Cablegate: Dhrf Solicitation for Fy2004

Published: Mon 9 Feb 2004 05:41 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: STATE 14421
1. Post appreciates receiving FY2003 DHRF funding in the
amount of $70,000. These funds are critical to raising
awareness of human rights concerns and supporting civil
society play a more active role in Mozambique's democratic
consolidation. A status report for FY2002/2003 funds will be
sent septel. For FY 2004, post requests an increase of
$30,000, for total FY2004 funding of $100,000. Increased
funding would focus on the following three areas described
2. A - Elections. In late 2004, Mozambique will hold it's
third multi-party presidential elections since independence
in 1975. The current constitutionally-elected president,
Joaquim Chissano, will step down after having served two
terms. Chissano and the leadership of FRELIMO dominate
policy-making and implementation. Mozambique's second
municipal elections were held on November 19. FRELIMO
dominated the elections, winning 28 out of the country's 33
municipalities. Voter turn-out during the November elections
was low, with less than 28% of registered voters
participating. The principal opposition party, RENAMO, lacks
technical and financial resources; independent and
small-party candidates play an insignificant role. Though the
November municipal elections were generally well administered
and described as free and fair by international and local
observers, a number of outstanding issues will need to be
addressed before the 2004 presidential elections. In
particular, the National Assembly must promulgate a new
electoral law and discrepancies in the voter registration
lists used in the November elections must be addressed.
Priority areas for DHRF funding could include civil education
and outreach for voters and parties, and expanded local
election observation.
3. B- Gender Equality. After years of discussion and months
of parliamentary debate, a new Family Law was passed by the
National Assembly in December. The new law replaces large
portions of the colonial-era Civic Code and brings the law in
line with equality provisions in the constitution. Primary
provisions of the new law include raising the marriage age to
18 for both sexes; eliminating the provision that husbands
are de facto "head of family"; and legalizing civil,
religious and co-habitant based marriages. While the new law
is an important step forward in protecting and promoting
women's rights in Mozambique, domestic violence and
widespread discrimination against women in the workplace and
with regard to property rights remain significant problems.
Key to the effective implementation of the new law will be
educating Mozambicans about the law's provisions. The
Ministry of Women and Social Action Coordination does not
have adequate technical or financial resources to undertake
an education campaign about the law. DHRF grants could be
used to undertake a media and education campaign about the
law's provisions.
4. C- Trafficking in Persons. Mozambique serves as a country
of origin for trafficked women and children. South Africa
serves as the principal receiving country. Poverty, a history
of child migration, weak border controls, and traditional
cultural practices are all factors contributing to
trafficking. Over the past year, there has been increased
attention in the press and among government officials to the
problem of trafficking in persons in Mozambique. President
Chissano acknowledged the reality of trafficking in persons
during his New Year's Day address, and the Attorney General
is currently investigating allegations of trafficking in
children (in the context of organ trafficking) in Nampula
province. In September, the government launched a program of
consultation with civil society on how to enhance the
country's child protection policies, including trafficking in
children. Mozambique does not have anti-trafficking
legislation, though trafficking can be addressed under other
laws. Additional efforts have included the "Campaign Against
Trafficking in Children," launched in 2001, which is aimed at
raising awareness of the issue. Post is currently supporting
several anti-trafficking or related projects through DHRF,
including a series of technical seminars for immigration
officials. Increased DHRF funding could expand on existing
programs by providing greater geographic coverage of programs.
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