U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Zambia

Zambia (Tier 2)

Zambia is a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Child prostitution exists in Zambia's urban centers, often encouraged or facilitated by relatives and acquaintances of the victim. It is likely that many Zambian child laborers, particularly those in agriculture and domestic service, are also trafficking victims. Zambian women, lured by false employment or marriage offers, are trafficked to South Africa via Zimbabwe for sexual exploitation. Zambia is a transit point for regional trafficking of women and children, particularly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to South Africa.

The Government of Zambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To further its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should pass and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, formalize a victim interviewing and referral process, and increase public awareness, including among government officials, of human trafficking.


Zambia's government sustained a weak anti-trafficking law enforcement effort over the reporting period. Zambia prohibits all forms of trafficking through a 2005 amendment to its penal code, which prescribes penalties of 20 years to life in prison – penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for rape. The statute does not, however, define trafficking or set out the elements of the offense, thus limiting its utility. The government obtained its first conviction under this statute during the reporting period, but it took minimal additional law enforcement action against traffickers exploiting Zambian children. During the year, the government, with outside technical help, began drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law and policy. In March, police in Serenje arrested a man for attempting to sell his 10-year old son for the equivalent of $215. In January 2007, the High Court found him guilty of trafficking under the 2005 penal code amendment, and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. In April 2006, immigration officials detained two Chinese women suspected to be trafficking victims as they attempted to board a flight to London using forged travel documents; their handler escaped before he could be taken into custody.


The government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained extremely limited. There are no formal victim identification or referral procedures in Zambia. In some cases, victims are placed in shelters operated by NGOs. During the year, Zambian authorities worked with IOM and an NGO to shelter and repatriate two trafficked Chinese women. The Ministries of Education and Labor worked with a local NGO to remove children from situations of forced labor, including girls in prostitution, and provide them with formal education and vocational training. In 2006, the government allocated $142,500 to the Ministry of Labor's Child Labor Unit, almost twice the amount given the previous year. This unit's 50 child labor inspectors, due to lack of transportation and other resources, conducted fewer than 50 inspections in 2006 and resolved most violations through mediation and counseling. The government encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. Identified victims are not detained, jailed, deported, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked.


While Zambia lacks a comprehensive public awareness campaign, the government sustained efforts to prevent vulnerable children from being trafficked. It continued operation of two youth camps that provided 18 months of counseling and rehabilitation services to street children vulnerable to trafficking, including girls removed from prostitution; 204 children graduated from the camps in 2006. After graduation, some children opted to be placed in one of 16 Youth Resources Centers where they refined trade skills such as carpentry, tailoring, or poultry farming. The Child Labor Unit provided public education on the worst forms of child labor by staging public events to raise awareness, speaking in schools, and informally counseling families, children and employers. The government's inter-agency committee on trafficking made progress toward realizing the goals of its three-pronged anti-trafficking strategy that focuses on drafting a comprehensive law, conducting a baseline study, and raising public awareness. The government-owned radio station broadcasted IOM public service announcements on trafficking. The committee also facilitated the work of an outside expert who drafted a comprehensive national policy on human trafficking after consulting with NGOs and other stakeholders.


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