White House Release
Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
September 14, 2012


Presidential Determination
No. 2012-16
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

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

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

Make the determination provided in section 110(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, not to provide certain funding for those countries' governments for Fiscal Year 2013, until such governments comply with the minimum standards or make significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance, as may be determined by the Secretary of State in a report to the Congress pursuant to section 110(b) of the Act;

Make the determination provided in section 110(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act, with respect to Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Madagascar, and Syria not to provide certain funding for those countries' governments for Fiscal Year 2013, until such governments comply with the minimum standards or make significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance, as may be determined by the Secretary of State in a report to the Congress pursuant to section 110(b) of the Act;

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

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

Determine, consistent with section 110(d)(4) of the Act, with respect to Sudan, that assistance and programs described in section 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) of the Act, with the exception of Foreign Military Sales and Foreign Military Financing to the Sudanese land forces, air forces, and Popular Defense Force, would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States;

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

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

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

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

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

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

(1) is a regional program, project, or activity under which the total benefit to Zimbabwe does not exceed 10 percent of the total value of such program, project, or activity; 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 Zimbabwe's legal system, including in areas that impact Zimbabwe's ability to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases or otherwise improve implementation of its anti-trafficking policy, regulations, or legislation; or

(5) is engaging a government, international organization, or civil society organization, and seeks as its primary objective(s) to: (a) increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking in persons crimes; (b) increase protection for victims of trafficking through better screening, identification, rescue or 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; or

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

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

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

BARACK OBAMA


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

Pursuant to section 110(d) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Div. A, P.L. 106-386), as amended (the Act), the President has made determinations regarding the 17 countries placed in Tier 3 in the Department of State’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report.

The President has determined to restrict assistance for Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Madagascar, Syria, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. The United States will not provide any non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance to the Governments of Cuba, the DPRK, Eritrea, Iran, Madagascar, and Syria, and will not provide certain non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance to the Governments of the DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, until such governments comply with the Act’s minimum standards to combat trafficking or make significant efforts to do so. The United States will not provide funding for participation by officials or employees of the Governments of Cuba, the DPRK, Madagascar, and Eritrea in educational and cultural exchange programs until those governments comply with the Act’s minimum standards to combat trafficking or make significant efforts to do so.

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

The President has determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that the U.S. executive director of each multilateral development bank, as defined in the Act, and of the International Monetary Fund, will vote against, and use the executive director’s best efforts to deny, any loan or other utilization of funds of the respective institution to the Governments of Madagascar, Cuba, the DPRK, Eritrea, Iran, Syria, and Zimbabwe (with specific exceptions for Zimbabwe) for Fiscal Year 2013, until such governments comply with the minimum standards or make significant efforts to come into compliance, as may be determined by the Secretary of State in a report to the Congress pursuant to section 110(b) of the Act.


Explanations of the President’s Determinations

Algeria

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

Justification: Algeria is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination and source country for women and, to a lesser extent, men subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of Algeria made minimal efforts to address human trafficking through law enforcement means during the reporting period. The government also made no discernible progress in protecting victims of trafficking over the last year. It did not develop or employ systematic procedures for the identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution or undocumented migrants.

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

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $1.15 million in IMET funding, $300,000 in nonproliferation, antiterrorism, demining and related programs, export control and related border security assistance (NADR-EXBS), and $6 million in economic support funds (ESF) through MEPI. Restrictions would also apply to Algeria’s share of the $2.5 million allocated to the Near East region’s TSCTP funding.

Central African Republic

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

Justification: CAR is a source and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of the Central African Republic, which has limited human and financial resources, did not investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, identify or provide protective services to trafficking victims, or take significant steps to raise public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking. The revised Central African penal code, enacted in January 2010, outlaws all forms of trafficking in persons, but awareness of this statute remains low.

The President’s determination with respect to CAR, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow for the continuation of economic growth, natural resource management, biodiversity, good governance, and human rights and civil-to-military relations programming. In addition, the determination will allow the United States to support economic growth and development programs funded by international financial institutions. As one of the least developed countries in the world, CAR is dependent on international assistance, much of which is provided by international financial institutions, to help meet the basic human needs of its citizens.

CAR is a key partner in U.S. efforts to help end the threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the central African region, but one of the least capable and resourced governments in the region. The President’s determination will facilitate U.S. cooperation with the CAR government to counter the LRA, which is the most egregious perpetrator of human trafficking in central Africa, including in CAR. IMET encourages the implementation of military reforms in CAR that aim to promote democratic values and respect for human rights among CAR’s armed forces and help to build the credibility of the forces. Excess defense articles (EDA) and peacekeeping operations (PKO) funding have in the past helped to outfit and provide basic provisions to the CAR military, in order for it to conduct basic patrols in LRA-affected areas and to protect civilians. The waiver determination will further support anti-trafficking objectives by supporting ESF programming to assist in the transition of the artisanal diamond industry from an illicit to a legalized supply chain. Illegal mining operations typically result in significant human rights abuses, including rampant labor violations and forced labor, affecting men, women, and children in these areas. The shift to a clean and legal supply chain helps reduce opportunities for corruption and limits the likelihood of land seizure for illegal mining operations. Improving land tenure rights and access has the additional benefit of reducing conflict among local miners and of facilitating livelihood diversification, particularly important for vulnerable populations in this local community, including women.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $1.4 million in Economic Support Funds (ESF), $500,000 in development assistance, and $100,000 in IMET. The estimated $1.4 million in ESF will be used to clarify and formalize land tenure rights for alluvial diamond miners as part of the process of strengthening the chain of custody required by the U.N.-mandated Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). Reduced trade in conflict diamonds will help mitigate transboundary violence, civil conflict, and trade in arms throughout sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated $500,000 in development assistance will be used for programs under the Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) to promote sustainable natural resource management in the Congo Basin forest, the second largest contiguous moist tropical forest in the world and one of the world’s carbon sinks. CARPE works to reduce the rate of forest degradation and loss of biodiversity by supporting increased local, national, and regional natural resource management capacity. An estimated $100,000 in IMET funding, which is aimed at strengthening accountability and the rule of law, assists in efforts to transform CAR’s military into a conventional professional force that respects democratic values and human rights. Restrictions may also apply to any potential EDA; CAR is eligible to receive EDA pursuant to section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act. Along with a potential expenditure of EDA, the administration may provide some PKO funding, which together will be used to help outfit and provide basic non-lethal provisions, training, and logistical support for the Central African military, to help it conduct patrols and protect civilians in LRA-affected areas.

Congo, Democratic Republic of

The Government of the DRC does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for the DRC. The President has also determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that the provision of funding for all programs, projects, and activities of assistance, with the exception of foreign military financing (FMF) and foreign military sales (FMS)to the DRC army, described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: The DRC is a source, destination, and possibly a transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of the DRC has not signed a UN-sponsored action plan to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers within its armed forces, nor did it apply legal sanctions against those who recruit and use child soldiers. Elements of the national army increasingly perpetrated severe human trafficking abuses during the year, including forcibly recruiting children and using local populations to perform forced labor; some army commanders actively blocked – with complete impunity – efforts to monitor and remove children from their units, an obstruction that has persisted for nearly 3 years. A number of DRC armed forces’ (FARDC) commanders accused of using child soldiers and committing forced labor abuses during the relevant period remain in leadership positions, but several joined the M23 mutiny that began in March 2012 and were stricken from the rolls of FARDC. The DRC made no discernible law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking in 2011. Although the government assisted in the identification and demobilization of child soldiers, it did not identify or provide protective services to any victims of forced labor or sex trafficking during the year. The government made no significant effort to prevent human trafficking.

The President’s partial waiver with respect to the DRC, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, is in the national interest as programming to the DRC is critical to furthering U.S. objectives in the country and the broader Great Lakes region. The most important U.S. foreign policy concerns in DRC are shaped by the country’s ongoing conflict. Illegal armed groups, including foreign and indigenous militia, continue to fight for control of land, natural resources, and economic and political influence. The instability results in rape and sexual violence and continued civilian displacement. The waiver of restrictions on security sector programs is essential to address the underlying causes of unrest in the DRC, emphasizing human rights as an integral part of overall security sector reform. Additionally, continued capacity building is essential to countering and protecting civilians from the threat posed by the LRA. Specifically, IMET and PKO funds will increase the professionalism and credibility of FARDC and lead to greater respect for human rights and the rule of law, enabling the DRC to counter the on-going conflicts in its eastern provinces and extend the DRC’s sovereignty over those areas. If this is not accomplished, conflict will continue and regional stability will be undermined.

Waiver of the restrictions on ESF and Global Health Program (GHP) funds is necessary for post-conflict assistance, as well as broader stabilization efforts to address serious shortfalls in good governance, health, education, and economic development, as well as protection of vulnerable populations. The partial waiver will permit assistance to improve access to health services, provide economic opportunities to enhance livelihoods, and strengthen democratic institutions. Restricting assistance to the DRC would hurt broader stabilization and institutional reform policy objectives, and adversely affect vulnerable populations, including women and children. The waiver of restrictions will allow strengthened efforts to combat human trafficking, including sex trafficking, bonded and forced labor, and child soldiering.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act apply to an estimated $200,000 in FMF funds. Restrictions would apply to an estimated $50.1 million in ESF, $126.9 million in GHP, $400,000 in IMET, and $15 million in PKO. FMF and FMS to the DRC army are currently suspended pursuant to the Secretary’s certification regarding assistance to agencies and officials of Tier 3 countries involved in severe forms of trafficking in persons. Restrictions may also apply to any potential EDA; DRC is eligible to receive EDA pursuant to section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act.

Cuba

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for Cuba.

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

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

Impact of Restrictions: The United States government does not offer non-humanitarian, non-trade related assistance to the Government of Cuba. The Government of Cuba is already subject to an extensive economic embargo tied to Cuba’s poor record on, among other things, democracy and human rights.

Equatorial Guinea

The Government of Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance to Equatorial Guinea. The President has also determined that provision of funding to support programs to study and combat the spread of infectious diseases and to advance sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Equatorial Guinea is a source and destination for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Government of Equatorial Guinea neither initiated any investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenses nor made tangible efforts to identify trafficking victims or provide them with protective services, as mandated in its 2004 anti-trafficking law. Church-run orphanages continued to provide all services for victims of trafficking in the country with little government support or funding. The government routinely deported illegal immigrants without attempting to determine whether they were victims of trafficking or referring them to assistance services. Prevention efforts were extremely limited, as the government did not undertake any public awareness campaigns and its interagency commission on human trafficking took no action.

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

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

Impact of Restrictions: The United States does not provide assistance to the Government of Equatorial Guinea other than to certain nongovernment entities that may train government officials working to combat infectious diseases and to those promoting biodiversity and sustainable forest management. Restrictions would otherwise affect $250,000 in development assistance funds to be used for CARPE programs. Congress has historically earmarked biodiversity funding to support CARPE programs.

Eritrea

The Government of the State of Eritrea does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for Eritrea.

Justification: Eritrea is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser extent, sex trafficking. During the reporting period, acts of forced labor occurred in Eritrea, particularly in connection with the implementation of the country’s national service program. The Government of the State of Eritrea made no known efforts to prosecute or punish trafficking offenses, including those involving complicit officials, and no discernible efforts to identify or protect victims of trafficking. The government continues to have no known facilities dedicated to trafficking victims and, in 2011, the government forced the few remaining international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to leave Eritrea. Furthermore, the Eritrean government reportedly targeted increasingly younger children for military conscription and training.

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

Impact of Restrictions: The United States Government does not provide foreign assistance to the Eritrean government, which is already subject to sanctions that prohibit the sale or licensing for export of defense articles and defense services to countries certified by the United States as not cooperating fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts. Eritrea is also designated a country of particular concern for its poor human rights record. As a result, Eritrea is subject to an ongoing arms embargo referenced in 22 CFR 126.1(a) pursuant to the Presidential Action under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Iran

The Government of Iran does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for Iran. The President has also determined that provision of funding for participation of certain government officials and employees in educational and cultural exchange programs would promote the purposes of the Act, or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. The Government of Iran made no discernible law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period. There were no reports of investigations or prosecutions of trafficking cases. The government made no discernible efforts to protect trafficking victims. The Government of Iran deported large numbers of undocumented Afghans without attempting to identify trafficking victims among them. The government also has reportedly punished victims of sex trafficking for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, for example, adultery and prostitution. There were no reports that the government referred trafficking victims to protective services. There were no reports of efforts by the Government of Iran to prevent trafficking during the past year, such as campaigns to raise public awareness of trafficking or to reduce demand for commercial sex acts.

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

A partial waiver of restrictions to allow certain government employees to participate in educational and cultural exchange programs is in the U.S. national interest. Absent a waiver, many Iranians who are government employees, but are not responsible for determining Iranian government policies would be unable to participate. The restriction on participation in exchanges by officials or employees of the government would apply to individuals in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the central, regional, or municipal government of Iran, and would include physicians at public hospitals, educators at public institutions, and judges. Selective engagement with individuals who are employed by the government, such as practitioners and technical experts, has been the approach we have taken for the past 6 years. These exchanges are one of the few venues to engage the Iranian people.

Impact of Restrictions: The U.S. government does not provide non-humanitarian, non-trade related assistance to the Government of Iran. The Government of Iran is already subject to economic sanctions due to, among other things, its support for international terrorism.

Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of (DPRK)

The Government of the DPRK does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for the DPRK.

Justification: The DPRK is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor, forced marriage, and sex trafficking. The Government of the DPRK does not acknowledge the existence of human trafficking and did not demonstrate any efforts to address human trafficking through prosecution, protection, or prevention measures. The government contributes to the problem of trafficking through its forced labor prison camps – part of an established system of political repression – where North Koreans live in conditions of servitude, receiving little food and scant, if any, medical care. Furthermore, conditions in the DPRK drive many North Koreans to seek a way out of the country, putting them at risk of becoming trafficking victims. Women who enter northern China from the DPRK may be sold as brides or trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation.

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

Impact of Restrictions: The U.S. government does not provide non-humanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance to the Government of the DPRK. Restrictions on assistance under the Act apply to the provision of funding for participation of government officials and employees in educational and cultural exchange programs.

Kuwait

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

Justification: Kuwait is a destination country for men and women who are subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser degree, forced prostitution. The Government of Kuwait did not make significant efforts to eliminate of trafficking. The parliament still has not enacted a draft comprehensive anti-trafficking law. While various government ministries are tasked with addressing trafficking-related issues, there is no lead official or ministry, nor a national coordinating body that focuses on anti-trafficking efforts. The government’s victim protection measures remain weak, particularly due to the lack of proactive victim identification and referral procedurals and continued reliance on the sponsorship system, which inherently punishes, rather than protects, trafficking victims for immigration violations. The government also did not make significant progress in fulfilling other commitments made since 2007, such as enacting a law to provide domestic workers with the same rights as other workers or completing a large-capacity permanent shelter for victims of trafficking. The government similarly made insufficient efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period.

The President’s determination with respect to Kuwait, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow for the continuation of democracy and civil society programs in Kuwait through the (MEPI) and will permit continued security cooperation to effectively address global terrorism. Maintaining Kuwait’s indispensable support for United States Government presence in the region is a high priority, as the Government of Kuwait hosts thousands of U.S. forces and provides logistical support, fuel, facilities, and meals and billeting for U.S. and coalition military personnel. The imposition of sanctions would negatively affect the United States and Kuwaiti strategic alliance. The immediate impact of sanctions would be a reduction in access necessary to maintain Kuwait’s support for our efforts to combat terrorism and in our ability to encourage Kuwait’s efforts to confront the growing Iranian military threat. Sanctioning MEPI programs would remove a key U.S. government tool in promoting democratic reform and human rights in Kuwait.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $100 million FMS programs as well as approximately $4 million in economic support funds ESF through MEPI.

Libya

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

Justification: Libya is a destination and transit country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia who endure forced labor and forced prostitution. During the reporting period, the Government of Libya – both the former Qadhafi regime and the Transitional National Council (TNC), which came to power in October 2011 – did not demonstrate significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses or to protect trafficking victims. Moreover, both governments’ policies and practices with respect to undocumented migrant workers resulted in Libyan authorities detaining and punishing trafficking victims for unlawful acts that were committed as a result of their being trafficked. There were reports that some detained foreign migrants were sold into conditions of forced labor by militias running detention centers. During the reporting period, the TNC functioned as a purely interim body with very limited legislative and executive mandates and lacked control over all of Libya’s territory before October 2011. Libya is in the process of forming a new government following the end of Colonel Qadhafi’s 42-year rule; the first democratic elections in decades were held on July 7, 2012.

The President’s determination with respect to Libya, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow for the continuation of vital U.S. assistance at this critical juncture. Should Libya experience a successful transition to democracy, it could become a strong ally and stabilizing influence in a region of strategic importance to the United States. However, if the transition falters, Libya could destabilize the region, creating obstacles for counterterrorism cooperation and efforts to stem the tide of weapons proliferation. This is a critical time to advance our policy goals and build new relationships with emerging leaders. The new government has publicly stated they support human rights and will work to reverse the inhumane practices of the past. The Libyan government needs support in developing border security. The U.S. Government seeks to support the Libyans in their efforts to build and consolidate security forces under a single ministry of defense, develop a border security and counterterrorism capability, and support them in the security and destruction of chemical weapons.

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

The United States will need to continue its targeted assistance to Libya as the government works to create a new constitution and prepare for presidential and legislative elections in 2013. Assistance restrictions would negatively affect U.S. ability to provide support and establish relationships with the emerging Government in Libya, strengthen civil society, empower women to participate as full members of society, and engender a Libya that is pluralistic, participatory and prosperous. Funds will also be used to establish and renew crucial partnerships related to security and counterterrorism.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $1,300,000 in FY 2012 NADR/EXBS assistance and $7.5 million in Presidential drawdown authority for non-lethal military assistance. Restrictions on assistance would also apply to an estimated $150,000 in FMF, $50,000 in IMET, and $250,000 in NADR/EXBS. Restrictions may also apply to any potential EDA; Libya is eligible to receive EDA pursuant to section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act. This restriction could also affect approximately $6 million in unobligated NADR non-proliferation and disarmament funds for Libya threat reduction. Continued democracy and governance or civil society programming from other global and regional accounts, including from MEPI or Transition Initiatives, could also be affected.

Madagascar

The de facto Government of Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for Madagascar.

Justification: Madagascar is a source country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Since the March 2009 coup, combating human trafficking has not been a priority of the de facto government, despite the growing size of the problem both internally and transnationally. The authorities’ anti-trafficking efforts were negligible during the year. Despite widespread allegations of child sex tourism and sex trafficking, the government failed to prosecute or convict trafficking offenders and did not identify or refer repatriated victims to necessary services. Pervasive corruption and minimal capacity throughout the entire justice system, lack of awareness of the anti-trafficking law, and official complicity in trafficking crimes, including allegations of police protection of clients of children in prostitution, contributed to the dismal state of anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in Madagascar.

Restricting assistance for Madagascar for its failure to make efforts to combat trafficking in persons expresses clear U.S. concern and interest in improving the prevention and protection afforded to trafficked individuals, including repatriated Malagasy citizens, by the de facto Government of Madagascar.

Impact of Restrictions: The U.S. government, in light of various aid restrictions already in place, does not currently provide any non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance to the de facto Government of Madagascar. Nonetheless, restrictions on assistance under the Act apply to the provision of funding for participation of government officials and employees in educational and cultural exchange programs. Additionally, the imposition of voting restrictions in the international financial institutions (IFIs) would further reinforce the U.S. strong disapproval of the de facto Government of Madagascar’s failure to combat trafficking.

Papua New Guinea

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

Justification: Papua New Guinea is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. The Government of Papua New Guinea has not taken sufficient steps to address the significant problem of trafficking of women and underage girls for commercial sexual exploitation within the country. Despite the government’s acknowledgement of trafficking as a problem in the country, the government did not enact legislation to criminalize all forms of trafficking, investigate or prosecute any suspected trafficking offenses under existing laws, address allegations of officials complicit in human trafficking crimes, or identify or assist any trafficking victims during the year.

The President’s determination with respect to Papua New Guinea, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the United States Government to continue encouraging a government that firmly supports democratic principles, a military that respects human rights, and furthermore bolster Papua New Guinea’s position as an increasingly influential partner in the South Pacific region. Continued IMET funding, by focusing on mid-level professional military education and technical training and exposing participants to the norms and practices of the U.S. military, through the East Asia and Pacific Regional Program, lays the foundation for long-term defense relationships and advances the goal of strengthening security and stability in the Oceania region. Outside Tonga, Papua New Guinea is the only nation in the South Pacific to have a military with a growing, maturing relationship with the United States.

The waiver determination would also allow for the continuation of development assistance directed towards Global Climate Change (GCC) programs. Vulnerable populations, including women, are among those most susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change. U.S. assistance through this GCC program aims to build the capacity of communities and institutions to adapt to climate change, with a focus to promoting and improving men and women’s unique roles and expertise and ensuring that men and women are equitably included in receiving technical assistance and training for needed climate resiliency.

The waiver determination would also allow for continued GHP funding, supporting HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment for more-at-risk-populations in Papua New Guinea, which suffers from the highest HIV/AIDS epidemic rate in the Pacific region. Vulnerable populations, including young women, are at a particularly high risk of HIV infection. U.S. GHP assistance will be used to increase the use and facility of community gender-based violence interventions.

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions on assistance under the Act would apply to an estimated $250,000 in IMET, up to $9.5 million in DA, and $7.5 million in GHP. Restrictions may also apply to any potential EDA; Papua New Guinea is eligible to receive EDA pursuant to section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act.

Saudi Arabia

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

Justification: Saudi Arabia is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. The government continued, in a limited fashion, to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders under the 2009 anti-trafficking law. The government made modest efforts to improve its response to the vast human trafficking problem in Saudi Arabia by training government officials on victim identification and prevention, and worked to improve victim protection services, but its overall efforts remained inadequate during the reporting period. The government’s policy of allowing Saudi citizens and residents to sponsor migrant workers and restrict their freedoms, including exit from the country, continued to preclude significant progress in dealing with human trafficking.

The President’s determination with respect to Saudi Arabia, consistent with the Act’s waiver authority, will allow the continuation of democracy programs in Saudi Arabia through the MEPI. ESF funding through MEPI in Saudi Arabia is aimed at expanding civil participation and social entrepreneurship, supporting the Kingdom’s stated reform agenda, developing networks of civil society organizations, empowering women in the political sphere and creating linkages between communities in rural and urban environments. The funding would help support marginalized groups, particularly women and the disenfranchised. Historically, the Government of Saudi Arabia has shown reluctance to use its own resources to fund trainings of this nature. Without support from MEPI, it is unlikely that the government would implement the reforms necessary to keep pace with regional trends.

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

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

Sudan

The Government of the Republic of Sudan does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for Sudan. The President has also determined, consistent with the provisions of the Act, that that provision of funding for all programs, projects and activities of assistance, with exception of foreign military funding and foreign military sales to the Sudanese land forces, air forces, and Popular Defense Force, described in sections 110(d)(1)(A)(i) and 110(d)(1)(B) would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. While the Government of Sudan took some initial steps to acknowledge the existence of trafficking, draft anti-trafficking legislation, prosecute suspected traffickers, demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers, and waive overstay fines for foreign domestic workers, its efforts to combat human trafficking through law enforcement, protection, or prevention measures were undertaken in an ad hoc fashion, rather than as a result of strategic planning. Children were verified as being associated with the government-aligned Popular Defense Forces (PDFs) during the year in both Darfur and the “Two Areas” (South Kordofan and Blue Nile). In addition, government proxy militias reportedly unlawfully recruited and used children and adults, at times by force, during the reporting period. The government did not take action to conclude a proposed action plan with the U.N. to address the recruitment and use of child soldiers in particular.

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

The waiver determination allows for the continuation of ESF programming which aims to foster peaceful democratic development in Sudan by building the capacity of civil society and increasing citizen participation in dialogue on political processes, including the political empowerment of traditionally marginalized groups. Additionally, this programming will promote local reconciliation within Sudan, involve cross-border activities to promote dialogue between Sudan and South Sudan, and engage at-risk youth as advocates for stability in the region.

Additionally, these programs will support stabilization efforts or peace process activities in Darfur by advancing reconciliation and mitigating conflicts, supporting livelihood and income generation programs necessary to sustain peace, and fostering access to basic services by communities recovering from conflict. Funding will help empower vulnerable populations, including women and youth, to play a role in peace making and consolidation processes in the most stable areas of Darfur.

Impact of Restrictions: Comprehensive sanctions against Sudan are already in place, including those imposed under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, those related to its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, and several other legislative restrictions on assistance. Restrictions on assistance under the Act would nonetheless apply to some of the approximately $32.2 million in ESF assistance provided to bolster peace and stability within the country; a small portion of this funding may be directed toward the training or participation of government officials in the programming.

Syria

The Government of Syria does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for Syria. The President has also determined that provision of funding for participation of certain government officials and employees in educational and cultural exchange programs would promote the purposes of the Act, or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

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

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

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

Impact of Sanctions: The United States Government does not provide non-humanitarian, non-trade related assistance to the Government of Syria. The Government of Syria is already subject to restrictions on assistance.

Yemen

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

Justification: Yemen is a country of origin and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Throughout 2011, Yemen faced prolonged political, economic, and security crises, leading to the nearly complete collapse of government services. Following the signing of a Gulf Cooperation Council-sponsored political transition agreement in November 2011, the creation of a new government in December 2011, and the election of a new president in February 2012, the government still faced severe challenges through the end of the reporting period. Due to these prolonged crises, the Government of Yemen’s anti-trafficking efforts, including dedicating resources and attention to the issue, were severely curtailed during this reporting period. The Government of Yemen was unable to provide law enforcement data to contribute to this report, and it did not institute formal procedures to identify and protect victims of trafficking or to take steps to address trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

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

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

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

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

Impact of Restrictions: Restrictions under the Act would apply to approximately $38 million in ESF, $20 million in FMF, $9.5 million in GHP, $1.1 million in IMET, and up to $1.8 million in NADR programs (including $900,000 in Conventional Weapons Destruction and $900,000 in EXBS). Additional programming from other global and regional accounts, including from MEPI or Transition Initiatives, may also be affected. Restrictions could also apply to any potential EDA; Yemen is eligible to receive EDA pursuant to section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act. Any unobligated prior year balances within the eligible categories could also be affected.

Zimbabwe

The Government of Zimbabwe does not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The President has determined to restrict assistance for Zimbabwe. The President has also determined that provision of funding for programs for the promotion of health, good governance, education, agriculture and food security, poverty reduction, livelihoods, family planning, macroeconomic growth including anticorruption activities, and for programs that would have a significant adverse effect on vulnerable populations if suspended, would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States.

Justification: Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. While high-level officials, including the president, showed an increased interest in trafficking issues in 2011, tangible efforts to combat trafficking in persons remained minimal. The government did not report investigations or prosecutions of trafficking cases. The government continued to rely on the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide officials with anti-trafficking training and IOM and NGOs to identify and protect victims.

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

Impact of Restrictions: The Government of Zimbabwe is already subject to various restrictions on foreign assistance. Restrictions under the Act would apply to assistance that is provided pursuant to existing partial waivers and other authorities, including $700,000 in ESF to the Government of Zimbabwe.