The government made uneven anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The Law on Preventing and Combating the Trafficking of People, enacted in 2008, prohibits recruiting or facilitating the exploitation of a person for purposes of prostitution, forced labor, slavery, or involuntary debt servitude. Article 10 prescribes penalties of 16 to 20 years imprisonment for these offenses, which are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The 2014 penal code prohibits involuntary commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor of men and women.
The government continued to manually compile anti-trafficking law enforcement data; however, it did not provide case-specific details. In 2016, the government reported initiating investigations of 20 suspected trafficking cases, compared with 35 the previous year and prosecutions of 17 defendants, compared with 10 the previous year. It reported convicting 16 traffickers under the 2008 anti-trafficking law, all of whom received prison terms, ranging from eight to 20 years imprisonment; the number of convictions represents an increase from 11 offenders convicted in 2015. As the 2008 anti-trafficking law criminalizes trafficking for the purpose of organ removal, law enforcement statistics likely included such cases, in addition to sex and labor trafficking cases. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses.
In partnership with international organizations, the government trained 30 members of the National Reference Group for Child Protection and Combating Trafficking in Persons (NRG), an inter-ministerial body responsible for coordination of national anti-trafficking efforts, on victim identification. An international organization trained approximately two dozen members of the Maputo Province Reference Group, consisting of officials from the provincial administrative office, attorney general’s office, police, border guards, social workers, and NGOs, trained 24 provincial reference group members on victim identification twice during the reporting period. An international organization also provided training for the Maputo City Reference Group on victim identification. The attorney general’s office worked with an international organization to train 100 provincial reference group members in Gaza, Nampula, and Tete provinces. The Ministry of the Interior trained 60 of its personnel from Gaza, Inhambane, and Maputo on victim identification. Expert reports allege traffickers commonly bribe police and immigration officials to facilitate trafficking crimes both domestically and across international borders.