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Cablegate: Mozambique: 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report

VZCZCXYZ8204
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTO #0191/01 0630833
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030833Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8628
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAWJA/DOJ WASHDC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0126

UNCLAS MAPUTO 000191

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, AF/RSA, AF/S

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG ELAB KFRD ASEC PREF MZ
SUBJECT: MOZAMBIQUE: 2008 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT

REFS: A) 07 STATE 150188; B) 08 STATE 2731

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OVERVIEW
--------

1. (SBU) Mozambique is a source and possibly a destination
country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes
of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The use of forced and
bonded child laborers is a common practice in Mozambique's rural
areas, often with the complicity of family members. Women and
girls are trafficked from rural to urban areas of Mozambique, as
well as to South Africa, for domestic servitude and commercial
sexual exploitation in brothels; young men and boys are
trafficked to South Africa for farm work and mining. Trafficked
Mozambicans often labor for months in South Africa without pay
before "employers" have them arrested and deported as illegal
immigrants. Traffickers are typically part of small networks of
Mozambican and/or South African citizens; however, involvement
of larger Chinese and Nigerian syndicates has been reported.
Zimbabwean women and girls are likely trafficked to Mozambique
for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. The Ministries
of Interior, Women and Social Action, and Justice are most
prominently involved in anti-trafficking efforts, although a
general lack of financial and human resources greatly limited
their ability to address the problem.

2. (SBU) The Government of Mozambique does not fully comply with
the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking;
however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mozambique
is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide
evidence of significantly increasing efforts to combat
trafficking in persons over the last year. To further its anti-
trafficking efforts, the government should prosecute and convict
arrested traffickers; ensure the passage of anti-trafficking
legislation; launch a public awareness campaign; and investigate
and prosecute public officials suspected of accepting bribes to
overlook trafficking crimes or free traffickers.

-----------
Prosecution
-----------

3. (SBU) Mozambique took steps toward the passage of anti-
trafficking legislation during the reporting period, and
concrete law enforcement efforts increased somewhat. Mozambique
does not prohibit any form of trafficking in persons, though its
penal code includes at least 13 articles under which trafficking
cases can be charged. Nevertheless, there were no prosecutions
or convictions of traffickers in 2007.

4. (SBU) In August 2007, the Council of Ministers approved and
forwarded to the National Assembly for final approval a
comprehensive law against human trafficking that contains
specific provisions on prevention, prosecution, and protection.
As of February 2008, the law still had not been placed on the
Assembly's legislative agenda for a vote.

5. (SBU) The law prohibits rape (excluding spousal rape) but was
not effectively enforced. Penalties ranged from two to eight
years' imprisonment if the victim is 12 years of age or older,
and eight to 12 years' imprisonment if the victim is under the
age of 12. Prostitution is legal, although it is governed by
several laws against indecency and immoral behavior and
restricted to certain areas.

6. (SBU) Many lower-ranking police and border control agents are
believed to accept bribes from traffickers, severely hindering
Mozambique's prosecution efforts. Police reported breaking up
several trafficking schemes, arresting several drivers and
facilitators, but not the traffickers behind the operations. For
example, law enforcement officials investigated a case that may
have involved trafficking. Some 100 workers at Golden Fields, a
flower company owned by former Foreign Minister Leonard Simao
and his wife, were recruited in Tete and Manica provinces,
promised good working conditions, and provided with
transportation to Maputo Province. Instead an inspector from
the Ministry of Labor found workers in slave-like conditions,
working long hours without proper protective equipment, living
in tents, no access to bathrooms, and no access to safe drinking
water. When the workers complained to the owner and asked to be
provided transportation back to their home provinces, they were
denied. Following the visit of the labor inspector, the GRM
immediately suspended the company's operations and ordered the
return of workers to their home provinces.

7. (SBU) In January police in Manica Province stopped a truck
carrying 39 children (aged 6 to 15) from several northern
provinces on their way to Maputo, ostensibly to enroll in
Islamic schools to study the Koran. Police arrested the driver
and the only other accompanying adult and conducted an
investigation into the incident. The children were traveling in
the back of a truck without proper seating and little food or
water. While an investigation by the Attorney General's Office
concluded that the children were traveling with the consent of
their parents, no head of any Islamic School in Maputo admitted
knowing about enrolling the children. This fact led NGOs and
the Mozambican police to label the incident as a case of
trafficking in persons. Police, with assistance from an
international children's NGO arranged for all 39 children to be
transported back to their homes.

9. (SBU) A program of one-day police trafficking seminars for
new police officers in the central provinces (Sofala, Tete,
Manica, and Zambezia) begun in 2006 was extended in November
2007 to include the northern provinces. Training began in
Nampula and in January commenced in Cabo Delgado and Niassa
provinces. There is no evidence of government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking.

----------
Protection
----------

10. (SBU) The government's efforts to protect victims of
trafficking continued to suffer from a lack of resources;
government officials regularly relied on NGOs to provide
shelter, food, counseling, and rehabilitation for victims of
trafficking. The government encouraged victims to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of traffickers, and it did not
penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a result of
their being trafficked.

11. (SBU) In December 2007, the Ministry of Interior expanded
from 151 to 155 the number of police stations with a center
dedicated to women and children victimized by violence,
including cases of trafficking; these offices registered
complaints and filed reports of trafficking crimes before
turning victims over to NGOs for care. During the year, these
offices received 89 kidnapping cases between January and October
2007. The cases are officially classified as kidnapping due to
the lack of a formal anti-trafficking law, although the head of
the office stated the strong possibility that a majority of
these kidnapping cases involved trafficking in persons. Police
officers reportedly returned victims to their homes. A local NGO
continued to manage the country's only permanent shelter for
child trafficking victims, which operates on land donated by the
Moamba District government.

----------
Prevention
----------

12. (SBU) The government's prevention efforts remained weak.
Most anti-trafficking educational workshops were run by NGOs
with government participation. Law enforcement officials at
major border crossings communicated and cooperated with NGOs
monitoring immigration and emigration patterns to screen for
potential trafficking victims. During the year, law enforcement
officials publicized several trafficking cases and government-
owned media outlets covered such stories.

13. (U) Embassy point of contact on TIP is Leonel Miranda,
Political officer. Tel: 258 21 492 797 ext. 3423; fax: 258 21
490 448; cellular phone 258 82 319 8830. Principal FSO drafter
(FS-3) spent 80 hours researching and drafting this cable. The
Charge (FS-01) spent three hours, and the A/DCM (FS-02) spent
two hours, including the editing/clearing process. Pol-Econ
Chief (FS-2) spent 10 hours, and LES political assistant spent
40. Total hours: 135.

CHAPMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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