Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October 2014, 12:39 GMT

2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Angola

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 19 June 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Angola, 19 June 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe30ce9c.html [accessed 22 October 2014]
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.

ANGOLA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Angola is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Angolans are reportedly forced to labor in agriculture, construction, domestic service, and artisanal diamond mines within the country. There are reports of underage girls, as young as 13, in prostitution in the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, and Huila. Some Angolan boys are taken to Namibia for forced labor in cattle herding, while others are forced to serve as couriers as part of a scheme to skirt import fees in the cross-border trade between Namibia and Angola. Angolan adults may use children under the age of 12 for forced criminal activity, as children cannot be tried in court. Forced begging also occurs in Angola. Angolan women and children are subjected to domestic servitude in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Namibia, and European nations, primarily Portugal.

Vietnamese and Brazilian women in prostitution in Angola may be victims of sex trafficking. Chinese sex trafficking victims, recruited with promises of work by Chinese construction companies, are deprived of their passports, kept in walled compounds with armed guards, and forced to pay back the costs of their travel by engaging in prostitution. Chinese, Southeast Asian, Namibian, and possibly Congolese migrants are subjected to forced labor in Angola's construction industry; conditions include withholding of passports, threats, and denial of food and movement. The Chinese workers are brought to Angola by Chinese companies who have obtained large construction or mining contracts; the companies do not disclose the terms and conditions of the workers' recruitment and work. Illegal Congolese migrants voluntarily enter Angola for work in its diamond-mining districts, where some experience conditions of forced labor or forced prostitution in mining camps. Trafficking networks recruit and transport Congolese girls as young as 12 from Kasai Occidental in the DRC to Angola for various forms of exploitation.

The Government of Angola 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 did not demonstrate evidence of overall increasing efforts to address human trafficking since the previous year; therefore, Angola is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year. The Angolan government made some improved law enforcement efforts, including the rescue of 23 Chinese sex and labor trafficking victims and the arrest of at least 12 suspected Chinese traffickers. However, the government neither amended its penal code to criminalize trafficking in persons nor finalized draft anti-trafficking legislation. It made no efforts to identify Angolan victims, increase its provision of services to victims, or raise awareness of trafficking during the reporting period. The government also did not develop procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, and did not train its law enforcement, social services, or immigration personnel on this skill.

Recommendations for Angola: Draft a national action plan in order to coordinate and pace the government's anti-trafficking efforts over the coming year; amend the penal code to prohibit and punish all forms of human trafficking and provide sufficient protections for victims; train law enforcement officials to use existing portions of the penal code to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; investigate and prosecute forced labor abuses in the construction sector; develop and implement procedures for the identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; train law enforcement, social services, and immigration officials in identification and referral procedures; provide support for the establishment and maintenance of shelters for trafficking victims; collect anti-trafficking law enforcement data; and expand nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns.

Prosecution

The Government of Angola modestly increased its anti-trafficking efforts during the year through the rescue of 23 Chinese nationals and the arrest of at least 12 suspected trafficking offenders, one of whom remains in jail pending trial. Angola does not have a law that specifically prohibits all forms of trafficking, though the constitution promulgated in February 2010 prohibits human trafficking. The penal code, in force since 1886, has not yet been amended to reflect this constitutional provision. Although the government drafted amendments to the penal code during the reporting period, they remain pending with the National Assembly for a second year. Draft comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation also remains pending with the assembly. Article 71 of the current penal code prohibits facilitating prostitution, and Article 406 specifically prohibits child prostitution, imposing insufficiently stringent penalties of between three months' and one year's imprisonment and a fine. These penalties are not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Article 4 of the General Labor Law prohibits forced, coerced, or bonded labor, prescribing insufficient penalties of a fine of between five and 10 times the average workers' salary.

Following a phone call from trafficking victims to a foreign embassy in Luanda, the Special Crimes Unit of the National Police raided a Chinese construction site in Luanda in April 2011, arresting an unknown number of supervisors and rescuing four Chinese trafficking victims. The government charged one of the alleged trafficking offenders with "organized crime," and he remains in prison awaiting trial. However, authorities have neither sought to rescue and screen an additional 121 Chinese workers reported to be in the same conditions, some of whom may be trafficking victims, nor investigated forced labor abuses in Chinese companies in the construction sector. In November 2011, after receiving a tip from a foreign government, Angolan authorities apprehended 11 suspected traffickers for the alleged sex trafficking of 19 Chinese nationals and extradited them to China. The government took no action to address allegations of official complicity in trafficking from previous reporting periods, including allegations that police and military officials facilitated the illegal entry of Congolese nationals who subsequently became victims of forced labor or prostitution in mining camps, as well as allegations military personnel in Cabinda province purchased more than 30 trafficked women and girls from a sex trafficking ring in 2010. IOM trained 829 officials and 163 service providers on identifying and protecting trafficking victims; the Ministry of the Interior supplemented the costs of some of these trainings held in government facilities and provided office furniture in an effort to increase the number of officials trained in these sessions. The government signed a memorandum of understanding with Zambia in March 2012 to advance a bilateral partnership on anti-trafficking efforts.

Protection

During the past year, the government sustained modest efforts to ensure victims of trafficking received access to protective services, although a systematic process for the identification of trafficking victims and legal remedies for victims remained lacking. The government did not report the identification of any Angolan trafficking victims in 2011. Following their rescue from a construction site in late April 2011, authorities placed four Chinese trafficking victims in the care of IOM, which in the absence of support from the Chinese or Angolan governments provided shelter, assistance, and repatriation. In November 2011, the Chinese Embassy in Luanda provided shelter and assistance to 19 sex trafficking victims and funded their repatriation to China. There are existing facilities within Angola that could provide care to trafficking victims, though there was no evidence victims were referred to these resources during the reporting period. In partnership with UNICEF, the National Children's Council (INAC) oversaw Child Protection Networks (CPNs) in all 18 provinces that have in the past rescued victims of trafficking. These CPNs offered health care, legal and social assistance, and family reunification for crime victims under the age of 18; however, there was no evidence that victims used these resources during the reporting period. The Ministry of Assistance and Social Reintegration, the Ministry of Family and Women's Promotion (MINFAM), and the Organization of Angolan Women operated a limited number of multi-purpose shelters that trafficking victims could access, although there were no signs that victims used these resources during the reporting period. The government provided extremely limited funding for NGOs in all areas of social programming; no information was available on the amount of funding, if any, that it provided to NGOs for anti-trafficking work during the reporting period.

Law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel lacked a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, including women in prostitution and illegal immigrants. During the reporting period, the government did not provide training to these officials on victim identification procedures. Without standardized procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, some trafficking victims may have been penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. During the reporting period, IOM partnered with the Ministry of the Interior to review manuals and standard operating procedures on victim identification, which were developed for the southern African region, to modify them for use in Angola. The government did not offer victims long-term assistance and did not provide foreign victims with temporary residency or other legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face retribution or hardship. The Ministry of Exterior Relations and MINFAM are responsible for coordinating the repatriation and providing assistance to Angolans victimized abroad; it was unclear whether the government provided such assistance during the reporting period.

Prevention

The government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The Cross-Sectoral Committee on Trafficking in Persons, comprised of representatives from various ministries, exists to coordinate government efforts against trafficking, although, as in the previous reporting period, there was no evidence it did so in 2011. The government did not launch any new anti-trafficking awareness campaigns during the year. INAC and the Ministry of Social Communication continued to publish anti-trafficking advertisements in the press. Through INAC-sponsored seminars throughout 2011, teachers, students, and traditional community leaders were sensitized on indicators of child trafficking. The Ministry of Public Administration, Employment, and Social Security inspected work sites and fined companies for labor law violations, but did not identify victims of forced labor. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Angola is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

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