ANGOLA (Tier 2 Watch List)
Angola is a country of origin for women and children trafficked internally for the purpose of domestic servitude and young men trafficked for the purpose of forced agricultural labor. Women and children, primarily, are trafficked to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, and Portugal. Young boys are trafficked to Namibia to herd cattle. Children are also forced to act as couriers in cross-border trade between Namibia and Angola as part of a scheme to skirt import fees. Traffickers successfully targeted children and adults, usually women, from poorer families, who enter into work agreements with relatives or contacts in other cities or provinces that subsequently prove to be coerced and exploitive. Unaccompanied migrant children are highly vulnerable to trafficking; trafficking victims have been found among them.
The Government of Angola does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these overall significant efforts, the Government of Angola has not investigated, prosecuted, or convicted any trafficking offenders; therefore, Angola is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. Interagency cooperation on trafficking issues increased, however, as have the government’s efforts to raise the public’s awareness of the dangers of trafficking.
Recommendations for Angola: Enact laws to prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking in persons; increase the capacity of law enforcement officials to identify and protect victims; systematically collect data on offenses, victims, and prosecutions; and report on these activities.
The Government of Angola made inadequate efforts to address human trafficking through law enforcement means over the last year. Official data on criminal prosecutions and convictions during the last year was not made available, although information from other sources indicates that law enforcement agents arrested six people for suspected trafficking-related activity near the border. Angola does not have a comprehensive law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, which constrained its anti-trafficking efforts. Draft revisions to the Penal Code, which would criminalize trafficking of children for commercial sex or forced labor, were not finalized. No draft amendments would specifically prohibit trafficking adults. Provisions in the constitution and other laws prohibiting forced and bonded labor, rape, prostitution, pornography, kidnapping, and illegal entry could be used to prosecute trafficking cases. Penalties of up to eight years’ imprisonment for such crimes are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. In December 2008, the Ministry of Interior, in partnership with IOM, conducted several training seminars for counter-trafficking investigators and agents from the Directorate of National Criminal Investigations, the Frontier Guard, and the Migration and Immigrant Service. In consultation with NGOs, the government continued to work on an anti-trafficking National Action Plan.
The Angolan government continued to rely heavily upon religious, civil society, and international organizations to protect and assist victims of trafficking over the past year. The government’s National Children’s Council worked with UNICEF to develop Child Protection Networks (CPNs), which serve as SOS Centers for trafficking victims between the ages of 9 and 16. The CPNs offered rescue services, health, legal and social assistance, and family reunification. No information was available about the number of victims assisted at the CPNs. Government personnel refer victims over the age of 16 to shelters and services provided by the Angolan Association for Women, an NGO that receives government support. There is no formal system to identify victims of trafficking among high-risk populations. Past campaigns to raise awareness and periodic training by the IOM improved officials’ capacity to identify victims but was not effectively put into practice. Under Angolan law, victims of sex trafficking may bring criminal charges against their traffickers, but may not seek compensation. The law did, however, provide for compensation to victims of forced or bonded labor. Current laws did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Current laws also penalized victims for offenses committed as a direct result of being trafficked.
The Angolan government made modest efforts to prevent trafficking during the past year. The government did not record data on trafficking, nor did it systemically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts. The government strengthened immigration controls at border posts, although restricted resources did not allow full implementation of planned border security improvements. To prevent child trafficking, the Immigration Service operated selected border and internal checkpoints to screen children for proper documentation. Six mobile provincial teams from the National Children’s Council continued to conduct spot checks of suspected child trafficking routes by stopping vehicles transporting children to check identity cards, determine the adults’ relationship to the children, and ascertain whether parents had given permission for the children to travel. Trafficking awareness was highlighted as part of a broad campaign to protect children. As part of this program, government statements against child prostitution and abuse of childrens' rights appeared frequently in national media. In partnership with the IOM, the Ministry of the Interior organized a series of counter-trafficking training seminars that gained significant attention throughout the country. The government made no visible effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Angola has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.