Mozambique's first inhabitants were San hunter and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoisani peoples. Between the first and fourth centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from the north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. The Bantu were farmers and ironworkers. When Portuguese explorers reached Mozambique in 1498, Arab trading settlements had existed along the coast and outlying islands for several centuries. From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts became regular ports of call on the new route to the east. Later, traders and prospectors penetrated the interior regions seeking gold and slaves. Although Portuguese influence gradually expanded, its power was limited and exercised through individual settlers who were granted extensive autonomy. As a result, investment lagged while Lisbon devoted itself to the more lucrative trade with India and the Far East and to the colonization of Brazil. By the early 20th century the Portuguese had shifted the administration of much of the country to large private companies, controlled and financed mostly by the British, which established railroad lines to neighboring countries and supplied cheap--often forced-- African labor to the mines and plantations of the nearby British colonies and South Africa. Because policies were designed to benefit white settlers and the Portuguese homeland, little attention was paid to Mozambique's national integration, its economic infrastructure, or the skills of its population. After World War II, while many European nations were granting independence to their colonies, Portugal clung to the concept that Mozambique and other Portuguese possessions were overseas provinces of the mother country, and emigration to the colonies soared. Mozambique's Portuguese population at the time of independence was about 250,000. The drive for Mozambican independence developed apace, and in 1962 several anti-colonial political groups formed the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which initiated an armed campaign against Portuguese colonial rule in September 1964. After 10 years of sporadic warfare and major political changes in Portugal, Mozambique became independent on June 25, 1975. FRELIMO quickly established a one-party Marxist state and outlawed rival political activity.
The last 25 years of Mozambique's history have encapsulated the political developments of the entire 20th century. Portuguese colonialism collapsed in 1974 after a decade of armed struggle, initially led by American-educated Eduardo Mondlane, who was assassinated in 1969. When independence was proclaimed in 1975, the leaders of FRELIMO's military campaign rapidly established a one-party state allied to the Soviet bloc, eliminating political pluralism, religious educational institutions, and the role of traditional authorities.
The new government gave shelter and support to South African (ANC) and Zimbabwean (ZANU) liberation movements while the governments of apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia fostered and financed an armed rebel movement in central Mozambique called the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO). Civil war, sabotage from neighboring states, and economic collapse characterized the first decade of Mozambican independence. Also marking this period were the mass exodus of Portuguese nationals, weak infrastructure, nationalization, and economic mismanagement. During most of the civil war the government was unable to exercise effective control outside of urban areas, many of which were cut off from the capital. An estimated one million Mozambicans perished during the civil war, 1.7 million took refuge in neighboring states, and several million more were internally displaced. In the third FRELIMO party congress in 1983, President Samora Machel conceded the failure of socialism and the need for major political and economic reforms. His death, along with several advisers, in a suspicious plane crash in 1986 interrupted progress.
His successor, Joaquim Chissano, continued the reforms and began peace talks with RENAMO. The new constitution enacted in 1990 provided for a multi-party political system, market-based economy, and free elections. The civil war ended in October 1992 with the Rome General Peace Accords.
By mid-1995 the over 1.7 million Mozambican refugees who had sought asylum in neighboring Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa as a result of war and drought had returned, as part of the largest repatriation witnessed in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, a further estimated 4 million internally displaced returned to their areas of origin.
Under supervision of the ONUMOZ peacekeeping force of the United Nations, peace returned to Mozambique. In 1994 the country held its first democratic elections. Joaquim Chissano was elected president with 53% of the vote, and a 250-member National Assembly was voted in with 129 FRELIMO deputies, 112 RENAMO deputies, and 9 representatives of three smaller parties that formed the Democratic Union (UD). Since its formation in 1994, the National Assembly has made progress in becoming a body increasingly more independent of the executive. By 1999, more than one-half (53%) of the legislation passed originated in the Assembly.
After some delays, in 1998 the country held its first local elections to provide for local representation and some budgetary authority at the municipal level. The principal opposition party, RENAMO, boycotted the local elections, citing flaws in the registration process. Independent slates contested the elections and won seats in municipal assemblies. Turnout was very low.
In the aftermath of the 1998 local elections, the government resolved to make more accommodations to the opposition's procedural concerns for the second round of multiparty national elections in 1999. Working through the National Assembly, the electoral law was rewritten and passed by consensus in December 1998. Financed largely by international partners, a very successful voter registration was conducted from July to September 1999, providing voter registration cards to 85% of the potential electorate (more than 7 million voters).
The second general elections were held December 3-5, 1999, with high voter turnout. International and domestic observers agreed that the voting process was well organized and went smoothly. Both the opposition and observers subsequently cited flaws in the tabulation process that, had they not occurred, would have strengthened the outcome. In the end, however, international and domestic observers concluded that the close result of the vote reflected the will of the people.
President Chissano won the presidency with a margin of 4% points over the RENAMO-Electoral Union coalition candidate, Afonso Dhlakama, and began his 5-year term in January 2000. FRELIMO increased its majority in the National Assembly with 133 out of 250 seats. The RENAMO-UE coalition has 116 seats; there is one independent; no third parties are represented.
The opposition coalition did not accept the National Election Commission's results of the presidential vote and filed a formal complaint to the Supreme Court. One month after the voting, the court dismissed the opposition's challenge and validated the election results. The opposition did not file a complaint about the results of the legislative vote.
At independence in 1975, Mozambique was one of the world's poorest countries. Socialist mismanagement and a brutal civil war from 1977-92 exacerbated the situation. In 1988, the government embarked on a series of dramatic macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy and reduce government participation. These steps combined with the political stability that has prevailed since the 1994 multi-party elections have led to dramatic improvements in the country's growth rate fueled by foreign and domestic investments and donor assistance. Inflation was brought to single digits during the same period, although it has returned to double digits in 2000 and 2001. Foreign exchange rates have remained relatively stable. Fiscal reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government's revenue collection abilities. In spite of these gains, Mozambique remains dependent upon foreign assistance for much of its annual budget, and the majority of the population remains below the poverty line. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country's workforce. A substantial trade imbalance persists, although it has diminished with the opening of the MOZAL aluminum smelter, the country's largest foreign investment project. Additional investment projects in titanium extraction/processing and garment manufacturing should further close the import/export gap. Mozambique's once substantial foreign debt has been reduced through forgiveness and rescheduling under the IMF's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC initiatives, and is now at a manageable level.
The country is very poor; its population was an estimated 17 million according to the 1997 census. Approximately 80 percent of the population were employed in agriculture, mostly on a subsistence level, and approximately 75 percent of the population lived in poverty. The gross domestic product (GDP) was approximately $4.84 billion in 2001, an increase of 14.8 percent from 2000. The economy and the government budget remained heavily dependent on foreign aid. Annual per capita income was $245. High unemployment and underemployment in the formal and informal sectors continued. Corruption continued to be a problem in the public and private sectors. Economic indicators for the second half of 2001 and the first half of the year showed some strengthening of the economy.
Religions of Mozambique include indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, and Muslim 20%.
INCIDENCE OF CRIME
Mozambique has provided data neither for United Nations nor INTERPOL surveys of crime; however, an estimate of crime is given in the United States State Department's Consular Information Sheet. The State Department sheet reports that overland travel in Mozambique after dark is extremely dangerous due to poor road conditions, lack of emergency services, and the increased potential for vehicle hijacking. Official Americans serving in Mozambique are prohibited from overland travel outside Maputo's city limits after dark and are encouraged to travel in convoys of two or more vehicles when outside of the city during daylight hours. Police checkpoints are common and police officers frequently harass foreigners. The biggest threat facing U.S. citizens visiting Mozambique is violent crime. Street crimes, including muggings, purse snatching, and pick-pocketing, are common, both in Maputo and secondary cities. While violent crimes against foreigners remain relatively infrequent, Americans have been victims of shootings and vehicle hijackings in the past year. In isolated areas, such as along the Marginal in Maputo (the area along the sea), joggers and pedestrians frequently have been mugged there, even during daylight hours.
The forces responsible for internal security under the Ministry of Interior include: The Criminal Investigation Police (PIC), the Mozambican National Police (PRM), and the Rapid Intervention Police (PIR). The State Information and Security Service (SISE) reported directly to the President. The military continued to suffer from lack of funds and a long-term strategy. Many former military personnel of various ranks worked in other government security forces. The PIC, PRM, and PIR legally were under the control of the civilian Government; however, at times local police acted in contravention of the guidelines established by the civilian authorities. The political opposition claimed that the PIR operated in support of the ruling party. Members of the security forces committed numerous serious human rights abuses.
In year 2002, there continued to be reports of unlawful killings by security forces. For example, in February police officer Bernardo Parafino shot and killed Gildo Gerente, who was handcuffed, after attempting to flee from police. Reportedly Gerente did not have a valid driver's license and was driving his mother's vehicle without permission. The police force expelled Parafino, and he was detained on charges of murder.
The Constitution expressly prohibits such practices; however, the police continued to commit serious abuses, and torture, beatings, death threats, physical and mental abuse, and extortion remained problems. During the year 2002, the LDH reported complaints of torture, including several instances involving the sexual abuse of women, beating, illegal detention, and death threats. In September the LDH reported that the number of reported abuses had declined again during the year.
The Constitution prohibits such actions, and the Government generally respected these prohibitions in practice. By law police need a warrant to enter homes and businesses.
The Constitution provides that the duration of investigative detention be set by law; however, the police continued arbitrarily to arrest and detain citizens in practice. Under the law, the maximum length of investigative detention is 48 hours, during which time a detainee has the right to have judicial authorities review his case, after which he can be detained up to another 60 days while the case is investigated by the PIC. In cases where a person is accused of a very serious crime carrying a sentence of more than 8 years, he may be detained up to 84 days without being charged formally. If a court approves, such detainees may be held for two more periods of 84 days each without charge while the police complete the investigative process. The law provides that if the prescribed period for investigation has been completed, and no charges have been brought, the detainee must be released. In many cases, the authorities either were unaware of these regulations or ignored them, often also ignoring a detainee's constitutional right to counsel and to contact relatives or friends.
The media reported and many persons complained that security officials often detained them for spurious reasons and demanded identification documents; many officers also extorted bribes to permit persons to continue their travel. Many victims lived in areas where there was no notary public available to validate their documents. Many victims chose not to seek police assistance because of their usual demand for bribes or a lack of confidence that the police would help.
Most citizens also were unaware of the rights provided by the Constitution, the law, and the Penal Process Code. As a result, detainees could spend many weeks, months, and even years in pretrial status. The bail system remained poorly defined, and prisoners, their families, and NGOs continued to complain that police and prison officials demanded bribes to release prisoners. Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports that police detained journalists.
In 2000 police detained 457 RENAMO members and supporters during more than 60 rallies and marches to protest the outcome of the 1999 elections; there were reports that police beat and tortured detainees in custody. FRELIMO and RENAMO established a working group to examine, among other matters, the cases of the detained demonstrators; the bipartisan working group on the demonstrations was disbanded in April 2001 when RENAMO leader Dhlakama withdrew from the RENAMO-Government dialog process. The parliamentary commission investigating the 2000 demonstrations completed its work in September 2001; however, the release of the report was postponed indefinitely. Under the Penal Process Code, only persons caught in the act of committing a crime can be held in detention. Justice Ministry officials noted that some police lacked adequate training and did not know how to charge a person properly. A detainee could be subjected to indefinite detention. In 2000 the Government created an interministerial review committee to continue the process of reviewing the cases of detainees who had served their time or were in detention illegally, and the committee periodically reviewed the status of detainees throughout the country to prevent unnecessary detentions. During the year 2002, ANASCOPRI reported that one minor was released as a result of this review committee. Drug cases were subject to a special regime. The law specifies that the legal period of investigative detention in drug trafficking cases is 10 days. The same law authorizes a long period of investigation--up to 9 months--in cases involving drug smuggling, drug production and transfer, and criminal association. The Constitution prohibits exile, and the Government did not use forced exile.
The legal system of Mozambique is based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law. The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary; however the executive, and by extension the FRELIMO party, continued to dominate the judiciary, which is understaffed and manned by inadequately trained appointees. The DHD report on human rights conditions released in June 2001 and this year's draft report specifically emphasized problems of the judiciary.
The President appoints the president and vice president of the highest tribunal, the Supreme Court. Supreme Court nominations initially are prepared by the Higher Judicial Magistrate's Council (CSMJ), the body responsible for overseeing professional behavior among magistrates, then a list of qualified persons for the Supreme Court is submitted to the President. CSMJ members are elected by their peers, four are elected by the National Assembly and two are appointed by the President; members tended to be either FRELIMO members or FRELIMO-affiliated. No Assembly approval is needed for other judicial appointments, which are also appointed by the President.
There are two complementary formal justice systems: The civil/criminal system and the military system. Civilians are not under the jurisdiction of, or tried in, military courts. The law empowers the Supreme Court to administer the civil/criminal system; the court also hears appeals, including military cases, although the Ministry of National Defense administers the military courts. Below the Supreme Court there are provincial and district courts. There also are courts that exercise limited, specialized jurisdiction, such as the administrative court and customs court. Although the Constitution permits the establishment of a fiscal court, maritime court, and labor court, none have been established. The Constitution called for the creation of a constitutional court, but the Government has not yet passed implementing legislation. In the absence of this body, the Supreme Court is tasked with ruling on issues of constitutionality, as it did when assessing the eligibility of presidential candidates for the 1999 general elections. Persons 16 years and younger fall under the jurisdiction of a court system for minors. Through this legal channel, the Government can send minors to correctional, educational, or other institutions. As with the provincial and district courts, the specialized and minor court systems were ineffective due to a lack of qualified professionals.
Outside the formal court system, a number of local customary courts and traditional authorities adjudicated matters such as estate and divorce cases. These courts were staffed by respected local arbiters who had no formal training but who exercised a substantial judicial and executive role, particularly in the area of arbitration. Persons accused of crimes against the Government were tried publicly in regular civilian courts under standard criminal judicial procedures. The law provides definitions of crimes against the state, such as treason, terrorism, and sabotage. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over members of Parliament and other persons who are immune from trial in the lower courts.
A judge may order a closed trial because of national security interests or to protect the privacy of the plaintiff in cases concerning sexual assault.
In regular courts, all accused persons in principle are presumed innocent and have the right to legal counsel and the right of appeal; however, authorities did not always respect these rights. The great majority of the population either was unaware of these rights or did not possess the means to obtain any form of legal counsel. Although the law specifically provides for public defenders, such assistance generally was not available in practice, particularly in rural areas. Some NGOs, such as the LDH, the Government's National Institute for Legal Assistance, and the Mozambican Association of Women in Judicial Careers, continued to offer limited legal counsel at little or no cost to both defendants and prisoners.
A lack of licensed attorneys exacerbated the judicial system's weakness. There were an estimated 240 licensed attorneys in the country; the vast majority worked in Maputo. The number of law school programs at public and private universities continued to increase. There continued to be a shortage of qualified judicial personnel, with only 163 judges nationwide. There are appeals courts in all provinces, but few of these courts were staffed by formally trained judges, despite the fact that the law requires a law degree. Some districts had no formal courts or judges at all.
DANIDA, a Danish NGO, worked with the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court on judicial legislation, as well as funding physical rehabilitation of courts throughout the provinces. During the year 2002, the UNDP worked with LDH on legal reform and the training of prison personnel in proper procedures when handling prisoners.
Justice Mangaze presided over the CSMJ, which has expelled 27 judges for corruption since 1995. During the year, the CSMJ initiated disciplinary actions, which may include expulsion, against eight judges. A law allows for faster implementation of CSMJ decisions affecting judges who appeal charges of misconduct, thus removing them from the bench more swiftly. Bribe-taking, chronic absenteeism, unequal treatment, and deliberate delays and omissions in handling cases continued to be problems during the year 2002.
The Penal Process Code contains legal guidelines for the judicial treatment of minors and forbids the imprisonment of minors below the age of 16; however, there were documented reports that some judges ordered the incarceration of minors in common prisons without trial and that minors under the age of 16 were housed with adults in the general population. In most areas of the country, it is difficult to assess accurately age because the information was not well documented and many persons do not have identification cards. There were no confirmed reports of political prisoners; however, RENAMO continued to claim that all persons held in connection with the 2000 nationwide demonstrations were political prisoners, and continued to consider those convicted and sentenced also to be political prisoners.
As of year 2002, prison conditions in most of the country were extremely harsh and life threatening. Most prisoners received only one meal per day, consisting of beans and flour. It has been customary for families to bring food to prisoners; however, there were sporadic reports that guards demanded bribes in return for allowing the delivery of food to the prisoners.
Prison facilities remained severely overcrowded, generally housing four to six times the number of prisoners that they were built to accommodate. During the year, the National Association for the Support and Protection of Prisoners (ANASCOPRI), a domestic NGO, stated that Beira Central Prison held 705 inmates in a prison built to hold 400; Manica held 608 in a prison built to hold 200; and Tete held 540 in a prison built to hold 150. Inhambane Provincial Prison held 199 in a prison built to hold 99; Nampula held 724 in a prison built for 100; Cabo Delgado held 338 in a prison built for 100; Gaza held 222 in a prison built for 100; Niassa held 356 in a prison built for 100; and Zambezia held 446 in a prison built for 150. Maputo Central Prison, built to hold 800 inmates, held 2,450 inmates. However, the Maputo Machava Maximum Security Prison, with a capacity of 600, held considerably less than that. Approximately 4,465 detainees were held in jails and prisons administered by the Ministry of Justice during the year 2002, and approximately 2,681 sentenced prisoners were incarcerated. The Ministry of Interior did not provide any data on the number of prisoners held in their two facilities by year's end. There continued to be many deaths in prison, the vast majority due to illness and disease.
Two National Directorates of Prisons (DNPs), one under the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the other under the Ministry of Interior (MOI), operated prisons in all the provincial capitals. The DNPs also hold prisoners at an agricultural penitentiary in Mabalane and industrial penitentiaries in Nampula and Maputo. In MOI facilities, detainees who have not yet been charged were held with prisoners sentenced for serious offenses that specify maximum security. Detainees who have not been charged usually were held for longer periods than the 48 hours permitted under the law. In MOJ facilities, detainees who have been charged but not yet tried are held with prisoners who have been tried and sentenced to prison for relatively minor cases where moderate security imprisonment was deemed sufficient. Pretrial detainees usually were held for several months before trial, and delays of more than 1 year were common. MOI and MOJ facilities, while separate, often were connected physically. Military and civilian prisoners were held in the same prisons.
Women were held in separate areas of prisons from men. At times prisons house young children, usually infants, brought there by mothers sentenced for long periods; the children were allowed to stay with their mothers when no other caregivers were available. Minors were incarcerated with adult inmates; however, there were fewer reports of minors held in detention than in previous years. According to a study by the MOJ and the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) in 2001, approximately 3 percent of prisoners were between the ages of 13 and 15, and more than 39 percent of prisoners were between the ages of 16 and 20.
International as well as domestic human rights groups may have access to prisoners at the discretion of the MOJ and MOI; however, officials sometimes cited unsanitary conditions or security risks as reasons to delay or cancel visits. During the year, the LDH visited several jails and prisons in the Maputo area and in the provinces. ANASCOPRI also conducted several prison visits during the year, despite a lack of funding to carry out such programs. The LDH stated that while prison access and conditions had improved, the overall level of treatment was poor. The access of priests and imams into the prisons improved, and prisoners were able to practice their faith while incarcerated. During the year, the Government invited the LDH to conduct training for prison monitors who were expected to be in charge of finding out the legal needs of detainees. Dr. Cauio of the Bar Association stated that, during prison visits this year, there was an unacceptable level of overcrowding and most prisoners received only one meal per day.
Although official statistics were not kept, according to health officials, women's groups, and other sources, domestic violence against women--particularly spousal rape and beating--was widespread. Many women believed that their spouses had the right to beat them, and cultural pressures discouraged women from taking legal action against abusive spouses. There is no law that defines domestic violence as a crime; however, laws prohibiting rape, battery, and assault can be used to prosecute domestic violence. During the year 2002, All Against Violence (TCV), an NGO, registered 893 cases of domestic violence, and 16 of these cases were prosecuted.
A group of women's NGOs lobbied members of the National Assembly during the year to criminalize domestic violence. In addition, the Government worked within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to increase female participation in legislatures. Hospitals usually did not attribute evidence of physical abuse to domestic violence. A group of women's NGOs, including Women in Law and Development, Mozambican Women in Education, Women in Judicial Careers, and the FRELIMO-sponsored Mozambican Women's Organization, support the organization TCV, which serves as a monitoring and educational group for problems of domestic violence and sexual abuse of women and children, including counseling of victims and mediating within families. The organization continued to expand during the year. All NGOs actively opposing domestic violence worked to involve police in education, enforcement, and identifying domestic violence as a criminal problem. Local NGOs reported that rape was a widespread and serious problem. Sexual harassment was regarded as pervasive in business, government, and education, although no formal data existed. Prostitution was widespread in most cities and towns and especially was prevalent along major transportation corridors and border towns where long-distance truckers stayed overnight.
Despite constitutional provisions for the equality of men and women in all aspects of political, economic, social, and cultural life, the civil and commercial legal codes contradict one another and the Constitution. Under the law of the Family and Inheritance, the husband or father is the head of household, and both wives and daughters must obtain male approval for all legal undertakings. For example, a woman must have the written approval of her husband, father, or closest male relative in order to start a business. Without such approval, a woman cannot lease property, obtain a loan, or contract for goods and services. The legal domicile of a married woman is her husband's house, and she may work outside the home only with the express consent of her husband. While it appeared that these legal restrictions on women's freedom were not enforced, they left women open to extortion and other pressures.
Family law provides that a married couple's assets belong to the husband, who has full authority to decide on their disposition. When a husband dies, his widow is only fourth in line (after sons, father, and brothers) to inherit the household goods. A contradictory provision of the law states that a widow is entitled to one-half of those goods that are acquired during the marriage, but in practice women rarely knew of or demanded this right. Customary law varied within the country. In some places, it appeared to provide women less protection than family law, and unless a marriage is registered, a woman has no recourse to the judicial branch for enforcement of the rights provided her by the civil codes. Women were the primary cultivators of family land in the country. Under customary law, they often have no rights to the disposition of the land. The law specifically permits women to exercise rights over community land held through customary rights. Anecdotal evidence indicated that the land law had only a minimal effect on women's rights; the law appeared to formalize existing practice. However, domestic NGOs such as the Rural Women's Development Association and Rural Mutual Assistance Association have cautioned that much time and education would be necessary before the new rights granted to women would supersede traditional practice. The Constitution grants citizenship to the foreign-born wife of a male citizen, but not to the foreign-born husband of a female citizen.
Women continued to experience economic discrimination in practice. Women constituted slightly more than half the population but were responsible for two-thirds of economic production. Women in the workplace received lower pay than men for the same work. According to parliamentarians who debated the proposed revision of the law, women were subject to sexual harassment and to discrimination in hiring because of potential absences on maternity leave; although the Labor Law entitles a woman to 60 days of maternity leave, employers often violated this right. The Government continued to target maternal and child health problems and focused on immunizations for women of childbearing age and for young children. The estimated maternal mortality rate was 1,100 per 100,000, a significant improvement over 2001. Numerous development organizations and health-oriented NGOs also emphasized programs to improve women's health and increasingly focused resources on combating the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.
The law permits the entry of women into the military; however, there were few women in the armed forces, and the highest ranking woman in the army was a major. In 2000 the military began to recruit women for the first time since the institution of the compulsory service law, and of the 93 women registered, 20 to 30 were selected to undergo military training. However, due to a lack of facilities to accommodate male and female training, the female recruits did not receive military training by year's end and are unlikely to do so in the near future.
The Government has made children's rights and welfare a priority, but admitted that there were some significant problems. Primary education was free; however, a matriculation fee was charged for each child, which was a significant financial burden for many families, and children were required to purchase books and school supplies. Primary education was compulsory through the fifth year; however, there were few educational facilities, which limited enrollment. A few new primary schools opened during the year 2002 throughout the country; however, schools were overcrowded, and there was much corruption in the school system. Newspapers frequently reported that the parents of school children had to bribe teachers or officials to enroll their children in school, and that girls exchanged or were forced to exchange sex with teachers for passing grades. The 1997 census estimated that approximately 50 percent of children ages 6 through 10 were in primary school; however, only a fraction of children continued with secondary studies.
Girls continued to have less access to education than boys above the primary level: 42 percent of students in grades 1 through 5 were girls, and 40 percent of students in grades 6 through 10 were girls. The percentage increased to 48 percent for grades 11 and 12. However, there were only 105 public secondary schools nationwide, of which only 23 offered classes through grade 12. Approximately 76 percent of females over 15 years of age were illiterate. Outside the main cities where there were fewer secondary schools, and where boarding was required for attendance, the number of female students dropped significantly. Unlike in previous years, there were no reports that girls were forcibly expelled from school dormitories. An NGO, the Association to Support Mozambican Children (ASEM), operated 2 alternative-learning centers in Beira for more than 900 children who were not able to return to their regular schools after being expelled from their homes or because they had left school to work.
During the year 2002, the Government continued a vaccine initiative and a program to manage childhood illnesses. It was estimated that 55 percent of child deaths in the country resulted from malnutrition or related illnesses. Due largely to the work of some 10 NGOs concerned with helping street children in 2001, the number of street children was estimated to be approximately 400 in the Maputo metropolitan area, compared with 3,000 in previous years. Street children sometimes were beaten by police and frequently were victims of sexual abuse. Some remedial government programs continued, including programs on education, information dissemination, health care, and family reunification. The mortality rate for infants was 126 per 1,000, and for children under the age of 5 it was 201 per 1,000. The Maputo City Women and Social Action Coordination Office continued its program of rescuing abandoned orphans and assisting single mothers who head families of three or more persons. The same group offered special classes to children of broken homes in local schools. Other NGO groups sponsored food, shelter, and education programs in all major cities. ASEM, in Beira, also provided counseling to parents who had expelled children from their homes, which usually happened when a wife has children who were unacceptable to a new husband.
Child prostitution remained a problem.There were reports that children in rural areas were used to settle financial and other disputes. Families delegated the children to work for limited periods of time to settle debts.
TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
There are no specific laws that prohibit trafficking in persons, and there were reports of trafficking in persons. Trafficking can be addressed under labor, immigration, and child welfare laws. The law does not provide specifically an age of sexual consent; however, offering or procuring of prostitution and pornography of any form, including that of children, were illegal under the Penal Code. Sexual abuse of a child under 16 also was illegal under the Penal Code. Exploitation of children below the age of 15 continued, and child prostitution remained a problem. However, authorities in several provinces took steps to combat child prostitution. Child prostitution appeared to be most prevalent in Maputo and Beira, and at border towns and overnight stopping points along key transportation routes. There was no evidence that it exists in other rural areas. Child prostitution reportedly was growing in the Maputo, Beira, and Nacala areas, which have highly mobile populations and a large number of transport workers. According to the Child Network, a domestic NGO, some members of the U.N. peacekeeping force that was in the country between 1992 and 1994 may have initiated child prostitution in Manica Province. In addition, many child prostitutes have been infected with HIV/AIDS.
In Sofala province, where child prostitution existed along the Beira development corridor (frequented by truck drivers and businessmen), the Government operated information centers in affected areas to provide information to families and friends of children who were raped and exploited, and counseled them on how to deal with the police, public prosecutors, and judges. To address child prostitution, a 1999 law prohibits the access of minors to bars and clubs; however, the Government did not have adequate resources to enforce the law effectively. In 2000 the Ministry of Women and Coordination of Social Action launched a campaign against the sexual exploitation of children and was working to educate hotels about the problem of child prostitution. The UNDP assisted the Government with training police to aid child prostitutes; however, there was a lack of accommodation centers, and the Government was unable to offer safe shelter to child prostitutes when they were removed from danger.
Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports that children were trafficked to South Africa and Swaziland for prostitution. Many citizens working illegally in South Africa and Swaziland were subject to abuses there. Children's advocates reported that there were indications that a small number of children were trafficked to South Africa and Swaziland for prostitution; however, there were no confirmed cases during the year. Unlike in previous years, there were no reports that women were lured into South Africa by international organized crime syndicates with the promise of jobs and decent wages, and then forced to work as prostitutes. The LDH investigated a case of a 17-year-old girl kidnaped by her neighbors in late 2000 and taken to South Africa for unknown purposes. She was held for 2 months in the Johannesburg area, and may have been abused sexually. The girl was freed by police; the perpetrators were held briefly then released due to lack of enough evidence to prosecute. The Government has not devoted resources to combat trafficking, and there was no specific protection offered by either the Government or NGOs for trafficking victims. The Government did not take any specific actions to combat trafficking during the year.
The issues of illegal narcotics and drug trafficking are steadily gaining prominence in the minds of high-level Mozambican decision-makers in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government. This increased awareness regarding drug-related issues is due to highly publicized incidents such as drug seizures at several Mozambican ports and signs of increased use of illegal substances, especially mandrax and marijuana, not only by the youths of the financial elite in Mozambique but also among the thousands of "street children" throughout the country. Mozambique's ability to detect, interdict, and deter narcotics trafficking within its borders is nearly nonexistent. Law enforcement and security entities are poorly trained and equipped, and susceptible to corruption due to their extremely low salaries. Further, Mozambique's "narcotics police" are not a specially trained force, but merely a small group of police officers who are currently incapable of meaningful drug investigations or interdiction operations. Mozambique is a party to the 1988 United Nations Drug Convention. Mozambique's National Assembly passed anti-narcotics legislation in March 1997, a law which established basic judicial regulations and criminal penalties regarding the trafficking and use of narcotics. In addition, the assembly is currently drafting anti-money laundering legislation. The USG has assisted this effort by sponsoring a successful seminar for members of the Assembly in April 1998, which featured participation by major USG agencies dealing with money laundering. Problems with enforcement: In a poor country like Mozambique, there are some very fundamental problems with corruption and, as a result, with narcotics law enforcement:
In a case involving 12 tons of hashish seized in the coastal district of Quissange in the northern province of Cabo Delgado in August 1997, there are reports that some of the suspects arrested have been released on bail and may escape prosecution.
In September 1995, one Pakistani and nine Indian citizens were arrested for manufacturing large amounts of Mandrax. Subsequently, in November 1997, the assistant attorney general who was investigating the case was shot three times in front of his home. No suspects have been arrested. In May 1995, 40 tons of hashish were seized by Mozambican police authorities. Since that date, a major suspect in the case has been reportedly released from custody. We have no evidence that any of this hashish was destined for the United States. The case against the perpetrators is apparently stalled. Mozambique receives narcotics-related assistance from the USG, and from other international donors, for example: The Italian government has agreed to fund counternarcotics training for customs and police personnel under the auspices of the UN International Drug Control Program (UNDCP). The government of Ireland is also interested in funding another UNDCP program related to training of police personnel and equipping of laboratories for forensic analysis purposes. France has also financed a two-year program to equip and train a special unit of narcotics police that concluded in December 1998. The Spanish government is also funding in-country training (conducted by a thirty-two member Guardia Civil unit) for six hundred Mozambican policemen. In FY98 the USG provided funds for the National Assembly to conduct a seminar on developing money laundering and asset forfeiture legislation. The course was extremely well attended by members of the Assembly, personnel from the ministries of Justice, Interior and Foreign Affairs, and received very favorable press coverage.
There is evidence that unknown quantities of cocaine are smuggled through Namibia to markets in South Africa. Most shipments of cocaine transiting Namibia originate in Brazil and are shipped to Angola. Once in Angola, drugs are shipped across Namibia by bus or car for markets in South Africa. The number of seizures at bus terminals throughout Namibia corroborates this fact.
Internet research assisted by Joshua Daguman and Heng Hear