Cablegate: Mozambique: Anti-Trafficking in Children Law

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


Sensitive but Unclassified. Not for distribution on the

1. (SBU) Summary. On March 24 Ambassador LaLime and USAID
Director Jay Knott, accompanied by visiting SFRC committee
staffer Heather Flynn, paid a courtesy call to Mozambique's
new Minister of Justice, Esperanca Machavela. The visit
addressed a series of subjects, including the need for
anti-trafficking in persons legislation. The Minister
cautioned that drafting and approving anti-trafficking
legislation would be a lengthy process, but said that her
organization would submit a pre-proposal on anti-trafficking
to the Council of Ministers during the second semester of
this year. The Embassy learned separately today that the
director of the Ministry of Justice's Legal Reform unit --
the government unit in charge of drafting new legislation in
Mozambique -- said that the MOJ planned specifically to
submit a proposal to parliament for an anti-trafficking in
children law during the second semester. This proposal would
be based on findings made in a study on children's rights and
a series of public forums carried out by the GRM and donors
in 2004. End summary.

2. (SBU) While meeting with the Ambassador, the new Minister
admitted that trafficking-in-persons does occur in
Mozambique, and that legal solutions were needed. She said
that she had reviewed and agreed with the agenda set forth in
2004 by the Ministry of Justice's Legal Reform Unit, on which
trafficking in persons was listed as a priority issue for new
legislation. The Minister ended the meeting by stating that
a pre-proposal on trafficking would be submitted to the
Council of Ministers in the next couple of months. The
Minister said her legal team would work with the Ministry of
Women and Social Action. Finally, she cautioned that
drafting and approving legislation could be a long process,
since the legal team at her Ministry would be busy this year
drafting and reviewing new laws and regulations to comply
with Mozambique's new 2004 constitution.

3. (U) (Note: The Ministry of Women and Social Action is the
host agency for Mozambique's National Council for the
Advancement of Women. This Council was formed in April 2004,
and is comprised of Ministers from nine key agencies, plus
civil society representatives. The council, according to its
charter in the Mozambican federal register, is the Mozambican
body in charge of "taking measures to prevent prostitution,
trafficking, and other forms of exploitation of women, girls,
and children." The Council met once in 2004, and is
scheduled to meet in April 2005. End note.)

4. (U) In his comments reported in the press earlier this
week, Abdul Carimo, the long-standing Director of the Legal
Reform division at the Ministry of Justice, was more specific
about the Ministry's plans for addressing trafficking this
year. Carimo said that a preliminary anti-trafficking in
children law would be presented to the National Assembly
within the next two months. In addition, starting in April
2005, the Legal Reform division would be carrying out a
public consultative process in three provinces, a necessary
precursor to the adoption of any significant new legislation
in Mozambique. He added that a law on trafficking in minors
could be approved either by the Council of Ministers or by
the National Assembly, although the former option is much
easier. The public debate on trafficking and the proposed
law would be based on findings on child rights gathered by
the GRM, in partnership with UNICEF and the University of
Witwaterstrand, over the course of 2004.

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