Mozambique - child trafficking case

According to Lurdes Mabunda, head of the Department of Women and Children in the Ministry of Interior, international adoption is being used by human traffickers as a false cover to legally smuggle children out of Mozambique for use in the slavery and sex trades.

Most victims of trafficking in Mozambique came from poor rural areas. “They are easily deceived because of their poverty and they think their children will be given jobs and then take them out of poverty,” she said.

Several cases involving the abuse and exploitation of adopted Mozambican children have come to light in the last few years including at least two cases in which Mozambican children who were adopted into the US were allegedly abused and then abandoned, and a case in which a Mozambican girl was adopted into Germany and then apparently, subsequently "disappeared."  Additionally Mozambican officials recently scuttled the international adoption of a Mozambican child by a Spanish based organization after "'suspicious behavior' was observed."

Mozambican officials are nervous about international adoption, which has been on the rise in Mozambique for the past several years, based both on these cases and the reports of its use by human traffickers.
Date: 2007-01-27
Number of children:
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