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Cablegate: Mozambique: Gathering Support for An

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) Summary: Mozambique's new government is increasingly
serious about addressing the issue of trafficking in women
and children. At a trafficking in persons luncheon held at
the Ambassador's residence on March 16, representatives of
key government agencies and local non-governmental
organizations assessed the level of the trafficking problem,
described recent steps that the GRM has taken and discussed
strategies to establish an anti-trafficking law, though they
cautioned that the process could take time. End Summary.

2. (U) The Ambassador hosted an anti-trafficking in persons
luncheon at her residence on March 16, attended by
representatives from the staff of the Council of Ministers,
the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Women and
Social Action, along with representatives of key
non-governmental organizations dedicated to women's rights
and legal issues. These ministries and organizations were
involved in passing Mozambique's 2004 Family Law, and would
be the lead actors in the drive to create new
anti-trafficking legislation.

Prospects for Legislation
3. (U) All at the luncheon were eager to take on the project
of adopting an anti-trafficking law. Post has learned
separately from the Ministry of Justice,s legal reform unit
(which drafts most legislative initiatives at the request of
the Council of Ministers) that drafting an anti-TIP law is
the sixth highest priority for 2005. The attendees
cautioned, however, that progress would take time; building
support for new social legislation typically requires an
extensive public consultation process. Further, they all
doubted that the number of trafficked persons reached the
1,000 per year estimate used by the International
Organization on Migration (IOM). The Ministry of Interior
representative said her ministry, which keeps statistics on
crimes against women and children, has heard of only a
handful of anecdotal reports of trafficking from Mozambique
to South Africa. As a result, she said, raising the public
profile of the trafficking problem in order to pass a law
would require some time.

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Recent Initiatives
4. (U) Representatives from various agencies outlined
specific TIP-related steps that their agencies have taken
recently. NGO representatives noted that on March 15 the
public Eduardo Mondlane University signed an agreement to
carry out a UN-funded study on trafficking in persons; this
would be the first TIP study carried out by a
government-affiliated entity. Others noted that in January
2005 the GRM had given approval for IOM, after years of
delay, to re-open its office in Mozambique. The
representative from the Council of Ministers staff said that
the Council plans to ratify the UN Convention on
Transnational Organized Crime within the next two months;
this convention was originally signed by Mozambique in 2002.

5. (U) Comment: Embassy will continue to press the government
to adopt specific anti-trafficking legislation and to ratify
the UN Convention as planned.

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