Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are 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’, and intermediaries’ offers of assistance with education or finding lucrative employment in urban areas. The use of young girls for forced domestic service continues to be Tanzania’s largest human trafficking problem. Girls from rural areas of Iringa, Singida, Dodoma, Mbeya, Morogoro, and Bukoba regions are taken to urban centers and Zanzibar for domestic service; some domestic workers fleeing abusive employers fall prey to sex trafficking. Boys are subjected primarily to forced labor on farms, but also in mines, in the informal sector, and possibly on small fishing boats. In the Arusha region, unscrupulous agricultural subcontractors reportedly trafficked women and men to work on coffee plantations. Smaller numbers of Tanzanian children and adults are subjected to conditions of forced domestic service and sex trafficking in surrounding countries, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, France, and possibly other European countries. Trafficking victims, primarily children, from neighboring countries, such as Burundi and Kenya, are sometimes forced to work in Tanzania’s agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors. Some also are forced into prostitution in brothels. Citizens of neighboring countries may voluntarily migrate through Tanzania before being forced into domestic servitude 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. Despite these significant efforts, particularly the conviction of three trafficking offenders during the reporting period, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous reporting period; therefore, Tanzania is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year. The government made limited progress towards implementation of its Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, 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 under it. Moreover, the ministries involved in anti-trafficking efforts had no budgetary resources allocated to combating the crime.
Recommendations for Tanzania: Enforce the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act by prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders; following the formation of the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the presidential naming of a secretary to coordinate inter-ministerial efforts as required by the Act, begin implementation of the law’s victim protection and prevention provisions; establish policies and procedures for government officials to identify and interview potential trafficking victims proactively and transfer them, as appropriate, to local organizations providing care; establish an anti-trafficking fund to support victims, as required under the law; begin compiling trafficking-specific law enforcement and victim protection data at the national level; and provide additional training to law enforcement authorities on the detection of human trafficking crimes and methods of investigating these crimes.
The Tanzanian government made modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, achieving its first three prosecutions and convictions under the country’s anti-trafficking statute. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008, which came into effect in February 2009, outlaws all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of one to 10 years’ imprisonment, punishments that are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Under aggravated circumstances, such as the victimization of a child or trafficking crimes perpetrated by a law enforcement official, prescribed penalties are 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment.
In September 2010, the District Court in Kasulu convicted a Burundian man under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and sentenced him to four years’ imprisonment for forcing 15 Burundian refugee children to work on tobacco farms in Urambo-Tabora; the trial proceedings of four co-conspirators on identical charges had not concluded at the close of the reporting period. In August 2010, a court in Mwanza used both the anti-trafficking act and the penal code to convict a Kenyan trader of human trafficking and abduction after he attempted to sell a Kenyan man with albinism, to whom he had promised employment, to a Tanzanian businessman for $263,300 for the purpose of exploitation. This conviction resulted in a combined sentence of 17 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $119,600; the trafficker is currently serving his prison sentence. In September 2010, a separate court in Mwanza region convicted a man of human trafficking for abducting two children from Isebania, Kenya and attempting to sell them at a mining site in Nyamongo area (Tarime District); he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. Nonetheless, most police and immigration officials continued to find it difficult to distinguish human trafficking from smuggling. The two-person police trafficking desk, established in June 2010 to work with counterparts in other law enforcement agencies to respond to trafficking crimes, reportedly received few complaints of internal trafficking, which was likely attributable to the public’s low level of understanding about the crime, victims’ general reluctance to report incidents of forced labor, and limited awareness of the desk’s existence. Although the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Youth Development reportedly conducted inspections and issued warnings to violators of child labor statutes, there were no forced child labor cases brought to court in during the year. Likewise, Zanzibar’s Ministry of Labor, Economic Empowerment, and Co-Operatives did not take legal action against any alleged crimes of forced child labor. The government made no progress in compiling trafficking-specific law enforcement and victim protection data at the national level. Newly-hired law enforcement and immigration officials reportedly received anti-trafficking training as part of their introductory coursework.
The Tanzanian government’s efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period were modest and suffered from a lack of resources. The government continued to rely on NGOs to provide care for victims of trafficking; however, NGO facilities for shelter and specialized services were limited to urban areas. The government lacked systematic victim referral procedures; any referrals that occurred were ad hoc and dependent on the particular official’s recognition of the crime and familiarity with service providers. According to NGOs, Tanzanian police referred six trafficking victims to their organizations for protective services in 2010, and no referrals were reported from social welfare or community development officers. Government officials also occasionally provided food, counseling, and assistance with family reunification; IOM and the Department of Social Welfare reunified 63 victims with their families in 2010 and an additional 27 in the first two months of 2011. The government operated a 24-hour crime hotline, staffed by police officers, which was available for citizens to make reports about suspected trafficking victims; however, the hotline received no trafficking tips in 2010. The government did not provide information on the participation of Tanzanian victims in anti-trafficking investigations and prosecutions, but one Kenyan victim who testified during the trial of his trafficker was provided protection and repatriation by police at the conclusion of the proceedings.
In August 2010, the Department of Social Welfare trained 84 social welfare officers on the Anti-Trafficking Act and community support mechanisms available to victims during its annual National Forum; it also included information on human trafficking in its revised Community Justice Facilitation Manual. The lack of national procedures for victim identification may have led foreign victims to be detained in prisons and deported before they were identified or able to give evidence in court. 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; the government did not encounter a case that necessitated utilizing these provisions during the reporting period. Key victim protection provisions of the Anti-Trafficking Act, such as the establishment of a fund to support trafficking victims, have yet to be implemented due to funding constraints and because the Anti-Trafficking Committee and Secretariat, which would take the lead on drafting and implementing the regulations related to the Act, had not been formed.
The government made moderate efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. Understanding of what constitutes trafficking remained low among government officials and no government ministries launched formal anti-trafficking outreach or awareness raising activities. In June 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs formally transferred the chairmanship of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Trafficking, which met twice during the year, to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s Department of Social Welfare; this committee has, since its establishment in 2006, been an ineffective mechanism for information sharing or coordination of national anti-trafficking efforts. At a meeting of the Committee, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the lead ministry for implementation of the anti-trafficking legislation, agreed to draft the regulations required to fully implement the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. It reportedly cannot begin this work, however, until a the president appoints a secretary to lead an Anti-Trafficking Secretariat as required by the Act. Although the relevant ministries have forwarded the names of their representatives to the Anti-Trafficking Committee – also required by the Act – to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval, the body has not been officially convened. It remains unclear whether the Inter-Ministerial Committee will be disbanded after the formation of the Anti-Trafficking Committee and Secretariat.
The mainland Ministry of Labor’s Child Labor Unit, which received only $32,000 from the 2010 national budget, could not provide data on the number of child labor complaints made or the number of exploited child laborers identified and withdrawn by its 90 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 withdrew 600 children from exploitative labor in the fishing, seaweed farming, and quarrying industries on the islands. While the Tanzania Employment Services Agency is responsible for licensing recruitment agencies, it did little to monitor their activities, did not maintain data on the exploitation of Tanzanian migrant workers abroad, and generally lacked capacity to perform such functions. 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 human rights training, including sessions on women’s rights, human trafficking, the protection of civilians, and international humanitarian law, to Tanzanian troops prior to their deployments abroad on international peacekeeping missions.