What you need to know:
- The government also passed its 2021-2024 National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons and made notable amendments to the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania made significant progress in efforts to combat human trafficking, prompting the US to upgrade the East African nation in this year’s ranking.
The US Department of State places each country onto one of four tiers, based not on the size of a country’s problem but on the extent of government efforts to meet the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA)’s minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.
Tanzania was upgraded to Tier Two in the 2022 Trafficking in Persons report released last week, from the previous period when it was placed in the Tier Two Watch List.
Tier One group includes countries whose governments fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking while Tier Two contains countries whose governments do not fully meet the standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. Tier Two Watch List is composed of countries that do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts while the estimated number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is “very significant or is significantly increasing and the country is not taking proportional concrete actions.”
Tier Three are countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. The governments of these countries may be subject to certain restrictions on foreign assistance, according to the report.
“The United States welcomes the overall progress demonstrated by the government of Tanzania in combatting trafficking in persons compared to previous reporting periods,” said US ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright in a statement.
The 2022 report cited several advancements made by the Tanzanian government including investigating significantly more trafficking cases, convicting more traffickers, identifying more victims, and coordinating with local and international organisations to enhance training for government officials.
The government also passed its 2021-2024 National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons and made notable amendments to the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. “We encourage the government of Tanzania to expand on the good work undertaken over the past year,” said Dr Wright.
“We look forward to further supporting Tanzania in its efforts to combat human trafficking on mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.”
According to him, these efforts would include making tangible progress in the following areas: respecting due process and human rights, seek significant prison terms for convicted traffickers; increase protective services for victim-witnesses participating in the criminal justice process; expand the provision of services to victims in partnership with NGOs; allocate increased financial and personnel resources for the Anti-Trafficking Committee and Anti-Trafficking Secretariat; and adopt and enforce the 2008 anti-trafficking law in Zanzibar.