Date Published: 
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tanzania: on the 15th September 2016, IOM Tanzania joined the Prime Minister’s Office, Labour, Youth Employment and Persons with Disability (PMO-LYED) in facilitating a workshop on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling as part of a new labour migration project funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF). The workshop was hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which is among project partners

The workshop was organized at the request made by the Labour Commissioner, who is responsible for issuing licences to private employment agencies in Tanzania.

According to ILO estimates, globally, there were 150.3 million migrant workers in 2013 and out these, 83.7 million (55.7%) were men and 66.6 million (44.3%) female. 5.3% of global migrant workers are found in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in terms of economic activities, most migrant workers are engaged in the service industry (106.8 million or 71.1%), followed by the manufacturing and construction industry (26.7 million or 17.8%) and agriculture (16.7 million or 11.1%).

In recent years, the number of cases of Tanzanian migrant workers exploited by unscrupulous traffickers and smugglers has been on the rise, forcing the government to implement several measures including allocating funds to the anti-trafficking committee to enhance its capacity to implement its mandate. The government also adopted the national anti-trafficking in persons action plan (2015-2017) and cancelled licences of 70 recruitment agencies suspected of engaging in activities amounting to human trafficking and smuggling. The Ministry thus joined hands with IOM and ILO and other partners i.e. private employment agencies to step up the response.

The workshop aimed to enhance awareness on human trafficking and migrant smuggling and to ensure that the relevant agencies have the required knowledge to do their part in stopping these forms of exploitation.

Representatives from the government, private employment agencies and the media participated in the workshop.

 “Recruitment agencies have a key role to play in the fight against trafficking in persons. With workshops such as this one, we join together to understand the ways unscrupulous traffickers and migrant work, in order to better be able to protect migrant workers abroad. Protection of migrant workers locally and internationally is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which Tanzania has committed to. One of the goals of the Agenda is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, and in this case, through taking immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking. The Workshop lays the foundation on which private recruitment agencies can form networks to discuss their common agenda”, said IOM Chief of Mission for Tanzania, Dr. Qasim Sufi while commenting on the workshop.

It is expected that the workshop will contribute to the overall efforts of the Government of Tanzania towards reducing trafficking in persons and human smuggling and will encourage the private employment agencies to create and maintain sound database of clients who use their services with the ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of data on migrant workers in Tanzania.

Workshop participants will also be informed about the IOM International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) whose goal is to bring transformative change to part of the recruitment industry pertaining to cross-border recruitment, where the business model is largely based on excessive fee-charging and exploitation of migrant workers. IRIS will do so by setting benchmarks for ethical recruitment and then identifying recruitment intermediaries whose business model and operations are consistent with these benchmarks (the IRIS Code of Conduct).

This will enable likeminded employers to make better informed decisions regarding their procurement of recruitment services and, in turn, create a level playing field that promotes good practice and encourages a labour market free from exploitation and labour abuses.


For further information, please contact Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania. Tel: +255 682 563 796. Email: