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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07REYKJAVIK90 2007-03-30 13:01 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
DE RUEHRK #0090/01 0891351
O 301351Z MAR 07
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REFS:  A) 06 STATE 202745 B) Reykjavik 49 C) FEvans-MHall 
1. (SBU) Updated report reflects changes in the 
prostitution law, and two possible trafficking cases in the 
last month (ref C). Embassy point of contact on the 
trafficking in persons (TIP) issue is Political Officer 
Brad Evans, tel. +354-562-9100x2294, fax +354-562-9139, 
unclassified e-mail  From February 20 
until April 1, point of contact is Economic Officer Fiona 
Evans, tel. +354-562-9100x2295, fax +354-562-9139, 
unclassified e-mail 
Hours spent on preparation: 
- Polofficer (FS 03)   20 hrs 
- Econofficer (FS 03)   9 hrs 
- Polassistant         61 hrs 
- DCM                   2 hrs 
Total:                 92 hrs 
The following questions and answers correspond to the 
format provided reftel. 
2. (SBU) Overview of a country's activities to eliminate 
trafficking in persons: 
-- A. Is the country a country of origin, transit, or 
destination for international trafficked men, women, or 
children?  Provide, where possible, numbers or estimates 
for each group; how they were trafficked, to where, and for 
what purpose.  Does the trafficking occur within the 
country's borders?  Does it occur in territory outside of 
the government's control (e.g. in a civil war situation)? 
Are any estimates or reliable numbers available as to the 
extent or magnitude of the problem?  What is (are) the 
source(s) of available information on trafficking in 
persons or what plans are in place (if any) to undertake 
documentation of trafficking?  How reliable are the numbers 
and these sources?  Are certain groups of persons more at 
risk of being trafficked (e.g. women and children, boys 
versus girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, etc.)? 
There were no confirmed cases of trafficking in the 
reporting period. There were a handful of alleged victims. 
There were isolated cases of destination and theoretically 
cases of origin as well.  Putative cases fall into several 
categories:  undocumented Eastern European workers in 
construction and manufacturing; 'mail-order' or 'Internet' 
brides (both Eastern European and Asian) trapped with 
abusive, controlling Icelandic husbands; and underpaid 
and/or mistreated workers in nightclubs and massage 
The only information available on TIP is hearsay.  Post's 
sources ? especially NGOs ? maintain that TIP does exist in 
Iceland. NGOs know of concrete examples of trafficking, yet 
they cannot give an accurate estimate of how widespread TIP 
is in Iceland.  There are no plans to undertake 
documentation of trafficking. 
There is concern that undocumented foreign workers in 
Iceland's booming construction sector may be exploited. 
Most sources stress that the men willingly work illegally 
in Iceland in order to make up to four times the normal 
income in their Eastern-European/Baltic home countries and 
opine that these are cases of immigrant and employment law 
violations rather than trafficking in persons. The 
'victims' enter the country on tourist visas or as Schengen 
zone residents and proceed to work without obtaining work 
permits.  Judging by anecdotal evidence from press 
accounts, such cases may number in the dozens, but no 
Icelandic institution has undertaken a formal estimate. 
The number of strip clubs in the Greater Reykjavik area 
started decreasing in 2003 when changes in local 
regulations to outlaw lap dances was enacted. In the past 
year two erotic nightclubs have been opened in prominent 
downtown Reykjavik locations, raising suspicions among 
activists that prostitution and possibly trafficking could 
be on the upswing again. 
-- B. Please provide a general overview of the trafficking 
situation in the country and any changes since the last TIP 
Report (e.g. changes in direction).  Also briefly explain 
the political will to address trafficking in persons. Other 
REYKJAVIK 00000090  002 OF 011 
items to address may include:  What kind of conditions are 
the victims trafficked into?  Which populations are 
targeted by the traffickers?  Who are the traffickers? 
What methods are used to approach victims? (Are they 
offered lucrative jobs, sold by their families, approached 
by friends of friends, etc.?)  What methods are used to 
move the victims (e.g., are false documents being used?). 
As in previous years, suspected trafficking cases are 
spoken of anecdotally rather than as part of a broader 
trend of confirmed cases.  TIP awareness had faded into the 
background for a few years after tougher local regulations 
were enacted to clamp down on strip clubs. On May 1, 2006 
restrictions on the free flow of labor from the 10 new 
EEA/EU countries were removed, allowing citizens of these 
countries to enter Iceland and obtain residence permits 
without first having a confirmed employment-based permit to 
be in the country (as is the case for non-EEA/EU 
nationals). The free flow of labor has facilitated the 
entry of Eastern European and Baltic citizens, with a steep 
rise in the number of people coming from these countries. 
At the end of 2006 there were 18,327 foreign citizens with 
legal residence in Iceland, or 6 percent of the total 
population, but sources suggest that many foreign workers 
go underreported. With this heavy inflow of labor, concerns 
have been raised that it is likely more problematic to keep 
track of possible instances of human trafficking than 
before.  In the reporting period the media paid attention 
to less-than-ideal and often unsanitary housing for foreign 
Political will: The government, most notably the Minister 
of Justice, has declared its opposition to TIP and its 
intent to combat the problem in the broader scheme of 
efforts to deal with the threat of transnational crime 
(including reorganization of police districts and increases 
in intelligence and analytical units that could have an 
impact on TIP -- see below).  The Ministry of Justice has 
designated its Head of Legal Affairs as the primary 
government point of contact on TIP issues, and this 
official enjoys good relations with the law enforcement and 
NGO communities.  That said, the government has not carried 
out a formal survey of the problem and has no apparent 
plans to do so.  The government emphasizes the role that 
its other efforts against transnational crime play in 
combating TIP, but has thus far been reluctant to expend 
assets in TIP-specific directions.  Post believes this is 
in some ways an understandable result of the small size of 
most government institutions in the country (the entire 
population of Iceland is roughly 300,000). 
TIP has been raised in parliament on a handful of occasions 
during the reporting period, though an opposition-sponsored 
bill to increase protections and services for TIP victims 
looks unlikely to pass in this legislative session. 
In a recent case highlighting the broad anti-TIP consensus 
here, a planned four-day-gathering of pornography industry 
moguls in Reykjavik in March 2007 caused outrage among all 
segments of Icelandic society, including NGOs, the national 
government and the Reykjavik City Council.  Minister of 
Trade and Industry Jon Sigurdsson said of the conference: 
"We have no assurances that this is not a case of modern 
day slavery.  People talk of human trafficking.  I would 
rather talk of it as is intolerable." The 
conference was cancelled three weeks prior to its start 
when the hotel cancelled the reservations of the group and 
the organizers could not find a new location on such short 
-- C.  What are the limitations on the government's ability 
to address this problem in practice?  For example, is 
funding for police or other institutions inadequate?  Is 
overall corruption a problem?  Does the government lack the 
resources to aid victims? 
Iceland consistently ranked in independent surveys as one 
of the world's least corrupt societies.  Funding for police 
and other institutions that are on the TIP front lines is 
adequate for a reactive approach but inadequate to fund 
active measures to prevent potential new cases.  These 
efforts got a boost on January 1, 2007, with the launch of 
an intelligence and analytical unit within the office of 
the National Police Commissioner, intended to strengthen 
proactive measures to combat international organized crime 
REYKJAVIK 00000090  003 OF 011 
that might expand into Iceland, including TIP. Also on 
January 1, realignment of police districts in the greater 
Reykjavik area came into effect with the hope that 
consolidated resources will increase efficiency within 
police districts and improve communication and response in 
complex investigations, including prostitution and human 
trafficking cases.  Programs to provide emergency shelter 
and crime victim compensation, which in theory could be 
used to help TIP victims, have rarely been tested in the 
trafficking context. 
-- D. To what extent does the government systematically 
monitor its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts -- 
prosecution, prevention and victim protection) and 
periodically make available, publicly or privately and 
directly or through regional/international organizations, 
its assessments of these anti-trafficking efforts? 
There is no systematic government monitoring of anti- 
trafficking efforts as such ? i.e., none beyond ordinary 
recordkeeping as to laws proposed and passed.  Primary 
responsibility for anti-trafficking work lies with the 
Ministry of Justice, which oversees the police, courts, and 
border control authorities.  The MOJ's Director of Legal 
Affairs serves as the primary TIP Point of Contact for the 
government and has coordination responsibility within the 
government (e.g., with the Ministries of Social Welfare and 
Foreign Affairs on victim protection and international 
obligations, respectively; and with other law enforcement 
and judicial authorities under the authority of the MOJ) 
and outside the government (e.g., with NGOs and activist 
groups).  This designation of the MOJ as lead government 
agency on the issue was consolidated in the summer of 2006. 
The MOJ has initiated an all-party TIP working group for 
the purposes of coordination between state and non- 
governmental actors as well as liaison with other Nordic 
and Baltic countries on the issue.  The working group is 
discussing the means available for a systematic survey of 
the TIP problem as well as anti-TIP efforts. 
-- A. Does the government acknowledge that trafficking is a 
problem in that country?  If no, why not? 
Government officials acknowledge that Iceland, despite its 
geographic isolation and privileged, homogeneous 
population, is not wholly unique and thus probably has a 
trafficking problem.  They are, however, hard-pressed to 
supply examples of specific cases and maintain that Iceland 
does not suffer from the same TIP problem as other Nordic 
and Baltic countries. 
-- B. Which government agencies are involved in anti-trafficking 
efforts and which agency, if any, has the lead? 
The following agencies are involved in anti-trafficking efforts: 
-- Ministry of Justice (including the Directorate of 
Immigration, State Prosecutor's Office, and National 
Commissioner of Police and local police forces -- including 
as of January 1, 2007, the Sudurnes Police Commissioner 
(formerly the Keflavik Airport Police Commissioner), 
previously under the authority of the Ministry for Foreign 
Affairs): lead agency. Ragna Arnadottir, Director of Legal 
Affairs at the MOJ, is the national Point of Contact on TIP 
-- Ministry for Foreign Affairs 
-- Ministry of Social Affairs (including the Equal Rights Office and 
Directorate of Labor) 
-- C. Are there, or have there been, government-run anti- 
trafficking information or education campaigns?  If so, 
briefly describe the campaign(s), including their 
objectives and effectiveness.  Do these campaigns target 
potential trafficking victims and/or the demand for 
trafficking (e.g. "clients" of prostitutes or beneficiaries 
of forced labor). 
There has been no Icelandic government public outreach or 
information campaign on TIP in the reporting period.  The 
government has carried out information campaigns regarding 
the change in labor laws to allow free movement of workers 
from the new Eastern European and Baltic member states of 
the EU.  These campaigns (largely through print media and 
posters/flyers in government offices such as the 
REYKJAVIK 00000090  004 OF 011 
Directorates of Immigration and Labor Affairs) targeted 
both employers (to inform them of their responsibility to 
request work permits for their immigrant employees) as well 
as immigrant employees (to inform them of their rights and 
obligations under Icelandic labor law, which are the same 
as those of Icelandic citizens).  These efforts were 
supported by Iceland's major labor unions. 
-- D. Does the government support other programs to prevent 
trafficking? (e.g., to promote women's participation in 
economic decision-making or efforts to keep children in 
school.)  Please explain. 
There are no government trafficking-prevention programs as 
-- E. What is the relationship between government 
officials, NGOs, other relevant organizations and other 
elements of civil society on the trafficking issue? 
NGO representatives complain that the government does not 
invite their participation in the early stages of 
legislative drafting and policy planning.  Government 
officials express the view that inviting civil society to 
comment on fully-drawn proposals ought to be sufficient. 
In spite of this tension, individual relationships within 
the small circle of those who regularly work on this issue 
are cordial and professional.  A working group consisting 
of representatives from NGOs and the government ? one from 
sexual abuse crisis center "Stigamot," one from the 
country's sole Women's Shelter, and the government's 
national POC on trafficking issues (from the Ministry of 
Justice) ? was established in January 2007. The group also 
has associate members from other NGOs and government 
agencies, including representatives from the Sudurnes 
Police Commissioner's office whose jurisdiction includes 
Keflavik International airport (Iceland's only 
international airport). It will oversee and keep track of 
what is being done to prevent and fight TIP in Iceland, by 
guaranteeing the flow of information through direct 
communications channels with institutions and NGOs.  The 
working group will also work on improving conditions, the 
rehabilitation and repatriation of TIP victims if 
necessary.  The working group will report on its activities 
to the European Women?s Lobby.  The working group is also 
planning to prepare a booklet with TIP information for 
distribution at municipal social service centers. 
-- F. Does the government monitor immigration and 
emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking?  Do law 
enforcement agencies screen for potential trafficking 
victims along borders? 
The government monitors immigration and emigration patterns 
for evidence of trafficking; and screens for potential 
trafficking victims at Keflavik International Airport. The 
country has no land borders. 
-- G. Is there a mechanism for coordination and 
communication between various agencies, internal, 
international, and multilateral on trafficking-related 
matters, such as a multi-agency working group or a task 
force?  Does the government have a trafficking in persons 
working group or single point of contact?  Does the 
government have a public corruption task force? 
There is no purely domestic anti-trafficking task force; 
nor is there a public corruption task force.  However, 
government representatives on the anti-TIP working group 
(see point E above) coordinate their activities in advance 
of the working group meetings.  The Ministry of Justice's 
Director of Legal Affairs is the national Point of Contact 
on TIP issues. 
-- H. Does the government have a national plan of action to 
address trafficking in persons?  If so, which agencies were 
involved in developing it?  Were NGOs consulted in the 
process?  What steps has the government taken to 
disseminate the action plan? 
Iceland does not have a national plan of action to address 
TIP. In 2003 the Minister of Justice and Minister of Social 
Affairs, along with her Nordic counterparts, agreed to 
prepare a national plan of action to address TIP before the 
end of 2005.  The government's plans have languished and 
REYKJAVIK 00000090  005 OF 011 
the delays have resulted in some criticism from the 
opposition parties in parliament, most recently in January 
2007. The current Minister of Justice has said that actions 
speak louder than action plans, and that he feels that 
current actions are adequate to meet the problem, pointing 
to such actions as stepped-up police readiness to combat 
international organized crime through increased allocations 
to national police offices dealing with international 
cooperation and intelligence analysis, as well as the 
merging of police districts in the greater Reykjavik area 
to pool resources for complex investigations such as TIP. 
As a result, the capital area police now have their first 
multi-officer investigative unit devoted to sexual abuse 
and prostitution cases, a mandate which also includes cases 
of trafficking for sexual exploitation. 
-- A. Does the country have a law specifically prohibiting 
trafficking in persons--both for sexual and non-sexual 
purposes (e.g. forced labor)? If so, please specifically 
cite the name of the law and its date of enactment?  Does 
the law(s) cover both internal and external (transnational) 
forms of trafficking? If not, under what other laws can 
traffickers be prosecuted?  For example, are there laws 
against slavery or the exploitation of prostitution by 
means of force, fraud or coercion?  Are these other laws 
being used in trafficking cases?  Are these laws, taken 
together, adequate to cover the full scope of trafficking 
in persons?  Please provide a full inventory of trafficking 
laws, including civil penalties against alleged trafficking 
crimes, (e.g., civil forfeiture laws and laws against 
illegal debt). 
Passed into law March 10, 2003, Article 227a of Iceland?s 
General Penal Code outlaws trafficking in persons.  The 
government has not yet brought any prosecutions under it, 
choosing instead to use General Penal Code Articles 57 and 
155, which outlaw alien smuggling and document forgery, 
-- B. What are the penalties for trafficking people for 
sexual exploitation? 
Trafficking of persons for sexual exploitation is 
punishable by up to eight years in prison. 
-- C. Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses: What are 
the prescribed and imposed penalties for trafficking for 
labor exploitation, such as forced or bonded labor and 
involuntary servitude?  Do the government's laws provide 
for criminal punishment -- i.e. jail time -- for labor 
recruiters in labor source countries who engage in 
recruitment of laborers using knowingly fraudulent or 
deceptive offers that result in workers being exploited in 
the destination country?  For employers or labor agents in 
labor destination countries who confiscate workers' 
passports or travel documents, switch contracts without the 
worker's consent as a means to keep the worker in a state 
of service, or withhold payment of salaries as means of 
keeping the worker in a state of service?  If law(s) 
prescribe criminal punishments for these offenses, what are 
the actual punishments imposed on persons convicted of 
these offenses? 
Trafficking of persons for forced labor is punishable by up 
to eight years in prison.  The laws provide for criminal 
punishment for anyone who procures, removes, houses or 
accepts someone who has been subjected to unlawful 
restraint, deprived of freedom, threat, or unlawful 
deception by awakening, strengthening or utilizing his/her 
lack of understanding of the person concerned about 
circumstances or other inappropriate method.  The same 
penalty shall be applied to a person accepting payment or 
other gain. 
-- D. What are the prescribed penalties for rape or 
forcible sexual assault?  How do they compare to the 
prescribed and imposed penalties for crimes of trafficking 
for commercial sexual exploitation? 
Rape is punishable by up to 16 years in prison, but even 
especially brutal rapes rarely draw sentences of more than 
six years, with one or two years' imprisonment more common. 
As there have been no prosecutions for sex trafficking in 
REYKJAVIK 00000090  006 OF 011 
Iceland it is impossible to compare actual penalties. 
-- E. Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized? 
Specifically, are the activities of the prostitute 
criminalized?  Are the activities of the brothel 
owner/operator, clients, pimps, and enforcers criminalized? 
Are these laws enforced? If prostitution is legal and 
regulated, what is the legal minimum age for this activity? 
Note that in many countries with federalist systems, 
prostitution laws may be covered by state, local, and 
provincial authorities. 
On March 17, parliament passed a bill that decriminalizes 
prostitution as a main source of income, but bans its 
advertisement.  Previously it was only permissible for 
individuals to engage in isolated sales of sex as long as 
both parties were at least 18 years old, and it was not a 
main source of income.  The government argues that most 
people who solicit sex do so because they have no other 
choice or because they are forced into prostitution by 
others.  By making the solicitation of sex legal the 
government believes individuals who have been forced into 
prostitution would rather come forward and lead police to 
those responsible.  The activities of clients are not 
criminalized.  It is illegal for any third party to earn 
his or her income from someone?s prostitution, e.g. by 
pimping or renting out premises.  It is also illegal to 
tempt, encourage, or assist a child under the age of 18 to 
engage in prostitution; and to promote the emigration or 
immigration of an individual for the purpose of his or her 
engaging in prostitution for a living. 
The opposition Left Green party has for several years 
introduced a bill in the Althingi to criminalize the 
activities of clients, as in Sweden, but the government has 
repeatedly blocked the bill's passage on the ground that 
Iceland does not confront the level of street prostitution 
seen in its Nordic neighbors. 
-- F. Has the government prosecuted any cases against 
traffickers?  If so, provide numbers of investigations, 
prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, including details 
on plea bargains and fines, if relevant and available. 
Does the government in a labor source country criminally 
prosecute labor recruiters who recruit laborers using 
knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers or impose on 
recruited laborers inappropriately high or illegal fees or 
commissions that create a debt bondage condition for the 
laborer?  Does the government in a labor destination 
country criminally prosecute employers or labor agents who 
confiscate workers' passports/travel documents, switch 
contracts or terms of employment without the worker's 
consent, use physical or sexual abuse or the threat of such 
abuse to keep workers in a state of service, or withhold 
payment of salaries as a means to keep workers in a state 
of service?  Are the traffickers serving the time 
sentenced:  If no, why not?  Please indicate whether the 
government can provide this information, and if not, why 
not? (Note:  complete answers to this section are 
essential. End Note) 
The Government has not prosecuted any cases against 
traffickers.  In the one case (dating from 2005) wherein a 
massage parlor owner was convicted of exploiting a Chinese 
national employee in a way that could have been construed 
as human trafficking, the defendant was convicted of 
document forgery and required to pay damages to the victim. 
-- G. Is there any information or reports of who is behind 
the trafficking?  For example, are the traffickers 
freelance operators, small crime groups, and/or large 
international organized crime syndicates?  Are employment, 
travel, and tourism agencies or marriage brokers fronting 
for traffickers or crime groups to traffic individuals? 
Are government officials involved?  Are there any reports 
of where profits from trafficking in persons are being 
channeled?  (e.g. armed groups, terrorist organizations, 
judges, banks, etc.) 
The Ministry of Justice and police say they have no data on 
who is behind any alleged trafficking beyond individual 
business owners who themselves stand to profit.  Due to the 
size and low visibility of the problem, Post is unable to 
obtain further information to determine whether there are 
notable trends in this regard. 
REYKJAVIK 00000090  007 OF 011 
-- H. Does the government actively investigate cases of 
trafficking?  (Again, the focus should be on trafficking 
cases versus migrant smuggling cases.) Does the government 
use active investigative techniques in trafficking in 
persons investigations? To the extent possible under 
domestic law, are techniques such as electronic 
surveillance, undercover operations, and mitigated 
punishment or immunity for cooperating suspects used by the 
government?  Does the criminal procedure code or other laws 
prohibit the police from engaging in covert operations? 
Police are not permitted to engage in covert operations, 
but the government does use other active investigative 
techniques, including electronic surveillance.  The law 
does not provide for immunity for cooperating suspects, but 
in practice deals do get made.  In general, opportunities 
for mitigated punishment are de facto available, but there 
is no precedent to evaluate their use in trafficking cases. 
-- I. Does the government provide any specialized training 
for government officials in how to recognize, investigate, 
and prosecute instances of trafficking? 
Students from the Icelandic National Police College 
annually participate in classes held by the Sudurnes Police 
Commissioner and Customs that include instruction on 
recognizing and investigating human trafficking issues. 
Senior Sudurnes/Keflavik officials have themselves been 
funded by the government to attend trafficking courses 
abroad, e.g. at the European Police Academy. 
--J. Does the government cooperate with other governments 
in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? 
If possible, can post provide the number of cooperative 
international investigations on trafficking? 
No such cooperation took place in the reporting period, but 
experience with other types of international crime, 
including alien and drug smuggling, suggests that such 
cooperation would be forthcoming if requested. 
In September, three Polish women who had been prostituting 
themselves in Reykjavik were deported to Poland after they 
were arrested.  Once in Poland, Polish and Icelandic police 
authorities did not exchange information or otherwise 
cooperate on the case, which may have been a case of human 
trafficking.  Please see 5D for further discussion on this 
-- K. Does the government extradite persons who are charged 
with trafficking in other countries?  If so, can post 
provide the number of traffickers extradited?  Does the 
government extradite its own nationals charged with such 
offenses?   If not, is the government prohibited by law 
form extraditing its own nationals?  If so, what is the 
government doing to modify its laws to permit the 
extradition of its own nationals? 
Iceland has not been asked to extradite a trafficking 
suspect to another country.  Icelandic law does not permit 
extradition of Icelandic nationals, and no changes to the 
law are currently planned. 
-- L. Is there evidence of government involvement in or 
tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional 
level?  If so, please explain in detail. 
No; not applicable. 
-- M. If government officials are involved in trafficking, 
what steps has the government taken to end such 
participation?  Have any government officials been 
prosecuted for involvement in trafficking or trafficking- 
related corruption? Have any been convicted?  What 
sentence(s) was imposed?  Please provide specific numbers, 
if available. 
There is no evidence of government officials being involved 
in trafficking, and no government officials have ever been 
prosecuted or convicted for such activity. 
-- N. If the country has an identified child sex tourism 
problem (as source or destination), how many foreign 
pedophiles has the government prosecuted or 
REYKJAVIK 00000090  008 OF 011 
deported/extradited to their country of origin?  What are 
the countries of origin for sex tourists?  Do the country's 
child sexual abuse laws have extraterritorial coverage 
(like the U.S. PROTECT Act)?  If so, how many of the 
country's nationals have been prosecuted and/or convicted 
under the extraterritorial provision(s)? 
Not applicable. 
-- O. Has the government signed, ratified, and/or taken 
steps to implement the following international instruments? 
Please provide the date of signature/ratification if 
        --ILO Convention 182 concerning the Prohibition and 
Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of 
Child Labor. 
Ratified 5/29/2000. 
        --ILO Convention 29 and 105 on Forced or Compulsory Labor. 
Convention 29 ratified 2/17/1958; Convention 105 ratified 11/29/1960. 
        --The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the 
Child (CRC) on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child 
Ratified 7/9/2001. 
        --The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish 
Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, 
supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational 
Organized Crime. 
Signed 12/13/2000.  The Protocol is presently under review 
at the Ministry of Justice (along with the Council of 
Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human 
Beings, which Iceland signed on May 16, 2005) to examine 
the need for further changes to Icelandic law once the two 
agreements are ratified.  According to the MOJ's POC for 
trafficking issues, the Protocol, COE Convention, and any 
further legal changes will be cleared through the Icelandic 
interagency process and prepared in time to be submitted to 
the Althingi (parliament) during its next session starting 
October 2007. 
-- A. Does the government assist victims, for example, by 
providing temporary to permanent residency status, relief 
from deportation, shelter and access to legal, medical and 
psychological services?  If so, please explain.  Does the 
country have victim care and victim health care facilities? 
Does the country have facilities dedicated to helping 
victims of trafficking?  If so, can post provide the number 
of victims placed in these care facilities? 
There is no de jure provision for government assistance to 
TIP victims.  In theory, municipal social services and 
medical care are available to victims as to other citizens 
and, thanks to reimbursements to municipalities from the 
Ministry of Social Affairs, foreigners.  In cases involving 
unaccompanied children, municipal and state child 
protection services are responsible for assistance. The 
national and local governments may also refer to NGOs that 
provide food, shelter, legal advice, and health care. While 
there is also no de jure provision for grants of residence 
to TIP victims, in practice the Immigration Authority has 
used its discretion to offer permits to foreign women 
escaping abusive, exploitative marriages.  In January 2007 
a Nigerian woman was granted a residence permit on 
humanitarian grounds due to domestic abuse from her 
Icelandic husband.  This was the first case of its kind, 
and while applauded by activists, the government's ad hoc 
decision was also criticized for not setting any clear 
framework for future similar cases. 
Neither government nor Embassy sources could identify any 
TIP victims assisted during the reporting period. 
An opposition-sponsored bill to institutionalize 
protections for TIP victims was introduced in December 2006 
but was not passed.  Government officials have indicated 
that the law's provisions are unnecessary given the low 
REYKJAVIK 00000090  009 OF 011 
number of alleged TIP victims and the fact that services 
can be made available to such individuals even without the 
law's passage. 
-- B. Does the government provide funding or other forms of 
support to foreign or domestic NGOs for services to 
victims?  Please explain. 
The primary NGOs that provide services to victims of what 
may be trafficking receive considerable financial 
assistance from the government. The 2007 state budget 
allocates IKR 32.5 million (US $464,300) to the Women?s 
Shelter and IKR 31.5 million (US $450,000) to the Icelandic 
Counseling and Information Center for Survivors of Sexual 
Violence (Stigamot). Other NGOs have varying allocations 
from the state budget. One of those is the Women?s Advice 
Center, a legal clinic that will receive IKR 800,000 (US $ 
11,400) in 2007. These funds are not specially earmarked 
for services to TIP victims. The government does not 
provide funding to foreign NGOs for services to victims. 
-- C.  Do the government's law enforcement and social 
services personnel have a formal system of identifying 
victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom 
they come in contact (e.g. foreign persons arrested for 
prostitution or immigration violations)?  Is there a 
referral process in place, when appropriate, to transfer 
victims detained, arrested or placed in protective custody 
by law enforcement authorities to NGOs that provide short- 
or long-term care? 
Again it is unclear that there are any victims of 
trafficking per se, but the Icelandic Red Cross has in the 
past assisted persons alleged to have been smuggled.  Such 
individuals have been housed in hostels and guesthouses in 
advance of their deportation.  The government-sponsored TIP 
working group that includes government and NGO 
representatives has helped to further open lines of 
communication between these groups.  NGOs that provide 
services that might be of use to TIP victims (e.g., the 
sexual abuse crisis center, the women's shelter) report 
that referrals and communication by police in possible 
cases of interest is generally improving. 
However, in one case that received media attention in 
September 2006, three Polish women were deported to their 
home country after police suspected them of prostitution. 
Public comments by police officials indicated that the 
women denied being TIP victims, while NGO representatives 
have complained that the women were not given access to 
social workers or counselors to determine whether or not 
they had been victims of abuse.  Police officials say they 
informed the three women of the availability of various 
social services, but the women did not want to take 
advantage of those services. 
-- D. Are the rights of victims respected, or are victims 
treated as criminals?  Are victims detained, jailed, or 
deported?   If detained or jailed, for how long?  Are 
victims fined?  Are victims prosecuted for violations of 
other laws, such as those governing immigration or 
While there were no identified trafficking victims in the 
reporting period, possible trafficking victims have been 
prosecuted under laws governing immigration.  Typically 
they have been detained and jailed for from 30 to 45 days 
in advance of deportation.  The Keflavik Police 
Commissioner (currently the Sudurnes Police Commissioner) 
reported to post in 2006 that some have been offered 
residence in Iceland on compassionate grounds, but in every 
instance they have turned down the offer -- he believes 
because they are desperate to return to their countries of 
origin to arrange repayment of their traffickers in order 
to avoid violent retaliation against themselves and their 
families.  However, he was not able to offer further 
evidence to support this speculation, and did not point to 
specific facts elicited during interviews with such 
individuals to support the claim.  The same office reported 
no cases that aroused strong interest during this most 
recent reporting period. 
In the case of the three Polish women noted above, the 
women were in Iceland for less than two weeks while 
Reykjavik city police investigated their case.  They were 
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deported shortly after they were arrested and denied being 
victims of trafficking.  According to information obtained 
from Embassy Warsaw, Polish police authorities received 
information about this case but did not investigate it. 
They were simply notified that Icelandic police had been 
working on a trafficking case.  Icelandic police 
authorities did not contact the Polish police directly and 
did not ask for any support or cooperation. 
In March, two Brazilian women--one of which was arrested?- 
were questioned in relation to having solicited sex in 
Reykjavik hotels for several weeks.  At least one of the 
women was then deported.  An Icelandic man was briefly 
arrested, suspected of having forced the two women into 
prostitution.  The investigation was still underway when 
this report was submitted, and police authorities did not 
rule out the possibility of TIP. 
-- E. Does the government encourage victims to assist in 
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking?  May 
victims file civil suits or seek legal action against the 
traffickers?  Does anyone impede the victims' access to 
such legal redress? If a victim is a material witness in a 
court case against a former employer, is the victim 
permitted to obtain other employment or to leave the 
country pending trial proceedings?  Is there a victim 
restitution program? 
The government encourages victims to assist in the 
investigation and prosecution of trafficking. Victims may 
file civil suits or seek legal action against the 
traffickers. No one impedes victims' access to such legal 
redress. There is no specific provision in the law to 
permit a material witness in a court case against a former 
employer to obtain other employment or leave the country; 
however, the government has adequate discretion to make 
such accommodations. There is no specific restitution 
program for victims for trafficking in persons, but there 
is one for victims of violence. 
-- F. What kind of protection is the government able to 
provide for victims and witnesses?  Does it provide these 
protections in practice?  What type of shelter or services 
does the government provide? Does it provide shelter or any 
housing benefits to victims or other resources to aid the 
victims in rebuilding their lives? Where are child victims 
placed (e.g. in shelters, foster-care, or juvenile justice 
detention centers)? 
Please see section 5A, above. 
-- G. Does the government provide any specialized training 
for government officials in recognizing trafficking and in 
the provision of assistance to trafficked victims, 
including the special needs of trafficked children?  Does 
the government provide training on protections and 
assistance to its embassies and consulates in foreign 
countries that are destination or transit countries?  Does 
it urge those embassies and consulates to develop ongoing 
relationships with NGOs that serve trafficked victims? 
The answer to each of these questions is no.  That said, 
the Nordic Baltic Task Force against Trafficking in Human 
Beings, of which Iceland is a member, intends to deepen the 
cooperation between Nordic and Baltic embassies in order to 
increase efforts to assist victims of trafficking and 
eradicate TIP. The Task Force also encourages the 
governments of the Nordic and Baltic states to develop 
networks that facilitate the exchange of information on 
trafficking trends and to educate the diplomatic corps 
working in countries of destination. 
-- H. Does the government provide assistance, such as 
medical aid, shelter, or financial help, to its repatriated 
nationals who are victims of trafficking? 
There have been no such cases identified in the reporting 
period.  While repatriated nationals would benefit from the 
same social safety net as any other Icelander, there are no 
programs specifically for victims of trafficking. 
-- I. Which international organizations or NGOs, if any, 
work with trafficking victims?  What type of services do 
they provide?  What sort of cooperation do they receive 
from local authorities?  NOTE:  If post reports that a 
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government is incapable of assisting and protecting TIP 
victims, then post should explain thoroughly.  Funding, 
personnel, and training constraints should be noted, if 
applicable.  Conversely, the lack of political will to 
address the problem should be noted as well. 
Please see 5A and 5B above for descriptions of 
government/NGO coordination on support to potential victims 
of trafficking.