Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 11:39 GMT

2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Tanzania

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 19 June 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Tanzania, 19 June 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe30c8e44.html [accessed 25 April 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.

TANZANIA (Tier 2)

Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The incidence of internal trafficking is higher than that of transnational trafficking, and is usually facilitated by family members', friends', or intermediaries' offers of assistance with education or finding lucrative employment in urban areas. The exploitation of young girls in domestic servitude continues to be Tanzania's largest human trafficking problem. Cases of child trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are increasing along the Kenya-Tanzania border. Boys are subjected to forced labor, primarily on farms, but also in mines, in the informal sector, and possibly on small fishing boats. Smaller numbers of Tanzanian children and adults are trafficked – often by other Tanzanians – into conditions of domestic servitude and sex trafficking in other countries, including South Africa, Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France. Trafficking victims – typically children from Burundi and Kenya, as well as adults from Bangladesh, Nepal, Yemen, and India – are forced to work in Tanzania's agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors; some are also forced into prostitution. Citizens of neighboring countries may voluntarily migrate through Tanzania before being forced into domestic service and prostitution in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

The Government of Tanzania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Reversing several years of virtual inaction and a demonstrated laxness in implementing existing victim protection and prevention provisions of its anti-trafficking law, the government launched both an anti-trafficking committee and anti-trafficking secretariat to coordinate its national activities in late 2011. Within three months, the committee enacted a detailed national action plan to guide its anti-trafficking interventions over the next three years. It also initiated prosecutions of four cases involving five suspects under its anti-trafficking act and referred an increased number of victims for protective services in partnership with NGOs. Despite these significant efforts, the judicial system continued to lack understanding of what constitutes human trafficking, no trafficking offenders were convicted, and most government officials remained unfamiliar with the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act's provisions or their responsibilities thereunder, perhaps due to the lack of counter-trafficking budget allocations.

Recommendations for Tanzania: Enforce the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act by prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders; implement the act's victim protection and prevention provisions; establish policies and procedures for government officials to identify and interview potential trafficking victims proactively – including adult victims – and transfer them, as appropriate, to local organizations providing care; begin compiling trafficking-specific law enforcement and victim protection data at the national level; provide training to judges, prosecutors, and police to clarify the difference between human trafficking and alien smuggling; provide additional training to law enforcement authorities on the detection and methods of investigating human trafficking crimes; and institute standard operating procedures for trafficking victim identification and victim care provision for labor officials and diplomatic personnel at Tanzanian missions overseas.

Prosecution

The Tanzanian government made modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act outlaws all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of one to 10 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Authorities investigated six cases under the 2008 act. As of March 2012, one case had been closed, one remained under investigation, and four involving five suspects were under prosecution. The courts achieved no convictions in 2011, compared to its unprecedented three convictions in 2010. In August 2011, the government began prosecuting a Tanzanian man and woman (a school teacher) apprehended while allegedly subjecting two 16-year-old girls to forced labor as barmaids in Mozambique. The suspected male trafficker disappeared after being released on bail, while the female suspect remains in pretrial detention. In January 2012, police arrested a Nepali man for allegedly subjecting three Nepali men to forced labor in Tanzania and a Bangladeshi man for subjecting eight Bangladeshi men in Tanzania to forced labor; both suspects remain in detention awaiting trial. Despite these efforts, most police and immigration officials continued to fail to distinguish human trafficking from smuggling. The two-person police trafficking desk, established to work with counterparts in other law enforcement agencies to respond to trafficking crimes, received two complaints of trafficking during the reporting period. The government made no progress in compiling trafficking-specific law enforcement and victim protection data at the national level, instead relying upon IOM for data compilation related to victims. Newly-hired law enforcement and immigration officials received anti-trafficking training.

Protection

Although the Tanzanian government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained modest during the reporting period and suffered from a lack of resources, officials identified and referred an increased number of victims to NGO service providers. Key victim protection provisions of the 2008 anti-trafficking act, such as the establishment of a fund to support trafficking victims, have yet to be implemented. The government continued to rely on NGOs to provide care for victims and NGO-run facilities were limited to urban areas. Government officials occasionally provided food, counseling, and medical supplies – which NGOs estimated to be valued at $50,000 – as well as assistance with family reunification to victims being sheltered at NGO-operated facilities. The government lacked systematic victim referral procedures; however, NGOs noted an increased responsiveness by the police when reporting a suspected trafficking case. Tanzanian police referred 22 trafficking victims to NGOs for protective services in an ad hoc fashion, an increase of 16 over the previous year. Social welfare or community development officers referred 12 victims in 2011 in comparison to zero victims referred in 2010. IOM provided services to 47 Tanzanian trafficking victims, 40 of whom were younger than 18. Trafficking victims identified during official investigations were reunited with their families and some received counseling from the Department of Social Welfare's social workers. The government operated a 24-hour crime hotline, staffed by police officers, which was available for citizens to report suspected trafficking cases; however, the hotline received no trafficking tips in 2011. The lack of national procedures for victim identification, as well as the lack of a shelter for male adult victims, resulted in the 11 Nepali and Bangladeshi trafficking victims identified during the reporting period being held in prison for a month until the police anti-trafficking desk arranged for their return home. In December 2011, the Tanzanian embassy in Nairobi arranged for the repatriation of a female trafficking victim identified by IOM in Kenya. Other Tanzanian diplomatic missions, however, failed to expeditiously process travel documents and, reportedly, verbally mistreated Tanzanian trafficking victims seeking assistance. The government encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers; during the reporting period three victims agreed to testify in the cases against their alleged traffickers. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act provides foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where their safety or the safety of their families may be endangered; however, no victims requested this immigration relief during the reporting period.

Prevention

The government made increased efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. After three years of inaction, in December 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs formally established an anti-trafficking committee (ATC) and anti-trafficking secretariat (ATS), whose existence and functioning is mandated by the anti-trafficking act. Shortly after their formation, the government continued its renewed commitment to anti-trafficking efforts by drafting a national action plan to combat trafficking covering 2011 to 2014, which was ratified by the government in March 2012. Throughout the year, Department of Social Welfare personnel conducted television and radio interviews that included points about trafficking. The mainland Ministry of Labor's child labor unit, which received only the equivalent of $29,000 from the 2011 national budget – a $3,000 reduction from 2010 – could not provide data on the number of child labor complaints made or the number of exploited child laborers identified and withdrawn by its labor officers. Inspectors continued to face myriad challenges, including chronic understaffing and lack of transportation to inspection sites. During the year, the Zanzibar Ministry of Labor, in cooperation with local NGOs, withdrew 1,209 children from exploitative labor in the fishing, seaweed farming, and quarrying industries on the islands and worked with their families to ensure their return to school. The government did not make any efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the reporting period. All Tanzanian soldiers completed a module on human rights and anti-trafficking interventions as part of their basic curriculum. The government provided additional training on human trafficking to Tanzanian troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

Search Refworld