U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons > Releases and Remarks > Press Releases > 2006
White House Press Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, DC
September 27, 2006


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

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 Burma, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe, not to provide certain funding for those countries' governments for fiscal year 2007, until such government complies with the minimum standards or makes significant efforts to bring itself 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, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, and Syria, not to provide certain funding for those countries' governments for fiscal year 2007, until such government complies with the minimum standards or makes significant efforts to bring itself 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)(3) of the Act, concerning the determinations of the Secretary of State with respect to Belize and Laos;

  • Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Iran, that funding for educational and cultural exchange programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act that include educators, municipal leaders, religious leaders, journalists, economists, or sports or cultural figures 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 Saudi Arabia, that provision to Saudi Arabia of all programs, projects, or activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) 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 Sudan, that provision to Sudan of all programs, projects, or activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) 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 Syria, that funding for educational and cultural exchange programs described in section 110(d)(1) (A)(ii) of the Act that include educators, municipal leaders, religious leaders, journalists, economists, or sports or cultural figures 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 Uzbekistan, that provision to Uzbekistan of all programs, projects, or activities of assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) 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 Venezuela, for all programs, projects, or activities of assistance for victims of trafficking in persons or to combat such trafficking, or for strengthening the democratic process, including strengthening political parties and supporting electoral observation and monitoring and related programs, or for public diplomacy, that provision to Venezuela of the assistance described in sections 110(d) (1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act for such programs, projects, or activities 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, for all programs, projects, or activities of assistance for victims of trafficking in persons or to combat such trafficking, for the promotion of health or good governance, or which would have a significant adverse effect on vulnerable populations if suspended, that provision to Zimbabwe of the assistance described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act for such programs, projects, or activities 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, that assistance to Venezuela or Zimbabwe described in section 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act that:

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

    (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; or

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

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

    (5) in engaging a government, international organization, or civil society organization, and that 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 or training and economic empowerment of populations clearly at risk of falling victim to trafficking

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.

GEORGE W. BUSH



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


The President has made determinations regarding the twelve countries placed on Tier 3 of the State Department’s 2006 annual Report on Trafficking in Persons. The President has determined to sanction Burma, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. The United States will not provide funding for participation by officials or employees of the governments of Cuba, the DPRK, Iran, or Syria in educational and cultural exchange programs until such government complies with the Act's minimum standards to combat trafficking or makes significant efforts to do so. The United States will not provide certain non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance to the governments of Burma, Venezuela, or Zimbabwe, until such 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 Iran, Syria, Venezuela, 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 Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan 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 determinations regarding Belize and Laos. It is significant that two of the twelve 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 these countries' governments 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 Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe (with specific exceptions for Venezuela and Zimbabwe) for Fiscal Year 2007, until such a government complies with the minimum standards or makes significant efforts to bring itself 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 12 countries follow.

Belize

On the basis of positive actions undertaken by the Government of Belize since the end of the 2006 reporting period, the Secretary of State has determined that the Government of Belize 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 Secretary of State has placed Belize on the Special Watch List because the determination that the Government of Belize is making significant efforts is based, in part, on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

In June 2006, the Government of Belize was presented with an action plan by the State Department 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 future steps over the next year, thus demonstrating "significant efforts." These efforts include:

Prosecution

Since the Report's release, the government formed a "tripartite team" including police and immigration officers and social workers, which conducted six unannounced operations against suspected sites of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. These operations and other law enforcement investigations led to the arrest and prosecution of suspected traffickers and the identification of 62 possible trafficking victims. After interviewing the 62 persons, seven were determined by the team to be trafficking victims. The government identified a police inspector to serve as a coordinator of anti-trafficking law enforcement operations and the collection of data from these operations.

Protection

The government provided assistance for the seven victims of trafficking immediately after their identification during law enforcement operations. This assistance included shelter, counseling and access to social services, for which the government provided $5,000. The government also has identified a building which it plans to convert into a dedicated shelter for victims of trafficking; it is scheduled to open in September 2006.

Prevention

In June, the government launched a $40,000 nationwide awareness campaign through print, radio and televised media. The campaign included public service announcements on several radio and television stations played repeatedly through the summer. Members of the government's anti-trafficking committee and the Ministers of Human Development and Home Affairs made separate statements on radio or television on the dangers of trafficking that were re-broadcast several times. Five hundred posters carrying warnings of trafficking were printed by the government and posted at key public locations such as border points, embassies and bus terminals.

Laos

On the basis of positive actions undertaken by the Government of Laos since the end of the 2005 reporting period, the Secretary of State has determined that the Government of Laos 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 Secretary of State has placed Laos on the Special Watch List because the determination that the Government of Laos is making significant efforts is based, in part, on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

In June 2006, the Government of Laos was presented with an action plan by the State Department 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 future steps over the next year, thus demonstrating "significant efforts." These efforts include:

Prosecution

Since the release of the 2006 Report, the Government of Laos has provided previously unreported data on anti-trafficking law enforcement actions taken in 2005 and 2006. These data indicate that at least 12 suspected traffickers were arrested by police in 2006 and five of these 12 have since been prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to an average of 6.5 years imprisonment. The remaining seven cases are in various stages of investigation and prosecution. The Lao government’s police anti-trafficking unit is investigating the possible involvement of local enforcement officials in a particular town in trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

Protection

In response to concerns over reports that local officials continue to punish Lao trafficking victims returning from Thailand, the government in July initiated a training campaign to educate immigration officers along Laos’ border with Thailand on the Prime Minister’s December 2005 order abolishing all fines against undocumented persons returning to Laos from neighboring countries, including victims of trafficking. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW) has embarked on an intensified effort to improve the referral of Lao victims to its transit shelter and a new longer-term shelter was opened in 2006 by the Lao Women’s Union. The MLSW transit shelter provided care for 245 victims in the last year, a more than three-fold increase from the preceding year. In an effort to protect Lao citizens working in Thailand who are vulnerable to involuntary servitude, the government continues to work closely with the Thai government to register these undocumented Lao workers; 90,000 have been registered to date. The government plans to open two MLSW counseling centers for victims of trafficking in outlying provinces in the next year.

Prevention

Through the Lao Women’s Union (LWU), the government has expanded existing public awareness campaigns on trafficking to additional provinces in the country. The LWU has also disseminated 3,000 copies of the 2004 Law on Women, which contains anti-trafficking statutes, and conducted seminars for over 300 local officials on how to implement the law. Building on this education campaign, the government plans to print and disseminate throughout the country an additional 5,000 copies of the law along with a new manual designed to guide readers on the law’s implementation.

Burma

The Government of Burma 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 Burma.

Justification: The Burmese military is directly involved in forced labor and there are reports that some children have been involuntarily conscripted into the Burmese Army for the purpose of forced labor. Although the Burmese Government has taken increased steps to combat trafficking for sexual exploitation, the significant state-sanctioned use of internal forced labor, especially by the military, continues, offsetting the Government's inadequate efforts.

Impact of Sanctions: The United States does not provide direct assistance to the Government of Burma. In fiscal year 2006, the Government of Burma received $475,000 in one-time indirect U.S. assistance through the United Nations World Health and Food and Agriculture Organizations for avian influenza preparedness and response. The United States Government provides assistance through various NGOs to Burmese migrants and displaced persons, supports training and advocacy activities both inside and outside the country for pro-democracy activists, and supports the provision of services to those with or at-risk of HIV/AIDS. One example is the United States Government's support for one NGO working in Burma to assist victims of trafficking repatriated from Thailand. The United States Government also provides funds to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for alternative development projects in Burma.

Existing sanctions on Burma include a ban on new investment, bilateral assistance, and arms sales, and imposition of travel restrictions against senior Burmese officials and their immediate relatives. Executive Order 13310, issued in part in implementation of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, imposes additional measures including a ban on imports of Burmese products, a ban on the exportation of financial services to Burma, and a freeze on the assets of four entities -- the State Peace and Development Council, the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank, the Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank, and the Myanmar Economic Bank -- as well as the assets of individuals determined to be senior officials of the Burmese regime, the State Peace and Development Council, or the Union Solidarity and Development Association. The import ban was renewed in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

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 continues to dismiss any criticism of the Government’s failure to address trafficking as politically motivated. Cuba's state-sponsored tourism industry tacitly promotes the prostitution of children and is a draw for foreign sex tourists. The government has avoided developing a strategy to address the problem, has no anti-trafficking law enforcement policy, and there has been no observed progress in punishing traffickers during the last year.

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 embargo-related 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. The United States Government supports non-governmental entities under Section 109 of the LIBERTAD Act of 1996, and sanctions against Cuba do not apply to activities under that section.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (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 sanction the DPRK.

Justification: The Government of the DPRK is making no effort to address trafficking in persons. The government does not recognize trafficking as a problem and imposes forced labor conditions and other forms of severe punishment on its prisoners, including North Koreans forcibly returned from China. Further, 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. Although other U.S. measures against North Korea are in place, the President's determination indicates the strong U.S. disapproval of the DPRK Government's failure to address trafficking in persons.

Impact of Sanctions: The Act's sanctions will not impact U.S. assistance to the DPRK. No North Korean government officials or employees participate in current or planned United States Government-funded educational or cultural exchange programs.

The only assistance provided to the DPRK by the United States is food aid given through the United Nations World Food Program and disaster assistance. Food insecurity is an ongoing problem in North Korea and the population remains vulnerable to malnourishment, disease and starvation. The food, health, and disaster aid provided by the U.S. helps to alleviate the desperate situation in the DPRK. This assistance to the North Korean people is purely humanitarian, and the DPRK’s placement on Tier 3 should not adversely impact food, health, or disaster aid. The U.S. government does not provide other types of assistance to the government of the DPRK.

USAID provides a significant amount of this food aid under authority of P.L. 480, the "Food for Peace" program. Assistance under P.L. 480 is not affected by the TVPA sanctions.

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 educational and cultural exchange programs that include educators and municipal leaders 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 execution -- victims of trafficking. Specifically, children who have been trafficked in Iran's illegal commercial sex trade have been punished as adulterers by Iran's Islamic courts; some have been executed. The government has avoided developing a comprehensive strategy to address Iran's human trafficking problem.

A partial waiver of sanctions is in the national interest as it will allow certain types of individuals who are influential in Iranian society to learn about and be exposed to the United States and its people. The category of exempted individuals – educators and municipal-level leaders – is intended to include a range of individuals involved in education efforts and local leadership including, but not necessarily limited to, teachers, professors, educational administrators, religious leaders, journalists, economists, and sports and cultural figures.

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 educational and cultural programs that involve the participation of individuals who in some cases may be affiliated with the government.

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 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 sufficient steps to address the significant problem of involuntary servitude in which many foreign domestic workers and laborers are found in Saudi Arabia, but has committed to work with the U.S. government on this problem through a constructive dialogue. The government offers only a small, but growing, number of services for these victims of trafficking -- who are among millions of South and Southeast Asian workers brought to the Kingdom -- and prosecutes few of those guilty of trafficking crimes. 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 democracy programs in Saudi Arabia in support of the President's Freedom Agenda through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), will permit continued security cooperation to effectively prosecute the Global War on Terror, and will allow U.S. businesses to continue to trade in the Kingdom.

Impact of Sanctions: Over ten billion dollars in foreign military sales (FMS) to Saudi Arabia 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 goals of the Global War on Terror and U.S. commercial interests. Sanctioning MEPI programs would have removed a key U.S. government tool in promoting democratic reform and human rights in Saudi Arabia.

Sudan

The Government 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 waive sanctions against Sudan, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The government of Sudan has made insufficient progress in rescuing and repatriating victims of slavery and demobilizing child soldiers. The government has failed to provide to the Committee for the Elimination of the Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC) funding to return 8,000 identified abductees to their homes. It also has failed to pass legislation establishing a National Disarmament, Demobilization and Rehabilitation Commission. The government has made some efforts to address the issue of children trafficked as camel jockeys and to pass legal protections against recruiting children into combat.

Impact of Sanctions: Comprehensive sanctions against Sudan are already in place, including those imposed under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), those related to its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, and several other sanctions.

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 on January 9, 2005, signaled a new era for Sudan. The United States is working with the parties to implement the peace agreement and bring about democratic transformation in Sudan. Now that the Sudanese government and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army have signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), we have the opportunity to make lasting contributions to resolve the crisis in Darfur. Under the CPA, we intend to implement a wide variety of programs to restore effective governance and allow economic growth in the South and other conflict areas. These would likely include, but not be 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. Efforts in Darfur are even more vital now that the DPA has been signed because we must continue to make extensive humanitarian contributions while also developing programs similar to those in the South, such as the development of democracy and a functional civil society. Bilateral programs and projects in both of these areas, in conjunction with other countries and international institutions, are currently underway. The President’s action will allow these important efforts to continue as appropriate.

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 that include educators and municipal leaders would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Syria has not made significant efforts to address its trafficking in persons problem since the release of the June Report. The government made no efforts to develop an anti-trafficking policy, increase identification of trafficking victims or prosecutions of traffickers, or raise public awareness of the issue of trafficking. Syria also took no steps to initiate the drafting of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law criminalizing trafficking offenses.

The government has yet to demonstrate the commitment necessary to develop a strategy and address the problem. It has not drafted or enacted an anti-trafficking law; it has no formal program to identify and protect victims of severe forms of trafficking, and it has not reported any significant law enforcement efforts against traffickers during the last year.

A partial waiver of sanctions is in the national interest as it will allow certain types of individuals who are influential in Syrian society to learn about and be exposed to the United States and its people. The category of exempted individuals – educators and municipal-level leaders – is intended to include a range of individuals involved in education efforts and local leadership including, but not necessarily limited to, teachers, professors, educational administrators, religious leaders, journalists, economists, and sports and cultural figures.

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 educational and cultural exchange programs that involve the participation of individuals who in some cases may be affiliated with the government.

Uzbekistan

The Government of Uzbekistan 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 Uzbekistan, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Uzbekistan has yet to focus serious attention or devote significant resources to its substantial trafficking problem. The government failed to amend its criminal code that currently ensures nearly all convicted traffickers receive amnesty and thus serve no time in prison. Furthermore, the government made no progress in adopting its comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, made no effort to approve a national plan of action on trafficking, and provided no assistance to the country's two trafficking shelters. The interagency anti-trafficking working group continues to lack legal status and has remained dormant since May 2005. Although the government convicted six traffickers in July 2006, they could be given amnesty, as have others in the past, and consequently would not serve a term of imprisonment as Uzbekistan's criminal code has not been amended. The Government of Uzbekistan has yet to act on its promises, made over several years, to address these deficiencies and make these significant efforts. The government's inaction indicates a severe lack of commitment to seriously address trafficking in persons.

A full waiver of sanctions is in the national interest as it will allow the funding of programs to, among other things, combat trafficking in persons, address HIV/AIDS, promote democracy and good governance, support local economic development, and quell internal conflict in Uzbekistan.

Impact of Sanctions: Sanctions would have precluded an estimated $5.9 million in assistance to the Government of Uzbekistan.

Venezuela

The Government of Venezuela 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 Venezuela. The President has also determined that provision of certain bilateral and multilateral assistance designed to strengthen the democratic process in Venezuela, including strengthening political parties, supporting electoral observation and monitoring, promoting national dialogue, and supporting the United States’ public diplomacy efforts would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Venezuela has yet to focus serious attention or to devote significant resources to a growing human trafficking problem in the region. Although the Government has cracked down on human smuggling rings, it carries out no anti-trafficking law enforcement and no trafficking victim protection activities. Political turmoil in the country has contributed to this lack of action, and the provision of certain assistance to promote the democratic process in Venezuela will serve to promote stable and legitimate leadership that will, it is hoped, make significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons.

Impact of Sanctions: The imposition of partial sanctions will further the national interest of the United States by precluding most forms of assistance, but allowing other assistance designed to strengthen the democratic process and improve the U.S. image in Venezuela. A partial waiver allows important U.S. assistance programs in Venezuela to continue at a critical time for Venezuelan democracy. Specifically, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will continue programs that support political party building, national dialogue and public diplomacy in Venezuela. These programs are implemented by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), among others, and are open to all political parties, including the pro-government Fifth Republican Movement (MVR).

Venezuela is party to the Rome Statute and has not entered into an Article 98 agreement with the United States. Therefore, pursuant to the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act and the Foreign Operations Appropriations Acts for 2005 and 2006, the Government of Venezuela is already restricted from receiving military education and training, foreign military financing, or assistance from Economic Support Funds.

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 also determined that provision of certain bilateral and multilateral assistance for victims of trafficking in persons or to combat such trafficking, for promoting health and good governance, and for assisting vulnerable populations would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Although Zimbabwe demonstrated progress in investigating trafficking cases, the government did not pursue prosecutions in identified cases. In 2005 the government conducted "Operation Restore Order," an urban destruction campaign that placed citizens at risk of being trafficked, and harassed an anti-trafficking NGO. In July 2006, however, the government met with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to discuss strategies to build government capacity to combat trafficking, and assisted in opening an IOM-funded migrant service center that has pledged to provide specific trafficking victim care in the coming year.

It is in the national interest of the United States to support capacity building for Zimbabwean legislators to support the separation of powers and re-establishment of full democracy, to promote health, and to assist vulnerable populations.

Impact of Sanctions: The Government of Zimbabwe is already subject to targeted sanctions and legislative restrictions tied to its poor record on democracy, human rights and economic reform. Nevertheless, the United States does provide some assistance that would be affected by these sanctions if no partial waiver were granted.

The partial waiver will allow the United States to continue to fund a program to strengthen Parliament’s management of the legislative process and to assist its exercise of legislative oversight of selected ministries, including public hearings. An estimated $9.376 million in assistance will continue to support three separate programs that operate in conjunction with the Government of Zimbabwe to combat HIV/AIDS. These programs assist vulnerable populations by building the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to manage the HIV/AIDS crisis, helping the Government of Zimbabwe to keep an uninterrupted supply of public sector HIV-drugs available, training health care workers and integrating programs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV with other key health programs.



  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.