Last Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014, 16:37 GMT

2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Angola

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 27 June 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Angola, 27 June 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e12ee9b37.html [accessed 29 July 2014]
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.

Angola (Tier 2 Watch List)

Angola is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Internally, trafficking victims reportedly are forced to labor in agriculture, construction, domestic service, and artisanal diamond mines. Angolan women and children more often become victims of sex trafficking within Angola rather than in other countries; there are reports of underage girls, as young as 13, in prostitution in the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, and Huila. Some Angolan boys are taken to Namibia for forced labor in cattle herding, as well as forced to act as couriers in the illegal cross-border trade between Namibia and Angola as part of a scheme to skirt import fees. Adults in Angola may use children under the age of 12 for forced criminal activity, since a loophole in the Angolan justice system prevents youths from being tried in court. Angolan women and children are subjected to domestic servitude in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Namibia, and some European nations, primarily Portugal. Vietnamese, Chinese, and Brazilian women in prostitution in Angola may also be victims of sex trafficking. Reports indicate that Chinese, South East Asian, Namibian, and possibly Congolese migrants are subjected to forced labor in Angola's construction industry. Illegal migrants from the DRC voluntarily enter Angola for work in its diamond-mining districts, where some later experience conditions of forced labor or forced prostitution in the mining camps. Trafficking networks recruit and transport Congolese girls, as young as 12, from Kasai Occidental in the DRC to Angola for various forms of exploitation.

The Government of Angola does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government did not demonstrate an increase in its modest anti-trafficking efforts of the previous year. The government neither amended the penal code to penalize trafficking in persons nor finalized draft anti-trafficking legislation. It made no efforts to improve its minimal protection services provided to victims or to raise awareness of trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not develop procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations such as undocumented migrants, and did not train its law enforcement, social services, or immigration personnel on this skill. Therefore, Angola is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Recommendations for Angola: Amend the penal code to prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking in persons and provide sufficient protections for victims; train law enforcement officials to use existing portions of the penal code to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; collect anti-trafficking law enforcement data on investigations, identified victims, and prosecutions; develop and implement procedures for the identification of trafficking victims amongst vulnerable populations; train law enforcement, social services, and immigration officials in identification and referral procedures; provide support for the establishment and maintenance of new shelters for trafficking victims; and launch a nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaign.

Prosecution

The Government of Angola made no efforts to increase its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year, taking no action to amend the country's penal code or complete draft anti-trafficking legislation. Angola does not have a law that specifically prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, though the constitution promulgated in February 2010 prohibits trafficking. The penal code, in force since 1886, has not yet been amended to reflect this constitutional provision and the government made no effort to amend it during the reporting period. The National Assembly took no action to finalize draft anti-trafficking legislation; the draft revised penal code and draft anti-trafficking legislation remain pending with the assembly. Article 71 of the current penal code prohibits prostitution and facilitating prostitution, and Article 406 specifically prohibits child prostitution, imposing insufficiently stringent penalties of between three months' and one year imprisonment and a corresponding fine; these penalties are not commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. Article 4 of the Angolan Labor law prohibits forced, coercive, or bonded labor prescribing insufficiently stringent penalties of a fine of between five and 10 times the average workers' salary.

Despite allegations of forced labor involving Namibian and foreign victims and IOM's identification of cases of child trafficking, the government did not investigate or prosecute trafficking offenses under these statutes during the year. The government made no effort to address allegations of official complicity in trafficking from the previous reporting period. These include allegations that police and military officials facilitated the illegal entry of Congolese who subsequently became victims of forced labor or prostitution in mining camps and allegations that military personnel in Cabinda province purchased more than 30 trafficked women and girls from a sex trafficking ring during the year. At government facilities, IOM trained 762 people including provincial government officials, law enforcement officials and NGO service providers in the basic concepts of human trafficking, including the causes, consequences, and existing legal instruments. The trainings covered how to identify a victim, how to provide assistance, and what services are available.

Protection

During the past year the government sustained modest efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to protective services, though a systematic process for the identification of trafficking victims and legal remedies for victims remained lacking. Victims, most often identified by community members, received immediate care from the National Children's Council (INAC) or the Ministry of Assistance and Social Reintegration (MINARS); however, INAC and MINARS did not provide medical or psychological services, referring victims to hospitals or clinics for such care or to international organizations, NGOs, or shelters for additional assistance and accommodation. The government did not provide nationwide data on victims identified, referred, and assisted by these entities. In partnership with UNICEF, INAC oversaw Child Protection Networks (CPNs) in all 18 provinces that have in the past rescued victims of trafficking and other crimes. These CPNs offered health care, legal and social assistance, and family reunification for victims under the age of 18; however, the government lacked adequate resources to provide shelter and psychological support to victims. MINARS, the Ministry of Family and Women's Promotion (MINFAM), and the Organization of Angolan Women (OMA) operated a limited number of multi-purpose shelters that trafficking victims could access; however it remains unclear if trafficking victims utilized these services during the reporting period. The government provided extremely limited funding for NGOs in all areas of social programming; no information was available on the amount of funding, if any, that it provided to NGOs for anti-trafficking work during the reporting period.

Law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel lacked a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, including women in prostitution and illegal immigrants; during the reporting period, the government did not provide training to these officials on victim identification procedures. The government did not offer victims long-term assistance or relief from prosecution for crimes they may have committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Foreign trafficking victims may have been detained in advance of deportation, without being identified as trafficking victims. The government does not provide foreign victims with temporary residency or legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. In 2010, the government, assisted by IOM, repatriated 24 Namibian trafficking victims who were promised high-paying construction jobs, but in the end they were not paid; following arrests on unrelated charges, the victims were turned over to the attorney general and the Angolan Immigration Service who, recognizing trafficking indicators, contacted IOM. The government provided their transportation costs back to Namibia, while IOM provided them with food and small stipends. At least one Angolan child trafficking victim was repatriated from Namibia during the reporting period; the Ministry of Exterior Relations and the Ministry of Family and Women's Promotion facilitated the child's return, though it is unclear whether the government provided additional care or reintegration assistance.

Prevention

The government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The Cross-Sectoral Committee on Trafficking in Persons, comprised of representatives from various ministries, exists to coordinate government efforts against trafficking, though there was no evidence that they did so during the reporting period. Angolan authorities have improved security and effective patrolling at the Santa Clara border crossing between Angola and Namibia, which has led to a reported decrease in the exploitation of children in the cross-border transportation of goods. Border police and the navy increasingly worked to secure the borders; however, without proper screening, trafficking victims were not identified and were merely deported. The government made no efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Angola is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

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