Cablegate: Mozambique Adopts Comprehensive Anti-Tip Law:

DE RUEHTO #0322/01 1081201
R 171201Z APR 08 ZDK




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) MAPUTO 261 B) MAPUTO 190 C) 07 MAPUTO 1293 D)
07 MAPUTO 1060 E) 07 MAPUTO 886


1. (SBU) On April 10, Mozambique's National Assembly
unanimously passed an anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) law,
becoming the first country in SADC to adopt such
comprehensive legislation. The adoption was the result of a
"perfect storm" in recent months, including a constant
lobbying effort by USG officials and civil society groups
coupled with a highly publicized TIP case in March (ref A)
that shocked and angered all levels of society. Mozambique's
law is considered strong by international standards and could
serve as a model for other countries in the region,
particularly in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in
South Africa. The next step in the process is to ensure that
the law is widely disseminated and that police officials,
border guards, and judicial sector workers receive
appropriate training on prosecution, protection, and
prevention methods. The passage of the law is a monumental
achievement for the GRM, and the Embassy will continue to
support these efforts with existing and future program
funding. END SUMMARY.


2. (U) The National Assembly's unanimous approval on April 10
of the TIP legislation capped a remarkable turn of events
that began with the January case of 39 children found being
transported in squalid conditions, ostensibly to a madrassa
that did not know they were coming (ref B). The case was
reported widely in the press, and civil society groups argued
strongly that the children were victims of trafficking.
Although the Attorney General ultimately decided the case did
not involve trafficking, the ensuing public debate reignited
discussion on the status of the draft law.

3. (SBU) Following a meeting with the head of the Legal
Affairs and Human Rights Committee in August 2007 (ref D),
Post arranged a meeting between the Charge and President of
the National Assembly Eduardo Mulembwe. The strategy was to
encourage the Assembly President to schedule the draft law
for debate during the first legislative agenda of the year.
Unfortunately, by the time the meeting occurred on February
26, the agenda had been finalized without the inclusion of
the draft law. The Charge reminded Mulembwe of USG technical
assistance in drafting the law, reiterated the importance of
Mozambique being the first country in SADC with a
comprehensive law, and strongly urged that an addendum be
made to the legislative agenda. Within a week, we received a
copy of an addendum which placed the law on the current
agenda for discussion, and Mulembwe called the Charge to
assure that this issue would be addressed by the National

4. (U) On March 20 Mozambique Television (TVM) reported on
the case of two Mozambican girls trafficked to South Africa.
TVM's report brought a more human face to the debate, and the
details surrounding the apprehended trafficker and her
recruiting and detention techniques sent shockwaves
throughout the country. For the first time the issue was
being discussed at all levels of society, opening inroads for
further lobbying on the need for a law. In the weeks since
the TVM report, the press has run almost daily articles on
updates to the case, the need for a law, and at least four
new reported cases of trafficked Mozambican children. These
developments demonstrate that awareness of the issue is on
the rise, and the police are responding better and appear to
be working more closely with NGOs on the issue.


5. (U) While the National Assembly approved the law, it did
so with the understanding that some technical revisions still
needed to be made by the Ministry of Justice regarding
penalties. The law originally punished those involved in
trafficking with prison sentences of 8-12 years. However,
following the exposure of the March 20 case by TVM, lawmakers
decided that stiffer penalties were necessary. One amendment
states that anyone who "recruits, transports, shelters,
provides or receives a person by any means, including on the
pretext of employment in the country or abroad, for purposes
of prostitution, forced labor, slavery, or involuntary or

MAPUTO 00000322 002 OF 002

debt servitude" will be punished with 16-20 years'
imprisonment. Once proposed revisions are finalized by the
Ministry of Justice, they will be resubmitted to the National
Assembly, which will then proceed with a final discussion and
vote to include the revisions in the approved version of the

6. (U) Other notable prison penalties encompassing the law
include 8-12 years for those who rent buildings to be used in
connection with human trafficking, two to eight years for
those using any form of publicity to promote trafficking, and
two to eight years for anyone who confiscates, hides, or
destroys passports or travel documents of those being
trafficked. Prosecutions will not rely on whether a victim
files an official complaint, or whether a victim or guardian
provides consent. In addition to penalties, the
comprehensive law outlines protection and prevention
measures. Witnesses and whistleblowers will receive special
protection, victims' identity will be protected, and the
government will provide shelter, medical and psychological
care, legal advice, and reintegration support. The GRM will
budget approximately USD 360 thousand for the enforcement of
the law.


7. (SBU) Civil society groups in Mozambique are now focused
on several major "next steps:" widely disseminate the law,
train police, border guards, and judicial officials, and use
the new law as a model for other SADC countries to adopt
before the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Dissemination will be a
challenge considering the size of the country, lack of
infrastructure, and low literacy rates, but help is coming
from unexpected sources. Radio Mozambique, still the primary
source of information for most Mozambicans, sent a
congratulatory letter to civil society groups that worked on
the law and offered its 15 channels (broadcast in 20 local
languages and Portuguese) as a medium for disseminating
information. In addition, several multilateral organizations
are working with the diplomatic corps to coordinate training
assistance for the police, border guard, and judicial

8. (U) One Mozambican NGO is already looking toward the 2010
FIFA World Cup. The Southern African Network against
Trafficking and Abuse of Children (SANTAC) has begun
organizing resources to advocate for anti-TIP laws in other
SADC countries using the recently adopted Mozambican law as a
model. SANTAC would like all SADC countries to have a
comprehensive law before the start of the World Cup,
particularly following reports that upwards of 50,000
prostitutes from numerous countries were in Germany for the
2002 World Cup. Mozambique's proximity to South Africa, the
porous border crossings, and the already-established
trafficking networks increase the risk that large numbers of
Mozambican girls may be trafficked to South Africa for the
World Cup.


9. (SBU) The unanimous passing of the anti-TIP law is a
monumental achievement for the GRM and Mozambican civil
society. USG technical assistance and consistent diplomatic
engagement complemented the collaboration between the GRM and
a determined civil society. The USG's growing financial
assistance programs in the country also provided post with
significant leverage. In the closing months, the GRM acted
with uncharacteristic swiftness. Post is ready to do more to
assist the GRM and Mozambican civil society in the next
stages of dissemination and training, and intends to use
existing and future program funding to that end.

© Scoop Media

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