Last Updated: Tuesday, 01 December 2015, 13:36 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Malawi

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 11 June 2003
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Malawi, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 2 December 2015]
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.

Malawi (Tier 2)

Malawi is a source country for women and children trafficked to South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Europe for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Nigerian traffickers are increasingly active in Malawi, trafficking women and girls to Europe. Malawi also is a transit for persons trafficked to The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. Internal trafficking for forced labor and commercial exploitation also occurs. Sex tourism is an increasing problem. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has resulted in 2 million orphans and an increasing number of child-headed households, thereby drastically increasing the vulnerability of this population to traffickers.

The Government of Malawi does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government should increase its efforts to protect victims and follow through on its review of anti-trafficking statutes to enhance law enforcement efforts.


The inter-ministerial committee on children implemented a child rights awareness program, an HIV/AIDS awareness program, domestic violence campaigns, workshops, and training sessions. Also, the committee disseminated the Convention on the Rights of the Child in local languages. In addition, the government has targeted local customs, such as girl-child initiation rights at puberty and early marriage, as putting children at risk for trafficking and launched campaigns against such practices. The government established an ombudsman on children's issues and abolished school fees to encourage school attendance. The government provides assistance to the growing numbers of families caring for HIV/AIDS orphans and child-headed households, to minimize those increasingly at risk for trafficking. It also supports a multitude of youth associations working on children's issues. The government is implementing programs to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and is withdrawing 1,500 children from hazardous work and providing them with alternative job skills training.


There is currently no anti-trafficking law in Malawi. The National Task Force on Child Labor and the Law Review Commission are reviewing child labor and trafficking statutes. The Penal Code prohibits commercial sexual exploitation of children. Laws against promoting, managing, or transporting any person for prostitution mandate a 14 year sentence, which is appropriately severe. Since 2001, police have prosecuted seven cases of trafficking and closed down at least two nightclubs during an international conference because of the presence of minor prostitutes. Malawian police are working with INTERPOL to investigate brothel rings controlled by organized crime.


The government provides repatriation assistance for victims, including health care. Juvenile-friendly courts handle cases involving minors.

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