The government decreased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking and prescribed punishments of two to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine between five million and 100 million Tanzania shilling (TZS) ($2,180 to $43,570), or both for offenses involving adult victims and 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine between five million and 150 million TZS ($2,180 to $65,360), 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. The Anti-Trafficking Secretariat (ATS) submitted a proposal to eliminate the alternative sentence of fines, which remained pending in Parliament; however, the government did not report any concrete progress in amending this provision during the current period. The government also reported that the 2008 anti-trafficking act contains a separate procedural provision that requires police to obtain a warrant before making a trafficking-related arrest. This provision creates a higher threshold for law enforcement that does not exist for other similarly serious crimes, which may hinder prosecution efforts.
The government did not report any investigations of trafficking crimes during the reporting period, nor did it report the number of investigations during the previous period. The government reported prosecuting at least 24 defendants and convicting at least three traffickers under the 2008 anti-trafficking act for sex trafficking, compared with 24 prosecutions and four convictions in the previous period. The government sentenced one convicted trafficker to 10 years’ imprisonment and two traffickers to seven years’ imprisonment; however, the traffickers were given the option of a fine, which they were unable to pay, resulting in prison sentences. 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. Last reporting period, multiple NGOs reported the identification of 14 Indonesian trafficking victims aboard a Malaysian-flagged fishing vessel and 12 Tanzanian trafficking victims aboard a Chinese-flagged fishing vessel, both in Tanzanian territorial waters; there were no further reports indicating whether these victims were assisted and the government did not report undertaking law enforcement efforts to address these cases of trafficking.
With support from an international organization, the government continued limited use of 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, despite receiving additional training during the reporting period, data input was limited and was not shared. 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 how traffickers target vulnerable victims and effective use of victim referral manuals into the standard law enforcement training curriculum. In partnership with an NGO, the government facilitated the training of 86 law enforcement officials, including prosecutors, magistrates, police officers, NGOs, immigration officers, and social welfare officers, on anti-trafficking measures. In partnership with an international organization, the government helped facilitate a training for 53 law enforcement officials, including immigration and prison officers, on utilizing the centralized data collection tool, as well as a three-day anti-trafficking workshop for 38 judges. In partnership with other international organizations, the government also facilitated trainings for 96 police and 150 police, magistrates, social welfare workers, immigration officers, and prosecutors.