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Viewing cable 04THEHAGUE1049, NETHER...

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04THEHAGUE1049 2004-04-26 08:08 2011-01-27 00:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 001049 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FROM AMBASSADOR SOBEL FOR DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE 
ALSO FOR P U/S GROSSMAN, G U/S DOBRIANSKY, AND EUR A/S 
JONES 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/23/14 
TAGS: PREL KCRM PHUM KWMN NL
SUBJECT: NETHER...


16331

2004-04-26

04THEHAGUE1049

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL



C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 001049 

SIPDIS 

FROM AMBASSADOR SOBEL FOR DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE 
ALSO FOR P U/S GROSSMAN, G U/S DOBRIANSKY, AND EUR A/S 
JONES 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/23/14 
TAGS: PREL KCRM PHUM KWMN NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS AND THE TIP - TIER ONE 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR SOBEL. REASONS: 1.4 (B & D). 

1. (C) Mr. Secretary: You will shortly receive for approval 
G/TIP's annual trafficking report that drops the 
Netherlands from Tier 1 to Tier 2. I understand that while 
A/S Beth Jones disagrees with this ranking, she has found 
it futile to continue to argue. Before you allow G/TIP's 
ranking of the Netherlands to stand, I want to give you my 
first hand view of the situation and the consequences. 

2. (SBU) Last year over G/TIP's objections, you orrectly 
laced the Netherlands in Tier 1. G/TIP and EUR then 
developed benchmarks for engaging the Dutch on TIP issues. 
So, where are we a year later? 

- The TIP situation in the Netherlands has actually 
improved in every area specified by law: protection, 
prosecution and prevention. (We have provided all the 
details to the Department and have shared them with your 
staff.) 

- The Dutch are committing substantial resources towards 
the fight against TIP and the Netherlands is one of the few 
countries that has a national rapporteur for trafficking. 

- The Dutch championed the fight against TIP during their 
OSCE chairmanship and will do so in their upcoming EU 
presidency starting July First. 

- They have worked cooperatively with us on every 
benchmark we have given them over the past year. 

3. (C) The real issue seems to be the Dutch approach to 
prostitution. We don't like their social policies, but 
even G/TIP admits the causal link between legalization of 
prostitution and trafficking has not been proven. We have 
our view and the Dutch theirs - viewing legalization as an 
attempt to gain control of the problems involved with 
prostitution and crime, including trafficking in persons in 
the sex industry. But this is a different question than 
those set out in the law and not a basis for changing their 
tier rostitution was just as legal here a year ago when 
they were ranked in Tier 1. 

4. (C) Among other reasons, I am asking you to overrule 
G/TIP so the U.S. will be credible on TIP issues. For 
effective engagement with the Dutch on TIP, we must 
acknowledge their efforts, set clear guidelines and stick 
to them, then evaluate fairly according to the benchmarks. 
Anything less will undermine our credibility and Dutch 
desire to cooperate. Senior Dutch Justice and Foreign 
Ministry officials have already complained strongly about 
moving goalposts and an unfair process driven by ideology, 
not benchmarks. 

5. (C) Mr. Secretary, the Dutch are hopping mad over this. 
I am concerned we are going to shoot ourselves, and this 
relationship, in the foot. The indignity of an unjustified 
downgrade to Tier 2 -- and our inability to point to any 
criteria or performance that have changed for the worse -- 
is going to undermine the forceful public outreach we have 
been making to strengthen the alliance. The Dutch are 
extremely valuable allies to us, providing troops in 
Afghanistan and Iraq and supporting us on transatlantic and 
global issues. In the next month, the government faces a 
delicate vote in parliament over extending Iraq troop 
deployment and the MFA Political Director told me Friday 
that a decision to put the Netherlands in Tier 2 would be 
damaging and could not come at a worse time. In July, the 
Dutch assume the EU presidency and will pick up from the 
Irish on counter-terrorism, the Greater Middle East and the 
whole US-EU agenda. We need cooperation with the 
Netherlands both on TIP issues and these other profoundly 
important issues across the board. 

6. (SBU) Both the facts and U.S. interests lead to the same 
conclusion, Mr. Secretary. I urge you to keep the 
Netherlands where it has been and belongs, in Tier 1. 

Sobel