Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The incidence of internal trafficking is believed to be higher than that of transnational trafficking. Tanzanian girls from rural areas are trafficked to urban centers and the island of Zanzibar for domestic servitude; some domestic workers fleeing abusive employers fall prey to forced prostitution. Tourist hotels reportedly coerce some girls employed as cleaning staff into prostitution. Boys are trafficked within the country for forced labor on farms, in mines, in the informal business sector, and possibly on small fishing boats. Smaller numbers of Tanzanian children and adults reportedly are trafficked to surrounding African nations, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and possibly other European countries for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Indian women legally migrate to Tanzania to work as entertainers in restaurants and nightclubs; some are reportedly forced into prostitution after arrival. In 2008, Malawian men were trafficked to Tanzania for forced labor in fishing. Citizens of neighboring countries may be trafficked through Tanzania for forced domestic labor and sexual exploitation 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. In August 2008, the government enacted a comprehensive human trafficking law and made progress in educating law enforcement officials and prosecutors about the full scope of human trafficking. Although more than 250 victims of trafficking were identified by government officials over the year, the government initiated no known prosecutions of their traffickers.
Recommendations for Tanzania: Use newly enacted anti-trafficking legislation to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders; implement national procedures for victim protection, including the identification of trafficking victims among undocumented migrants; institute trafficking-specific data collection systems for use by the national police and courts; and provide additional training to law enforcement authorities on differentiating human trafficking from smuggling.
Though the Tanzanian government enacted anti-trafficking legislation and received significant amounts of training from outside entities during the reporting period, it reported no prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenders. In June 2008, the Parliament passed the comprehensive Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008, which was signed by the president in August. In February 2009, the law came into effect after being translated into Swahili and officially published. This statute prescribes punishments of from one to 20 years’ imprisonment depending upon the severity of the crime, punishments that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. However, as no specific anti-trafficking law existed for the majority of the reporting period, existing statutes criminalizing the sale of people, forced labor, child labor, and various sexual offenses were applied to human trafficking cases. The government reportedly investigated cases of trafficking using these statutes, but provided no information on the prosecution or conviction of trafficking offenders during the year. Acting on a hotline tip, police in Mlandizi arrested and charged a Rwandan woman attempting to traffic a Tanzanian child to France; her trial date has not been set. Although the Ministry of Labor reportedly conducted inspections and issued warnings to violators of child labor statutes, there were no reported forced child labor cases brought to court in 2008. Likewise, Zanzibar’s Ministry of Labor did not take legal action against any cases of forced child labor. In February 2009, the government transferred responsibility for all anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts from a specific Anti-Human-Trafficking Unit to the police’s INTERPOL office, which has broad responsibility for transnational crimes. The police Cyber Crimes Unit estimated investigating 200 trafficking-related cases since its establishment in 2006; however, no arrests have resulted from these efforts. In December 2008, the government opened the East African Regional Training Academy for immigration officials; approximately 60 percent of this facility’s funding is provided by the Tanzanian government. The academy’s curriculum includes a module devoted to anti-trafficking education.
The government’s efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period were moderate and suffered from a lack of resources. Government officials partnered with NGOs to provide shelter, counseling, and rehabilitation for victims of trafficking; facilities for shelter and specialized care were limited to urban areas. While Tanzania lacked systematic victim referral procedures, police and social workers across the country received training on victim protection and government authorities referred trafficking victims to NGOs for assistance during the reporting period. For instance, police and community social workers referred 256 female trafficking victims to an NGO-run shelter in 2008. In March 2009, local social workers in Pwani region took custody of a rescued child, placed her in an orphanage, and enrolled her in school. A plain-clothed female police officer, part of the Dar es Salaam city police force, visited shelters to obtain sex trafficking victims’ statements in a private setting. In mid-2008, the government collaborated with IOM and NGOs to draft a plan for the referral of trafficking victims for care; this mechanism has not yet been finalized. The government provided free use of buildings and supplied teachers, doctors, and social workers, to assist anti-trafficking NGOs during the reporting period. A 24-hour crime hotline staffed by Tanzanian police officers was available for citizens to make anonymous reports about suspected trafficking victims; the hotline responded to two trafficking tips during the reporting period. The government generally encouraged Tanzanian victims’ assistance in the investigation of their traffickers, but the lack of national procedures for victim identification likely led to the deportation of many foreign victims before they were identified or able to give evidence in court. With no formal procedure in place to identify foreign victims, they may have been treated by the government as illegal migrants and housed in prisons until deportation arrangements could be made. The government conducted educational programs to help law enforcement officials identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008 provides foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where their safety or the safety of their families may be endangered.
While awareness of human trafficking increased further in Tanzania, including among communities in remote locations, understanding of what constitutes trafficking remained low; law enforcement and social welfare officials sometimes conflated human trafficking with smuggling. In April 2008, the government produced guidelines for child labor intervention at the district and community levels that were implemented to varying degrees. For example, to prevent child labor exploitation and trafficking, teachers, police, and labor inspectors followed up with parents to determine whether children missing from school had been forced into domestic servitude or other forms of labor. While there were no reports of local government officials carrying out legal action against such parents, the resulting fear of criminal penalties significantly reduced the availability of child domestic workers in Dar es Salaam by year’s end. Local Child Labor Committees, partially comprised of local government officials, partnered with ILO-IPEC to identify and withdraw children from situations of forced labor and enroll them in public schools or Ministry of Education – operated Community Learning Centers. High-ranking national and local officials were visibly present at events associated with IOM’s national campaign, “Uwe Sauti Yao” (Be Their Voice). In an effort to decrease the demand for commercial sex acts, in June 2008, Dar es Salaam police arrested and indicted 38 men and women – madams, women engaged in prostitution, and clients – on charges of keeping brothels and soliciting sexual services. All suspects were released on bail or with fines; trial dates have not yet been determined. All Tanzanian soldiers completed a module on the respect of human rights and anti-trafficking interventions as part of their basic curriculum. Troops received additional human rights training, including sessions on gender and women’s rights, the protection of civilians, and international humanitarian law, before their deployment to international peacekeeping missions.