The government increased law enforcement efforts. The 2014 money laundering law criminalizes all forms of trafficking in persons and prescribes penalties of one to 15 years imprisonment, depending on the specific offense; which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. Trafficking is criminalized in chapter III, articles 18, through 23. Article 18 criminalizes slavery and servitude as well as the buying and selling of a child under 14 years of age for adoption or for slavery. Article 19 criminalizes the trafficking of adults and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labor or trafficking in organs by means of force, fraud or coercion, with a penalty of three to 12 years imprisonment. Article 19 makes it a crime to receive services or organs that are provided by those means, subject to a lesser penalty. Article 20 makes it a crime to entice or force a person to practice prostitution in a foreign country. Article 21 also appears to make sex trafficking a crime; entitled “pimping,” it makes it a crime to use violence, threats or fraud to promote the exercise of prostitution, subject to a prison sentence of one to 6 years. Article 22 makes it a crime to pimp children under the age of 18, without regard to means of force, fraud or coercion—which is the definition of sex trafficking of children in international law—with a penalty of two to 10 years imprisonment; for the use of force, fraud or coercion with a child less than 14 years old, the term of imprisonment is 5 to 12 years. Article 22 makes it a crime to entice children to engage in prostitution in a foreign country, with sentences of three to 12 years imprisonment; with force, fraud or coercion, the sentence is three to 15 years imprisonment. These sentences are generally commensurate with the penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape.
The government investigated two potential child sex trafficking cases, compared with 12 potential trafficking cases in the previous reporting period. The government initiated one prosecution of a suspected trafficker and continued the prosecution of three suspects initiated during the previous reporting period, which led to the government’s first conviction and sentencing of traffickers. The Luanda Provincial Court sentenced three Vietnamese citizens, two women and one man, to eight, nine, and 10 years imprisonment, respectively, for the sex trafficking of five Vietnamese women and for the indentured servitude of three Vietnamese and one Chinese man—the first trafficking convictions in Angola under the 2014 money laundering law. The government initiated prosecution of one Congolese woman for trafficking of four Congolese children, ages 11 to 14, in Zaire province. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses despite credible reports of some law enforcement officers owning brothels in Luanda suspected of involvement in trafficking. Some law enforcement officials were also accused of trying to undermine anti-trafficking efforts by harassing anti-trafficking activists. There were allegations that corruption may have hindered law enforcement anti-trafficking efforts.
The government, at times in partnership with international organizations, trained 119 magistrates and local level officials from the justice, interior, and labor ministries on identifying and processing trafficking cases. The government trained labor inspectors on child labor laws. National police academy training continued to include human trafficking provisions. The government cooperated with French, Portuguese, and Brazilian authorities in the investigation of potential trafficking crimes involving Angolan citizens abroad; these investigations remained ongoing at the close of the reporting period. The government cooperated with the Vietnamese authorities in the investigation that led to the conviction of three Vietnamese citizens on trafficking charges in Angola, involving Vietnamese and Chinese victims. The government maintained a labor agreement with the Government of China, which requires Chinese companies to follow Angolan labor laws; and Angolan authorities investigated construction companies and employers, including Chinese-run operations, for alleged forced labor abuses during the reporting period.