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

Mauritius (Tier 1)

Mauritius is a source country for women and children trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation. Sex tourism is a serious concern and is being addressed through a broad coalition of government and civic service institutions.

The Government of Mauritius fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Mauritius could further enhance its anti-trafficking efforts by increasing the number of prosecutions.


The government is aggressively implementing its 5-year plan to protect children against exploitation. The Ministry of Women's Rights, Child Development, and Family Welfare, in conjunction with the University of Mauritius, conducted a survey of exploited children and is establishing a database to track commercial sexual exploitation. During the year, the government undertook anti-trafficking campaigns targeting child prostitution, created "Police de Proximite" to encourage community members to report information, educated children on their rights, and worked through women's and youth centers, factories, and parent-teacher associations to explain trafficking and sexual abuse. Other actions included hiring a full-time consultant to work on pamphlets, television ads, radio spots, and booklets on child prostitution; a train-the-trainer program for 200 community and youth leaders; and establishment of mechanisms to use the 53 social welfare centers, 109 community centers, and 12 women and youth centers and village information councils as resources on commercial sexual exploitation. To decrease school absenteeism – identified as a primary cause of trafficking – the government assigns a social worker to truant children and their families. The government also provides income generating and micro-credit programs for poor families and educates parents about child prostitution. Sex Area Protection Committees and Child-Watch networks are being established in high-risk areas. An omsbudsman for children's issues is being created. The government trains and funds NGOs.


The government is reviewing existing legislation to increase protection for victims and the penalties for trafficking. Trafficking is prosecuted under statutes prohibiting brothel keeping, debauchery, sex with a minor, and causing a child to be abused. Police at the Grand Bay Police Station report about 6 child prostitution cases per year. Thirty law enforcement officials are being trained in investigation and prosecution and a training manual for police is being developed. The government monitors and reports sex offenders to INTERPOL. Family courts are reviewing procedures for dealing with the commercial sexual exploitation of children. A Family Protection Unit of the police has been trained on child exploitation and an information technology unit has been established to monitor Internet solicitation of minors.


The Ministry's Child Development Unit carries out intervention, treatment, and protection services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Victims are sheltered in government-supported, NGO-run facilities and the government mandates compensation from exploiters. The government also offers free medical, psychological, and legal assistance and has established a drop-in center for victims of sexual abuse.


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