DOJ/OPDAT Trafficking in Persons
Combating Trafficking in Persons (TIP) is a top OPDAT priority. OPDAT provides substantial technical assistance throughout the world based on a holistic model encompassing the "Three Ps of TIP:" Prevention, Protection and Prosecution. OPDAT assistance includes training and developmental projects with overseas law enforcement officials geared to strengthening our international partners' capabilities to prevent transnational trafficking; protect victim witnesses and thereby encourage their participation in investigations and prosecutions; and effectively investigate and prosecute trafficking cases.
OPDAT also works with host countries on developing evidence collection techniques which can generate evidence usable in transnational prosecutions, including those brought by the Justice Department in the US. OPDAT also does legislative reform and drafting in the area of TIP to ensure that TIP law is victim assistance centered and compliant with Palermo Protocol of UN Organized Crime Convention. OPDAT designs and executes anti-trafficking in Persons (TIP) technical assistance and training programs overseas to strengthen international capacity to combat TIP. Drawing on the expertise of experienced trafficking prosecutors from the Civil Rights Division and its Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU), the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and the United States Attorney's Offices (USAO), OPDAT has developed and delivered programs providing expertise and assistance in drafting and implementing anti-trafficking legislation, successfully investigating and prosecuting TIP crimes, and assisting TIP victims. When appropriate, OPDAT collaborates on TIP programs with the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), its sister organization that develops and provides training to foreign police and criminal investigation institutions.
In FY 2011, OPDAT conducted 69 TIP programs involving 16 countries (Albania, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Ukraine).
Highlights of these programs include the following:
Program on Trafficking in Persons in The Bahamas: On March 23-25, OPDAT partnered with four members of the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force and Embassy Nassau to conduct a program on trafficking in persons (TIP) for over 100 Bahamian government officials, law enforcement officers, civil society leaders, shelter administrators, and medical workers. This was the second installment of a three-part OPDAT project on TIP for The Bahamas. The training event attracted Bahamians from nine different islands and one representative from the Turks and Caicos Islands for discussions on victim identification, interviewing techniques, and preservation of evidence. On the final day, participants and trainers outlined next steps to implement essential practical applications, including the establishment of a referral protocol and the role of a TIP Task Force, both of which were embraced by the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (GCOB). This training came directly on the heels of the GCOB’s first public forum to discuss TIP, followed by a public service announcement that included commentary from the forum. Bahamian Minister for National Security Honorable O.A.T. “Tommy” Turnquest and the Charge’ provided opening remarks to kick off the event, with Turnquest publicly stating that “human trafficking in The Bahamas will not go unpunished.”
Human Trafficking Program in Philippines: On March 13-14, the OPDAT Intermittent Legal Advisor (ILA) to the Philippines, an AUSA from the District of Arizona, joined forces with the Philippine Judicial Academy and the Philippine Supreme Court Administrator's Office in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, to conduct a workshop to combat human trafficking in the Philippines over 40 judges, prosecutors and court personnel from Region IV. The ILA shared best practices from the US with a focus on victim witnesses. An Immigration Customs Enforcement Special Agent from the US Department of Homeland Security provided welcoming remarks. Other topics covered included anti-trafficking laws, proper charging decisions, and docket management. Participants broke into groups, analyzed case scenarios, and made related presentations. This was the third and final program hosted by OPDAT during the ILA’s three week visit to the Philippines.
Three Programs Addressing Child Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Indonesia: OPDAT, working closely with the FBI Crimes Against Children Unit, conducted three back-to-back programs in Denpasar and Lombok, Indonesia, designed to enhance the ability of police, prosecutors and NGOs to work together to address child trafficking and child sexual exploitation. On March 12 and 13, the OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Indonesia, along with experts from the FBI, International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and local NGOs, discussed legal standards, elements of proof, and how to investigate and prosecute child trafficking cases. On March 14 and 15, two expert forensic child interviewers worked with police and NGOs on how to interview child sex victims. On March 15, OPDAT and the FBI participated in a conference sponsored by an NGO in Denpasar designed to raise community awareness of sexual exploitation of children. Denpasar and Lombok remain prime destinations for child sex tourists.
Joint OPDAT and Philippine Judicial Academy Program on Human Trafficking: The OPDAT Trafficking in Persons Intermittent Legal Advisor (ILA), an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) from the District of Arizona, and the Philippine Judicial Academy conducted a regional seminar on human trafficking in Palawan, Philippines on March 14-15. Approximately 40 judges and prosecutors from the region and newly appointed representatives to the Philippine Department of Justice Task Force attended. This is the sixth program that OPDAT has collaborated on with the Philippine Judicial Academy, which is run by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Topics included a review of the anti-trafficking laws, best practices for docket management, presenting a case for prosecution, and handling victim witnesses. Several case studies were also presented and discussed. The ILA presented on best practices in the United States for presenting victim witness testimony and served as a panelist during group discussions. Since the inception of OPDAT's trafficking efforts, which have included both policy reform efforts and capacity building programs, the Philippines has increased the number of human trafficking cases initiated and successfully prosecuted by more than 100 percent. As a result of its increased prosecutorial efforts, the Philippines was elevated from Tier II Watch List to Tier II last year by the US State Department's Global Trafficking in Persons Office.
TIP Investigative Training in Azerbaijan: In an effort to increase the ability of Azerbaijan to effectively investigate and subsequently prosecute labor trafficking cases, OPDAT, in cooperation with the American Bar Association (ABA), from March 11-13, conducted a training for forty police officers and trafficking in persons (TIP) officers from regions throughout Azerbaijan. The program provided an overview of TIP with a focus on investigating labor and domestic servitude cases. In addition, the instructors emphasized the TIP indicators police might encounter during their daily patrols. The trafficking sections of the Azerbaijani criminal code were also discussed at length. At the end of the program, the participants applied the lessons learned in discussions of two TIP-based fact scenarios. Presenters included thee OPDAT RLAs to Azerbaijan and Kosovo and the ABA Deputy Country Director. This training followed a similar three day training in December 2011. In December, Azerbaijani prosecutors, investigators and judges discussed TIP investigations, prosecutions and court proceedings with the RLA to Azerbaijan, a DOJ Civil Rights Attorney, and a US District Court Judge (Western District, Texas).
DOJ Trial Attorneys Participate in OPDAT Program to Build Mexico’s TIP Investigative and Prosecutorial Capacity. On March 6, DOJ Trial Attorneys with the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit traveled to Mexico City to participate in OPDAT's ongoing series of training and mentoring programs designed to build Mexico's investigative and prosecutorial capacity in handling TIP cases. The attorneys presented on the need to build strong, collaborative partnerships between all stakeholders relevant in the fight against TIP. They joined the OPDAT TIP team in providing mentoring and individual case consultation with investigators and prosecutors assigned to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and Federal Police, as well as to prosecutors and investigators from the states of Puebla and Chiapas.
TIP Victim Witness Program in Philippines: The OPDAT ILA and a Victim Witness Coordinator for the Western District of Washington conducted a roundtable discussion on victim witness issues in Manila, Philippines, on March 5 for over 20 government representatives, including the newly appointed head of the Philippine Department of Justice Human Trafficking Task Force in Manila and the head of the National Human Trafficking Task Force. The central focus was on issues confronting victim witnesses and the possible creation of a victim witness coordination position in the various operational task forces across the country to ensure victim services, assertion of victims’ rights, and access to witness protection. The output of the discussion was a rough draft of an action plan. It is OPDAT's hope that a working group will be formed to refine the concepts articulated during the brain storming session and present them to the Inter Agency Council Against Human Trafficking.
OPDAT and Philippine Judicial Academy Conduct Capacity Building Seminar on Combating Human Trafficking. From February 29-March 1, over 40 judges and prosecutors from Aklan and other regions of the Philippines attended this very well-received program in Malay in the Aklan Province of the Philippines. The OPDAT ILA and a Victim Witness Coordinator from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington participated as panelists and facilitated targeted discussions aimed at increasing the success of Philippines’ trafficking prosecutions, including identifying key impediments to victims’ access to justice, such as significant docket congestion, and offering potential solutions. Outputs included an outline of the evidence necessary to prove each element of the offense in various contexts including labor and sex trafficking and involuntary servitude, along with legal issues associated with the gathering and admissibility of that evidence.
OPDAT ILA Conducts Program Aimed at Helping Mexicans Improve Detection and Initial Response to TIP Crimes. At the request of the PGR SIEDO Supervising Prosecutor, OPDAT Mexico’s TIP team – led by the OPDAT ILA– provided Mexican PGR prosecutors with training on detection of and effective initial responses to TIP, replicating portions of a well received program on TIP First Responder’s Training, held earlier in February. Twenty-five PGR prosecutors and six representatives from PROVICTIMA, a government office dedicated to assisting of victims of crime, attended the day-long training program on February 27. At the conclusion of the training session, attendees were broken into small groups and engaged in a series of victim identification case studies. These conferences are extremely well-received by the Mexicans and will continue to be replicated in other parts of the country.
Raising Awareness of Assistance for TIP Victims in Mexico: The OPDAT Intermittent Legal Advisor to Mexico was invited by the US Embassy Mexico City and CEIDAS, a non-governmental organization devoted to combating trafficking in persons in Mexico, to join representatives from the Polaris Project and Casa Alianza on a speaking tour focused on the protection and assistance for victims of human trafficking. From February 7-10, the group traveled to Toluca, Tlaxcala, Puebla, and Oaxaca to meet with representatives from governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. The goal of these sessions was to increase awareness of the rehabilitative services required by victims of TIP and to improve coordination and collaboration between Mexican and US non-governmental organizations working with the victims of this transnational criminal offense.
Comprehensive Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law Enacted in Bangladesh: On December 23, 2011, the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) enacted the long-awaited comprehensive anti-trafficking in persons law, which includes many of the amendments suggested by the US Government during the consultation process. The new law criminalizes all forms of trafficking, including the trafficking of male migrant laborers who comprise the majority of Bangladeshi trafficking in persons victims. The new law establishes a separate judicial structure for dealing with trafficking cases, a measure the GOB hopes will expedite trafficking cases, many of which become mired in Bangladesh’s cumbersome judicial process. This anti-TIP ordinance, a major milestone in Bangladesh’s efforts to combat trafficking, is the result of years of sustained efforts by the OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Bangladesh, as well as other DOJ and USG officials, to work with champions of the issue within the GOB. The Prime Minister’s personal involvement in pushing through the ordinance reflects GOB commitment at the highest levels to addressing this key human rights issue.
TIP Program in Russia: The OPDAT RLA to Russia spearheaded the Russian-American Trafficking in Persons Forum in Moscow on November 8-9. US Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle and US Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca joined Russia’s Presidential Administration Representative on Human Rights, Vladimir Lukin, and representatives from the International Organization for Migration and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to discuss human trafficking in Russia. Among the participants were approximately 70 international and Russian experts from the government, academia, law enforcement, religious organizations, and NGOs, including two leading NGO experts from the United States. The participants concluded by recommending several concrete steps for progress, including formation of a network of TIP NGOs and religious organizations, and the re-establishment of a Russian-American law enforcement working group on TIP.
Merida Program on TIP: On October 20, US Ambassador to Mexico Anthony Wayne hosted a multijurisdictional Mexican group participating in a DOJ/OPDAT Human Trafficking Study Program in Washington, DC. This high level meeting was the launching point for continued discussions and initiatives to work with Mexico to combat human trafficking. The OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) to Mexico on TIP led the Mexican delegation, which included a federal Congresswoman, Deputy Secretary from the Ministry of the Interior, state and federal prosecutors, federal police officers, and other leaders in the fight against human trafficking in Mexico. Highlights of the trip include visiting the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, viewing an oral court proceeding, learning about victim services, meeting with members of Congress, and seeing how Interpol can assist Mexico in apprehending human traffickers. Also, on October 20, the OPDAT TIP RLA spoke at a conference on human trafficking hosted by the Mexican Supreme Court, Federal Prosecutors Office (PGR), and the United Nations. Participants included Mexican judges and federal prosecutors. The RLA presented on three topics: “Alerta Amber Mexico,” “International Human Trafficking,” and “How Money Laundering Investigations can be used to Advance International Human Trafficking Investigations.”
Child Trafficking and Sex Tourism Program in Indonesia:From September 28-30, the OPDAT RLA to Indonesia, working closely with the FBI Crimes Against Children Unit, conducted a training program for police, prosecutors and NGOs in Manado, Sulawesi (Indonesia), focused on child trafficking and sex tourism. The program, co-sponsored with End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) and the Indonesian National Police, was designed to raise awareness of the issue of child trafficking and sex tourism, using a victim centered approach highlighting the important role played by NGOs in assisting and protecting victims.
Alerta Amber Mexico Rescues Its Second Child: Alerta Amber Mexico was not scheduled to be fully functional until sometime in 2012; however, Mexican prosecutors and law enforcement officers have already begun to use this tool successfully. In July, OPDAT and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) jointly trained over 75 Mexicans from over 25 states on how to work cooperatively and share information in a coordinated and rapid manner in order to find missing children before they are harmed. Within weeks of the course, the first child was recovered using the training techniques and points of contacts established throughout Mexico at both the state and federal level. On September 27, in San Luiz Potosi, a developmentally disabled sixteen year old boy disappeared and his parents reported that he needed several medications which were still in their house. The joint state and federal investigation revealed that the youngster was communicating with someone on Facebook and that he planned to go to Mexico City. Authorities in San Luis Potosi worked with Mexico City authorities, shared their information with the federal authorizes, and recovered the youngster at a bus station.
Program on Transborder Human Trafficking Between Indonesia and Malaysia:On September 26-27, the OPDAT RLA to Indonesia, working closely with the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia, conducted a program on human trafficking in Nununtan, Indonesia, which united NGOs, police and prosecutors from Malaysia with their Indonesian counterparts to discuss effective cooperation to stop trafficking on the border of Indonesia and Malaysia. The day long program included presentations by police from both countries as well as the RLA to Indonesia, who discussed how to create a bilateral task force to work on cross border trafficking. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Assistant Legal Attaché discussed successful investigations by the FBI in Indonesia and outlined the assistance that the FBI could provide both countries. Experts from the FBI's Crimes Against Children Unit in Washington, DC, accompanied the RLA to the program and participated in the seminar. Prior to the seminar, the RLA and the FBI met with local police, prosecutors, NGOs and the Governor's office to discuss cooperation and assistance in trafficking and child sexual exploitation cases.
TIP Program for the Judiciary in the Philippines: On September 22, the RLA to the Philippines helped organize a judicial roundtable with the Philippine Judicial Academy focused on common appellate issues in trafficking in persons (TIP) cases. The Philippines has struggled with TIP, but in the past year has made substantial progress, reflected in an upgrading to Tier Two from the Tier Two Watchlist in the most recent State Department's Annual TIP report. A major reason for the improvement has been the increase in successful TIP convictions, which in part was brought about by the prior assistance work of TIP Intermittent Legal Advisor. With the increase in convictions, the action is now turning to the courts of appeals, and this TIP roundtable included 42 appellate court judges, more than half of all appellate judges in the Philippines. United States Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. provided the keynote address, followed by interactive case studies that addressed emerging legal issues under the Philippines TIP law.
Human Trafficking Program in Ghana: During the week of September 12-16, an Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) (Southern District, Florida), who is a former OPDAT Trafficking in Persons Intermittent Legal Advisor (ILA) to Ghana, and the current OPDAT Counternarcotics ILA to Ghana, along with a clinical psychologist, conducted a two-day introductory human trafficking training course for ten prosecutors from the Attorney General's department and twelve officers from the Ghana Immigration Service in Accra, Ghana. The course introduced fundamental concepts of handling human trafficking cases, from investigation to prosecution and victim rehabilitation. Trainees were engaged throughout the course, constructively critiquing each other on the various case scenarios and taking their role playing responsibilities seriously.
OPDAT and ICITAP Conduct Joint TIP Program in Tanzania: From August 14-27, two AUSAs from the Eastern District of New York and an active Civilian Response Corps (CRC) Attorney represented OPDAT in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where they conducted a two-week integrated training program for Tanzanian investigators and prosecutors that focused on TIP issues. The program provided guidance on how to identify and interview victims of trafficking, as well as insight into the importance of conducting proactive investigations. The team also met and trained individuals under consideration to join the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat, as well as members of the judiciary. In 2011, the Department of State's TIP report once again ranked Tanzania on the Tier Two Watch List, stating that it remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Since the implementation of the Tanzanian Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in 2008, Tanzania has struggled to enforce the law with few prosecutions and convictions. This program aimed to improve the skills of Tanzania's prosecutors and judges, and to provide the tools investigators and prosecutors need to successfully investigate and argue cases and, more generally, to uphold the rule of law.
First Alerta Amber Success Story: Over the weekend of August 20, a 14 year old child was rescued in the Mexican state of Sonora by the newly created Amber team of State, Mexican federal prosecutor's office (PGR), and federal police who worked together successfully applying the team work, connections, and skills they had learned at a recent OPDAT training program. The child had been abducted in February 2011 by an adult male from Cuernavaca, Morelos, who planned to take her to Guatemala. When he was unable to do so, he decided to travel to the northern part of Mexico, where the Amber team found her. Although the adult managed to escape, the child was safely recovered and turned over to INTERPOL Mexico and subsequently reunited with her parents. This first rescue, just one month after the national training on Amber Alert, highlights the powerful potential of the program in combating kidnappings and TIP crimes.
TIP Law Drafted with OPDAT Assistance To Be Passed in January 2012: On August 11, the RLA to Bangladesh met with the Joint Secretary of the Home Ministry regarding the new draft TIP law on which they had worked together. The Secretary indicated that he expects the new law to be passed by January 2012. The Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act-2011, details a comprehensive approach to human trafficking in Bangladesh and addresses labor trafficking for the first time in a direct manner under Bangladeshi law. It marks a step forward in defining trafficking to cover all people, not just women and children.
Amber Alert Mexico Success: Over the weekend of July 23, authorities in Ciudad Juarez arrested more than 1,000 people in an operation aimed at cracking down on human trafficking. According to the federal police, the raids were done in two dozen bars, hotels and boarding houses which netted arrests of 500 men and 530 women they suspect are connected with human trafficking and sexual exploitation. In addition, 20 female minors were rescued. According to the Chihuahua state Attorney General's Office, at least 300 federal police officers were involved in the nine-hour sweep, which began Friday night and ended early Saturday morning. Authorities said the operation was part of Mexico's AMBER Alert program to help find missing children, which was developed and implemented with the assistance of OPDAT's TIP RLA to Mexico.
OPDAT Supports Inaugural National Conference for Alerta Amber Mexico (Amber Alert Mexico) Which Generates Mexican Commitments of Personnel to Implement this New, Nationwide Alert System: On July 19-22, the inaugural national conference for Alerta Amber Mexico brought together, for the first time, representatives from 30 Mexican states to learn how to use this new system to find missing children. During the course, co-sponsored by OPDAT and OJJDP, Mexican representatives from state and federal law enforcement, prosecutors, and NGOs worked jointly to make the plan a reality. Together, they learned about the newly launched Alerta Amber Mexico, which will facilitate finding missing children at risk of serious harm who have been taken within Mexico and/or internationally. As part of this coordinated effort, each state and the PGR was asked to designate a representative to the Alerta Amber Mexico. At the close of the course, Mexico's Attorney General, Marisela Morales, personally addressed the group, emphasizing the importance of this national effort. Leading by example, she named her designee to lead PGR in this coordinated effort, which has prompted two other states, Guanajuato and Baja California Sur, to name their state representatives. Alerta Amber Mexico will be fully operational in 2012.
With OPDAT Assistance Bangladesh Produces Key Draft Human Trafficking Law: During a meeting on July 11, in Dhaka, the Cabinet of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh approved in principle a draft law which was produced following technical and legislative assistance provided by the OPDAT RLA to Bangladesh. The draft law, The Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act-2011, details a comprehensive approach to human trafficking in Bangladesh and addresses labor trafficking for the first time in a direct manner under Bangladeshi law. It marks a step forward in defining trafficking to cover all people, not just women and children. The positive steps taken by the Cabinet this week are very significant because following Law Ministry vetting and final Cabinet blessing, the law will enter the Parliament for approval. Under the Bangladeshi system, the Prime Minister is in firm control of the legislative process from the top, and the July 11th Cabinet meeting was chaired by the PM.
Trafficking in Persons Program in Kyrgyzstan: On June 24, the OPDAT RLA to the Kyrgyz Republic and an ICITAP Special Advisor conducted a program on investigating and prosecuting TIP cases as well as on the relevant international and national laws governing such cases. Appropriately the program took place in the southern city of Osh, whose airport is the primary gateway used to transport TIP victims out of the Kyrgyz Republic. Members of the Osh Airport Police, Osh City Police, and the Osh City Prosecutor's office were in attendance. The head of a local NGO, Oasis KG, discussed the most common types of TIP occurring in the country as well as the particular challenges that arise in dealing with trafficked victims. Senior members of the Kyrgyz Procuracy and the Kyrgyz Law Academy lectured on the laws governing TIP in Kyrgyzstan, as well as engaged the attendees in practical exercises designed to test their ability to put what they have learned into practice. This was the second in a series of three TIP trainings being held in different regions of the Kyrgyz Republic.
OPDAT Continues Successful Anti-Human Trafficking Program in Philippines: On June 22-23, in Iloilo City, Philippines, the OPDAT Intermittent Legal Advisor (ILA) partnered with the Philippine Judicial Academy, Philippine Supreme Court, and the American Bar Association to conduct a seminar aimed at assisting judges and prosecutors to more effectively combat human trafficking and alleviate docket congestion which has stymied the successful prosecution of cases. This was the fourth in an ongoing series of training programs that bring judges and prosecutors together to better understand the expectations and challenges of expeditiously and with limited resources, successfully trying TIP cases. Over 40 judges and 20 prosecutors attended the seminar. The ILA, who discussed best practices and participated on two panel discussions during the seminar, has counseled various sectors of the Philippine justice sector on ways to improve their approach to investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating human trafficking cases over the past year. She served as the OPDAT ILA on TIP in Philippines for five months, from July – November 2010, and returned this past June for another month. She will be returning for another month in the Fall. The Philippines was on the State Department's Tier II Watch List when the ILA TIP program began. During the past year, the Philippines has convicted 25 traffickers, up from 9 the year before, and garnered the country's first-ever labor trafficking conviction, in February 2011. As a result the country has been upgraded to Tier 2 in the 2011 U.S. Trafficking in Persons report, indicating it does not fully comply with minimum standards to eliminate trafficking but is making progress. The Philippines TIP prosecutor who secured the first labor trafficking conviction was Darlene Pajarito, an assistant city prosecutor in Zamboanga City, with whom the ILA worked and lectured at all OPDAT TIP programs. Ms. Pajarito also secured the first sex trafficking conviction in the Philippines in 2005. On June 27, she received one of the ten 2011 TIP Heroes of the Year Awards from the State Department for her outstanding contributions in the area of TIP.
Amber Alert Program Launched in Mexico: On April 28, Mexico launched a National Plan to implement "Alerta Amber Mexico"-- a program modeled after the Amber Alert system used in the U.S. Starting in January 2011, OPDAT joined forces with DOJ's OJJDP; together they were successful in getting the initiative off the ground in record time -- less than four months. The OPDAT RLA to Mexico on TIP worked directly with over 45 Mexican stake holders, ranging from the Attorney General herself, to small community-run NGOs, and the media to garner Mexican federal support for the Alerta Amber Mexico initiative. She helped organize a launching ceremony at the Children's Museum in Mexico City on April 28 attended by leading Mexican officials, including Secretary of Government Francisco Blake, Attorney General Marisela Morales, Public Security Secretary Genaro Garcia, as well as a number of eminent NGO leaders and families of kidnapping victims. The launch was attended by over 200 Mexicans and included the premiere showing, on the Museum's IMAX screen, of a film produced jointly by OPDAT and OJJDP featuring Mexican victims and their call for Mexico to implement a National Plan. Alerta Amber Mexico is a national mechanism to facilitate within Mexico, and internationally, a quick response to find a child who is a victim of kidnapping or trafficking of minors and provides a greater role for the general public in finding the child. OPDAT and OJJDP are committed to train federal and state prosecutors, federal police, NGOs, and other governmental and non-governmental entities to make sure that Mexico has the capacity to properly implement this robust National Plan. The Government of Mexico has committed to fully implement Alerta Amber Mexico in 2012.
Trafficking in Person Program in Tanzania:
From April 12-14, the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division (Eastern District, New York) conducted a program for prosecutors, immigration officials, and labor investigators on combating TIP in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The program was designed to develop the capacity of local prosecutors to identify and work with TIP victims in order to build strong TIP cases. The OPDAT ILA on TIP to Djibouti assisted by giving presentations on interview techniques and taking a victim-centered approach to TIP prosecutions. This program complemented the training that the ILA had provided to police in Zanzibar from April 5-8, which focused on child protection and on interviewing child victims of abuse, including child trafficking.