Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide. Forced labor, sexual exploitation, and debt bondage are the most common reasons for this crime. Human trafficking happens in every country, even developed ones like the United States. Trafficking is modern-day slavery and affects women and girls disproportionately. About 71 % of Human Trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls.
Status of Human Trafficking In Tanzania
Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. Boys are trafficked within the country for forced labour on farms, in mines, and in the informal business sector. Tanzanian girls from rural areas are trafficked to urban centres and the island of Zanzibar for domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation; some domestic workers fleeing abusive employers fall prey to forced prostitution.Tanzanian children and adults are reportedly trafficked to other countries including Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy and China. Trafficked children from Burundi and Kenya, as well as adults from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Yemen, are trafficked for forced labour in Tanzania's mining, agricultural and domestic service sectors, and are sometimes also subjected to sex trafficking.
Forms of Human Trafficking in Tanzania.
Human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Tanzania, and traffickers exploit victims from Tanzania abroad. Traffickers exploit men, women, children, and individuals from underserved communities—particularly impoverished children, orphans, and children with disabilities from rural areas—in forced labour in domestic work, mining, agriculture, and forced begging and in sex trafficking in urban cities, such as Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Mbeya, and Mwanza. Traffickers may exploit children in sex trafficking, including child sex tourism, in Zanzibar. Traffickers and brokers often fraudulently promise family members, friends, or intermediaries to provide their children with education, better living conditions, or employment, but instead they exploit them in forced labour and sex trafficking. Some unscrupulous individuals manipulate the traditional practice of child fostering—in which parents entrust their children into the care of wealthier relatives or respected community members—and exploit children in domestic servitude. Traffickers often promise Tanzanian women and girls marriage, education, or employment in Zanzibar, facilitate their travel from the mainland, and subsequently exploit them in forced labor in domestic work and farming.
Efforts against Human Trafficking in Tanzania
According to the 2022 Trafficking in persons Report on Tanzania by the US Department of State, Tanzania is classified as a Tier 2 country, that is the Government of Tanzania does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. Some of the efforts include the government of Tanzania has fully established and allocated funds for the Anti-Trafficking funds and allocating more funds for anti-trafficking programs led by the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat.
However, Tanzania’s recent efforts have been disappointing compared to those of previous years. Charges and punishments have remained light for traffickers compared to perpetrators of other major crimes. Many traffickers are not convicted, and if they are, their punishments are fines and short prison sentences. The country has not implemented victim identification or protection programs, leaving victims vulnerable to further exploitation. Tanzania has also made no recent efforts toward investigating fraudulent labor groups or commercial sex acts.
Hope for the future
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act involves many measures to protect victims with the support of trained workers. Trained workers will be able to identify the country’s more vulnerable populations, including orphans and impoverished children. In line with a Tanzanian anti-trafficking law from 2008, identified victims of human trafficking in Tanzania also receive professional counseling and a place to stay for the period immediately after their escape from a trafficking situation.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act also involves more investigation of traffickers and corrupt systems. It will increase the likelihood of proper punishment for traffickers and will replace small fines with larger penalties befitting the seriousness of the crime. Tanzania saw great improvements in its trafficking situation before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, giving hope for the upcoming reporting periods.