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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                      

Kingdom of Swaziland


In this small, landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector has diversified since the mid-1980s. Sugar and wood pulp remain important foreign exchange earners.

With an estimated 40% unemployment rate, Swaziland's need to increase the number and size of small and medium enterprises and attract foreign direct investment is acute. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and sometimes floods persist as problems for the future. More than one-fourth of the population needed emergency food aid in 2006-07 because of drought, and nearly two-fifths of the adult population has been infected by HIV/AIDS.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Swaziland

Swaziland is a source, destination, and transit country for women and children trafficked internally and transnationally for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labor in agriculture. Swazi girls, particularly orphans, are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude in the cities of Mbabane and Manzini, as well as to South Africa and Mozambique. Swazi boys are trafficked for forced labor in commercial agriculture and market vending. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out ta later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Eswatini.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Human trafficking rife in SA

Lebogang Seale, Independent Online (IOL) News, 7 December 2006

[accessed 27 December 2010]

They are promised a better life in South Africa, but instead they are kidnapped, branded and sold into sexual slavery for as little as R380.  Women and children, some as young as 13, are falling prey to syndicates operating in Mozambique and Eswatini, trafficking and smuggling them to South Africa on an unprecedented scale.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 8 July 2020]


Residents have some access to formal employment and economic opportunity, but the majority of the population lives in poverty. Forced labor remains a problem, with some chiefs compelling Swazis, including children, to work in their communities or the king’s fields. Among other forms of child labor, girls are particularly vulnerable to domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Eswatini

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 27 June 2021]


Forced labor occurred almost exclusively in the informal sector, where labor laws applied but were rarely enforced.

Forced labor, including forced child labor, takes place in the sectors of domestic work, agriculture, and market vending.


Children were employed in the informal sector, particularly in domestic services and agricultural work such as livestock herding. This work might involve activities that put at risk their health and safety, such as working long hours, carrying heavy loads, being exposed to pesticides, and working alone in remote areas.

Child domestic servitude was also prevalent, disproportionately affecting girls. Such work could involve long hours of work and could expose children to physical and sexual exploitation by their employer. Children’s exploitation in illicit activities was a problem. Children, particularly in rural areas, grew, manufactured, and sold cannabis.

Human Trafficking Stretches Across the Region

Moyiga Nduru, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Benoni, South Africa, 23 June 2004

[accessed 17 February 2015]

Women from rural China, many of them poorly-educated, are often brought to South Africa, said Martens. The women are flown to Johannesburg, and then taken to Swaziland, Lesotho or Mozambique. They then cross the border back into South Africa - all this in a bid to circumvent airport immigration controls.

Swazi trafficking

James Morrison, The Washington Times, 24 January 2006

[accessed 26 June 2013]

The ambassador from Swaziland said yesterday that the tiny southern African kingdom is victimized by smugglers who sell women into prostitution and children into forced labor.  Ambassador Ephraim M. Hlophe added that his government endorsed the anti-trafficking bill President Bush signed Jan. 10.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: South Africa regional centre for human trafficking

U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Johannesburg, 23 June 2004

[accessed 12 September 2011]

"The women stay in transit houses along South Africa's border with Mozambique and Swaziland for a night, where they are sexually assaulted as an initiation. They are then smuggled into Johannesburg and are kept in safe houses in Soweto and Lenasia until they are sold to brothels in Gauteng or KwaZulu-Natal for R1,000 (about $160)," Martens said. The women are also sold as wives to South African men for R650 (about $104).

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 27 December 2010]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

CHILD LABOR LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT - Forced and bonded labor, including by children, is also prohibited.  Children are protected by law against child pornography and sexual exploitation.  There is no law prohibiting trafficking in persons.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [DOC]

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 29 September 2006

[accessed 18 February 2018]

[61] The Committee notes the brief assessment of child labour that was undertaken in the State party but is concerned about the limited information on measures the State party intends to take, or has undertaken, to prevent and eliminate child labour.

The Protection Project - Swaziland [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING – Young girls have been lured to South Africa from Swaziland for forced prostitution. Trading of emergency food aid for sexual favors has been a problem in Swaziland. Women and children have been told that they must have sex with warehouse managers or truck drivers so they can receive the food aid.


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The law does not prohibit trafficking in persons, and there were reports of trafficking of small numbers of women and girls. Underage Mozambican and Swazi girls reportedly worked as prostitutes in the country or were trafficked to South Africa for domestic work or prostitution. There is no government agency specifically responsible for combating trafficking.

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