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Cablegate: Zimbabwe: Tenth Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

DE RUEHSB #0158/01 0542002
R 232001Z FEB 10



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Zimbabwe: Tenth Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

REF: STATE 02094; 09 HARARE 650

1. (U) The following is Embassy Harare's response to questions
posed to Post in ref B.


Zimbabwe's TIP Situation


-- 25 A. (SBU) There are no reliable statistics on the trafficking
problem in Zimbabwe. Most information on trafficking comes from
anecdotal reporting supplied by nongovernmental organizations
(NGOs), labor unions, other embassies in Harare, and international
organizations (IOs) providing assistance to victims and vulnerable
populations. The International Organization for Migration (IOM)
reported assisting eleven trafficking victims in 2009, seven of
whom were referred by other nongovernmental organizations. None
were referred by the Zimbabwean police or the Department of Social
Welfare. IOM, in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ)
and UNICEF, conducted a study on child trafficking in Zimbabwe
between November 2007 and February 2008 to gauge the scale of the
problem and identify target areas for anti-trafficking programs.
(NOTE: Local organizations generously shared the child labor and
trafficking reports with us but asked us to not/not release any
details of their reports in our TIP report to respect GOZ
sensitivities and IOM's delicate relationship with the GOZ. Post
will send this information by email to G/TIP and DOL. END NOTE.)
The draft report is currently being discussed by stakeholders
before being distributed to the general public. Although IOM
anticipated releasing the report in 2009, it has not yet been
released. IOM also expected to complete a five-country (Zimbabwe,
Zambia, Angola, Namibia, and Botswana) regional study on
trafficking in July 2008; however the results of the study have not
yet been released. In October 2007, the Ministry of Public Service,
Labor, and Social Welfare in collaboration with the International
Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Program
(UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO), UNICEF, and IOM launched a multi-year
program on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor in
Zimbabwe. This program will address child labor issues and the
implementation of ILO Convention 182, including identifying the
worst forms of child labor in Zimbabwe and implementing activities
pertaining to the prevention of child labor, protection of working
children, rehabilitation of victims, and income generating
measures. The three above-mentioned efforts remain incomplete.
Although the projects have all been completed, the reports specific
to Zimbabwe need approval by each ministry involved and may need
cabinet approval before release.

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-- 25 B. (SBU) Zimbabwe is a country of origin, transit, and
destination for internationally trafficked men, women, and
children. Women and children are trafficked for labor and sexual
exploitation from communities near the borders with the four
surrounding countries. Women and girls in the Zimbabwean border
towns of Beitbridge (South African border) and Chirundu (Zambian
border), in particular, are enticed or forced to work as
prostitutes in brothels that cater to truck drivers that pass
through the towns. Some women and girls are subsequently trafficked
across the border for continued exploitation. There have been
continued reports of Zimbabweans, especially young men and boys,
providing labor for months in South Africa without pay before their
employers report them to authorities for deportation. Many
Zimbabweans suffering labor exploitation in surrounding countries
do not report the offense to authorities out of fear of
deportation. Women and men have been lured under false pretenses to
Angola, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and South Africa with
promises of jobs in construction, information technology, and

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hospitality. There have been reports of young women and girls being
lured to the People's Republic of China, Egypt, the United Kingdom,
and Canada under false pretenses for commercial sexual
exploitation. Men, women, and children from Bangladesh, Somalia,
Kenya, Sudan, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia are trafficked through Zimbabwe en
route to South Africa. A small number of South African girls are
trafficked to Zimbabwe for forced domestic labor. Trafficking also
occurs within the country's borders. NGOs believe internal
trafficking continued during the year, largely due to the high cost
of attending school and a weak economy. Young men and women and
children in rural areas are trafficked to farms for agricultural
labor and domestic servitude or to cities and towns for commercial
sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. IOM reported receiving
more calls in 2009 than in 2008 from potential trafficking victims
inquiring about the veracity of job offers in other countries.
False job offers included alleged jobs in South Africa, Japan,
Malaysia, and in the United States. It was unclear, however, if
this increase was a result of more false job offers or greater
awareness of IOM's ability to confirm the validity of job offers.

There were two probable trafficking cases during the year that we
learned of in detail. In one case (ref A), seven Zimbabwean men
were trafficked to Angola for construction jobs; on arrival they
were subjected to forced labor conditions and their passports were
withheld. The case is now stalled in the Zimbabwe labor courts.
Because there is no anti-trafficking law, the men can only seek
justice in a labor court by seeking damages from the Harare-based
Chinese man who recruited them.

In a second case, which we learned about from the Indian consul in
Harare, 27 men -- two Indians from Mumbai and 25 from Pakistan --
were arrested in Harare in July 2009 en route to South Africa. It
is unclear if the men were being smuggled or trafficked to South
Africa, but the Indian consul believed they would have been
exploited had they made it to South Africa. The group had flown to
Harare from Mumbai via Ethiopia with a "landing permit" issued by
Zimbabwean Immigration that was allegedly facilitated by a
suspected Bangladeshi trafficker; none of the men had visas as
required. On arrival at the airport in Harare, they were all
allowed to pass through immigration without having their passports
stamped. Two days later the entire group was arrested for violating
immigration laws. The Bangladeshi man was also arrested; he was
released two days later. Although police acknowledged to the Indian
consul that the Bangladeshi had the passports of the two Indian
citizens, police refused to attempt to recover them. According to
the Indian consul, the group of 27 men was held in Harare Central
police station for two weeks before they were deported.

-- 25 C. (SBU) Within Zimbabwe's borders, persons are trafficked to
farms for agricultural labor, homes for domestic servitude, and -
in some cases - for sexual exploitation. Women trafficked out of
Zimbabwe for forced labor may be subjected to long working hours
and abuse as well. Anecdotally, Post is aware of other cases of
men who have been trafficked into forced labor in construction and
agriculture. These conditions may include long hours of forced
labor for no pay, physical, and sexual abuse. Adolescent boys and
girls that are trafficked within Zimbabwe are often lured with the
promise of education and are then forced to work. Children who are
lured to cross a border rarely possess a valid travel document,
indicating that corruption or carelessness by officials at the
border facilitates cross-border trafficking.

-- 25 D. (SBU) Women and young girls are the most at-risk group for
trafficking. The use of child labor, especially as farm workers or
domestic servants, is common in Zimbabwe, often with the complicity
of family members. UNICEF reported in January 2009 that school
enrollment had declined from approximately 85 percent in 2007 to

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just 20 percent in 2008. Girls were more likely than boys to drop
out because they were more readily employable as domestic workers.
Although schools began functioning more regularly in early 2009
after serious disruptions in 2008, the conversion to the U.S.
dollar in early February 2009 made it difficult for most parents to
raise enough money for school fees, uniforms, and school levies to
send their children to school. Poverty remained a key risk factor
for child trafficking as parents and children sought to bolster the
family's income. Numerous reports from the press and NGOs indicated
Zimbabwean children continued to enter South Africa illegally where
they worked for little or no pay. Most children trafficked
domestically reported they were forced to work for little pay for
extended hours, seven days a week and were not allowed to attend
school. In many cases, the children traded sex with guides or truck
drivers to be smuggled across the border. The Progressive Teachers'
Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) reported in 2009 that at least 35,000
Zimbabwean teachers had left the country in recent years to seek
better opportunities and to flee political violence that targeted
teachers. Although some returned during the year, most remain in
the diaspora. Many find employment as teachers in surrounding
countries; however, others were forced into jobs on farms and in
factories for little or no pay. There also have been reports of
employers withholding their documentation under the pretext of
regularizing their status. Zimbabweans often accept this abuse
rather than report the offence to authorities and risk deportation.

-- 25 E. (SBU) According to anecdotal reports, cross-border
traffickers are typically independent business people who are part
of small networks of local criminal groups that facilitate
trafficking into South Africa or other surrounding countries. One
local organization told us that traffickers will often wait near
the Zimbabwe/South Africa border in Messina (across from
Beitbridge) and lure potential workers with the promise of farm
jobs to nearby farms. Once at the farms, the workers are subjected
to poor treatment, a lack of wages, and abuse. Many children who
are trafficked within Zimbabwe are approached by individuals who
operate within larger groups. Often, this trafficker is known
within a child's community. In many cases, a trafficker approaches
a potential victim with the offer of a lucrative job in another
part of the country or in a neighboring country. Traffickers often
transport victims covertly across borders at unrecognized border
crossing points or bribe an immigration officer for entry. Many
young men and boys are exploited by guides when they attempt to
cross the border illegally into South Africa or another neighboring
country to find work. There were numerous reports of guides leading
Zimbabweans, including children, through the crocodile-infested
Limpopo River into South Africa. Within Zimbabwe's borders, family
members often entice children and other relatives to travel from
rural to urban areas with the promise of a job or education. On
arrival, the family member sometimes forces the victim into forced
domestic or other labor. Some children, particularly orphans, have
been lured to South Africa based on the promise of an education and

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-- 26 A. (SBU) The government, including senior officials at law
enforcement, immigration, and social welfare agencies, acknowledges
that trafficking is a problem in the country. In the last year Post
has seen a significant increase in the concern about trafficking,
largely as a result of being ranked Tier 3 in 2009. Local NGOs
working on anti-trafficking initiatives have made inroads with key
staffers in Parliament and the Ministry of Home Affairs who have
expressed a desire to better understand trafficking and to improve

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Zimbabwe's anti-trafficking laws to comply with regional standards.
According to a senior official in the Prime Minister's office,
anti-trafficking legislation is in the 2010 work plan for the
Ministry of Home Affairs, where the draft bill is under review. The
government hopes to present the bill in Cabinet in March or April
2010, which is the first step toward introducing it for
consideration in Parliament. While law enforcement officials and
others in government readily complain that Zimbabwe is used as a
transit point to South Africa, there is less awareness or
willingness to acknowledge that Zimbabweans are victims of domestic
and cross-border trafficking. Senior government officials
frequently speak out publicly about the dangers of trafficking,
illegal migration, prostitution, and exploitative labor conditions.

-- 26 B. (SBU) The government established in 2006 an
inter-ministerial taskforce on trafficking, which includes
representatives from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Justice,
Information, Parliamentarian Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and Public
Service, Labor, and Social Welfare. Under the Ministry of Home
Affairs, the Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) of the Zimbabwe Republic
Police (ZRP) deals with children's and sexual abuse cases, and has
the lead on investigation and tracking of trafficking cases and the
referral of victims to support services. The Interpol National
Central Bureau (NCB) Zimbabwe office has a "Human Trafficking Desk"
staffed by ZRP detectives who coordinate Zimbabwe's involvement in
international trafficking investigations. The Department of
Immigration (in the Ministry of Home Affairs) monitors borders and
ports of entry for possible traffickers and victims. The Department
of Social Welfare (in the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare)
also has several programs for vulnerable children. The Ministry of
Information collaborates on awareness campaigns funded by NGOs and

-- 26 C. (SBU) In practice, a severe lack of financial resources
and awareness of the intricacies of trafficking limits the
government's ability to address the trafficking problem. Police
lack the legal mandate (because of the absence of an anti-TIP law)
and resources, including manpower and fuel, to properly investigate
trafficking cases. While some police acknowledge trafficking
deserves more attention, the sentiment is not widely held. One
relatively senior police officer told us that trafficking "wasn't a
problem" and that he would have heard about cases if there had been
any. He was unaware of several high-profile cases of cross-border
trafficking. A backlog of cases continued to overwhelm a judicial
system in which pre-trial detainees can wait prolonged periods
before receiving a hearing in court. In addition, overall
corruption in law enforcement and the judiciary were serious
problems, exacerbated by low wages. NGOs and some government
officials believed victims refused to prosecute or report cases of
trafficking because they feared their traffickers would bribe
police or judges. The Department of Social Welfare lacks the
necessary funding to properly assist victims; however, it routinely
refers victims to NGOs and IOs for such services.

-- 26 D. (SBU) The government does not have the legal mandate or
resources to systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts
and periodically make available, publicly or privately and directly
or through regional/international organizations, assessments of its
anti-trafficking efforts.

-- 26 E. (SBU) According to Zimbabwean law, birth registry is a
right. In practice, many Zimbabwean children do not have a valid
citizenship document because of stringent requirements and long
distances needed to travel even to local offices where birth
registry is recorded if a child is not born in a hospital.
Independent groups estimate as many as two million citizens -
including children - may have been disenfranchised by a 2002 law
revising the citizenship act, including those perceived to have

HARARE 00000158 005 OF 014

opposition leanings, such as the more than 200,000 commercial farm
workers from neighboring countries, and approximately 30,000 mostly
white dual nationals. Constitutional Amendment 19, which became
effective on February 13, 2009, relaxed citizenship requirements
and was expected to facilitate birth registration. According to
local NGOs, although some efforts have been made to provide birth
certificates to orphaned children, these children are particularly
vulnerable because they do not have documentation to prove their
citizenship. Orphans without birth certificates are particularly
vulnerable to traffickers and to exploitation in forced labor,
including prostitution.

-- 26 F. For non-trafficking cases (e.g. murder, theft, assault),
police are able to track statistics at a local, regional and
national level. Each police station is required to submit a report
of cases reported to regional offices that pass cases on to the
national headquarters in Harare. This process is carried out in
hand-written reports until it reaches the national headquarters
where it is entered into a database. This enables police to
document crime trends geographically and to compare with previous
years. The system would benefit from greater computerization and
standardization of the reporting process, as some stations vary.
Overall, the police are able to track crimes if there is a
directive from above to do so.

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-- 27 A. (SBU) Zimbabwean law does not specifically prohibit
trafficking. Trafficking-related crimes are currently addressed
under other legislation, primarily the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act, the Immigration Act, and the Labor Relations
Amendment Act. These laws criminalize transporting people across
the border for sex, corruption of children, and allowing children
to reside in or to frequent a brothel, allowing children to consort
with or be employed by prostitutes, and forgery of travel
documents. In addition, the Criminal Law Act prohibits abduction
and the pledging of a female. The constitution and labor law
provide that no one may be held in slavery or servitude or be made
to perform forced or compulsory labor. Zimbabwean legal experts
consider these laws sufficient to cover both internal and external
forms of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Additionally, a
victim can bring a civil suit against a trafficker under current
law. The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act provides for victim
restitution and compensation. The government reported in 2007 that
it had drafted comprehensive trafficking legislation; however, the
draft has not been made available for review nor introduced in
Parliament. In a meeting on February 8 with both co-Ministers of
Home Affairs (ref C), the ministers told the Ambassador that
trafficking is a priority and that there is a draft bill in the
Ministry of Home Affairs. The Prime Minister's office told us on
February 4 that passing anti-trafficking legislation is a high
priority in the coming year.

-- 27 B. (SBU) In terms of sexual exploitation offenses, the
Criminal Law Act provides for the following:

-- Procuring another person for unlawful sexual conduct, or to
become a prostitute whether inside or outside Zimbabwe, or to leave
his or her usual place of residence to become an inmate or frequent
a brothel is punishable by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of two

HARARE 00000158 006 OF 014

years (10 years if the person procured is under 16 years of age),
or both.

-- Coercing or inducing another person to engage in unlawful sexual
conduct with another person by threat or intimidation is punishable
by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of five years, or both.

-- Detaining a person in a brothel or any other premises with the
intention that the detained person should engage in unlawful sexual
conduct is punishable by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of one
year, or both.

-- Allowing a person under 16 years of age to knowingly enter an
establishment for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual
conduct is punishable by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of seven
years, or both. If the person is below the age of 12, the act is
punishable by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of 10 years, or both.

-- A parent allowing a child under 18 years of age to become a
prostitute is punishable by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of 10
years, or both.

-- Living off or facilitating prostitution is punishable by a fine,
a maximum imprisonment of two years, or both.

-- Solicitation of another person for prostitution is punishable by
a fine, a maximum imprisonment of six months, or both.

-- Sexual intercourse or performing indecent acts with a person
under 16 years of age is punishable by a fine, a maximum
imprisonment of 10 years, or both.

-- Pledging a female person for a forced marriage or to compensate
for the death of a relative, or any debt or obligation, is
punishable by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of two years, or both.
Any party to the marriage or arrangement may be charged as an

-- Forgery of a public document or corruptly using a false document
is punishable by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of 20 years, or

-- 27 C. (SBU) In terms of labor trafficking offenses, the Labor
Relations Amendment Act provides for the following:

-- Failure of an employer to protect employees' right to fair labor
standards (including to pay any employee a wage lower than a
prescribed minimum, to require an employee to work more than the
maximum hours permitted by law, or to require any employee to work
under any conditions or situation which are below prescribed
standards) is punishable by a fine, a maximum imprisonment of two
years, or both.

HARARE 00000158 007 OF 014

-- Forced labor is punishable by a fine, two years imprisonment, or

-- Employment of a person under 15 years of age (unless as an
apprentice who is over 13 years of age) is punishable by a fine,
two years imprisonment, or both.

(SBU) The Labor Relations Amendment Act does not specifically
include provisions for criminal punishment of labor recruiters who
engage in recruitment of laborers using knowingly fraudulent or
deceptive offers; for employers or labor agents who confiscate
workers' passports or travel documents, switch contracts without
the worker's consent as a means to keep the worker in a state of
service, or withhold payment of salaries as means of keeping the
worker in a state of service. However, prosecutors may be able to
use the fair labor standards provisions in the Labor Relations
Amendment Act to pursue cases involving such activities.

(SBU) Zimbabwe does not have specific laws that criminalize the
acts of labor recruiters who recruit laborers using knowingly
fraudulent or deceptive offers or impose on recruited laborers
inappropriately high or illegal fees or commissions that create a
debt bondage condition for the laborer. The constitution and labor
law, however, provide that no one may be held in slavery or
servitude or be made to perform forced or compulsory labor. There
have not been reports of convictions for labor trafficking offenses
during the reporting period.

-- 27 D. (SBU) Rape and aggravated indecent assault are punishable
by life imprisonment. Incarceration is mandatory for convictions
for rape or forcible sexual assault, but there is no minimum
penalty. The media frequently reports on rape cases and
convictions. Sentences usually vary from four years to fifteen
years, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

-- 27 E. (SBU) Police did not have statistics of investigations,
prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of trafficking
investigations for the last year. Because trafficking is not a
crime according to Zimbabwean law, police do not differentiate
other relevant crimes (e.g. labor or kidnapping) from those that
may involve trafficking. Although the government has demonstrated
some interest in trafficking, there has been little demonstrable
evidence of progress in documenting or combating trafficking. In
fact, when we visited the Interpol NCB officer in charge in January
2010, he believed we had sought an appointment to tell him about
trafficking cases in Zimbabwe. In the meeting, after he told us he
didn't have information on trafficking cases during the year, he
admitted knowing about the case of the seven Zimbabwean men who
were trafficked to Angola (ref A). Unfortunately, he was unaware of
any police investigation into the case either in Zimbabwe or in

(SBU) Resource constraints in public health facilities, the ZRP,
and the judiciary remain a severe hindrance. In addition, few
victims are willing to come forward and pursue prosecution against
their traffickers under other laws. Police lack human, financial,
and other resources to conduct proper investigations. It is not
unusual for a detainee to remain in remand custody for several
years before his/her case is heard in court. In addition, only
government hospitals can conduct rape examinations admissible as
evidence in court. The lack of easily-available public health
facilities may have prevented reports of rape and sexual assault.

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-- 27 F. (SBU) The government took steps during the year to educate
and train officials to combat trafficking. Government officials
attended and led portions of IOM-sponsored seminars on trafficking
during the year. IOM held 15 sector-specific training workshops
during the year: four for law enforcement, eight for social
services professionals, two for educators, and one for local
government officials. In 2009, the Zimbabwe Republic Police
Training Department requested to partner with IOM in all of its
2010 counter-trafficking training programs for law enforcement. As
a positive indication of government's interest in expanding
anti-TIP training, IOM recently received a request from the
newly-formed Border Control Unit within the Criminal Investigating
Department (CID) of the Zimbabwean police, which is now responsible
for policing all ports of entry and exit. The unit asked for help
from IOM to prepare a course on TIP to include in the orientation
training for the unit's staff.

-- 27 G. (SBU) The government does cooperate with other governments
in the investigation and prosecution of cases. However, during the
reporting period, Interpol reported there were no international
investigations or prosecutions brought forth by the Zimbabwean
government. Notably, although Interpol and the Zimbabwean police
were aware of the case of the Zimbabweans who were trafficked to
Angola, no one we spoke with was aware of any progress
investigating the case in either Zimbabwe or Angola.

-- 27 H. (SBU) The Zimbabwe Extradition Act permits the extradition
of nationals, and the government has extradition treaties with
countries in the region. There have not been reports of
trafficking-related extraditions or requests of extradition from
Zimbabwe to other countries during the reporting period.

-- 27 I. (SBU) There was anecdotal evidence of limited government
involvement in or tolerance of trafficking, on a local level. For
example, the Indian consul who told us about the case of 25
Pakistanis and two Indians who were trafficked to Zimbabwe strongly
believed that someone within immigration facilitated the production
of the "landing permit" and that immigration officials at the
airport knowingly granted the group entry illegally. Separately,
the press reported on a case in January 2010 in which an
immigration official, Alter Upenyu Nhidza, allegedly issued 26
Bangladeshis visas without authority. The 26 Bangladeshis were
deported at the Harare International Airport on January 18, 2010
after arriving separately in two groups via Kenya. Immigration
officials at the airport discovered the visas were not genuine
during routine screening. According to press reports the visa
stickers were from the Kanyemba border post (an extremely rural
border between Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique), where Nhidza was
posted. Following the incident, there were numerous press reports
that the police had launched a "manhunt" to search for Nhidza. It
was not established if the Bangladeshis were trafficking victims or
if they were being smuggled.

-- 27 J. (SBU) To the best of our knowledge, the police have taken
no action against government officials involved in TIP, aside from
the reported police search for Nhidza, as described in question 27

-- 27 K. (SBU) There have not been reported cases involving
Zimbabwean nationals deployed abroad as part of a peacekeeping or
other similar mission who engaged in or facilitated severe forms of
trafficking or who exploited trafficking victims.

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-- 27 L. (SBU) The country is not identified as a source or
destination for child sex tourism. The country's sexual crimes laws
do have extraterritorial coverage. There are no reports of any
prosecutions or convictions under the extraterritorial provisions.

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-- 28 A. (SBU) Foreign victims of trafficking can receive relief
from deportation while receiving victim support services and while
their cases are being investigated. The Chief of Immigration may
offer a temporary employment permit at his discretion. However, in
the case of the group of 25 Pakistanis and two Indians, as detailed
in question 25 B, the victims were not granted relief from
deportation or from arrest. In fact, the Indian consul told us that
the police did not call him to report that two Indian citizens had
been arrested until several days had passed.

-- 28 B. (SBU) Zimbabwe does have victim care facilities which are
accessible to trafficking victims, including foreign victims. IOM
is the lead organization in addressing human trafficking, and the
government has supported its activities. IOM trained a number of
social services providers and NGOs to enable them to provide
assistance to victims of trafficking in the form of safe shelter,
psychosocial support, family tracing, and reunification. IOM also
continued to capacitate a number of NGOs and service providers to
mainstream human trafficking activities in their already existing

(SBU) The Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children is
the national umbrella organization that oversees and maintains
standards of over 70 institutions for children in Zimbabwe,
including 20 in Harare; however, the country does not have
specialized facilities dedicated to helping victims of trafficking.
IOM, Girl Child Network, Oasis Trust, Musasa Project, and Save the
Children Norway have developed specialized services to assist
trafficking victims in their shelters/assistance programs. These
services include shelter, medical and psychological assistance,
reintegration and livelihood activities, and legal counseling.
Funding for these services/programs comes from international
donors. A number of children's homes and shelters were upgraded in
Harare and Chiredzi for them to be able to provide assistance to
child victims of trafficking: Musasa Project, Harare Children's
Home, St. Joseph's Hostel for Boys, and Chingele Children's Home.
In 2009 IOM identified and supported two additional shelters in
Bulawayo, one for women and the other one for girls. IOM is
providing the shelters with support in the form of training to the
shelter staff, buying of beds and blankets, and upgrading the
security system. The government primarily depends on NGOs and IOs
to provide trafficking victims these services. Although the trained
civil society organizations are able to provide support to victims
of trafficking, currently IOM is the only organization implementing
victim assistance by providing reintegration support to identified
victims. Organizations could not provide specific information on
the amount spent specifically for victims of trafficking.

-- 28 C. (SBU) The government does not have the resources to
provide funding to foreign or domestic NGOs for trafficking victim
services. However, the government routinely refers potential
victims to NGOs and IOs for assistance. In April 2008, the IOM
opened a reception center on government-allocated land for
Zimbabweans deported from Botswana to Plumtree, Zimbabwe. This
second reception center in Zimbabwe helped identify additional
trafficking victims. Between January and December 2009, IOM

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assisted 594 unaccompanied minors at Plumtree and 603 unaccompanied
minors at Beitbridge.

-- 28 D. (SBU) The government assists and provides relief to
foreign trafficking victims. For example, the government assisted
a child who authorities believe was trafficked from Mozambique in
2006. The Department of Immigration requires all deportees received
from South Africa and Botswana to attend an IOM briefing on safe
migration, which includes a discussion of trafficking. The ZRP,
Department of Social Welfare, and Department of Immigration do have
a mechanism for referring victims of trafficking to victim support;
however, at this time the government primarily depends on NGOs and
IOs working with vulnerable populations and victims to identify
trafficking victims and alert authorities. As noted above -- as in
the case of the 25 Pakistanis and two Indians -- not all
trafficking victims are routinely provided relief.

-- 28 E. (SBU) Government-run shelters for children may assist
victims through provision of longer-term shelter. Most assistance,
however, is provided through NGOs or church-based organizations.

-- 28 F. (SBU) The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare directly
operates programs in three districts to provide orphans and
vulnerable children with basic food assistance, support for school
fees, counseling for victimized children, HIV/AIDS education, and
medical assistance. The government also manages a small number of
children's homes for vulnerable and orphaned children. However, all
such government services are overwhelmed and under-funded. The
government primarily depends on NGOs and IOs to provide shelter
services. Several NGOs, including Child Protection Services, Girl
Child Network, and Save the Children Norway, also manage children's
shelters. IOM, Musasa Project, and Oasis Trust offer shelter
services and support to adult trafficking victims. In most cases,
the shelter, health care, counseling, and reintegration services
are paid for by the NGOs and IOs.

(SBU) The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and UNICEF have
agreements with 21 NGOs to advance the National Action Plan for
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), designed to ensure that
orphans and vulnerable children are able to access education, food,
health services, and birth registrations and were protected from
abuse and exploitation. During the reporting period, UNICEF
reported that the NGOs involved in the program had reached 100,000
OVC with comprehensive support and protection. Additionally, the
Department of Social Welfare (under the Ministry of Labor and
Social Welfare) works closely with IOM and Save the Children Norway
to provide protection for children deported from South Africa
received at the IOM Reception Centers in Beitbridge and Plumtree,
Zimbabwe. Additionally, the district council of Beitbridge has a
dedicated child protection officer and convenes a child protection

(SBU) The government has a referral process for victims that are
identified at IOM's transit centers in Beitbridge and Plumtree. At
the centers, IOM-trained Department of Social Welfare staff
identify victims and refer them to safe houses where short, medium,
and long-term assistance can be provided.

-- 28 G. (SBU) During the reporting period, IOM assisted eleven
victims. None were referred by either the Victim Friendly Unit of
the Zimbabwe Republic Police or the Department of Social Welfare.
Due to the government's lack of capacity and resources, all victims
were assisted by non-governmental organizations.

-- 28 H. (SBU) The government's law enforcement, immigration, and
social services do not have a formal system for proactively

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identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with
whom they may come in contact. Interpol and IOM-sponsored training
programs have educated a limited number of government officials to
better identify potential victims.

-- 28 I. (SBU) The rights of trafficking victims are not always
respected. Once identified as a trafficking victim, the government
usually refers the victim to an NGO or IO for assistance in an
expeditious manner. We are, however, aware of at least one
instance, described in question 25B, when victims were detained and

-- 28 J. (SBU) The government encourages victims to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of traffickers; however, the lack of
resources impedes the ability of the police to pursue many cases.
Victims may file a civil suit or seek legal action against
traffickers. The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act provides for
victim restitution and compensation. The law does not preclude
witnesses or victims in a court case against a former employer from
seeking other employment or leaving the country. In practice, in
order to file a civil suit, victims must stay in Zimbabwe and face
serious administrative hurdles. In the case of the two Indians, as
described in question 25B, the men chose to leave Zimbabwe as
quickly as possible rather than attempt to seek justice through the
overcrowded courts. In the case of the seven men trafficked from
Zimbabwe to Angola, they have not seen any progress in their case
in months.

-- 28 K. (SBU) The government does not provide its own specialized
training on trafficking; however, government officials attended 15
IOM training workshops that focused on trafficking and how to
recognize trafficking victims during the reporting period. In order
to streamline coordination and exchange of information on human
trafficking and sensitizing on the usage of stolen and fraudulent
documents by traffickers in Zimbabwe, IOM in partnership with
Interpol NCB Harare conducted a workshop for consular officials at
embassies in Harare. The workshop also created a platform to share
the latest counter-trafficking developments in Zimbabwe and within
the SADC region. The Interpol NCB Zimbabwe office, the Department
of Immigration, and the Department of Social Welfare were in
contact with South African authorities to coordinate victim
assistance and investigations in ongoing cases during the reporting
period. IOM also began to implement a project entitled "Prevention
And Protection Of Youth And Children From The Risk And Realities Of
Human Trafficking In Zimbabwe" in the provinces of Harare,
Bulawayo, Midlands, Manicaland, Masvingo, Matebeleland South, and
Matebeleland North. The project included training workshops
targeting teachers and youths in primary and secondary schools in
Manicaland, Midlands, and Bulawayo Provinces. The workshops aimed
to strengthen capacities of primary and secondary schools to
address child trafficking as well as to offer protection to young
victims of trafficking. The training aimed to ensure that teachers
and students are actively involved and better equipped to prevent
child trafficking, protect child and youth victims of trafficking,
and to advocate for prosecution of traffickers.

-- 28 L. (SBU) The government primarily relies on IOM and other
NGOs and IOs to provide assistance, such as medical aid, shelter,
or financial help to its nationals who are repatriated as victims
of trafficking.

-- 28 M. (SBU) IOM, UNICEF, Save the Children Norway, and Save the
Children UK work with a network of local NGOs to support
trafficking victims. The government has seen IOM as the leading
organization in addressing human trafficking and has supported all
activities undertaken by IOM including training of law enforcement

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and social service providers, as well as the recently launched
national toll-free hotline for counter-trafficking funded by IOM.
IOM and the NGO Oasis Trust launched the hotline in December 2008
for trafficking victims and for people to report suspected cases of
trafficking. The hotline worked successfully for three weeks but
then became non-functional when the telephone line stopped working.
As of mid-February 2010 it remains out of service.

(SBU) NGOs that provide assistance to victims include Connect
(training for counselors of abuse victims), Corridors of Hope
(HIV/AIDS education and counseling), Childline (children's crisis
hotline), Streets Ahead (counseling and shelter for children), Girl
Child Network (shelter, skills building, and counseling for abused
and trafficked girls), Oasis Trust and Musasa Project (shelter and
counseling for domestic abuse and trafficking victims), and The
Center (counseling for HIV/AIDS patients). These groups reported
that they generally received good cooperation from local
authorities, but that the level of cooperation often depended on
the location. In some areas, officials were difficult to work with
because they did not understand trafficking or denied any problem
existed. In other areas, officials were very cooperative and eager
to receive training and other assistance in building capacity. In
cases involving children, the Department of Social Welfare,
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, and local child protection
committees were involved in placing the child with family or
finding a suitable solution. The government generally ensured that
victims received adequate care from service providers.




-- 29 A. (SBU) The government did not conduct anti-trafficking
information or education campaigns during the reporting period.
All anti-trafficking campaigns were conducted by IOM. The state-run
media continues to print and air messages about the dangers of
illegal migration and that warn the public about false employment
scams, underage and forced marriages, prostitution, and
exploitative labor conditions. Notably, government-run media did
not air anti-trafficking messages at reduced rates, despite
requests by IOM. During the year, an IOM anti-trafficking radio
campaign aired in five languages on all four government-controlled
radio stations, which broadcast the public service announcement
eight times per day during the peak migration periods. The
government radio stations are a primary source of information
throughout the country, especially in the rural areas. These
awareness materials and radio spots include government and IOM
contact details for victims to call for assistance or information.
This year IOM expanded its outreach by advertising its capacity to
investigate overseas job offers. As a result, IOM reported
receiving more calls about fake job offers. IOM was unable to
provide exact statistics.

-- 29 B. (SBU) The Department of Immigration does not currently
have the ability to systematically monitor the growing number of
illegal migrants deported from South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia
to effectively identify emerging trafficking patterns. Immigration
officials do screen for potential victims; however, the government
primarily depends on IOM protection officers and in-take procedures
to identify victims.

-- 29 C. (SBU) The government has an inter-ministerial taskforce on
trafficking made up of senior government officials that was
established in April 2006; however, it still lacks a multi-agency

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operational working group that can effectively combat the
trafficking problem in practice. The head of the inter-ministerial
taskforce is a senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The taskforce's goals include: (1) criminalizing human trafficking
through enactment of legislation, (2) information dissemination on
the dangers of trafficking, (3) creating a center to specifically
deal with trafficked persons and assist those seeking advice, (4)
intercepting traffickers by monitoring print and electronic media
for possible trafficking schemes, and (5) training anti-trafficking
experts at all formal entry and exit points of the country. The
taskforce has not achieved any of its goals. In terms of specific
cases, the Interpol NCB Zimbabwe office is the point of contact for
cases requiring international cooperation, and the VFU of the ZRP
serves as the lead for cases involving internal trafficking. The
government does have a public corruption commission, but it is
under-funded, politicized, and has yet to register any notable

-- 29 D. (SBU) The government does not have a national plan of
action to address trafficking in persons. IOM continues to organize
all NGOs and IOs that work on trafficking to complete a resource
and gap assessment exercise before approaching the government to
form a stakeholders working group.

(SBU) The government generally has a good working relationship with
international organizations and NGOs on trafficking-related issues.
Unlike in previous years, there have not been reports of government
harassment of NGOs working on the trafficking issue.

-- 29 E. (SBU) During the reporting period, the government did not
take any specific steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex

-- 29 F. (SBU) During the reporting period, the government did not
take any steps towards reducing the participation in international
child sex tourism by its nationals. Post is unaware of any cases
of international child sex tourism involving Zimbabweans.

-- 29 G. (SBU) An assessment of Zimbabwe's efforts to ensure that
its troops deployed abroad for international peacekeeping missions
do not engage in or facilitate trafficking or exploited trafficking
victims was unavailable for this reporting period.




-- 30 A. (U) There is increasing interest among some government
officials in strengthening partnerships with other governments,
civil society, and international organizations to address
trafficking. However, the government has not dedicated any
resources to this effort.

-- 30 B. (U) The Government of Zimbabwe does not provide assistance
to other countries to address TIP.

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2. (U) There is no evidence of child soldiers in the Zimbabwean
military, as described in the definitions in the Child Soldiers
Prevention Act of 2008. As per paragraph 22 of reftel, there is no
evidence of conscription or forced recruitment of persons under the
age of 18 into governmental armed forces; voluntary recruitment of
any person under 15 years of age into governmental armed forces; or
persons under the age of 18 taking a direct part in hostilities as
a member of governmental armed forces.

3. (SBU) There is, however, anecdotal evidence of recruitment (both
forced and voluntary) of persons under the age of 18 by armed
groups distinct from those of the governmental armed forces, namely
ZANU-PF-affiliated groups known as "youth militias." During the
2008 election period, primarily between early May and late June,
hundreds of youths, including some believed to be under the age of
18, participated in government-sponsored violence aimed at
intimidating Zimbabweans to stop them from supporting the
then-opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Although there is
no documentary evidence of the ages of the youths, citizens
reported they knew some members of the youth militias because they
were from the same communities. These people reported that members
of the youth militias, almost exclusively boys, were mostly over 18
but included some as young as 16. The youth militias became largely
inactive after the signing of the September 2008 Global Political
Agreement that led to the formation of the coalition government in
February 2009. Although the youth militias are generally inactive,
many Zimbabweans believe they could be re-constituted at any time
if so ordered by ZANU-PF. Youths, including those under 18, are
generally lured to join the youth militia with the promise of food,
money, and safety. Some reportedly joined youth militias to keep
themselves and their own families safe from violence. High
unemployment and the high cost of education make youth militias
attractive primarily as a means to secure an income.

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