8 August 2018

Tanzania: State Tightens Control On Job Seekers Abroad

Indiscriminate foreign travels by desperate youth in search of unskilled jobs have been banned.

The government through Immigration Department has outlawed the mass travels by youth, especially girls, most of whom end up in forced labour or sexual exploitation.

The department has announced new arrangements for the job seekers, with those already in employment abroad with valid contracts required to produce copies of their work documents and residence permits from their respective host countries during their visits in the country in case they have to report back to work.

Immigration Spokesperson Ally Mtanda said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the ban spares other citizens travelling abroad for various reasons as long as they have met all the travel requirements.

"The government has banned haphazard travelling abroad to strengthen control, because youth and particularly young girls were ending up in troubles," he said, dismissing as false reports circulating through social networks that Tanzanians have been banned from travelling abroad.

The reports claim that for any Tanzanian living and working abroad will have to produce their work contracts to the Tanzania embassy for stamping and signing.

The reports further alleged that once the person arrived in the country will have to seek clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs and secure a police letter before going to Tanzania Employment Services Agency (TaESA) and pay 100,000/- to get the travel permit.

"All these reports are baseless and they have been fabricated by individuals or groups of people with the intention best known to themselves," he said.

In 2015, the government suspended over 70 recruitment agents for domestic workers following claims that they had been recruiting housemaids to Oman where they have been subjected to gross violation of human rights.

Secretary of the government's Anti-Trafficking Secretariat Seperatus Fella said the government's bold move followed complaints over exploitation in the Middle East.

There are 300 job agencies in Tanzania, according to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Youth Development, with Tanzanian housemaids particularly popular in Oman due to historic links.

"Most of these girls and boys are subjected to commercial sex or work as domestic servants and barmaids, with some sent on forced labour in factories, farms and mines under very poor conditions," Mr Fella said.

In 2016 Tanzanian women and young girls aged between 18 and 24 years were stranded in Far East and Middle East countries to where they were taken with the promise of jobs but upon arrival their passports were confiscated and forced to work as sex slaves.

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