Tanzania

Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Tier 2

TANZANIA: Tier 2

The Government of Tanzania does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Tanzania remained on Tier 2. The government demonstrated increasing efforts by identifying more trafficking victims, increasing funding for the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat (ATS), cooperating with foreign law enforcement officials on a trafficking investigation, and launching a central data collection system for trafficking crimes. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government prosecuted and convicted fewer traffickers than last reporting period and offered the majority of convicted traffickers the option of a fine. The implementing regulations for the protection provisions of the 2008 anti-trafficking law were not widely applied and protection services for trafficking victims remained limited. The government did not allocate sufficient funding for nationwide public awareness campaigns, and did not fund the victims’ assistance fund. The government took no discernable steps to address official complicity in trafficking crimes, which inhibited law enforcement action during the year.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TANZANIA

Fully implement the protection provisions of the 2008 anti-trafficking act, as outlined in the implementing regulations and the updated national action plan, including allocating resources to the victim assistance fund; increase funding and training to law enforcement authorities for proactive victim identification and the implementation of standardized policies and procedures related to victim identification and referral to protective services; amend the 2008 anti-trafficking act to remove sentencing provisions that allow fines in lieu of imprisonment and align the procedural law pertaining to arrests within the act with the requirements for other serious crimes; increase efforts to enforce the 2008 anti-trafficking act by investigating and prosecuting trafficking offenses, convicting trafficking offenders and imposing adequate penalties; replace the general suspension of recruitment agencies sending migrant workers abroad with strong regulations and oversight of recruitment companies that are consistently enforced; increase migrant worker protections by increasing employer security deposits, minimum salaries, and pre-departure training for migrant workers, as well as establishing a mutually enforceable standard contract, a complaints mechanism for returning workers, a public blacklist of abusive employers, and requiring exit interviews and embassy approval of residency permits of migrant workers; continue to train judges and prosecutors to identify trafficking crimes and delineate the legal differences between trafficking and migrant smuggling; and increase the budget allocation for the anti-trafficking committee and anti-trafficking secretariat to implement the national action plan to combat trafficking.

PROSECUTION

The government made uneven anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act criminalized labor and sex trafficking and prescribed punishments of two to 10 years imprisonment, a fine between 5 million and 100 million Tanzania Shillings (TZS) ($2,240 to $44,740), or both for offenses involving adult victims and 10 to 20 years imprisonment, a fine between 5 million and 150 million TZS ($2,240 to $67,110), or both for those involving child victims. These penalties were sufficiently stringent but, with regard to sex trafficking, by allowing for a fine in lieu of imprisonment, the penalties were not commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. While ATS sent a proposal to eliminate the alternative sentence of fines to the Attorney General’s Office during the previous reporting period, the government did not report any progress in reviewing this proposal or amending this provision during the current period. The government also reported that the 2008 anti-trafficking act contains a separate procedural law within it, with different requirements for arrests and warrants than the procedural law for other similarly serious crimes.

The government did not report the number of investigations it initiated during the reporting period, compared with 100 during the previous period. During the reporting period, the government reported prosecutions of at least 24 defendants and convictions of at least four traffickers under the 2008 anti-trafficking act for sex trafficking, compared with 23 prosecutions and 19 convictions in the previous period. The government sentenced all four convicted traffickers to seven years imprisonment; however, three of the four traffickers were given the option of a fine, which they were unable to pay and began to serve their prison sentences. During the reporting period, Tanzanian and South African law enforcement officials cooperated in the investigation of a trafficking crime; the case remained ongoing and further details were not available. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of officials complicit in trafficking offenses; however, corruption within the judicial system and official complicity in trafficking crimes remained significant concerns, inhibiting law enforcement action during the year.

During the reporting period, with support from an international organization, the government launched a national centralized anti-trafficking data collection and reporting tool. The tool allowed the government to upload information on trafficking cases and victim and trafficker profiles; however, government agencies lacked a unified protocol for reporting trafficking statistics from regional and district levels to the new central data system and data input was limited. The government continued to include human trafficking components in standard police academy training, but the government did not report how many new recruits received this training during the reporting period. The government reportedly incorporated information on root causes of trafficking and effective use of victim referral manuals into the standard law enforcement training curriculum. The government also reported providing targeted training on the anti-trafficking law and its implementing regulations to police investigators when assigned trafficking cases. In partnership with an NGO, the government facilitated the training of 250 law enforcement officers and 40 judicial officials on anti-trafficking measures.

PROTECTION

The government increased efforts to identify victims, while broader efforts to protect victims in line with the provisions of the 2008 anti-trafficking law remained negligible. The government reported identifying at least 59 (29 domestic child victims and 30 foreign victims), and referred them to NGOs for assistance. Possibly overlapping with the government’s reporting, an NGO reported the government identified 80 domestic child trafficking victims (80 child victims in 2016) and referred all identified victims to NGOs for care. An international organization reported identification of 15 Indonesian trafficking victims aboard a fishing vessel in Tanzanian territorial waters, but did not report whether assistance was provided. The government facilitated, but did not fund, the repatriation of 33 foreign victims during the reporting period; of these, the police reported the repatriation of eight women back to Nepal and ATS reported facilitating the repatriation of 25 foreign victims, but did not report further details making it unclear if these reports overlapped. These figures compared to four repatriations in the previous reporting period. An international organization reported identifying and repatriating three victims; two were Tanzanian victims in India and one was a Burundian victim in Tanzania. During the reporting period, ATS screened many prisoners and identified and assisted at least four trafficking victims imprisoned as smuggling offenders; additionally, the government reported there were approximately 1,200 Ethiopians in detention centers, many of whom may be trafficking victims.

The government established and began utilizing a centralized data collection tool during the reporting period, which allowed officials to track and compile information on victims identified and support law enforcement efforts. The implementing regulations of the 2008 anti-trafficking act required police and immigration authorities to follow standardized procedures and use standardized forms for case investigation, and victim identification and referral; however, government funding for dissemination of the forms continued to be an obstacle in 2017, and thus the procedures were not widely used. The 2008 anti-trafficking act mandated the government provide victims with psycho-social counseling, family tracing, family reunification, and temporary shelter, but the government did not provide those services to victims during the reporting period. The government continued to rely on NGOs to provide the vast majority of victim assistance. The government did not operate any domestic trafficking shelters, but it previously published a nationwide guidebook with information on NGOs and had referral agreements for certain NGO shelters to more effectively place victims in NGO-run shelters. NGO-run shelters provided medical care, psycho-social counseling, and family tracing for victims. The government placed children in special shelters, where they were enrolled in government schools or given vocational training, and had separate accommodations for boys and girls. However, NGOs reported that while female adult trafficking victims could seek assistance at the shelter dedicated to young girls, there were no shelters available for adult men; furthermore, it was unclear which ministry was responsible for assisting adult trafficking victims. An international organization reported that the Tanzanian embassy in Oman provided temporary shelter to an unknown number of migrant workers, including potential trafficking victims.

Without national implementation of standard identification procedures or proactive screening of vulnerable populations by immigration officials, it is likely there are many trafficking victims unidentified in the law enforcement system, including those imprisoned under migrant smuggling or illegal immigration charges. The government also reported that frequently children and adults are incarcerated in the same detention centers, a practice the ATS was advocating to change. Despite requirements in the 2008 anti-trafficking law, the government did not fund the anti-trafficking fund for victims during the reporting period, and has not to date. The anti-trafficking law provides foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where their safety or that of their families may be endangered; however, during the reporting period, the government did not grant residency to trafficking victims, but did grant temporary stay to an unknown number of victims. Victims typically testify in trafficking cases, but the Whistle Blowers and Witness Protection Act of 2015 and the 2008 anti-trafficking act gave any victim of crime and trafficking victims the option to refuse to participate in prosecution efforts. If it is in the best interest of the victim, trafficking trials may be held in private and by camera to protect victim confidentiality and privacy. The anti-trafficking law entitled victims to compensation from convicted traffickers; however, the government did not report awarding compensation during the reporting period.

PREVENTION

The government maintained efforts to prevent trafficking. The government allocated a budget of 98 million TZS ($43,850) to the ATS, the working level anti-trafficking body, a significant increase from last year. The Anti-Trafficking Committee, responsible for the oversight and direction of the ATS, met twice during the reporting period. ATS extended the expired 2015-2017 national action plan through 2018 and began drafting a new one, which was not finalized by the close of the reporting period. Efforts to implement the expired plan or allot funding for its implementation remained minimal throughout the reporting period. Immigration officials on the mainland disseminated informational brochures on trafficking for use at public events; however, the government did not make adequate efforts to raise awareness among its nationals on trafficking issues. While child sex tourism was prevalent in tourist destinations like Zanzibar, government efforts to eliminate sexual and child abuse on the islands have had no discernable impact on the demand for commercial sex acts or child sex tourism during the reporting period. The government did not provide anti-trafficking training to its troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions, but did provide human rights training, which may have included anti-trafficking training.

Several government agencies, in both Tanzania and Zanzibar, conducted periodic inspections of large employers to detect cases of forced labor. During the reporting period, the Commission of Labor in Tanzania suspended four labor recruitment agencies for violating labor laws or fraud in obtaining licenses in accordance with the Non-Citizens (Employment Regulations) Act of 2015; however, no agencies were delicensed and the government did not report pursuing prosecutions. Throughout most of the reporting period, the government continued to monitor employment abroad by requiring Tanzanians to have valid passports and labor contracts with salary, leave, and health care provisions in order to obtain a letter of permission and an exit permit. The government also required recruitment agencies to provide migrant workers with training on worker rights and destination countries’ laws prior to departure and the Companies Act of 2002 required recruitment agencies to be registered and licensed by the government. Tanzanian embassies abroad required employers to submit security deposits to the embassy; the purpose of this was to ensure that the employer would present the migrant worker upon arrival, so the embassy could verify that the worker arrived and that the worker possessed the proper documentation, including contract and passport. However, in January 2018, the government suspended the issuance of travel documents to migrant workers, due to concerns over migrant worker safety abroad. The government reported that in practice, recruitment agencies were not providing pre-departure training to migrant workers and an NGO argued the deposit amount was too small and an insufficient incentive for employers to present migrant workers upon arrival to the Tanzanian embassy. An NGO also reported that Tanzanian contracts were often different from the destination country contract and usually not enforceable, there was no “blacklist” available for migrant workers to avoid previously abusive employers, and recruitment agencies operating in Tanzania would sometimes use “sub-agents,” thereby skirting the registration requirements. An NGO reported that there was no complaint mechanism for returning migrant workers and the staff at foreign embassies were not always trained to identify and assist trafficking victims. Reportedly, Tanzanian embassies abroad did not require employers to seek embassy approval for residence permits, and did not require departing migrant workers to report to the embassy for exit interviews. The government did not report an estimated length of the suspension of travel documents to migrant workers or a plan to strengthen migrant worker protections—leaving migrant workers with no legal means to travel abroad for work, and therefore without access to protection mechanisms available through authorized travel, increasing their vulnerability to trafficking.

TRAFFICKING PROFILE

As reported over the past five years, Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and characteristically facilitated by the victims’ family members, friends, or intermediaries offering assistance with education or securing employment in urban areas. Impoverished children from the rural interior remain most vulnerable to trafficking. Girls are exploited in domestic servitude throughout the country and in sex trafficking particularly in tourist hubs and along the border with Kenya. An NGO stated that traffickers target young girls from rural and impoverished villages, pay their parents a small fee, and then exploit the girls in sex trafficking to businessmen who believe a myth that having intercourse with a “virgin” will allow their business to prosper. Children are subjected to forced labor on farms—including as cattle herders and occasionally as hunters—and in mines and quarries, the informal commercial sector, and on fishing vessels operating on the high seas. Some unscrupulous individuals manipulate the traditional practice of child fostering—in which poor parents entrust their children into the care of wealthier relatives or respected community members—to subject children to domestic servitude and other forms of exploitative labor.

Drug traffickers will sometimes hold humans as “bond” for varying amounts of time until payments are fulfilled. In 2017, an NGO reported that Indonesian trafficking victims were identified aboard a fishing vessel in Tanzanian territorial waters. Previous media reports indicate that traffickers transport Tanzanian children with physical disabilities to Kenya for forced begging or for work in massage parlors. Media reports also alleged that traffickers subject girls to sex trafficking in China. Tanzanian nationals are sometimes subjected to forced labor, including domestic servitude, and sex trafficking in other African countries, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the United States. In 2017, in an attempt to protect its migrant workers from various abuses reported abroad, the government suspended the issuance of travel documents to migrant workers without an estimated end date or plan to increase protections—leaving migrant workers with no legal means to travel abroad for work, and therefore without access to protection mechanisms available through authorized travel, increasing their vulnerability to trafficking. Trafficking victims from other countries—including children from Burundi and Rwanda, as well as adults from India, Nepal, and Yemen—are subjected to sex trafficking and involuntary servitude, including forced labor in Tanzania’s agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors. As many as 1,200 Ethiopian citizens, many of whom may be trafficking victims, are being held by the government in detention centers under illegal immigration charges in Tanzania. Citizens of neighboring countries may transit Tanzania before traffickers subject them to domestic servitude or sex trafficking in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.