Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016, 14:07 GMT

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

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 - Zimbabwe, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 30 May 2016]
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.

Zimbabwe (Tier 2)

Zimbabwe is primarily a source country for men, women, and children trafficked to South Africa for farm labor and commercial sexual exploitation, as well as a transit country for persons trafficked from Asia, Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique to South Africa. As a result of Zimbabwe's recent economic downturn and a growing number of HIV/AIDS orphans and child-headed households, internal trafficking of young women for commercial sexual exploitation is a growing problem.

The Government of Zimbabwe 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. Zimbabwe should improve its anti-trafficking performance through stepped up law enforcement efforts.


The Child Labor Task Force Committee and the Department of Welfare work with NGOs to train adults and children on identification of exploitation of children. School curriculum and other information programs raise children's awareness of child exploitation. The government supports programs to create educational opportunities for poor children, operates 15 training centers for out-of-school children throughout the country, and administers programs enhancing economic self-sufficiency for women.


Zimbabwe has no specific anti-trafficking law, but penalties do exist for abduction, forced labor, and transporting persons across the border for sexual exploitation. Child labor is regulated; children under 18 are prohibited from working during school hours without governmental permission, and from working at night or in hazardous conditions. The Sexual Offences Act, passed in 2001, outlaws procurement and forced prostitution and carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a fine. The government cooperated with 20 other countries in a ten-month investigation of child pornography. There is no evidence of governmental involvement in trafficking. Two humanitarian workers were dismissed for sexual abuse of refugees. The government is working with INTERPOL and neighboring immigration authorities to prevent trafficking of children for prostitution.


The government has established Victim Friendly Courts for victims of sexual abuse, who includes trafficked persons. Child friendly legal facilities now link police stations, hospitals, social welfare, families, community leaders, and prosecutors together in abuse cases involving children. The government, especially law enforcement, is supporting international organizations and NGOs assisting trafficking victims.

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