Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2018, 12:53 GMT

Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 - Tanzania

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 14 June 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 - Tanzania, 14 June 2010, available at: [accessed 23 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

TANZANIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. The incidence of internal trafficking is higher than that of transnational trafficking, and is usually facilitated by family members, friends, and brokers' offers of assistance with education or finding lucrative employment in urban areas. The use of young girls for forced domestic labor continues to be Tanzania's largest human trafficking problem. Girls from rural areas of Iringa, Singida, Dodoma, Mbeya, Morogoro, and Bukoba regions are taken to urban centers and Zanzibar for domestic servitude; some domestic workers fleeing abusive employers fall prey to forced prostitution. Tourist hotels reportedly coerce some Tanzanian and Indian girls employed as cleaning staff into prostitution. Boys are subjected primarily to forced labor on farms, but also in mines, in the informal sector, and possibly on small fishing boats. Smaller numbers of Tanzanian children and adults are subjected to conditions of involuntary domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation in surrounding countries, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and possibly other European countries. During the year, trafficking victims, primarily children, from Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda were identified in Tanzania, particularly in the agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors. Malawian men are subjected to forced labor as fishermen on Tanzania's lakes. Indian women legally migrate to Tanzania for work as entertainers in restaurants and nightclubs; some are reportedly forced into prostitution after their arrival. Small numbers of Somali and Chinese women are also subjected to conditions of commercial sexual exploitation in Tanzania. Citizens of neighboring countries may voluntarily migrate through Tanzania before being forced into domestic servitude and prostitution in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

The Government of Tanzania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government made little progress in implementing its 2008 anti-trafficking law, in part due to poor inter-ministerial coordination and lack of understanding of what constitutes human trafficking; most government officials remain unfamiliar with the act's provisions or their responsibility to address trafficking. Moreover, the ministries involved in anti-trafficking efforts failed to communicate or cooperate with each other and had no budgetary resources allocated to combating the crime. The government, which has never convicted a trafficking offender, charged only one suspected trafficker during the reporting period and achieved no convictions. Therefore, Tanzania is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Recommendations for Tanzania: Enforce the Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act by prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders; following the formation of the Anti- Trafficking Secretariat by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the presidential naming of a Secretary to coordinate inter-ministerial efforts, begin implementation of the law's protection and prevention provisions; establish policies and procedures for government officials to proactively identify and interview potential trafficking victims and transfer them to the care, when appropriate, of local organizations; establish an anti-trafficking fund to support victims, as required under the law; begin compiling trafficking-specific law enforcement and victim protection data at the national level; and provide additional training to law enforcement authorities on anti-trafficking detection and investigative methods.


The Tanzanian government made negligible anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. As in previous years, the government failed to convict trafficking offenses during the reporting period, and was unable to provide information on cases reported in previous periods. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008, which came into effect in February 2009, outlaws all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of one to 20 years' imprisonment, punishments that are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. In November 2009, Parliament passed the Child Act which prohibits but does not prescribe punishment for forced child labor. The government investigated cases of human trafficking, but did not secure any convictions. In December 2009, for example, police in Tarime District investigated the case of two men who allegedly abducted two children from Isebania, Kenya and attempted to sell them at a mining site in the Nyamongo area; investigators referred the case to the Director of Public Prosecution's office in Mwanza for prosecution and it will proceed to trial following the completion of preliminary hearings. These men were the first individuals to be charged with a crime under the anti-trafficking law. In December 2009, Tanzanian police assisted British investigators in locating and accessing witnesses in southern Tanzania, following the arrest of two Tanzanians in Birmingham on charges of perpetrating forced labor offenses against their Tanzanian domestic worker. Although the Tanzanian Ministry of Labor, Employment and Youth Development reportedly conducted inspections and issued warnings to violators of child labor statutes, there were no forced child labor cases brought to court in 2009. Likewise, Zanzibar's Ministry of Labor, Youth, Women, and Child Development did not take legal action against any cases of forced child labor. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution began implementing an electronic case management system countrywide, which will enable the future systematic tracking of cases involving all types of crimes, including human trafficking. Newly-hired law enforcement and immigration officials received anti-trafficking training as part of their introductory coursework.


The Tanzanian government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period were modest and suffered from a lack of resources. It continued to rely on NGOs to provide care for victims of trafficking; NGO facilities for shelter and specialized services were limited to urban areas. While the government lacked systematic victim referral procedures, NGOs reported that police, social welfare officers, and community development officers identified and referred approximately 47 trafficking victims to their organizations for protective services in 2009; these government officials also occasionally provided food, counseling, and assistance with family reunification. In the previous reporting period, the government had engaged in partnerships with IOM and NGOs to draft a plan for the referral of trafficking victims for care; it is unclear whether this mechanism was officially instituted or used nationwide in 2009. In December 2009, Tanzanian police worked in partnership with Kenyan authorities to repatriate two Kenyan child trafficking victims to their home country. A 24-hour crime hotline staffed by police officers was available for citizens to make reports about suspected trafficking victims; the hotline received no trafficking tips in 2009. The government did not provide information on the participation of Tanzanian victims in anti-trafficking investigations and prosecutions; the lack of national procedures for victim identification likely led to the deportation of foreign victims before they were identified or able to give evidence in court. The government usually treated foreign victims as illegal migrants and housed them in prisons until deportation. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act provides foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where their safety or the safety of their families may be endangered; the government did not encounter a case that necessitated utilizing these provisions during the reporting period. In December 2009, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare signed an MOU with IOM to build the capacity of the Department of Social Welfare to assist victims of trafficking.


The government made moderate efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. Understanding of what constitutes trafficking remained low among government officials and no government ministries launched formal anti-trafficking outreach or awareness raising activities. In December 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs transferred its chairmanship of the inter-ministerial coordinating committee on human trafficking to the Department of Social Welfare; this committee, which only meets once a year, has, since its establishment in 2006, been an ineffective mechanism for information sharing or coordination of national anti-trafficking efforts. The Ministry of Labor's Child Labor Unit could not provide data on the number of child labor complaints it received in 2009 or the number of exploited child laborers identified and withdrawn by its 90 Labor Officers; inspectors continued to face myriad challenges, including chronic understaffing and lack of transportation to inspection sites. Some local governments allocated funds to respond to child labor and trafficking; Iguna District Council, for example, committed $5,200 for child labor-related activities in 2009. Local officials also continued partnerships with ILO-IPEC and various NGOs to identify and withdraw an unknown number of children from various forms of forced labor and provide them with educational opportunities. In past reporting periods, some districts incorporated prohibitions against child labor into their by-laws. While there were no reports of local governments taking legal action against parents whose children were absent from school, the resulting fear of penalties is believed to have reduced child labor. Some social welfare officers used IOM-provided materials to informally educate members of the communities in which they work. The government did not make any efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the reporting period. All Tanzanian soldiers completed a module on the respect of human rights and anti-trafficking interventions as part of their basic curriculum. The government provided additional human rights training, including sessions on women's rights, the protection of civilians, and international humanitarian law, to Tanzanian troops prior to their deployments abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

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