Tanzania: ‘Govt Not Reducing Human Trafficking’

Posted on October 12, 2010 by The Counter Human Trafficking Blog in Tanzania

Bernard Lugongo allafrica.com 20 July 2010

The Government has not fully complied with the minimum standards for reducing human trafficking, a new report argues.

The report which was issued by the US embassy in Dar es Salaam says the government made little progress in implementing its 2008 anti-trafficking law.

Though the situation was rampant, the government had never convicted a human trafficking offender. It charged only one suspected trafficker and achieved no conviction.

 

The report states that incidence of internal human trafficking was higher than that of transnational trafficking, which is usually facilitated by family members, friends, and brokers’ offers of assistance with education or finding lucrative employment in urban areas.

“The use of young girls for forced domestic labor continued to be country’s largest human trafficking problem,” the report says.

That was, in part, due to poor inter-ministerial coordination and lack of understanding of what constitutes human trafficking.

“Most government officials remain unfamiliar with the act’s provisions or their responsibility to address trafficking,” the report notes.

 

Moreover, the ministries involved in anti-trafficking efforts failed to communicate or cooperate with each other and had no budgetary resources allocated to combating the crime.

Reacting to the report, the foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Minister Bernard Membe told The Citizen on phone that the Government was aware of the problem, and extremely against it.

He said the Government was making an effort to fight the problem as stipulated in country’s law.

“We would not like to see children in our neighbouring countries denied their rights such as education as they trafficked in our country to forced labour,” Mr Membe said.

 

He said the ministry would continue fighting the problem through, apart from enforcing law, providing education over the human trafficking using mass media.

But the report points out that girls from rural areas of Iringa, Singida, Dodoma, Mbeya, Morogoro, and Bukoba regions were taken to urban centers and Zanzibar for domestic servitude and some domestic workers fleeing abusive employers had fallen to forced prostitution.

For the past year, the report says, trafficking victims, primarily children, from Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda were identified in the country, particularly in the agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors.

Malawian men were subjected to forced labor as fishermen on countries’ lakes. Indian women legally migrated to Tanzania for work as entertainers in restaurants and nightclubs; some were reportedly forced into prostitution after their arrival.

Small numbers of Somali and Chinese women were also subjected to conditions of commercial sexual exploitation in the country.

Citizens of neighboring countries might have voluntarily migrated through Tanzania before being forced into domestic servitude and prostitution in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, says the report.

The US Embassy recommended that the Government must enforce the Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act by prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders.

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