The government increased protection efforts. The government reported identifying 161 potential trafficking victims, a significant increase compared with 13 victims during the previous reporting period. The implementing regulations of the 2008 anti-trafficking act required police and immigration authorities to use standardized procedures and forms for case investigation and victim identification and referral. The government drafted standardized forms for identification and referral in a previous reporting period; however, the procedures were not fully implemented because the government did not fund their dissemination. The government reported referring all of the potential victims to assistance during this reporting period. Of the 170 government identified victims, 159 were female, two were male, one was an adult, and nine remained unknown. Additionally, NGOs reported assisting at least 87 identified victims during the reporting period. The 2008 anti-trafficking act mandated the government provide victims with psycho-social counseling, family tracing, family reunification, and temporary shelter. The government reported providing case management and services to victims it referred during the reporting period. The government reported coordinating information sharing between the ATS and the Department of Social Welfare. The government continued to rely on government-vetted NGOs to provide the vast majority of victim assistance. The government did not operate any domestic trafficking shelters; however, the government vetted and approved a new organization and its shelter, bringing the number of government accredited organizations to five, thence, eight government-vetted and accredited shelters. The government maintained referral agreements with vetted NGOs that manage shelters. The government, in collaboration with an international organization, created a national guideline for shelters on how to effectively operate safe shelters. NGO-run shelters provided medical care, psycho-social counseling, and family tracing for victims. The government continued to place children in specialized shelters, where they were enrolled in government schools or given vocational training and had separate accommodations for boys and girls. Although NGOs continued to report female adult trafficking victims could seek assistance at a shelter dedicated to young girls, there were no shelters available for adult male trafficking victims. Foreign victims were allowed the same access to assistance, counseling, medical care, and training as domestic victims; however, an international organization reported some NGO-run shelters do not accept foreign victims. Civil society, NGOs, and government officials reported close collaboration amongst one another in efforts to identify and refer victims to care and assistance.
The government assisted in the repatriation of seven Tanzanian victims and three foreign victims; two of the foreign victims were repatriated to Mozambique and one to South Africa, compared with eight total repatriations in the previous reporting period. The government identified and referred to care and assistance ten Tanzanian additional trafficking victims abroad including one in Uganda, two in Thailand, two in Iraq, and five in Kenya. 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 or temporary stay to any trafficking victims. The government reported it was able to provide assistance to foreign victims, by facilitating travel documents, providing secure passage to a border, and resettling victims to a third country when their return to countries where their safety or that of their families may be endangered.
The government did not report penalizing victims for unlawful acts traffickers forced them to commit; however, due to a lack of formal identification procedures, authorities reportedly deported or detained some unidentified trafficking victims. Observers reported 1,324 Ethiopians, who they believed to show indicators of trafficking, had been arrested and remained in detention for immigration violations; the government did not investigate or screen these cases for trafficking. The government signed an agreement with the Government of Ethiopia to commute the sentences of the detained Ethiopians in order for an international organization to repatriate them with foreign donor funding. The sentences were commuted and the Ethiopians were removed in 14 groups over the course of February and March 2020 through an airline’s assistance. The government also reported that children and adults are frequently incarcerated in the same detention centers, increasing children’s risk for further exploitation and abuse; ATS continued to advocate for changing this policy. The government took proactive measures to restructure ATS to increase the number of staff and its budget allocation. By the end of the reporting period, the government had not allocated funding for the anti-trafficking fund for victim assistance.
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 a crime, including trafficking victims, the option to refuse to participate in prosecution efforts. The government took steps to implement a witness protection program, but by the end of the reporting period, it did not fully implement it, deterring some victims from testifying in court. Victims could testify during trial in private sessions or via video testimony; however, the government did not report victims using private sessions during trial or video testimony to protect trafficking victims’ confidentiality and privacy during the reporting period. The anti-trafficking law entitled victims to restitution from convicted traffickers; however, the government did not report awarding restitution during the reporting period.