Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:04 GMT

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

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 - Zambia, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 29 November 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.

Zambia (Tier 2)

Zambia is primarily a source country for men, women, and children trafficked to South Africa for labor and commercial sexual exploitation, and a destination country for women trafficked from Thailand for commercial sexual exploitation. Until the April 2002 cease-fire, Zambians were sometimes abducted and forcibly conscripted in rebel groups during the civil war in Angola. Internal trafficking of children, both for labor and for sexual exploitation, is also a major problem.

The Government of Zambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. Though strong on prevention and protection efforts, particularly to exploitative child labor, Zambia needs to step up its law enforcement efforts.


The government works actively with an international NGO to address child labor. It works with international partners to remove children from exploitative work in prostitution, domestic service, hawking, and mining. It supports public awareness campaigns. Ministry officials at all levels are receiving training and sensitization about the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The government implemented programs to rehabilitate child prostitutes and other street children. Zambia also abolished fees for primary schools, waived uniform requirements in rural areas, established volunteer-based community schools for children who have fallen behind in their studies, and focused on "girl-friendly" education initiatives, all measures designed to reduce the vulnerability of children to trafficking. School curricula are being updated and new "schools without walls" allow children to be educated on the streets, minimizing the time away from work. Street children are offered counseling services. The government also is strengthening the district level coordination to empower HIV/AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children, including extension of micro-credit programs to families living with HIV/AIDS.


Zambia's constitution bans trafficking in children under the age of eighteen, as well as trafficking in women for immoral activities. The constitution also prohibits slavery and forced labor. The government actively investigates accusations of trafficking. The government assisted in the repatriation of two Zambian girls trafficked to Ireland and charged two Congolese (DRC) nationals with abduction and rape. In one recent case, a police officer was sentenced to 9 years' labor for the rape of a minor girl. The government also worked with Angolan officials to resolve abduction cases from the civil war and with the government of Botswana in a case of suspected trafficking that was eventually proven false. The Employment Act requires anyone taking young Zambians to another country for employment to obtain government approval. The Ministry of Labor and Social Security's Child Labor Unit is charged with enforcing labor laws, but inadequate training and resources result in weak enforcement. The government is taking steps to improve its capacity to monitor its borders.


The government is assisting in the repatriation of two girls trafficked to Ireland and has agreed to provide counseling. The government has provided medical aid, personnel, and facilities for programs that have removed over 2,400 children from exploitative labor situations. The government supports the protection efforts of non-governmental organizations. Victims are not treated as criminals.

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