TANZANIA: Tier 2 Watch List

The Government of Tanzania does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. These efforts included increasing funding for the anti-trafficking committee to implement the national action plan and allocating resources to the victim assistance fund. The government identified more victims and referred them to shelter services; it also repatriated Tanzanian and foreign victims. However, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period, even considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, if any, on its anti-trafficking capacity. The government did not amend its law to remove sentencing provisions that allow fines in lieu of imprisonment for sex trafficking crimes unlike other grave crimes. Courts convicted fewer traffickers and did not impose penalties that were sufficiently stringent. The government continued to lack formal victim identification and protection mechanisms and a victim witness protection program and, consequently, penalized victims and compromised their safety. The government did not investigate nor prosecute fraudulent labor recruitment companies, nor did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Because the government has devoted sufficient resources to a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards, Tanzania was granted a waiver per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3. Therefore Tanzania remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year.

Fully implement the provisions of the 2008 anti-trafficking law, as outlined in the implementing regulations and the national action plan. • Continue to develop and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) for victim identification and referral to services and train officials on SOPs, especially to identify vulnerable populations including impoverished and orphaned children, Tanzanians migrating for work abroad, Burundian refugees, North Korean workers, Chinese workers, and Cuban medical professionals. • Amend the 2008 anti-trafficking law to remove sentencing provisions that allow fines in lieu of imprisonment and align the procedural law pertaining to trafficking-related arrests within the act with the requirements for other serious crimes. • While respecting due process of law and human rights, increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders, including complicit officials, and impose adequate penalties in accordance with the law. • Institutionalize the use of a national centralized anti-trafficking data collection and reporting tool and increase information sharing. • Increase funding and resources for the Anti-Trafficking Committee (ATC) and Anti-Trafficking Secretariat (ATS) to combat trafficking. • Draft, adopt, and allocate resources to implement a new national action plan to combat trafficking. • Implement and enforce strong regulations and oversight of labor recruitment companies, including investigating and prosecuting fraudulent labor recruitment. • Increase migrant worker protections by eliminating recruitment fees charged to migrant workers; increasing employer security deposits, minimum salaries, and pre-departure training for migrant workers; establishing a mutually enforceable standard contract, a complaints mechanism for returning workers, and a public blacklist of abusive employers; and requiring exit interviews and embassy approval of residency permits of migrant workers. • Expand anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns to families, schools, and community leaders. • Implement a systematic victim-witness support program.

The government maintained mixed 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 5 million and 100 million Tanzania shilling (TZS) ($2,160 to $43,220), or both for offenses involving adult victims, and 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine between 5 million and 150 million TZS ($2,160 to $64,820), or both for those involving child victims. These penalties were sufficiently stringent but, with regard to sex trafficking, by allowing a fine in lieu of imprisonment, the penalties were not commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Anti-Trafficking Secretariat drafted an amendment to the 2008 anti-trafficking law; Parliament had not yet reviewed the amendment by the end of the reporting period. The 2008 anti-trafficking law contained a separate procedural provision that required police to obtain a warrant before making a trafficking-related arrest; this provision created a higher threshold for law enforcement that does not exist for other similarly serious crimes, which may hinder prosecution efforts.

The government did not maintain a centralized law enforcement data system on trafficking crimes, hindering the government’s ability to disaggregate national human trafficking statistics. The government investigated 19 trafficking cases and arrested 21 suspected traffickers during the reporting period, compared with investigation of 17 cases during the previous reporting period. The government initiated 18 prosecutions involving 18 alleged defendants and convicted three traffickers under the 2008 anti-trafficking law; compared with 18 prosecutions and eight convictions in the previous period. One perpetrator received a three-year prison sentence for child sex trafficking, one perpetrator received a fine of 10 million TZS ($4,320) in lieu of imprisonment for child sex trafficking, and one perpetrator received a conditional release instead of a prison sentence for attempting to exploit a child, possibly in labor trafficking. The sentence of a conditional release and the fine in lieu of imprisonment were inadequate and did not reflect the seriousness of the respective crimes. In December 2020, a local court arraigned a Somali Tanzanian citizen for allegedly trafficking six Burundian women to Saudi Arabia for domestic servitude; the case was ongoing at the end of the reporting period. Zanzibar, an autonomous state, had yet to adopt the 2008 anti-trafficking law and did not report law enforcement statistics at the end of the reporting period. Zanzibar police were not trained on trafficking investigations and communities in Zanzibar generally addressed potential trafficking cases without seeking law enforcement intervention. Corruption within the judicial system and official complicity in trafficking crimes remained significant concerns and inhibited law enforcement action during the year. The government arrested five police officers and initiated investigations for complicity in human trafficking compared to zero investigations during the previous reporting period; the cases remained ongoing at the end of the reporting period.

Although the government did not maintain a national database on human trafficking crimes, the government reported collaborating with NGOs to compile law enforcement data. Authorities in police, immigration, and the prosecution office provided monthly reports on human trafficking crimes to ATS. The government continued to provide support for human trafficking modules in ATS training curricula, used by law enforcement and other stakeholders, but the government did not report how many new police recruits received this training during the reporting period. The government collaborated with the Government of Mozambique to collect evidence for their investigation of a human trafficking case involving a Tanzanian defendant. In collaboration with the Government of Botswana, the government arranged travel for three Tanzanian witnesses to testify against alleged Tanzanian perpetrators in a child trafficking case in Botswana.

The government increased protection efforts. The implementing regulations of the 2008 anti-trafficking law 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, it did not fully implement the procedures. The government reported identifying 165 potential trafficking victims, compared with 161 victims during the previous reporting period. The government referred all of these potential victims to either NGO-run shelters or government-vetted and trained host families for assistance during the reporting period, compared to only 28 during the previous reporting period. Of the 165 identified and referred victims, 145 were female, 20 were male, 139 children, and 26 were adults; this compares to 159 females, two males, one adult, and nine unknown identified and referred victims during the previous reporting period. In January 2021, the government identified, referred to care, and reintegrated into their home communities 38 disabled victims exploited in forced begging in Dar es Salaam. Separately, ATS reported reintegrating 42 child trafficking victims with their families. In 2020, the government finalized and launched the National Guidelines for Safe Houses. The guidelines established standards for safe houses, which could provide shelter for trafficking victims, and codified a joint plan to create and run government-operated shelters, offered guidelines for screening shelter residents for trafficking indicators, and provided for protection of human trafficking case files. The 2008 anti-trafficking law mandated the government provide victims with psychosocial counseling, family tracing and reunification, and temporary shelter; the government reported providing case management and services to victims it referred during the reporting period. The 2008 anti-trafficking law additionally mandated the government to provide a central repository of funds for victim protection support. In 2020, the government officially authorized adoption and implementation of the Anti-Trafficking Fund, which was approved in 2019; the government authorized ATS to oversee and manage the fund. However, the government did not report the number of victims that received support from the fund during the reporting period.

The government coordinated information sharing between ATS and the Department of Social Welfare; often social welfare officers worked closely with police and designated gender desk officers to address issues that impact women and to identify and refer victims to assistance. 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, eight government-vetted shelters continued to operate in the country. Children’s shelters provided access to government schools, vocational training, and separate accommodation for boys and girls. The government maintained referral agreements with vetted NGOs that managed shelters and 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. The government allowed foreign victims the same access to assistance, counseling, medical care, and training as domestic victims; however, an international organization reported some NGO-run shelters did not accept foreign victims. Civil society, NGOs, and government officials reported close collaboration in efforts to identify and refer victims to care and assistance.

The government repatriated two Tanzanian victims from abroad, one identified in Malaysia and the other in Iraq, during the reporting period; this is compared to 10 total repatriations in the previous reporting period. The government additionally collaborated with foreign governments and international organizations to facilitate the return of 21 Burundian victims identified en route to the Middle East and one Mozambican girl exploited in Tanzania. An international organization reported identifying 243 Burundian child victims in Tanzanian refugee camps and facilitated their return to Burundi. The 2008 anti-trafficking law provided 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 trafficking victims. The government provided assistance to foreign victims by facilitating travel documents and providing secure passage to borders. The government did not report penalizing victims for unlawful acts their traffickers forced them to commit; however, due to a lack of formal identification procedures, authorities reportedly deported, detained, and arrested some foreign human trafficking victims for working in the commercial sex industry and for immigration violations. NGOs and religious organizations reported authorities frequently incarcerated children and adults in the same detention centers, increasing children’s risk of exploitation and abuse. The government did not make efforts to screen for victims among refugee, asylum-seeking, and children, despite their vulnerability to trafficking.

Victims typically testified in trafficking cases, but the Whistle Blowers and Witness Protection Act of 2015 and the 2008 anti-trafficking law gave any victim of a crime, including trafficking victims, the option to refuse to participate in prosecution efforts. The government did not implement the witness protection program for trafficking victims initiated in the previous reporting period, 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 these options 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.

The government minimally increased efforts to prevent trafficking. The government allocated more funding for ATS, the working-level national anti-trafficking coordinating body, from 100.5 million TZS ($43,430) in 2019 to 120.3 million TZS ($51,990) in 2020. Observers reported the increased funding was beneficial, but insufficient for ATS to undertake all of its anti-trafficking activities. ATC, the government entity responsible for the oversight and direction of ATS, had a mandate to meet quarterly but only met once during the reporting period due to insufficient funds. The government did not report continuing to implement efforts, begun in the previous reporting period, to restructure ATS and ATC and to expand the anti-trafficking roles of other government agencies to more effectively combat trafficking. In 2020, the Department of Social Welfare created a new position to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts among social welfare officers. In collaboration with the Government of Japan and an international organization, the government dedicated resources to immigration commissioners to monitor known traffickers, including labor traffickers in the fishing industry. Additionally, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and the Office of the Prime Minister allocated 2.1 billion TZS ($907,520) to counter illegal fishing and drug and human trafficking in the Indian Ocean and the country’s lakes. The Department of Social Welfare, ATS, the Mwanza Police Gender Desk, and NGOs developed and mobilized a task force in Mwanza to identify child trafficking victims among street children. Local governments in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, Tabora, and Zanzibar formed task forces to increase local information-sharing on trafficking cases.

The government implemented some aspects of its 2018-2021 national action plan. The government collaborated with international organizations, NGOs, and civil society to draft a new national action plan; however, it remained pending at the end of the reporting period. The government collaborated with an international organization to organize three high-profile awareness raising events on human trafficking in Dodoma and Zanzibar. Activities included media campaigns on radio and television, a national dialogue on human trafficking, and high-level meetings with relevant stakeholders to discuss collaboration to combat human trafficking. ATS continued to partner with NGOs to facilitate and provide in-kind support for trainings for 400 teachers, community development officers, police officers, social welfare officers, immigration officers, religious leaders, and representatives from local government on trafficking trends in the region and victim identification in refugee camps. The Department of Social Welfare collaborated with the Ministry of Education to include human trafficking awareness modules in school clubs nationwide. The government continued to fund and publicize a national hotline operated by a local NGO to report child abuse, including child trafficking. In 2020, the government expanded the hotline to receive calls on sexual exploitation and accommodated both Kiswahili and English. The hotline identified 35 victims of human trafficking and 49 child forced labor cases.

Government agencies in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar performed periodic inspections of large employers in an effort to detect cases of forced labor, but they did not report identifying any such cases during the reporting period. During the reporting period, the government did not report pursuing any investigations or prosecutions for fraudulent labor recruitment. To reduce the vulnerability of street children to traffickers, the government set aside 2 million TZS ($864) to facilitate the identification of potential child victims and their referral to assistance. In 2020, the government identified, referred to assistance, and reintegrated 67 children with their families; however, the government did not report the number of children that were identified as child trafficking victims.

The government did not report efforts to implement migrant worker protections, such as additional bilateral labor agreements with destination countries, a comprehensive labor migration law, pre-departure and vocational skills training, and funding for labor attachés at diplomatic missions abroad. The government reportedly had a bilateral labor agreement with Qatar but did not report implementing the agreement or signing any new agreements with other destination countries. The government continued to require Tanzanians to have valid passports and labor contracts with salary, leave, and health care provisions to obtain the necessary training certificate, a letter of permission, and an exit permit to migrate for work. The government continued to suspend the issuance of travel documents to departing Tanzanian migrant workers who could not provide a relevant training certificate for the overseas job; this step may have increased their vulnerability to trafficking when some subsequently chose to migrate through unregulated ways. The Companies Act of 2002 required recruitment agencies to be registered and licensed, and the government required recruitment agencies to provide migrant workers with training on worker rights and destination countries’ laws prior to departure. Tanzanian embassies abroad continued to require employers to submit security deposits to the embassy to ensure that the employer would present the migrant worker upon arrival, so the embassy could verify that the worker arrived and possessed the proper documentation, including contract and passport. However, the government continued to report that in practice, recruitment agencies were not providing pre-departure training to migrant workers and an NGO previously argued the deposit amount was too small and an insufficient incentive for employers to present migrant workers upon arrival to the Tanzanian embassy. Observers continued to report ongoing challenges faced by migrant workers, including that Tanzanian contracts were often different from the destination country contract and usually not enforceable, sometimes migrant workers paid recruitment fees, there was no “blacklist” available for migrant workers to avoid previously abusive employers, and recruitment agencies operating in Tanzania would sometimes use “sub-agents,” thereby skirting the registration requirements. The government continued to lack a complaint mechanism for returning migrant workers. While the government continued to provide anti-trafficking training to its diplomatic personnel, it did not always train the staff at foreign embassies to identify and assist trafficking victims. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Tanzania, and traffickers exploit victims from Tanzania abroad. Traffickers often dupe family members, friends, or intermediaries into aiding traffickers’ in their exploitative tactics by fraudulently offering assistance with education, offering better living conditions, or securing employment in urban areas and abroad. The government reported that brokers sometimes enter communities to recruit and transport victims into trafficking situations. Impoverished and orphaned children from the rural interior, children with disabilities, and Burundian and Congolese refugees and migrants remain most at risk to trafficking. Traffickers exploit girls in domestic servitude throughout the country and in sex trafficking, particularly in tourist hubs along the border with Kenya. Women, children, internally displaced persons, and migrants may have been victims of forced labor or sex trafficking, Cuban medical workers working in Tanzania may have been forced to work by the Chinese and Cuban government, and Chinese nationals may have been forced to work by their employers, including Chinese state-owned enterprises. An NGO stated that traffickers target young girls from rural and impoverished villages, pay their parents a small fee, and coerce the girls into sex trafficking, specifically targeting business people. Traffickers subject children to forced labor on farms—including as cattle herders and occasionally as hunters—in gold and gemstone mines and quarries, the informal commercial sector, and on fishing vessels operating in Tanzanian and international waters. Some unscrupulous individuals manipulate the traditional practice of child fostering—in which poor parents entrust their children into the care of wealthier relatives or respected community members—and subject children to forced labor as domestic workers. Some women and girls travel to Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania with promises of marriage or good jobs and then are forced to work as farm laborers.

Tanzanian fishermen work on fishing vessels with indicators of human trafficking. In 2017, an NGO reported 14 Indonesian trafficking victims were identified aboard a Malaysian-flagged fishing vessel and in 2018, another NGO reported that 12 Tanzanian trafficking victims were identified aboard a Chinese-flagged fishing vessel, both in Tanzanian territorial waters. Previous media reports indicate traffickers transported Tanzanian children with physical disabilities to Kenya and forced them to work as beggars or in massage parlors. In 2018, the Kenyan government identified 29 female Tanzanian potential victims in Kenya; the girls were to be taken to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to pay for their transportation fees with a kidney.

Traffickers sometimes subject Tanzanians to forced labor, including in domestic service, and sex trafficking in other African countries, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the United States. Observers reported traffickers and their victims increasingly transited Zanzibar en route for forced domestic service in Oman and the UAE. Observers reported Ethiopian migrants and victims transit through Tanzania en route to South Africa. Observers also reported Burundian victims are increasingly transiting Dar es Salaam en route to Oman, UAE, and Kenya. Citizens of neighboring countries may transit Tanzania before traffickers subject them to domestic servitude or sex trafficking in Kenya, South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Children from Burundi and Rwanda are increasingly subjected to child forced labor in Tanzania. Trafficking victims subjected to forced labor in Tabora were reportedly from rural areas of Kigoma—a region that hosts refugee camps and settlements. In 2019, North Koreans working in Tanzania may have been forced to work by the North Korean government.

U.S. Department of State

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