ANGOLA: Tier 2 Watch List

The government of Angola does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. These efforts included investigating more potential trafficking cases, convicting more traffickers, training front-line responders, conducting some awareness-raising activities, and improving data collection on trafficking crimes, including by deploying the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional data collection tool. However, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. The government prosecuted fewer suspected traffickers and identified fewer victims. Victim protection services remained limited, especially shelters and provision of basic aftercare services. Law enforcement and social services officials did not implement the standardized mechanism for identifying trafficking victims and screening vulnerable populations. The government did not screen for trafficking indicators among vulnerable groups, including migrants, and, thus potentially penalized victims. The government did not finalize a national action plan to combat trafficking for the fourth consecutive year. Therefore Angola remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.

Implement standardized nationwide procedures for identifying trafficking victims, and train officials on such procedures. • Increase efforts to provide shelter, counseling, and medical care for adult and child trafficking victims either directly or in partnership with NGOs. • Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute sex trafficking cases. • Develop nationwide standards for data collection, synthesis, and analysis of anti trafficking law enforcement and victim protection data. • Train law enforcement officials on the 2014 money laundering law’s anti trafficking provisions. • Investigate labor trafficking in the construction sector and in animal herding. • Increase proactive engagement of the inter-ministerial committee to engage on anti-trafficking efforts. • Launch a nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaign.

The government increased law enforcement efforts. The 2014 Law about the Criminalization of Infractions Surrounding Money Laundering criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Article 18 criminalized slavery and servitude, as well as the buying and selling of a child under 14 years of age for adoption or for slavery, with a penalty of seven to 15 years’ imprisonment. Article 19 criminalized the trafficking of adults and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labor or trafficking in organs and prescribed penalties of eight to 12 years’ imprisonment. These penalties were sufficiently stringent, and with regard to sex trafficking, commensurate with the penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. Additional provisions in the law also criminalized forms of sex trafficking. Article 20 criminalized enticing or forcing a person to practice prostitution in a foreign country, with a penalty of two to 10 years’ imprisonment. Article 21 criminalized pimping using force, fraud, or coercion of adults and prescribed penalties of one to 6 years’ imprisonment. Article 22 criminalized “pimping of minors” under the age of 18 and prescribed penalties of two to 10 years’ imprisonment; if force, fraud or coercion was used or the child was less than 14 years old, the penalties were increased to five to 12 years’ imprisonment. Article 23 made 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 was increased to three to 15 years’ imprisonment.

The government investigated 23 potential trafficking cases, primarily involving forced labor, compared with three potential sex trafficking cases in the previous reporting period. Nineteen of the cases originated in Cunene Province, which borders Namibia, one case was in neighboring Huila Province, and the provinces of Huambo, Kwanza Norte, and Luanda each had one case. The investigations involved at least 40 potential child and adult victims, primarily Angolan, and at least 15 perpetrators, primarily of Angolan or Namibian nationality. The government prosecuted four potential trafficking cases, three in Cunene Province involving four defendants and one in Lunda Norte involving a single defendant, compared with six prosecutions in the previous reporting period. The government convicted nine traffickers compared with no convictions during the previous reporting period. Eight of the nine convictions were for forced labor involving children and adults forced to work in animal herding along the border with Namibia, in Cunene Province; sentences ranged from one to five years’ imprisonment. One conviction occurred in Zaire Province and the government sentenced the trafficker to eight years’ imprisonment. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses.

In coordination with international organizations, the government trained front-line responders on trafficking vulnerabilities among unaccompanied children and migrants, protection of victims, child forced labor, and conducted two trainings on the SADC data collection tool. In conjunction with an international organization, the government held a technical seminar on child trafficking in Angola to raise awareness about the vulnerability of children to trafficking, the legal framework for prosecuting traffickers, and protection services for victims. National police academy training continued to include human trafficking provisions. The government cooperated with Portuguese authorities in the case of three children exploited by two Angolan traffickers in Portugal. A Portuguese court convicted the traffickers and deported them to Angola, per Angola and Portugal’s judicial cooperation agreement; it was unclear if the men served out their sentences in Angola.

The government decreased protection efforts. Although the government did not report official victim identification or referral data, it identified and referred to care or directly assisted at least 35 potential victims, compared to 79 victims during the previous year. The government provided some protective services for 19 children and 10 adults in Cunene Province, including foster care and family tracing services. The government also assisted two child victims in Lunde Norte Province, but did not provide any additional details. In a case of three Angolan children exploited in Portugal, Portuguese authorities transported the children to Angola, where Angolan authorities placed them in a Luanda shelter and initiated family reunification, which remained ongoing at the close of the reporting period. The government referred one male Congolese child trafficking victim to a shelter, notified the Congolese authorities, and initiated family reunification, which was ongoing at the close of the reporting period. The government did not adequately fund victim protection mechanisms, including shelters and legal, medical, and psychological services. Law enforcement and social services officials lacked a standardized mechanism for screening vulnerable populations, including foreign workers and persons in prostitution. The government reported it had formal guidelines in six of Angola’s 18 provinces to refer trafficking victims to care; however, it did not adequately implement any such guidelines during the reporting period.

In an initiative to eliminate irregular diamond mining operations in several Angolan provinces, border security forces forcibly expelled more than 400,000 migrants, primarily from the DRC, without screening to identify potential trafficking victims. Security forces detained 8,000 migrants from primarily West Africa and Asia, who largely constituted the work force that ran the unofficial mining operations without screening to identify potential trafficking victims. While security forces successfully shut down illegal mining cooperatives, human rights observers operating along the Angola-DRC border reported numerous cases of abuse and the UN reported at least 1,500 refugees were among those forcibly expelled.

The National Institute of Children (INAC) received referrals of child victims and managed child support centers in all 18 provinces, which provided food, shelter, basic education, and family reunification for crime victims younger than age 18. The Ministry of Social Action, Family and the Promotion of Women (MASFAMU) managed a national network of safe houses for women, counseling centers, and children’s centers, which trafficking victims could access. The government did not report on whether foreign victims were afforded the same protective services as Angolan trafficking victims. In the absence of screening for indicators of trafficking, authorities may have penalized victims for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit. The government did not encourage victim cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases, but in coordination with an international organization, did draft legislation to increase protections for victims through all stages of an investigation and prosecution, which remained pending at the close of the reporting period. Angolan law did not provide foreign trafficking victims with legal alternatives to their removal to a country where they may face hardship or retribution.

While the government increased its efforts to prevent human trafficking, the inter ministerial commission—established in 2014 under the direction of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and the Ministry of Social Assistance and Reintegration—did not finalize or adopt a national action plan for the fourth consecutive year. The Inter-Ministerial Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons met internally. In conjunction with an international organization, the Inter-Ministerial Commission held a training workshop on combatting trafficking in persons in Luanda. The Inter-ministerial Commission also held a training workshop to raise awareness of trafficking in persons in Bengo province. In coordination with an international organization, the government deployed the SADC regional data collection tool. In coordination with international organizations, the government launched the Blue Heart Campaign to raise awareness about trafficking among the general public. The Ministry of Public Administration, Labor, and Social Security conducted awareness raising campaigns on forced labor with businesses operating in Soyo, particularly civil construction companies, due to reports that companies, primarily Chinese-owned and operated, engage in forced labor. The government did not have procedures in place to oversee and regulate labor recruitment beyond periodic labor inspections. The provincial government in Cunene and the Namibian province of Oshikango created a cross-border commission comprised of law enforcement, prosecutors, and child protection officials to combat trafficking in persons and child labor. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights previously operated a hotline for potential victims and for the public to report suspected trafficking cases; it was unclear whether the government continued to operate the hotline during the reporting period. The government did not report any efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex or forced labor. The government did not provide anti-trafficking training for its diplomatic personnel.

As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Angola, and traffickers exploit victims from Angola abroad. Traffickers exploited Angolans, including minors, in forced labor in the brick-making, domestic service, construction, agricultural, and artisanal diamond mining sectors within the country. Angolan girls as young as 13 years old are victims of sex trafficking. Angolan adults use children younger than age 12 for forced criminal activity, because children cannot be criminally prosecuted. The provinces of Luanda, Benguela, and the border provinces of Cunene, Lunda Norte, Namibe, Uige, and Zaire are the most high-threat areas for trafficking activities. Traffickers take some Angolan boys to Namibia for forced labor in cattle herding, while they force others to serve as couriers to transport illicit goods, as part of a scheme to skirt import fees in cross-border trade with Namibia. Traffickers exploit Angolan women and children in domestic servitude and sex trafficking in South Africa, Namibia, and European countries, including the Netherlands and Portugal.

Women from Brazil, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Namibia, and Vietnam engaged in prostitution in Angola may be victims of sex trafficking. Traffickers exploit Brazilian, Chinese, Kenyan, Namibian, Southeast Asian, and possibly Congolese migrants in forced labor in Angola’s construction industry; traffickers may withhold passports, threaten violence, deny food, and confine victims. At times, traffickers coerced workers to continue work in unsafe conditions, which at times reportedly resulted in death. Chinese companies that have large construction or mining contracts bring Chinese workers to Angola; some companies do not disclose the terms and conditions of the work at the time of recruitment. Undocumented Congolese migrants, including children, enter Angola for work in diamond-mining districts, where traffickers exploit some in forced labor or sex trafficking in mining camps. Trafficking networks recruit and transport Congolese girls as young as 12 years old from Kasai Occidental in the DRC to Angola for labor and sex trafficking.

U.S. Department of State

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