Last Updated: Friday, 09 October 2015, 08:53 GMT

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

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 - Zambia, 5 June 2006, available at: [accessed 9 October 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 a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Zambian children are internally trafficked for forced agricultural labor, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation; some reportedly are trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation.

The country's estimated 1.2 million orphans are particularly susceptible to trafficking. Zambian women, lured by fraudulent employment or marriage offers, are trafficked to South Africa for prostitution. Zambia is a transit point for regional trafficking of women and children, particularly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to South Africa. 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. To further its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should take steps to draft and pass comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, formalize a victim screening and referral process, and increase public awareness of human trafficking.


The Government of Zambia undertook significant efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement action during the last year, but encountered difficulty prosecuting cases due to an inadequate legal framework, under-trained officials, and lack of communication between law enforcement agencies. Zambia currently employs less than half the number of officers needed for adequate policing of the country; few of these have received any training on trafficking issues. In April 2005, shortly after receiving training from IOM, border officials intercepted a Congolese woman attempting to traffic 14 Congolese into Zimbabwe. The lack of specific laws prevented her prosecution on trafficking charges; she was fined and deported after being convicted of forgery and possessing forged documents. The case drew attention to weaknesses in existing laws, prompting Parliament to enact, in September, a stop-gap penal code amendment that provides tough penalties for any person that "sells or traffics a child or other person for any purpose or in any form." The amendment, however, does not define trafficking, limiting its utility. A plan was subsequently put in place for drafting comprehensive legislation. Prosecutors encountered setbacks with several other trafficking cases, including the prosecution of two Congolese accused of trafficking Zambian girls to Ireland. During the year, both defendants were granted bail; immigration services deported one without first consulting police and the other fled to Ireland. Through Interpol, the government is working with Irish officials to prosecute the man in Ireland and send the Zambian victims to Ireland to testify. There were no reported instances of public officials' complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.


The government's efforts to provide protection to victims of trafficking were extremely limited during the reporting period. The government cooperated with IOM and an NGO to shelter and repatriate 14 Congolese trafficking victims. Through its social welfare agencies, the government also provided limited counseling and shelter to small numbers of children in prostitution, and referred such victims to NGO service providers. There is no formal victim screening or referral process.


While Zambia lacks a coordinated public awareness campaign, the government undertook increased efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. Immigration officials at border posts distributed written information on trafficking to local communities. A government-owned radio station broadcast IOM public service announcements on trafficking. The inter-ministerial committee on trafficking met several times and laid out a counter-trafficking strategy that focuses on drafting a comprehensive law, conducting a baseline survey, and raising public awareness; the government is seeking donor funds to support these initiatives. In 2005, the government funded a program that removed from the streets 5,000 children vulnerable to trafficking and is providing them with rehabilitation assistance and reintegration into the community. It also funded a Ministry of Youth and Sports initiative that transformed two Zambia National Service camps into shelters that provided education and job skills training for 212 street children; graduates are provided with start-up capital or help securing employment.

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