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White House Press Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, DC
October 18, 2007


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, Syria, and Venezuela not to provide certain funding for those countries' governments for Fiscal Year 2008, 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 (DPRK), and Iran not to provide certain funding for those countries' governments for Fiscal Year 2008, 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 determination of the Secretary of State with respect to Equatorial Guinea and Kuwait.

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Algeria, that provision to Algeria 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 Bahrain, that provision to Bahrain 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 DPRK, that funding for educational and cultural exchange programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act that are aimed at improving U.S.-DPRK relations 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 Iran, that funding for educational and cultural exchange programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act that include educators and municipal leaders 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 Malaysia, that provision to Malaysia 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 Oman, that provision to Oman 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 Qatar, that provision to Qatar 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 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, for all programs, projects, or activities of assistance for victims of trafficking in persons or to combat such trafficking, that provision to Syria of the assistance described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(i) 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 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 democracy or good governance, 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, that assistance to Venezuela 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 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) is 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 sixteen countries placed on Tier 3 of the State Department's 2007 annual Report on Trafficking in Persons. The President has determined to sanction Burma, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, Syria, and Venezuela. The United States will not provide funding for participation by officials or employees of the governments of Cuba, the DPRK, or Iran 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 foreign assistance to the governments of Burma, Syria, or Venezuela 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 the

DPRK, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela 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 Algeria, Bahrain, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, 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 Equatorial Guinea and Kuwait. It is significant that two of the sixteen 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, DPRK, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela (with specific exceptions for Venezuela) for Fiscal Year 2008, 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 16 countries follow.

Equatorial Guinea

On the basis of positive actions undertaken by the Government of Equatorial Guinea since March 2007, the Secretary of State has determined that the Government of Equatorial Guinea 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 Equatorial Guinea on the Special Watch List because the determination that the Government of Equatorial Guinea is making significant efforts is based, in part, on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

In June 2007, the Government of Equatorial Guinea 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
The government has pledged to train police to identify and arrest traffickers and rescue trafficking victims in the coming year. Authorities began to inspect public establishments to enforce laws against forced child labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The government penalized market sellers for child labor exploitation by confiscating their goods. The Ministry of National Security distributed a circular to all police stations to heighten awareness of trafficking.

Protection
The government entered into discussions with nongovernmental organizations about partnerships to provide care to trafficking victims. The Ministry of National Security distributed a circular to all police stations advising officers on appropriate responses to trafficking victims. The government renewed pledges to construct victim shelters and to conduct a nationwide census to identify foreign children living in Equatorial Guinea without their parents.

Prevention
The government posted anti-trafficking billboards in Malabo and Bata. It informed the public through newspaper announcements and radio and television broadcasts that authorities had begun to inspect public establishments to enforce laws against forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.

Kuwait

On the basis of positive actions undertaken by the Government of Kuwait since March 2007, the Secretary of State has determined that the Government of Kuwait 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 Kuwait on the Special Watch List because the determination that the Government of Kuwait is making significant efforts is based, in part, on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

In June 2007, the Government of Kuwait 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
The government has pledged to enact already fully drafted anti-trafficking legislation. The government has pledged to provide evidence of increased prosecutions, convictions and sentences.

Protection
The government in September 2007 opened a shelter for trafficking victims and pledged to continue developing a fully operational shelter freely accessible to trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government pledged to provide technical training to law enforcement, attorneys, and judges on investigating and prosecution trafficking cases and victim identification.

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 to waive all sanctions against Algeria, consistent with the provisions of the Act, in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Algeria has not taken sufficient steps to address the significant problem of trafficking of men, women, and children both within and through Algeria. The government did not prosecute any individuals for trafficking offenses, and did not train law enforcement or judicial officials on anti-trafficking measures. The government does not offer protective services to victims and did not institute a victim identification procedure to prevent the punishment or summary deportation of trafficking victims. The Government of Algeria also has not developed a public awareness campaign or other trafficking prevention programs. The granting of a full waiver of sanctions against Algeria, however, is in the national interest because it will allow us to continue democracy programs in Algeria in support of the President's Freedom Agenda through the Middle East Partnership Initiative, and will permit continued security cooperation to effectively prosecute the Global War on Terror.

Impact of Sanctions: Approximately $700,000 in International Military Education and Training funding 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. Development assistance of approximately $1.165 million would have also been subject to sanction. Sanctioning this aid would have removed a United States Government tool in promoting democratic reform and human rights in Algeria.

Bahrain

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

Justification: The Government of Bahrain has not taken sufficient steps to address the significant problem of involuntary servitude and commercial sexual exploitation in which many foreign domestic workers and women are found in Bahrain. The government offers protective services to victims through a shelter; it has recently lifted some of the restrictions on access to this shelter. Nonetheless, the government has not instituted a victim identification procedure to prevent the punishment or summary deportation of trafficking victims. The Government of Bahrain's record of prosecuting trafficking offenses remains poor. The Government of Bahrain also has not developed a public awareness campaign or other trafficking prevention programs. The granting of a full waiver of sanctions against Bahrain is in the national interest because it will allow us to continue democracy programs in Bahrain in support of the President's Freedom Agenda through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and will permit continued security cooperation to effectively prosecute the Global War on Terror.

Impact of Sanctions: A projected two billion dollars in foreign military sales to Bahrain 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. Development assistance of $1.1 million would have also been subject to sanction. Sanctioning this aid and MEPI programs would have removed a United States Government tool in promoting democratic reform and human rights in Bahrain.

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 remains 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.

Impact of Sanctions: The United States does not provide direct assistance to the Government of Burma. In fiscal year 2007, the Government of Burma received $1 million in 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 humanitarian assistance along the Thai-Burma border through various nongovernmental organizations, supports democracy activities both inside and outside the country, and supports the provision of services to those with or at-risk of HIV/AIDS. The United States also has supported a nongovernmental organization working in Burma to assist victims of trafficking repatriated from Thailand.

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, 2006, and 2007.

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 as politically motivated criticism of its failure to address trafficking. 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, and has no discernable anti-trafficking law enforcement, victim protection, or prevention policies. Moreover, there was 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. The President has also determined that provision of funding for educational and cultural exchange programs that are aimed at improving U.S.-DPRK relations would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

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 imposition of partial sanctions will further the national interest of the United States by allowing educational and cultural exchange programs that are aimed at improving U.S.-DPRK relations.

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 beatings, imprisonment, and 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 -- educators and municipal leaders -- to learn about and be exposed to the United States and its people.

Impact of Sanctions: The Government of Iran is already subject to economic sanctions due to, among other things, its support for international terrorism. The United States Government does not provide economic assistance to the Government of Iran. The partial waiver will allow the provision of funding for educational and cultural programs that involve the participation of individuals who in some cases may be affiliated with the government.

Malaysia

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

Justification: The Government of Malaysia has not taken sufficient steps to address the significant problems of trafficking of foreign nationals to its country for sexual and labor exploitation. The government has not improved its poor anti-trafficking law enforcement record or shown an effort to identify and protect victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labor. It did not fulfill a long-standing pledge to open a much-needed shelter for foreign victims of trafficking or to fund nongovernmental organizations to provide victim protection services. Although the government drafted, passed, and enacted an anti-trafficking law in July 2007, it does not appear to offer adequate victim protections and there are no discernable plans for its implementation. The government continues to incarcerate and summarily deport foreign victims, and the new law will not curb this practice. The granting of a full waiver of sanctions against Malaysia is in the national interest because it will permit continued security cooperation to effectively prosecute the Global War on Terror.

Impact of Sanctions: Approximately $24 million in counter-terrorism assistance; $35 million in Foreign Military Sales; $920,000 in International Military Education and Training funds; up to $1 million in Peacekeeping Operations funds under the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI); and up to $1 million in Foreign Military Financing as part of the East Asia and the Pacific Bureau's regional maritime program would have been restricted by sanctions under the Act. A full waiver has been granted in the national interest of allowing for the uninterrupted continuation of important military-to-military security cooperation programs and to allow for military sales in order to advance goals of the Global War on Terror.

Oman

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

Justification: The Government of Oman has not taken sufficient steps to address the significant problem of involuntary servitude in which many foreign domestic workers and laborers are found in Oman. The government has not demonstrated a commitment to punishing trafficking offenses; Oman rarely prosecutes trafficking offenses despite laws that could be used to do so. The government also has not instituted victim identification procedures capable of preventing the punishment or deportation of trafficking victims and currently offers no protection services to identified victims. The granting of a full waiver of sanctions against Oman is in the national interest because it will allow us to continue democracy programs in Oman in support of the President's Freedom Agenda through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and will permit continued security cooperation to effectively prosecute the Global War on Terror.

Impact of Sanctions: Over $10.1 million in Foreign Military Financing; $23 million in projected foreign military sales; and $1.5 million in International Military Education and Training funding to Oman 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 United States Government tool in promoting democratic reform and human rights in Oman.

Qatar

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

Justification: The Government of Qatar has not taken sufficient steps to address the significant problem of involuntary servitude in which many foreign domestic workers are found in Qatar. The government offers protective services to victims through a shelter. Nonetheless, the government has not instituted a victim identification procedure to prevent the punishment of trafficking victims, and victims are believed to be among those detained indefinitely in deportation centers. Qatar continues to provide training to government officials through seminars and conferences, and has committed to paying for comprehensive law enforcement training over the next year. However, the Government of Qatar's record of prosecuting trafficking offenses remains poor; the government did not report any prosecutions of those suspected of trafficking crimes. Qatar also has not developed a public awareness campaign or other trafficking prevention programs. The granting of a full waiver of sanctions against Qatar is in the national interest because it will allow us to continue democracy programs in Qatar in support of the President's Freedom Agenda through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and will permit continued security cooperation to effectively prosecute the Global War on Terror.

Impact of Sanctions: Approximately $15,000 in International Military Education and Training funds would have been restricted by sanctions under the Act. A full waiver has been granted in the national interest in order to advance goals of the Global War on Terror and U.S. commercial interests. Sanctioning MEPI programs would have removed a key United States Government tool in promoting democratic reform and human rights in Qatar.

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, if 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 suspected 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), and will permit continued security cooperation to effectively prosecute the Global War on Terror.

Impact of Sanctions: Twenty billion dollars in projected foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia and $15,000 in International Military Education and Training funding 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 United States 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: Since March 2007, the Government of Sudan has made no progress in rescuing and reintegrating victims of trafficking into their communities of origin, resulting in thousands of people continuing to remain in prolonged situations of forced labor and sexual exploitation. It also made no effort to address the trafficking of women for domestic servitude within and through the country. The government, however, made limited progress in demobilizing and reintegrating children associated with armed groups, assisting in the reunification of 24 children with their families in May.

A full waiver of sanctions is in the U.S. national interest as it will allow the funding of programs to, among other things, enhance security within the country and carry out additional reconstruction projects in Southern Sudan.

Impact of Sanctions: Comprehensive sanctions against Sudan are already in place, including those imposed under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, those related to its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, and several other sanctions. Applying additional sanctions would have precluded an estimated $41.8 million in assistance to bolster security within the country and further the reconstruction of Southern Sudan.

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 develop 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 certain bilateral assistance for anti-trafficking activities in Syria 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. Although the government began drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, Syria reported no law enforcement efforts to punish trafficking offenses this year. In addition, the government did not offer protection services to victims of trafficking, and appears to have arrested or prosecuted some victims for prostitution or immigration violations.

A partial waiver of sanctions is in the national interest by precluding most forms of assistance but allowing funding for anti-trafficking programs.

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 anti-trafficking programs.

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 did not adopt comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, did not approve a national plan of action on trafficking, provided minimal assistance to the country's two trafficking shelters, and the interagency anti-trafficking working group continues to lack legal status. The Government of Uzbekistan has yet to act 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 in Uzbekistan to, among other things, combat trafficking in persons, address HIV/AIDS and other disease prevention by strengthening laboratory systems, enhance avian influenza preparedness, promote democracy, improve border security, enhance counternarcotics efforts, and support agricultural sector productivity by land and water management.

Impact of Sanctions: Sanctions would have precluded an estimated $8.5 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 anti-trafficking, democracy, good governance, and public diplomacy programs in Venezuela would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The Government of Venezuela has not yet dedicated serious attention or significant resources to confronting a growing human trafficking problem in the region. During the past year, the Government carried out no discernable anti-trafficking law enforcement activities or efforts to protect and shelter trafficking victims. Political events in the country have contributed to this lack of action, and the provision of limited assistance, including to strengthen 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 certain other assistance. 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 will continue programs that support civil society, political party building, national dialogue and public diplomacy in Venezuela. These programs are implemented by Development Alternatives, Inc., the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, among others, and are open to all political parties in Venezuela, including the pro-government Fifth Republican Movement.

Venezuela is already subject to a number of legal restrictions that preclude most forms of assistance to the Government of Venezuela.



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