Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

TANZANIA: Tier 2 Watch List

Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The incidence of internal trafficking is higher than that of transnational trafficking and is usually facilitated by victims’ family members, friends, or intermediaries offering assistance with education or finding employment in urban areas. Some unscrupulous individuals manipulate the traditional practice of child fostering—in which poor children are entrusted into the care of wealthier relatives or respected members of the community—to subject children to forced labor. The exploitation of young girls in domestic servitude continues to be Tanzania’s largest human trafficking problem, though child sex trafficking, particularly along the Kenya-Tanzania border, occurs as well. Girls are exploited in sex trafficking in tourist areas within the country. Boys are subjected to forced labor, primarily on farms—including as farm laborers, cattle herders, and occasionally hunters—but also in mines and quarries, in the informal commercial sector, in factories, in the sex trade, and possibly on small fishing boats operating on the high seas. Smaller numbers of Tanzanian children and adults are subjected to domestic servitude, other forms of forced labor, and sex trafficking—often by other Tanzanians—in other countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Media reports indicate Tanzanian children with physical disabilities are transported to Kenya for forced begging and Tanzanian girls are subjected to sex trafficking in China. Trafficking victims from other countries—typically children from Burundi and Kenya, as well as adults from South Asia and Yemen—are forced to work in Tanzania’s agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors; some are also subjected to sex trafficking. Citizens of neighboring countries may transit Tanzania before being forced into domestic service and prostitution in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. During the reporting period, Nepalese and Indian women were subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking in a Tanzanian casino.

The Government of Tanzania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government allocated a budget to its anti-trafficking committee for the first time and adopted implementing regulations for the 2008 anti-trafficking law, which formally assign anti-trafficking responsibilities to specific ministries. The government also rescued 22 foreign women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking in a Dar es Salaam casino and provided them shelter and care, ensured their safe repatriation, and prosecuted and convicted their trafficker; however, the court sentenced the trafficker to a fine in lieu of prison time—a severely inadequate penalty. Despite these measures, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore, Tanzania is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year. Tanzania was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and it has committed to devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan. For a sixth year, the government failed to allocate funding to a victims’ assistance fund and relied heavily on NGOs to provide victim services.


Increase efforts to enforce the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act by prosecuting trafficking offenses, convicting trafficking offenders, and applying stringent penalties—including jail time—upon conviction; implement the act’s victim protection and prevention provisions, including by allocating resources to the victim assistance fund; implement policies and procedures for government officials to identify and interview potential trafficking victims—including adults—among vulnerable groups proactively and transfer them to local organizations providing care; begin compiling trafficking-specific law enforcement and victim protection data at the national level; contribute government resources to train judges and prosecutors to clarify the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling; provide additional training to law enforcement authorities on the detection and methods of investigating human trafficking crimes; continue to allocate a budget for the anti-trafficking committee and anti-trafficking secretariat to implement the national action plan to combat trafficking; and implement the 2015-2017 national action plan.


The government made limited law enforcement efforts. The 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act outlaws all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of one to 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine, or both. These penalties are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. A provision allowing offenders to pay a fine in lieu of serving prison time is disproportionate to the gravity of the crime and inadequate as a potential deterrent. The government failed to provide comprehensive law enforcement statistics during the reporting period. However, the government reported four investigations, five prosecutions, and one conviction during the reporting period; an increase compared to three investigations in the previous reporting period. Four prosecutions remained pending at the close of the reporting period; details of those cases are unknown. The government penalized one convicted trafficker with a fine of TZS 50 million ($28,900) and required payment of back wages to the 22 victims from Nepal and India subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; this sentence was severely inadequate and not proportionate to the crime. The government integrated a trafficking component into its standard police academy training program for new recruits; approximately 500 recruits received the training during the reporting period. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses; however, general corruption within the judiciary remained an issue.


The government demonstrated a slight increase in efforts to protect victims of trafficking. The government did not collect comprehensive data on the number of victims identified. However, police identified at least 22 adult foreign victims of forced labor and forced prostitution during the reporting period; an increase from 11 victims identified in the previous reporting period. NGOs reported providing services to an additional 54 child victims of labor and sex trafficking. The government did not operate any shelters for trafficking victims and relied on NGOs to provide shelter for victims, though the government provided psychosocial services to victims in shelters, regularly assessed the conditions of the shelters, and required that NGOs send monthly reports to the Department of Social Welfare on shelter operations. However, in one case, police rescued 22 foreign women forced to work as dancers and in prostitution in a local casino without pay. The government placed the women in a guest house, provided them with security and medical care, coordinated with an international organization for additional assistance, and worked with Indian and Nepalese authorities to coordinate their safe repatriation to their home countries.

The newly adopted implementation regulations for the 2008 anti-trafficking law established a number of key protection measures, including guidelines for the identification and referral of trafficking victims to NGO services, allocation of funding for a victims’ assistance fund, and a law enforcement and victim identification database; however, none of these protection measures were fully implemented during the reporting period. New regulations for interviewing potential trafficking victims were only approved in January 2015; therefore the government was unable to ensure victims were not punished for crimes committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking during the reporting period. The 2008 anti-trafficking law provides foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where their safety or the safety of their families may be endangered; all 22 foreign victims identified during the reporting period requested repatriation to their home countries.


The government demonstrated increased efforts to prevent human trafficking. During most of the reporting period, the government lacked funding and the necessary bureaucratic regulations to adequately implement its anti-trafficking efforts. However, in March 2015, the government allocated a budget of TZS 80 million ($46,200) to its anti-trafficking committee for the first time and adopted implementing regulations for the 2008 anti-trafficking law, which formally assign anti-trafficking responsibilities to specific government ministries and make these activities eligible for funding from the national budget. Additionally, in March 2015, the anti-trafficking committee formally adopted a three-year national action plan. Local officials in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar conducted a public awareness campaign across the island through brochures and radio announcements. Immigration officials on the mainland also distributed anti-trafficking brochures at public events in border regions. The government prohibited the promotion of the sex industry, but made no additional discernible efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the reporting period. Tanzanian troops received specialized anti-trafficking training from a foreign donor prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. The government provided anti-trafficking training for its diplomatic personnel.