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Viewing cable 09REYKJAVIK50, NINTH ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09REYKJAVIK50 2009-03-06 16:04 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXRO2385
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHRK #0050/01 0651626
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061626Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4012
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 REYKJAVIK 000050 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/NB, G/TIP, G (ACBLANK), INL, DRL, PRM, AND 
EUR/PGI 
STATE PASS USAID 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM KCRM KWMN ELAB SMIG KTIP KFRD PREF IC
SUBJECT:  NINTH ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT FOR 
ICELAND (PART 2 OF 2) 
 
REFS: A) STATE 5577 
  B) 08 STATE 132759 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- ENTIRE TEXT 
 
1.  (SBU) Embassy point of contact on the trafficking in persons 
(TIP) issue is Political Officer Brad Evans, tel. 
+354-562-9100x2294, fax +354-562-9139, unclassified e-mail 
EvansBR@state.gov. 
 
Hours spent on preparation: 
- Pol Officer (FS 02) 18 hrs 
- Pol Assistant  50 hrs 
- DCM      1 hrs 
Total:    63 hrs 
 
2.  (SBU) Part 2 of Embassy's submission follows, keyed to reftel 
format.  Part 1 was transmitted septel. 
 
Begin text of submission: 
 
 
INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS: 
 
For questions A-D, posts should highlight in particular whether or 
not the country has enacted any new legislation since the last TIP 
report. 
 
-- A. Existing Laws against TIP: 
 
Passed into law March 10, 2003, Article 227a of Iceland's General 
Penal Code outlaws trafficking in persons.  The law states: 
Anyone becoming guilty of the following acts for the purpose of 
sexually using a person or for forced labor or to remove his/her 
organs shall be punished for slavery with up to 8 years 
imprisonment: 
1. Procuring, removing, housing or accepting someone who has been 
subjected to unlawful force under Art. 225 or deprived of freedom as 
per Art. 226 or threat as per Art. 233 or unlawful deception by 
awakening, strengthening or utilizing his/her lack of understanding 
of the person concerned about circumstances or other inappropriate 
method. 
2. Procuring, removing, housing or accepting an individual younger 
than 18 years of age or rendering payment or other gain in order to 
acquire the approval of those having the care of a child. 
The same penalty shall be applied to a person accepting payment or 
other gain according to clause 2, para. 1. 
 
The government has not yet brought any prosecutions under Article 
227a, choosing instead to use General Penal Code Articles 57 and 
155, which outlaw alien smuggling and document forgery, 
respectively. 
 
-- B. Punishment of Sex Trafficking Offenses: What are the 
prescribed and imposed penalties for trafficking people for sexual 
exploitation? 
 
Trafficking of persons for sexual exploitation is punishable by up 
to eight years in prison. 
 
-- C. Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses: 
 
Trafficking of persons for forced labor is punishable by up to eight 
years in prison.  The laws provide for criminal punishment for 
anyone who procures, removes, houses or accepts someone who has been 
subjected to unlawful restraint, deprived of freedom, threat, or 
unlawful deception by awakening, strengthening or utilizing his/her 
lack of understanding of the person concerned about circumstances or 
other inappropriate method.  The same penalty shall be applied to a 
person accepting payment or other gain. 
 
-- D. What are the prescribed penalties for rape or forcible sexual 
assault? 
 
Rape is punishable by up to 16 years in prison, but even especially 
brutal rapes rarely draw sentences of more than six years, with one 
or two years' imprisonment more common.  As there have been no 
prosecutions for sex trafficking in Iceland it is impossible to 
compare actual penalties. 
 
-- E. Law Enforcement Statistics: 
 
 
REYKJAVIK 00000050  002 OF 007 
 
 
The government did not prosecute any TIP cases during the reporting 
period and has in fact never done so.  The one trafficker currently 
under investigation (see Overview, K) at the end of the reporting 
period had been arrested on sexual violence and narcotics charges, 
but not on trafficking charges.  Other investigations -- including 
in previous years -- utilized laws on labor standards and 
immigration violations. 
 
-- F. Does the government provide any specialized training for 
government officials? 
 
Students from the Icelandic National Police College annually 
participate in classes held by the Sudurnes Commissioner of Police 
and Customs that include instruction on recognizing and 
investigating human trafficking issues. Additionally, senior 
Keflavik International Airport officials and border police have been 
funded by the government to attend trafficking courses abroad, e.g. 
at the European Police Academy. 
 
Norwegian law enforcement specialists shared their experiences on 
TIP investigations, policy formulation, and law enforcement 
operations with their Icelandic colleagues and members of the TIP 
action plan working group at a conference hosted by the National 
Police Commissioner in Reykjavik in June 2008. 
 
-- G. Does the government cooperate with other governments in the 
investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? 
 
Icelandic police cooperation with other governments on 
narcotics-related investigations is excellent, and this cooperation 
has at times extended into cooperative work on TIP-related 
investigations such as that currently underway at the close of the 
reporting period (see Overview, K).  In that case, the suspect's 
arrest stemmed from information sharing between Icelandic and 
foreign police, although the focus was on narcotics trafficking 
rather than TIP.  Police also cooperated in the sharing of 
background information and analysis on international narcotics and 
organized crime organizations which Icelandic police are also 
involved in TIP in Iceland. 
 
-- H. Does the government extradite persons who are charged with 
trafficking in other countries? 
 
Iceland has not been asked to extradite a trafficking suspect to 
another country.  Icelandic law does not permit extradition of 
Icelandic nationals, and no changes to the law are currently 
planned. 
 
-- I. Is there evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of 
trafficking, on a local or institutional level? 
 
No; not applicable. 
 
-- J. If government officials are involved in trafficking, what 
steps has the government taken to end such participation? 
 
There is no evidence of government officials being involved in 
trafficking, and no government officials have ever been prosecuted 
or convicted for such activity. 
 
-- K. Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized? 
 
Prostitution is legal; that is, the activities of the prostitute are 
not criminalized if the prostitute is at least 18 years of age.  It 
is illegal to advertise the services of a prostitute.  It is also 
illegal for a third party, or pimp, to profit from prostitution or 
procurement of sex, as well as the renting of facilities for 
prostitution. 
 
The law does not appear to be effectively enforced as organized 
prostitution seems to have taken a foothold in Iceland. 
Specifically, a number of foreign women allegedly came to Iceland 
during the reporting period to work as prostitutes, often in hotel 
rooms, according to NGO representatives and police.  In some cases, 
these women's services were advertised and reserved before their 
arrival via the internet.  These prostitutes are said to be working 
through European-based, but there seems to be a direct 
Iceland-connection as well, since Icelandic individuals have picked 
them up on arrival to Iceland.  In addition, police say that 
Icelandic businessmen have brought Bulgarian prostitutes to Iceland, 
but it is not known if this is connected to organized prostitution 
as well. 
 
REYKJAVIK 00000050  003 OF 007 
 
 
 
The government does not regulate the activities of prostitutes 
through licensing, health certificates, or other means. 
 
The activities of clients are not criminalized. 
 
-- L. For countries that contribute troops to international 
peacekeeping efforts, please indicate whether the government 
vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced 
nationals of the country deployed abroad as part of a peacekeeping 
or other similar mission who engaged in or facilitated severe forms 
of trafficking or who exploited victims of such trafficking. 
 
Iceland does not have a military.  However, it has deployed civilian 
personnel to UN and NATO operations as peacekeepers under the 
auspices of the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit (ICRU), a division of 
the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.  During the reporting period the 
Ministry imposed a code of conduct for ICRU personnel specifically 
banning involvement in TIP or the purchase of sexual services while 
abroad.  There were no allegations of any such behavior by ICRU 
personnel. 
 
-- M. If the country has an identified problem of child sex tourists 
coming to the country, what are the countries of origin for sex 
tourists? 
 
There is no identified problem of child sex tourism in Iceland nor 
reports of Icelanders as perpetrators of same. 
 
PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS: 
 
-- A.  What kind of protection is the government able under existing 
law to provide for victims and witnesses? Does it provide these 
protections in practice? 
 
There is no de jure provision for government assistance to TIP 
victims and witnesses.  In theory, municipal social services and 
medical care are available to victims as to other citizens and, 
thanks to reimbursements to municipalities from the Ministry of 
Social Affairs, foreigners.  In cases involving unaccompanied 
children, municipal and state child protection services are 
responsible for assistance. The national and local governments may 
also refer to NGOs that provide food, shelter, legal advice, and 
health care. While there is also no de jure provision for grants of 
residence to TIP victims, in practice the Immigration Directorate 
has used its discretion to offer permits to foreign women escaping 
abusive, exploitative marriages that at times involved forced 
prostitution.  There were no cases during the reporting period in 
which the Immigration Directorate was requested to issue such 
permits. 
 
NGO sources identified less than 10 alleged TIP victims assisted 
during the reporting period. 
 
-- B.  Does the country have victim care facilities (shelters or 
drop-in centers) which are accessible to trafficking victims? 
 
There are no government-run victim care facilities, but purported 
TIP victims have been received by the Women's Shelter in Reykjavik, 
and the Icelandic Counseling and Information Center for Survivors of 
Sexual Violence (Stigamot).  Foreign victims have the same access to 
care as domestic TIP victims.  In cases involving unaccompanied 
children, municipal and state child protection services are 
responsible for assistance. The national and local governments may 
also refer to NGOs that provide food, shelter, legal advice, and 
health care. 
 
Members of the working group charged with drafting the first 
Icelandic national action plan against trafficking in persons 
(PREVENTION D) said one of the focal points of the action plan will 
be to call for witness and victim protection for trafficking 
victims, possibly including special procedures on granting residence 
permits to trafficking victims. 
 
In practice, in the one trafficking case currently under 
investigation at the close of the reporting period, Post contacts 
report that four Equatorial Guinean women who claimed to be victims 
of TIP sought safe haven at the Women's Shelter in Reykjavik.  They 
were accepted at the shelter, but reportedly did not get along with 
the native Icelandic women who were staying there at the same time 
and shortened their stay. This incident may highlight the need for a 
TIP victim-specific shelter. 
 
REYKJAVIK 00000050  004 OF 007 
 
 
 
 
-- C.  Does the government provide trafficking victims with access 
to legal, medical and psychological services? 
 
See PROTECTION A. above for discussion on access to legal, medical 
and psychological services. 
 
The primary NGOs that provide services to victims of what may be 
trafficking receive considerable financial assistance from the 
national government. The 2009 state budget allocates IKR 43.1 
million ($381,400) to the Women's Shelter and IKR 35.7 million 
($315,900) to the Icelandic Counseling and Information Center for 
Survivors of Sexual Violence (Stigamot). Other NGOs have varying 
allocations from the state budget. These funds are not specially 
earmarked for services to TIP victims. The government does not 
provide funding to foreign NGOs for services to victims. 
 
-- D. Does the government assist foreign trafficking victims? 
 
See PROTECTION A. above. 
 
Members of the working group charged with drafting the first 
Icelandic national action plan against trafficking in persons (see 
PREVENTION D) said one of the focal points of the action plan will 
be to call for witness and victim protection for trafficking 
victims, possibly including special procedures on granting residence 
permits to trafficking victims. 
 
-- E. Does the government provide longer-term shelter or housing 
benefits to victims or other resources to aid the victims in 
rebuilding their lives? 
 
See PROTECTION A. above. 
 
-- F. Does the government have a referral process to transfer 
victims detained, arrested or placed in protective custody by law 
enforcement authorities to institutions that provide short- or 
long-term care (either government or NGO-run)? 
 
The Icelandic Red Cross has in the past assisted persons alleged to 
have been smuggled.  Such individuals have been housed in hostels 
and guesthouses in advance of their deportation.  The 
government-sponsored TIP working group that includes government and 
NGO representatives has helped to further open lines of 
communication between these groups.  NGOs that provide services that 
might be of use to TIP victims (e.g., the sexual abuse crisis 
center, the women's shelter) report that referrals and communication 
by police in possible cases of interest is generally improving. 
 
-- G. What is the total number of trafficking victims identified 
during the reporting period? 
 
There were no officially identified trafficking victims -- that is, 
victims in cases where police sought prosecution on TIP charges. 
Nonetheless, police estimate at least 5-10 victims in cases where 
they had a suspicion of TIP but charges were not filed.  NGO 
representatives identified less than 10 victims, but based on 
anecdotal indications believe that 10-20 victims sought services 
from NGOs or from local governments.  Statistics were not available 
for referrals by law enforcement authorities.  Less than 10 victims 
received assistance from government-funded programs.  Post is not 
aware of TIP victims provided assistance through programs not funded 
by the government. 
 
-- H. Do the government's law enforcement, immigration, and social 
services personnel have a formal system of proactively identifying 
victims of trafficking? 
 
The government does not currently have a formal system to 
proactively identify victims of trafficking; identifications 
currently depend on the initiative of individual law enforcement and 
immigration officers and social service personnel.  NGO and police 
contacts have noted this as a shortcoming and it is expected that 
this will be addressed in the Ministry of Social Affairs action plan 
due to be released in April/May 2009.  The government does not 
regulate or license prostitution and as such does not possess any 
mechanism for screening for trafficking victims among prostitutes. 
 
 
-- I. Are the rights of victims respected?  Are trafficking victims 
detained or jailed? 
 
REYKJAVIK 00000050  005 OF 007 
 
 
 
While there were no officially identified trafficking victims in the 
reporting period, in previous years possible trafficking victims 
have been prosecuted under laws governing immigration.  Typically 
they were detained and jailed for from 30 to 45 days in advance of 
deportation.  None were held in Iceland beyond 45 days.  Some of 
them were offered residence permits on humanitarian grounds, but 
they always turned down the offer, according to police. Keflavik 
Airport border police note that provisions for free labor movement 
within the European Economic Area and Schengen zone limit their 
ability to reach what they believe to be possible TIP victims upon 
arrival.  Instead, police are forced to rely on customs provisions 
allowing them to question travelers fitting the profile of narcotics 
traffickers. 
 
The Sudurnes Police Commissioner (covering Keflavik International 
Airport) reported that police stopped fewer women for questioning on 
arrival at Keflavik International Airport during the reporting 
period, compared to 2007 when two to four women were stopped per 
month.  Often,the purpose of their traveling to Iceland was to work 
in the strip club industry, and a number of them were suspected to 
have been sent to Iceland by a third party.  In the absence of 
evidence of other crimes, police released the women but advised 
potential trafficking victims to seek assistance and information at 
the Information Center for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Reykjavik 
(Stigamot). 
 
-- J. Does the government encourage victims to assist in the 
investigation and prosecution of trafficking? 
 
The government encourages victims to assist in the investigation and 
prosecution of trafficking. Victims may file civil suits or seek 
legal action against the traffickers. No one impedes victims' access 
to such legal redress. There is no specific provision in the law to 
permit a material witness in a court case against a former employer 
to obtain other employment or leave the country; however, the 
government has adequate discretion to make such accommodations. 
There is no specific restitution program for victims for trafficking 
in persons, but there is one for victims of violence. 
 
-- K. Does the government provide any specialized training for 
government officials in identifying trafficking victims and in the 
provision of assistance to trafficked victims, including the special 
needs of trafficked children? 
 
Beyond training provided to law enforcement officials, (see 
INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS F), there is no 
TIP-specific training provided to government officials.  As Iceland 
is not a source country for TIP victims, there have been no victims 
assisted by Icelandic diplomatic and consular personnel abroad 
during the reporting period. 
 
-- L. Does the government provide assistance, such as medical aid, 
shelter, or financial help, to its nationals who are repatriated as 
victims of trafficking? 
 
There have been no such cases identified in the reporting period. 
While repatriated nationals would benefit from the same social 
safety net as any other Icelander, there are no programs 
specifically for victims of trafficking. 
 
-- M. Which international organizations or NGOs, if any, work with 
trafficking victims? 
 
No international organizations or NGOs worked with trafficking 
victims during the reporting period. 
 
PREVENTION: 
 
-- A. Did the government conduct anti-trafficking information or 
education campaigns during the reporting period? 
 
There has been no Icelandic government public outreach or 
information campaign on TIP in the reporting period. 
 
-- B. Does the government monitor immigration and emigration 
patterns for evidence of trafficking? 
 
The government monitors immigration and emigration patterns for 
evidence of trafficking and screens for potential trafficking 
victims at Keflavik International Airport, the country's sole 
international airport. The country has no land borders. 
 
REYKJAVIK 00000050  006 OF 007 
 
 
 
Schengen rules limit the government's monitoring of immigration and 
emigration from other Schengen countries. As a backup measure, 
suspected TIP victims have been stopped by customs, where they are 
screened for narcotics, often a concomitant of human trafficking, 
according to police. 
 
-- C. Is there a mechanism for coordination and communication 
between various agencies, internal, international, and multilateral 
on trafficking-related matters, such as a multi-agency working group 
or a task force? 
 
The National Police Commissioner, the Metropolitan Police, the 
Sudurnes Police Commissioner (covering Keflavik International 
Airport), and the Directorate of Immigration established a 
coordination group in 2007 on foreigner issues, including possible 
cases of human trafficking.  Additionally, since 2007 a working 
group under the auspices of the Nordic Baltic Network/European 
Women's Lobby has met to coordinate activities and policy on 
anti-TIP efforts.  The working group includes representatives of the 
national, Reykjavik Metropolitan, and Sudurnes (Keflavik Airport) 
Police, the Immigration Directorate, the Ministry of Social Affairs, 
and the NGO community. 
 
-- D. Does the government have a national plan of action to address 
trafficking in persons? 
 
The Government of Iceland, more specifically the Ministry of Social 
Affairs, is currently drafting a national plan of action to address 
TIP. The action plan was expected to be completed in 2008, but is 
now expected to be ready by April or May 2009.  The working group 
consists of representatives from the government and the NGOs. 
 
Members of the working group expect to model the action plan to some 
extent upon TIP action plans developed in Norway and Denmark. 
Members of the working group expect the final plan to focus on: 
--Codifying a working definition of trafficking in persons in order 
to be able to devise a strategy to identify TIP victims; 
--Establishing a TIP supervisory team that can identify possible TIP 
victims according to recognized checklists, register cases and 
organize education campaigns. 
--Calling for victim and witness protection programs specifically 
for TIP victims, e.g., assistance, safe shelter, rehabilitation and 
repatriation support as needed if it is deemed safe. 
--Implementing methods to bolster police with the aim to apprehend 
more perpetrators. This includes monitoring and investigating 
violations of the provision on prostitution in the General Penal 
Code. 
--Reaching out to the Icelandic population with a public awareness 
campaign, and educating the professions that come into contact with 
possible trafficking victims - such as public officials, the police, 
and health workers - about the characteristics of TIP so that they 
can better identify victims and inform them of what options they 
have, such as protection programs. The outreach should also target 
young males to discourage them from buying sexual services; and 
--Ratification of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish 
Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing 
the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the 
Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human 
Beings.  (NOTE:  Iceland's parliament approved ratification of the 
Palermo Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime in May 2008 
but not the two protocols on TIP and migrant smuggling.  Iceland is 
a signatory to both protocols.) 
 
According to government officials and NGO representatives, the 
action plan is expected to target women in dire conditions such as 
those who work in the sex industry, as well as domestic labor, and 
other workers in the construction and restaurant industries, for 
example. The duration of the action plan has not been determined. 
 
-- E: What measures has the government taken during the reporting 
period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts? 
 
Legal measures to reduce the number and operations of strip clubs in 
the Reykjavik Metropolitan Area -- the predominant loci of 
prostitution and TIP cases, according to post sources -- have been 
somewhat successful.  Beginning in 2007, police and municipal 
governments strengthened the licensing requirements for such 
establishments, leading many to go out of business.  At the end of 
the reporting period only three strip clubs remained in operation in 
the whole country, all in the Reykjavik Metropolitan Area.  However, 
the owners were apparently able to exploit loopholes in the law on 
 
REYKJAVIK 00000050  007 OF 007 
 
 
the operations of entertainment establishments to remain in 
operation, although this legislation had in effect outlawed strip 
shows as well as lap dances in 2007.  NGO representatives and police 
say that rumors continue to circulate regarding prostitution and 
illegal nude shows and lap dances in the handful of the remaining 
establishments. 
 
-- F. Required of all Posts: What measures has the government taken 
during the reporting period to reduce the participation in 
international child sex tourism by nationals of the country? 
 
There have been no government actions taken to reduce the 
participation of Icelandic nationals in international child sex 
tourism.  There were no cases during the reporting period in which 
Icelandic nationals were alleged to have participated in child sex 
tourism. 
 
-- G. Required of posts in countries that have contributed over 100 
troops to international peacekeeping efforts: 
 
Not applicable. 
 
End text of submission Part 2 of 2. 
 
VAN VOORST 
 
 
 
1 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED