Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 15:45 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Mozambique

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2006
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Mozambique, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8a14b.html [accessed 26 November 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.

Mozambique (Tier 2)

Mozambique is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. The use of forced and bonded child laborers is a common and increasing practice in rural areas, often with the complicity of family members. Women and girls are trafficked internally and to South Africa for forced labor and sexual exploitation; young men and boys are similarly trafficked for farm work or domestic servitude. Trafficked Mozambicans often labor for months in South Africa without pay before the "employer" reports them as illegal immigrants or trespassers; they are then arrested and deported. Traffickers are typically part of small networks of Mozambican and/or South African citizens; however, involvement of larger Chinese and Nigerian syndicates in the trafficking of Mozambicans has also been reported.

The Government of Mozambique does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mozambique's anti-trafficking law enforcement initiatives dramatically improved over the reporting period. To further its efforts in fighting trafficking, the government should prosecute and convict arrested traffickers, demonstrate progress towards the passage of anti-trafficking legislation, launch a comprehensive public awareness campaign, and increase its assistance to trafficking victims.

Prosecution

Mozambique's law enforcement efforts increased dramatically over the previous year, though a paucity of training resources hindered greater efforts. While there is no law specifically prohibiting human trafficking, Mozambique's penal code includes at least 13 related articles under which trafficking cases can be charged; Mozambique's first trafficking case was prosecuted in March 2006, resulting in the conviction of two men for kidnapping and attempting to sell a 13- year-old boy. In March 2006, the Ministry of Justice signed an agreement with an NGO to jointly draft anti-trafficking legislation. Over the past year, Mozambican police broke up several trafficking schemes, apprehending at least nine traffickers and rescuing more than 90 victims. For example, in November 2005, a man in Manica province was arrested for selling 35 children as farm laborers; 18 of the children have been recovered and police continue to investigate the case. In February 2006, police arrested six men attempting to traffic 43 people across the South African border. The Interior Ministry conducted anti-trafficking training for almost 90 police officers in three provinces, after which the officers conducted public awareness campaigns for community police and school leaders; however, such training has not been extended force-wide. Many lower-ranking police and border control agents are suspected of accepting bribes from traffickers.

Protection

The government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking continued to suffer from a lack of resources; government officials regularly call on NGOs for assistance in the provision of shelter, food, counseling, and rehabilitation. During the reporting period, the Kulaya Healing Center in the Maputo Central Hospital assisted a small number of trafficking victims with medical care and counseling for up to three months each. In 2005, the Ministry of Interior expanded the number of Offices for Attending to Women and Child Victims of Violence from 84 to 96, and provided victims' assistance training for police officers who deal with such cases; some of these offices provided emergency shelter and food for trafficking victims. The small, beleaguered Joint Committee for the Reception and Screening of Mozambicans Repatriated from South Africa located at the Ressano Garcia border crossing is overwhelmed by the thousands of Mozambicans deported each month, and not able to adequately screen these deportees in order to identify victims of trafficking. This problem is exacerbated by indifference shown to the deportees by the national immigration authorities.

Prevention

Mozambique's prevention efforts remained weak. During the year, law enforcement officials publicized trafficking cases more widely and government-owned media outlets consistently covered such stories. The government does not have a plan of action to combat trafficking, or a single person designated to coordinate the government's anti-trafficking efforts.

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