of the DPRK 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 restrict assistance for the DPRK.

Justification: The DPRK is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor, forced marriage, and sex trafficking. The Government of the DPRK does not acknowledge the existence of human trafficking and did not demonstrate any efforts to address human trafficking through prosecution, protection, or prevention measures. The government contributes to the problem of trafficking through its forced labor prison camps – part of an established system of political repression – where North Koreans live in conditions of servitude, receiving little food and scant, if any, medical care. 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 or trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation.

Restricting assistance for the DPRK for its failure to make efforts to combat trafficking in persons expresses clear U.S. disapproval of the DPRK government’s acceptance, if not endorsement, of trafficking.

Impact of Restrictions: Comprehensive sanctions against DPRK are already in place, including proliferation related sanctions, those related to its status as a communist country, and several other statutory restrictions on assistance.

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, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Kuwait is a destination country for men and women who are subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser degree, forced prostitution. Although the government enacted an anti-trafficking law in March 2013, the Government of Kuwait did not demonstrate significant efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders using previously existing laws. There was no lead national anti-trafficking coordinating body, and the government did not systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts. The government’s victim protection measures remained weak, particularly due to the lack of proactive victim identification and referral procedures and continued reliance on the sponsorship system. The government continued to operate a temporary shelter for runaway female domestic workers, though it offered no shelter for male victims of trafficking. The government also did not fulfill other commitments made since 2007, such as enacting a law to provide domestic workers with the same rights as other workers and opening a large capacity permanent shelter for victims of trafficking during the reporting period of the 2013 TIP Report.

The President’s determination with respect to Kuwait, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow for the continuation of democracy and civil society programs in Kuwait through the MEPI and will permit continued security cooperation to effectively address threats to regional stability and global terrorism. Maintaining Kuwait’s indispensable support for United States government presence in the region is a high priority, as the Government of Kuwait hosts thousands of U.S. forces and provides logistical support, fuel, facilities, and meals and billeting for U.S. and coalition military personnel. The imposition of restrictions would negatively affect the U.S.- Kuwaiti strategic alliance. The immediate impact of restrictions would be a reduction in our ability to jointly deter threats to regional security, including terrorism. Restricting MEPI programs would remove a key U.S. government tool in promoting democratic reform and human rights, and in strengthening civil society organizations which could assist in the implementation of TIP legislation in Kuwait.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would impact an estimated $1 billion in FMS programs, as well as approximately $400,000 in economic support funds through MEPI.

Libya

The Government of Libya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Libya is a destination and transit country for men and women from subSaharan Africa and Asia subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. The Government of Libya failed to demonstrate significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders or to protect trafficking victims. Moreover, the government’s policies and practices with respect to undocumented migrant workers resulted in Libyan authorities detaining and punishing trafficking victims for unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of being subjected to human trafficking. There continued to be reports that detained foreign migrants were sold into conditions of forced labor with the complicity of prison and detention center guards.

The President’s determination with respect to Libya, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow for the continuation of vital U.S. assistance at this critical moment in the transition. Should Libya experience a successful transition to democracy, it could become a valuable ally and stabilizing influence in a region of strategic importance to the United States. However, if the transition falters, insecurity and lawlessness in Libya would further destabilize the volatile Maghreb and Sahel region, creating obstacles for counterterrorism cooperation and for efforts to stem the tide of weapons proliferation. Further, the failure of the pro-Western, democratically elected government could result in an unfavorable political shift in the country and our bilateral relationship. This is a critical time to advance our policy goals and build new relationships with emerging leaders. The new government has publicly stated it supports human rights and will work to reverse the inhumane practices of the past. The Libyan government also needs, and has requested, U.S. and international support to develop border security. The U.S. government seeks to coordinate with the UN Support Mission in Libya and Libya’s other international partners to support Libyan efforts to strengthen security sector institutions, develop border security and counterterrorism capabilities, and secure and destroy Qadhafi-era chemical weapons stockpile.

Furthermore, continued instability in Libya could compromise global access to vast Libyan oil and natural gas resources. Given the investment of human, financial, and political capital the United States has already made to help foster a transition from dictatorship in Libya, it is in the interest of the United States to continue supporting stability and democracy through targeted assistance programs to the Libyan government and civil society.

The United States will need to continue its targeted assistance to Libya as the government works to create a new constitution and prepare for presidential and legislative elections. Assistance restrictions would negatively affect U.S. ability to provide support and establish new relationships with the emerging, pro-Western Government in Libya, strengthen civil society, empower women to participate as full members of society, and engender a Libya that is pluralistic, participatory and prosperous. Funds will also be used to establish and renew crucial partnerships related to security and counterterrorism.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $1,436,000 in FY 2013 NADR/EXBS assistance, an estimated $1,500,000 in IMET, and anticipated FMS. Restrictions on assistance under the Act would also apply to an estimated $2.85 million in ESF-OCO and $3 million in Transition Initiatives. Restrictions may also apply to any potential EDA. Continued democracy and governance or civil society programming from other global and regional accounts, including from MEPI, could also be affected.

Mauritania

The Government of Mauritania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Mauritania is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of Mauritania – which in previous years assumed a public posture that denied the continued existence of slavery in Mauritania –took steps to raise public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking in Mauritania, including slavery. This welcome positive tone by political leaders was not, however, matched by corresponding efforts to punish trafficking offenders or increase protections for victims. Although the government and NGOs identified nearly 2,000 suspected trafficking victims, the government did not initiate any prosecutions for trafficking crimes. The government did not provide adequate protective services to victims or ensure their referral to service providers to receive care, and it failed to establish procedures for the proactive identification of victims among persons arrested for prostitution and individuals detained and deported for immigration violations.

The President’s determination with respect to Mauritania, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the U.S. government to continue providing assistance that would encourage and support the development of a military that respects human rights and would advance the goal of countering violent extremism in West and North Africa. Mauritania is a critical regional partner in combating terrorist groups like al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. The waiver will support U.S. efforts to cooperate with Mauritania against shared terrorism threats by reinforcing the capacity of the professional training centers in strategic areas where youth are at risk of unemployment and economic and social marginalization. As Mauritania approaches long delayed parliamentary elections in October 2013, U.S. engagement will be critical for advancing the strong democratic institutions and inclusive economic growth Mauritania needs to support our mutual regional security goals.

Finally, a partial waiver of restrictions to allow certain government employees to participate in YALI is in the national interest of the United States. YALI is intended to invest in the next generation of African leaders and strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa. Absent a waiver, young Mauritanian leaders who are government employees – including those individuals in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government, or state universities or hospitals – would be unable to participate.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $260,000 in IMET, an undetermined amount of TSCTP PKO funding, and an estimated $1.9 million for TSCTP funding. Restrictions would also apply to FMF provided through a regional counterterrorism program to sustain assistance provided through TSCTP PKO. Finally, restrictions would apply to any EDA provided to Mauritania.

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, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Papua New Guinea is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Despite an overall low level of awareness of trafficking among many government officials, the government acknowledged that human trafficking was a problem in the country and expressed its commitment to increasing law enforcement’s capacity to address it. However, it has not yet enacted draft legislation that would criminalize all forms of trafficking, nor has it investigated or prosecuted suspected trafficking offenders under existing laws, or identified or assisted any trafficking victims during the year. In addition, the government appeared to take no action against trafficking related corruption. Government officials continued to facilitate trafficking by accepting bribes to allow illegal migrants to enter the country or to ignore victims forced into prostitution or labor, and by trading female trafficking victims in return for political favors or votes.

The President’s determination with respect to Papua New Guinea, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, would permit continuation of U.S. government re-engagement in the South Pacific. The success of Western oriented democracy and development in Papua New Guinea is a key strategic goal for the United States, and presents a positive counter example to the “coup culture” that has destabilized other countries elsewhere in the Pacific region. It is in U.S. national interests to continue encouraging a military that respects human rights and the rule of law and will advance the goal of strengthening security throughout the Pacific region. Outside of Tonga, Papua New Guinea is the only nation in the South Pacific to have a military with a growing, maturing relationship with the United States. Papua New Guinea has passed the International Obligations Act, which enables its forces to be used abroad for peacekeeping operations, a development the U.S. government has encouraged. It has participated in the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and Peacekeeping Operations in Timor Leste. IMET funded courses expose defense establishment personnel to U.S. military training, doctrine, and values and are intended to promote democratic values, build capacity in key areas, increase the professionalization of the forces, and build lasting military-to-military relationships. IMET funding in Papua New Guinea focuses on professional military education and technical training.

A waiver would also support health and environmental programming. U.S. health programming aims to increase access to care, support, and treatment services for most at risk populations in Papua New Guinea, which suffers from the highest HIV/AIDS epidemic rate in the Pacific. The environmental programming would address climate change adaptation and mitigation and marine resource conservation in a region highly vulnerable to climate change, sea level rise, and extreme weather events. Vulnerable populations in Papua New Guinea will likely be the most severely affected by climate change, and are disproportionately reliant on natural resources, including forest and marine resources, for their livelihoods.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $250,000 in IMET funding for FY 2014. Restrictions would also apply to an estimated $500,000 of DA for climate change programming, $20,000 of DA for biodiversity programming, and $2.5 million in GHP programming. Finally, restrictions would apply to any EDA.

Russia

The Government of the Russian Federation does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and, pursuant to Section 107 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as amended, is deemed not to be making significant efforts to do so. The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects, and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Prosecutions in Russia during the reporting period for the 2013 TIP Report remained low compared to estimates of Russia’s trafficking problem. While the government issued a brochure to raise awareness on trafficking, it made no other efforts to fund a national awareness campaign. An interagency committee was established to address human trafficking issues, but it has not yet met. The city of St. Petersburg allocated a building and signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Red Cross to open and operate an eight bed shelter for the care of trafficking victims in St. Petersburg. When implemented, these efforts have the potential to achieve significant progress in combating human trafficking. During the reporting period, the government had not established any concrete system for the identification or care of trafficking victims, lacking any formal victim identification and referral mechanism, though there were reports of victims being identified and cared for through ad hoc efforts. In 2012, the government deported hundreds of labor trafficking victims found in squalid conditions in a Moscow garment factory and levied criminal charges against other trafficking victims allegedly held in servitude for a decade. The government reported minimal efforts to identify or care for the large number of migrant workers vulnerable to labor exploitation, including those preparing for international events.

The President’s determination with respect to Russia, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the U.S. government to continue cooperation with the Government of the Russian Federation in those areas that advance our mutual interests. These areas include countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), scientific collaboration, emergency preparedness, and small business development. NADR program funding supports U.S. and Russian joint efforts to improve border security and combat the proliferation of WMD, including by enhancing interministerial and intergovernmental cooperation and by improving strategic trade control implementation. ESF resources support WMD nonproliferation related research and the exchange of expertise in preparing for and reducing the risk of nuclear and radiological events, the sharing of best practices in small business development, and activities developed through the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to up to an estimated $4.3 million in ESF funding and $1.65 million in NADR/EXBS assistance to the Government of the Russian Federation.

Saudi Arabia

The Government of Saudi Arabia 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, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Saudi Arabia is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. Although the Government of Saudi Arabia reported that two sex trafficking offenders were convicted during the reporting period and it identified some trafficking victims, including a child victim, it identified and referred fewer victims to protection services than in the previous reporting period for the 2013 TIP Report. The government did not make systematic efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims among runaway domestic workers and children who received assistance in government run facilities. Some Saudi police and officials continued to arrest, detain, and sometimes charge runaway and illegal migrant workers who may be unidentified trafficking victims, while police referred others to government run facilities. The sponsorship system, which requires migrant workers to obtain permission of their employers to exit the country, continued to restrict the freedom of movement of migrant workers and hamper the ability of victims of exploitation and abuse to pursue legal cases against their employers. Domestic workers remained excluded from general labor law protections, and employers continued to regularly withhold workers’ passports without punishment as a means of keeping workers in forced labor, despite this practice being prohibited by law.

The President’s determination with respect to Saudi Arabia, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the continuation of programs in Saudi Arabia through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). ESF funding through MEPI in Saudi Arabia is aimed at expanding civil participation and social entrepreneurship, supporting the Kingdom’s stated reform agenda, developing networks of civil society organizations, empowering women in the political sphere and creating linkages between communities in rural and urban environments.

The waiver of restrictions will also allow the continuation of policies in Saudi Arabia that advance regional security goals. Saudi Arabia remains a key partner in U.S. efforts to bring an end to the bloody conflict in Syria, promote a comprehensive peace in the Middle East on the basis of a two state solution, end Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, prevent Afghanistan and Pakistan from becoming safe havens for violent extremists, and support Yemen’s security and stability.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $10 billion in FMS programs as well as approximately $10,000 of IMET funding. Restrictions would also apply to up to $5 million in ESF through MEPI, some of which may be directed toward the training or participation of government officials in the programming.

Sudan

The Government of the Republic of Sudan 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 restrict assistance for Sudan. The President has also determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that that provision of funding for all programs, projects and activities of assistance, with exception of foreign military funding and foreign military sales to the Sudanese land forces, air forces, and Popular Defense Force, described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. While the Government of Sudan took some initial steps – prosecuting suspected traffickers, drafting anti-trafficking legislation, convening its first workshop to discuss human trafficking, and demobilizing and reintegrating child soldiers – its efforts to combat human trafficking through law enforcement, protection, or prevention measures were undertaken in an ad hoc fashion rather than as the result of strategic planning. It did not officially identify trafficking victims or make public data regarding its efforts to combat human trafficking. Its armed forces and proxy militias are reported to have unlawfully recruited and used child soldiers during the reporting period for the 2013 TIP Report, and it did not take action to conclude a proposed action plan with the UN to address the problem.

The President’s partial waiver with respect to Sudan, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the United States to continue programs that promote peace and protect vulnerable populations by preventing violence, particularly in the areas along the border with South Sudan. These programs are in the national interest because they further challenge the current government to be held accountable to its citizens in marginalized areas as well as facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Darfur. The programs are designed to reduce tensions and encourage the government to promote regional stability and good relations with the new Republic of South Sudan.

ESF funding for Sudan is used to foster the voices of Sudanese citizens, especially the most vulnerable, and to support reconciliation, conflict mitigation and income-generation activities. Illustrative interventions using funds to be obligated in FY 2014 could include: (1) supporting peace processes to advance reconciliation and mitigate community level conflict; (2) supporting livelihoods and income generation programs necessary to sustain peace; (3) enhancing peaceful coexistence, movement, and collaboration along the Sudan/South Sudan border; (4) strengthening the government initiated process to develop a permanent constitution for Sudan; (5) fostering opportunities for the Sudanese people to participate in the development of their country; and (6) increasing the capacity of women and youth for civic engagement in local and national affairs.

Impact of Restrictions: 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 legislative restrictions on assistance. Restrictions on assistance under the Act would nonetheless apply to some of the approximately $10.7 million in ESF assistance provided to bolster peace and stability within the country; a small portion of this funding may be directed toward the training or participation of local government officials in the areas covered by peace agreements, per authorized legislation.

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 restrict assistance for Syria. The President has also determined that provision of funding for participation of certain 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. The President has also determined that provision of all programs, projects, and activities described in 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Prior to the political uprising and violent unrest, Syria was principally a destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor or sex trafficking. The Government of Syria did not demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to investigate and punish trafficking offenses, provide protective services to victims, widely inform the public about human trafficking, or provide much needed anti-trafficking training to law enforcement and social welfare officials. Furthermore, as large-scale civil unrest and violence continued, the government has violently suppressed popular protest, further endangering trafficking victims and other vulnerable populations that remained in the country.

Restricting assistance to the Government of Syria for its failure to make efforts to combat activities related to trafficking in persons expresses clear U.S. disapproval of this inaction.

A partial waiver of restrictions to allow certain government officials to participate in educational and cultural exchange programs is in the U.S. national interest. Absent a waiver, many Syrians who are government employees but not responsible for the atrocities committed by the Asad government that have increased the vulnerability of trafficking victims would be unable to participate in educational or cultural exchanges. The restriction on participation in exchanges by officials or employees of the government would apply to individuals in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the central, regional, or municipal government of Syria and would include physicians at public hospitals, educators at public institutions, and lawyers in the judicial sector. Selective engagement with individuals who are employed at these institutions, such as practitioners and technical experts, will promote greater understanding between the Syrian people and the United States and build the capacity of exchange participants to assist the Syrian people. Educational and cultural exchanges with this population will also further transition efforts in Syria, as we will be building access for the U.S. government within the population that will be called upon to continue to run the country post-transition.

Impact of Restrictions: The United States government does not provide nonhumanitarian, nontrade related assistance to the Government of Syria. The Government of Syria is already subject to several additional restrictions on assistance.

Uzbekistan

The Government of Uzbekistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and, pursuant to Section 107 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as amended, is deemed not to be making significant efforts to do so. The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects, and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Uzbekistan remains one of only a handful of governments around the world that subjects its citizens to forced labor through implementation of state policy. According to a variety of sources, including UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for the first time the government vigorously implemented a decree banning the use of labor by school children up to 15 years of age in the annual cotton harvest; however, the government continued to force older children and adults to harvest cotton. As in previous years, the government set a quota for national cotton production and paid farmers artificially low prices for the cotton produced, making it almost impossible for farmers to pay wages that would attract a voluntary workforce. Provincial mayors and governors were held personally responsible for ensuring the quota was met. They, in turn, passed along this pressure to local officials, who organized and forced Uzbekistani citizens to pick cotton. The government continued to refuse to allow the International Labor Organization (ILO) to monitor the cotton harvest and denied the existence in Uzbekistan of forced labor of children or adults in the cotton sector. There were reports of government organized forced labor in other sectors, as well. The government identified an increased number of sex trafficking and transnational labor trafficking victims in 2012, compared with 2011.

The President’s determination with respect to Uzbekistan, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow for assistance that advances U.S. government goals of promoting security in Central Asia and Afghanistan, advancing democracy and governance reform, promoting private sector development, increasing foreign investment and improving public health. The United States has a national security interest in providing assistance to the Government of Uzbekistan to maintain and secure access to and from Afghanistan for the transit of U.S. equipment and supplies in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as to help Uzbekistan meet potential transnational threats.

IMET funded courses expose defense establishment personnel to U.S. military training, doctrine, and values and are intended to promote democratic value, build capacity in key areas, increase the professionalization of the forces, and build lasting military-to-military relationships. With FMF funding, the U.S. can support defense reform, nonlethal counterterrorism training and equipment that would improve Uzbekistan’s capacity to counter transnational threats and contribute to the security of the region.

Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) assistance supports Uzbekistan’s efforts to improve its border security and combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction which are in our mutual interest. ESF funds will assist in promoting rule of law and supporting civil society, which will help to create an enabling environment for anti-trafficking work; promote economic growth through agricultural programs and improved cross border trade, which has the potential to decrease reliance on cotton and improve economic ties in the region; and provide assistance to the neediest populations. USAID’s health program combats tuberculosis, which will improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to up to an estimated $2.9 million in ESF funding, $3 million in GHP programming, $1.5 million in FMF, $300,000 in IMET, and $540,000 in NADR. Restrictions could also apply to any potential EDA and FMS.

Yemen

The Government of the Republic of Yemen does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that provision of all programs, projects and activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act, or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Yemen is a country of origin and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. In 2012, Yemen was in the midst of a two year Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-brokered political transition, which includes security sector reform. Throughout the year, Yemen faced prolonged political, economic, and security challenges, including weak government institutions, widespread corruption, and poor law enforcement capabilities, which severely impeded the government’s modest anti-trafficking efforts. The government did not institute formal procedures to identify and protect victims of trafficking or investigate or prosecute government officials complicit in trafficking-related crimes. The government did not make efforts to address trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation or to implement anti-trafficking awareness campaigns; however, it took some steps to prevent the recruitment of children in the armed forces.

The President’s determination with respect to Yemen, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the United States to maintain its critical efforts to encourage improved and stable governance, the completion of a peaceful political transition, counterterrorism efforts, and the protection of vulnerable populations. Yemen is a key partner in counterterrorism operations against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, and cooperation with the Yemeni government is vital to the U.S. national strategy to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat terrorist organizations by denying them sanctuary in ungoverned spaces in Yemen. A peaceful political transition process that works toward political, economic, and governance reforms, improved service delivery, military reorganization, and increasing humanitarian assistance is critical to increased stabilization in Yemen and the broader success of our counterterrorism objectives. Restricting assistance could jeopardize Yemen’s capability to conduct special operations and counterterrorism missions and would create a dangerous level of instability in the country and region.

The waiver will also allow for the continuation of ESF programs (including MEPI and USAID programming) focused on promoting more responsive governance, supporting a political transition process that includes previously disenfranchised communities and addresses grievances, empowering local communities and expanding civil society, particularly in selected vulnerable areas, and providing central government support to elected officials and ministries whose policies and services impact community life. The funding reaches populations that are economically vulnerable or have been displaced during the political crisis, or by recent fighting. A cessation of this funding risks increasing the recipients’ vulnerability to exploitation. Supporting such populations is essential to support Yemen’s transition government and broader political transition process to which the United States and the international community are strongly and publicly committed.

Restrictions would severely affect the U.S. government’s ability to provide critical assistance to address Yemen’s political, economic, governance, security, and counterterrorism challenges. The harm to the long-term bilateral relationship would be devastating and overall capacity for Yemen to maintain security, continue progress on its political transition, and conduct counterterrorism operations would be significantly hampered.

IMET programs are critical to the U.S. government’s ability to influence and train current and future Yemeni military leaders. FMF includes programming toward weapons and equipment for the Yemeni special operations forces and counterterrorism unit charged with hunting down al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula. Restrictions under the Act would preclude our ability to assist Yemen in these critical areas. Overcoming Yemen’s challenges requires a multifaceted and comprehensive strategy that emphasizes governance and economic development alongside security issues. As the transition progresses, we need to continue to meet the needs of the Yemeni people by delivering economic assistance, supporting political and governance reform, and providing security assistance to combat the common threat of violent extremism.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions under the Act would apply to approximately $12 million in ESF, $4.881 million in ESF-OCO, $8.312 million in DA, $8.346 million in GHP, $20 million in FMF, $1.1 million in IMET, and up to $4.051.8 million in NADR programs (including $900,000 in MADR-CWD and $900,000 in NADR-EXBS). Additional programming from other global and regional accounts, including from MEPI or Transition Initiatives, may also be affected. Restrictions could also apply to any potential EDA. Any unobligated prior year balances within the eligible categories could also be affected.

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 restrict assistance for Zimbabwe. The President has also determined that provision of funding for programs for the promotion of health, good governance, education, agriculture and food security, poverty reduction, livelihoods, family planning, macroeconomic growth including anticorruption activities, and for programs that would have a significant adverse effect on vulnerable populations if suspended, would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. The President has also determined that participation of Zimbabwean leaders in the YALI is in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of Zimbabwe did not investigate or prosecute any trafficking offenses, including those that allegedly involved government officials, and neither finalized nor introduced a comprehensive anti-trafficking bill to the cabinet. The government also failed to provide funding or inkind support for anti-trafficking trainings held by international donors and made minimal efforts to train its staff independently. It made minimal efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year, continuing to rely on NGOs and the International Organization for Migration to identify and assist victims without support for such work.

The President’s partial waiver with respect to Zimbabwe, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, is in the national interest because it will allow certain types of bilateral assistance to be provided to the Government of Zimbabwe to promote the country’s transformation from repression and poverty to a government that respects democratic freedoms and meets the needs of its people. Vulnerable populations, particularly women and children, have been especially impacted by Zimbabwe’s volatile political environment for more than a decade. A waiver determination would allow for the continuation of programming that promotes the development of policies on pro-poor and inclusive growth, social safety nets, and land use rights, as well as enhancing the overall environment for increased political participation of marginalized groups. Thus, a failure to waive some of the restrictions under the Act would deepen the vulnerability of the population at large, making it more difficult for the Zimbabwean people to press for the political changes needed to transform Zimbabwe to a state that respects human rights.

Finally, a partial waiver of restrictions to allow certain government employees to participate in the YALI program is in the national interest of the United States. YALI is intended to invest in the next generation of African leaders and strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa. Absent a waiver, young Zimbabwean leaders who are government employees – including those individuals in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government, or state universities or hospitals – would be unable to participate.

Impact of Restrictions: Foreign assistance to Zimbabwe is already subject to numerous legal and policy restrictions, for which partial waivers and other authorities are in place. Restrictions under the Act would apply to all nonhumanitarian, nontrade related assistance to Zimbabwe, which includes ESF, for programs designed to strengthen governance structures and practices.



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