The government maintained anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, as amended, criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking. During the reporting period, the law was amended to increase penalties for trafficking offenses and remove the option of a fine in lieu of imprisonment. The law prescribed punishments of 20 to 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine between 50 million to 100 million Tanzania shilling (TZS) ($21,470 to $42,940) for offenses involving adult victims and a minimum of 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine between 50 million to 100 million TZS ($21,470 to $42,940) for those involving child victims. These penalties were sufficiently stringent, and with regard to sex trafficking, commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as kidnapping.
The government did not maintain a centralized law enforcement data collection system on trafficking crimes, hindering its ability to disaggregate national human trafficking statistics and likely resulting in underreported anti-trafficking statistics. The government investigated 12 trafficking cases, compared with 113 investigations during the previous reporting period and 19 in 2020. The government initiated six prosecutions involving nine alleged traffickers under the 2008 anti-trafficking law, compared with seven prosecutions involving 18 alleged traffickers in the previous reporting period. Officials reported prosecuting alleged traffickers for cases involving internal and transnational trafficking. The government did not convict any traffickers, compared with 13 convictions in the previous reporting period and three in 2020. The government did not disaggregate data to distinguish between sex and labor trafficking cases. Officials reported resource and capacity limitations, including a lack of vehicles and evidence gathering technology, impeded their ability to comprehensively investigate trafficking crimes, particularly outside urban areas. Prosecutors and judges continued to rely on in-person victim testimony and regularly dropped cases or acquitted defendants due to a lack of evidence, as victims often chose not to participate in court proceedings due to the lack of available victim-witness assistance.
The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees complicit in human trafficking crimes; however, corruption and official complicity in trafficking crimes remained significant concerns, inhibiting law enforcement action. Although not explicitly reported as human trafficking, the UN reported five new allegations submitted in 2022 of alleged sexual exploitation with trafficking indicators by Tanzanian peacekeepers deployed to the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN investigations into the allegations were pending at the end of the reporting period, and the government had not yet reported accountability actions taken, if any. Investigations and accountability actions also remained pending for similar allegations reported in previous years, including two in 2021 and two in 2020.
In July 2022, the government, in partnership with foreign donors, established the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Task Force (AHTCPTF) in the Office of the Director of the Public Prosecutions (DPP) to act as a specialized unit focused on human trafficking and crimes against children. The government dedicated 27 staff, including members of ATS, police officers, prosecutors, immigration officials, and social welfare officers to the AHTCPTF. During the reporting period, ATS supported the establishment of an anti-trafficking working group (ATWG) in the country’s North Western Zone to increase coordination of trafficking cases. The ATWG included resident magistrates, police officers, immigration officers, social welfare officers, prosecutors, and labor officers from the Geita, Kagera, Katavi, Kigoma, Shinyanga, and Tabora regions. The government, both independently and in partnership with international organizations, local NGOs, and foreign governments, trained police officers, immigration officials, prosecutors, magistrates, social welfare officers, labor officers, prison wardens, and airline personnel on anti-trafficking laws, trafficking trends and vulnerabilities, victim-centered investigations and prosecutions, and victim identification. Despite these trainings, observers reported officials continued to misidentify and prosecute potential trafficking crimes as migrant smuggling or kidnapping. The DPP continued to collaborate with the Governments of Malawi and Mozambique on potential trafficking cases through informal border enforcement coordination arrangements and mutual legal assistance activities. The DPP facilitated evidence collection in an ongoing trafficking case involving a Tanzanian citizen in Mozambique.