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Cablegate: Angola: 2008 Trafficking in Persons (Tip) Report

VZCZCXYZ2788
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLU #0176/01 0631406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031406Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4628
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS LUANDA 000176

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S, G/TIP, G, INL, DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM ASEC SMIG ELAB KCRM KWMN KFRD
AO
SUBJECT: ANGOLA: 2008 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT

REF: STATE 02731

1. (SBU) Summary: Although no detailed, concrete information and
statistics on trafficking in Angola exists, government officials
openly acknowledge that trafficking does occur. The extent of the
problem is believed to be limited, and there is no evidence of
organized trafficking activity. Despite limited capacity, the GRA
continues efforts to prevent trafficking and protect victims of
trafficking. The GRA recognizes the importance of the issue and the
need to strengthen their legal and support frameworks; for this
reason the Ministry of the Interior was designated as the lead
agency for the development and implementation of an anti-trafficking
strategy, the first time a single ministry has been so tasked. The
GRA also increased its engagement with IOM and SADC countries on
anti-trafficking issues during the reporting period. End Summary.

2. (SBU) This paragraph contains responses to questions listed
reftel. The point of contact on trafficking in persons at Embassy
Luanda is PolOff Doreen Bailey, phone +244-222-642-083, fax
+244-222-641-230. Embassy Luanda estimates that U.S. direct-hires
spent 30 hours and locally employed staff spent 20 hours in the
preparation of this report.

Overview
--------

3. (SBU) A. Angola is a country of origin for trafficking, namely of
women and children for use as domestic servants or young men for
unskilled or agricultural labor. The number of persons trafficked
outside the country's borders are unknown, but believed to be small.
The government and NGOs believe that South Africa, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC), Namibia, and Europe, primarily
Portugal, are the primary destination points for most individuals
trafficked from Angola. International organizations report hearing
conflicting anecdotal reports that children were also trafficked
into the country to work in diamond mines, but were not able to
confirm or deny the reports. Internal trafficking also occurs,
primarily for agricultural labor or prostitution. Children were
used as couriers in cross-border trade between Namibia and Angola in
an attempt to skirt import fees, and Angolan government officials
informed the Embassy that this problem was on the rise as more
border posts open with neighboring countries. There are also
reports that economically vulnerable children and adults, primarily
women, were at risk for entering into work agreements with relatives
or contacts in other cities or provinces that later proved to be
abusive and restrictive. Reliable information on trafficking in
persons was extremely limited and recognized as a weakness by all
stakeholders, including Angolan government (GRA) agencies. The
International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United
Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are the primary sources of
information outside the GRA.

--B. The GRA confirmed that trafficking, to include child
prostitution, did occur, driven largely by economic need.
Government and non-governmental organization (NGO) officials assert
that these activities were not organized and reflect the high level
of poverty. The government's capacity to track and report on these
cases is, however, extremely limited, and reports of internal and
external trafficking and child prostitution were not quantifiable.
Populations targeted by traffickers were believed to most often be
economically vulnerable women and children.

--C. Over the reporting period the Ministry of the Interior was
tasked with leadership of the government's overall anti-trafficking
efforts. In July the government also created the National
Children's Council, an inter-ministerial commission designed to
define priorities and coordinate the government's policies to combat
all forms of violence against children, including unlawful child
labor, trafficking, and sexual exploitation. A number of government
ministries, including the Ministry of Social Assistance and
Reintegration (MINARS), through INAC, its lead agency on children's
issues, and the Ministries of Justice; Health; Education; Youth and
Sports; Family and the Promotion of Women; Interior; Labor, Public
Administration, and Social Security, and Tourism are part of the
government's anti-trafficking efforts. The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs is the lead agency for regional and international
coordination and treaties. Agencies under the Ministry of the
Interior, namely the National Police, Border Police, and Immigration
Services (SME) also play a significant role in anti-trafficking
efforts. Political will to address trafficking in persons remains
at the level of "concerned vigilance," and efforts to improve
coordination of government and NGO activities in order to better
understand the scope of the problem and promote effective use of
limited resources increased over the reporting period. Angolan
authorities and the international community addressed trafficking by
working to eliminate economic insecurities, strengthen monitoring of
borders and entry points, and provide assistance to at-risk
populations.

--D. Women and children's issues received constant, high-level
attention during the reporting period, but effective response was
inhibited by limited government capacity and the lack of data about
the problem. There has been no comprehensive national study of the
problem or a tracking system for cases of suspected trafficking, and
the government has little to no capacity to collect and analyze such
data. The International Monetary Fund states that "Angola's
statistical system is very weak." GRA continued to commit staff and
financial resources to study and prevent trafficking, but this is
one of many critical government priorities. The National Institute
for the Child (INAC) established provincial teams to conduct spot
checks on suspected trafficking routes, but INAC officials informed
the Embassy that some teams have only one vehicle per province. The
National Police continue professional development training, but
often are still unable to properly document and investigate crimes.
The opening of new border posts between Namibia and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo has increased cross-border commercial activity
and stretched Angolan immigration officials to the limit. Angolan
Immigration Services (SME) officials reported that at times their
officers do not have enough fuel to patrol the vast and sparsely
populated border regions.

--E. The government has increased its partnership with IOM and
UNICEF on anti-trafficking issues in its efforts to better
understand the issue of trafficking in persons and create a focused
national strategy. There is no systematic monitoring of the GRA
anti-trafficking efforts.

Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers
--------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) A. Angola does not have a law that specifically prohibits
trafficking in persons. Constitutional and statutory laws
criminalizing forced or bonded labor, prostitution, pornography,
rape, kidnapping, and illegal entry are used to prosecute
trafficking cases. Articles 390-395 of the Angolan Penal Code cover
such related cases.

--B. N/A, since no specific law exists. Penalties are limited to
those applicable under Penal Code Articles 390-395, which are all
two to eight years sentences.

--C. Forced or bonded labor offences are codified under the labor
law of Angola and sentences range from two to eight years, with
fines and compensations for the victims.

--D. The penalties for crimes related to trafficking vary, depending
under which of the above mentioned charges the accused is prosecuted
under. The minimum sentence for rape is seven years; some related
offenses call for life sentences.

--E. Prostitution and all activities related to prostitution are
illegal. These laws are intermittently enforced, as culturally such
activities are seen as a social ill, rather than a criminal
offence.

--F. There was one widely-reported arrest of a suspected trafficker,
a man stopped at a border post between Angola and the DRC while
transporting two children across the border without parental
authorization. The man was charged with illegal transport of
children across national boundaries; the case was still pending at
the end of the reporting period. In general, the criminal code does
not separate cases of trafficking from other criminal investigations
of forced or bonded labor, prostitution, pornography, rape,
kidnapping, and illegal entry into the country. Statistics on
criminal convictions are not publicly available.

--G. The government strengthened its partnership with IOM and
continued its work with UNICEF

--H. The government increased its involvement in SADC-level
anti-trafficking conferences over the reporting period, and in July
hosted the Third African Association of State Attorney Generals to
discuss the fight against domestic violence, human and child
trafficking. There are now known cases in which the GRA has been
asked to cooperate with other governments in the investigation and
prosecution of trafficking cases, and technical capabilities for
such investigations remain poor. Angolan law does not prohibit the
police from engaging in covert operations with proper legal
authority.

--I. The GRA can extradite foreign nationals who are charged with
trafficking in other countries, but there were no reports of this
occurring. The government does not extradite its own nationals
charged with such offenses; the Angolan Constitution forbids the
extradition of nationals under any circumstance. Under a clause in
the African Union charter, the GRA extradited a Nigerian national
accused of a non-trafficking related offence during the reporting
period.


--J. There is no evidence of overt government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking. Anecdotal reports on trafficking in
Angola point to freelance operators. Long-haul truck drivers along
the southern border have been identified as offenders. Local NGOs
point to them as using children to carry goods across the
Angola-Namibian border in order to escape import duties. An
Angola-Namibian treaty allows for the purchase and transportation of
goods across borders without the payment of excise duties as long as
the goods are carried across. Government officials are not believed
to be knowingly involved.

--K. No government officials were investigated or prosecuted for
involvement in trafficking or trafficking-related corruption during
the reporting period.

--L. N/A, as Angolan troops were not involved in international
peacekeeping operations during the reporting period.

--M. There are no reports of child sex tourism in Angola; however,
the Ministry of Tourism has joined the National Commission to Combat
Child Labor and Trafficking in Minors as a preventive measure.
Having sex with a minor of fifteen years or below is considered
statuary rape and prosecuted as such.

Protection and Assistance to Victims
-------------------------------------

5. A. There are no known cases of foreign trafficking victims, and
the government's capacity to cope with foreign victims of
trafficking is extremely limited.

--B. The GRA provides basic assistance for trafficking victims on an
as needed basis, but rely heavily on partnerships with religious
organizations and civil society for the delivery of social
assistance. INAC and UNICEF continued to develop Child Protection
Networks (CPN) comprised of government agencies, civil society, and
religious groups in all 18 provinces. The CPNs serve as an "SOS
Center" for trafficking victims, through which victims between the
ages of 9 and 16 can access rescue services, health/social
assistance, legal assistance, and family reunification. INAC
informed the Embassy that the CPN in Huila province was able to
detect and prevent several instances of trafficking and exploitive
child labor over the reporting period, but INAC has not kept
information or statistics about these cases. Victims over the age
of 16 are referred to shelters and services provided by the Angolan
Association for Women (OMA), an NGO sponsored by the Ministry of
Family and the Promotion of Women. No statistics are available from
the CPNs or OMA. The Catholic Church also provides training and
shelter to victims in various provinces.

--C. Numerous non-governmental organizations help populations
vulnerable to trafficking. These organizations receive funding and
in-kind services from and coordinate with governmental
organizations. Most also have funding from outside the government.

--D. The government's law enforcement, immigration and social
services personnel do not a formal system of proactively identifying
victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come
in contact, nor did they have the capacity to do so over the
reporting period. However, due in part to the GRA's awareness
campaigns and training provided by IOM, awareness of trafficking is
growing among law enforcement and social services personnel. Once
identified, victims are generally referred to OMA or to the CPNs for
assistance; The Ministry of Women and Family Affairs and MINARS also
operate a limited number of shelters that can be used in these
situations. .

--E. N/A

--F. Victims' rights are generally respected.

--G. Victims can take such judicial action under applicable laws.
There are no reports of victims being denied legal redress. There
is no formal victim restitution program.

--H. Protection provided in cases of trafficking are the same as
other legal cases of abuse. The government does not currently
operate or fund shelters specifically for trafficking victims;
shelters exist for victims of domestic violence in general.

--I. The Ministry of the Interior coordinated with IOM to provide
anti-trafficking training to police, immigration agents, criminal
investigative agents, and representatives from INAC and the
Ministries of Social Assistance and Reintegration, Justice, and
Foreign Affairs during the reporting period.

--J. This type of assistance would fall under existing MINARS
programs to provide temporary assistance through the family

reunification process.

--K. There are no international organizations or NGOs that work
directly with trafficking victims.

Prevention
----------

6. (SBU) A. The GRA recognizes that trafficking occurs and is
willing to discuss trafficking issues openly and transparently. It
participated in multiple national and international conferences and
news interviews on the subject throughout the year.

--B. The GRA conducted a public awareness campaign in June for
Children's Month, designed to raise awareness that all forms of
violence against children, to include trafficking, are criminal
acts. The campaign included pamphlets on children's rights,
banners, newspaper articles, and radio and television spots.
Government statements against child prostitution and abuse of
children's rights appear frequently in national media; TIP awareness
was a part of this wider campaign. Domestic violence in general,
and violence against women in particular, was widely discussed
during the reporting period.

--C. The government worked closely with civil society and religious
groups in its anti-trafficking efforts. INAC's CPNs brought
together government and civil society at the municipal and
provincial level to coordinate social policy, assistance, and
protection for the rights of children. In some provinces, the
networks also served as an advisory body to the Provincial Governor
on children's issues, which is notable in a country with a history
of limited partnership between government and civil society.

International Organizations (IO) also continued to play an important
role in the development of anti-trafficking efforts and discussion,
and they maintained close ties with the government on this issue.
UNICEF worked closely with INAC on both the CPN the development of a
victims assistance strategy. UNICEF also partners with SME to
provide training for border control agents. The Ministry of the
Interior increased its use of IOM anti-trafficking training for
police officers and immigration officials over the reporting period.


--D. The GRA works to monitor its borders, but has publicly
announced that it lacks resources to do so effectively. Efforts by
UNICEF and the SME to strengthen immigration controls at border
posts continued, and the law requires documentation for the
international travel of children. Border control posts have a
computerized tracking system to monitor the movement of children in
and out of the country, which allows the SME to monitor immigration
trends and scan for irregularities.

--E. See para 3, section C.

--F. The GRA continues to work on an anti-trafficking National
Action Plan, as well as re-drafting its penal code to include
criminalization of trafficking.

--G. As part of it HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, the GRA has stressed
the importance of monogamous relationships.

FERNANDEZ

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