Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 November 2015, 08:46 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Zimbabwe

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 14 June 2004
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Zimbabwe, 14 June 2004, available at: [accessed 26 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.

Zimbabwe (Tier 2 Watch List)

Zimbabwe is a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There were reports that women and children were internally trafficked to southern border towns for commercial sexual exploitation, as well as to South Africa. There were unconfirmed reports that girls trafficked from Malawi to South Africa sometimes transited Zimbabwe.

The Government of Zimbabwe does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Zimbabwe has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons, particularly evident in the minimal number of investigations and complete lack of prosecutions during the year. The government should take immediate steps to gather comprehensive trafficking data, implement a law enforcement action plan to combat trafficking crimes, and provide assistance to trafficking victims that are identified.


The government has no law specifically criminalizing trafficking in persons, but the common law prohibits abduction and forced labor, and the Constitution prohibits slavery or compulsory labor. Under the Sexual Offenses Act, it is a crime to transport persons across the border for sex. The Criminal Code forbids any person from allowing a child to reside in or frequent a brothel, or from causing the seduction, abduction, or prostitution of a child. The government has not prosecuted any trafficking cases to date. In September 2003, police investigated allegations that several women had been trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation and concluded that these claims were unfounded. Police officials met quarterly with Interpol to, among other things, discuss anti-trafficking measures. The Department of Immigration monitored the borders for trafficking. In January 2004, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced the start of a program to combat corruption at border posts and has since prosecuted several border officials for violating immigration laws and accepting bribes.


The government funds no protection activities for victims. No NGOs have programs specifically designed to work with trafficking victims. No specific victims of trafficking were identified in 2003. "Victim Friendly Courts" were created in 1997 specifically for children and victims of sexual offenses, including trafficking. Though the government provided no information as to these courts' activities, one NGO reported that several perpetrators of child sexual abuse were prosecuted. "Victim Friendly Units" found within police stations throughout the country are staffed with officers trained to accommodate vulnerable victims, including trafficking victims.


One hundred immigration and police officials attended trafficking awareness workshops and have requested training manuals to teach other officials to recognize and respond to trafficking.

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