The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001.  Please see www.state.gov for material released since President George W. Bush took office on that date.  This site is not updated so external links may no longer function.  Contact us with any questions about finding information.

NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Department Seal

flag
bar


TITLE:  ANGOLA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993
DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

                             ANGOLA


Throughout 1993 the Government of the Republic of Angola and 
the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) 
remained embroiled in a brutal civil war.  A partial cease-fire 
took hold during October, permitting the delivery of food and 
medical supplies to some interior towns.  Twice during the year 
the Government and UNITA initiated negotiations under the 
auspices of the United Nations (U.N.); at year's end these 
negotiations were continuing.  UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi, 
claimed that the governing party, the Popular Movement for the 
Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by President Jose Eduardo dos 
Santos, engaged in massive fraud during the multiparty 
presidential elections in September 1992, with the result that 
the UNITA candidate, Savimbi, was deprived of victory.  The 
United Nations did not accept the UNITA allegation and declared 
the elections generally free and fair.

Setting the stage for the renewed fighting in 1993 was the 
failure to complete, prior to the September 1992 elections, the 
demobilization process and the formation of the new national 
army called for in the 1991 Bicesse Peace Accords.  While 
government military forces demobilized quickly in the 
expectation of a lasting peace, UNITA elements remained 
prepared for rapid mobilization and had access to arms never 
surrendered during the demobilization process.  As a result, 
UNITA forces were able to occupy large parts of the country 
with little effective opposition by the Government.  Attempts 
to counter UNITA advances required the Government virtually to 
recreate and rearm its military organization.  In the interim 
the Government relied heavily on its antiriot police and arming 
the urban populace for combat roles.  The result has been a 
bloody and inconclusive war.  Through most of 1993, UNITA 
controlled most of the national territory, including the 
diamond mines of Lunda Norte province, which it used to finance 
its operations.

The majority of the population lived in or migrated to the 
parts of the country that remained in government hands.

Angola has great economic potential with extensive petroleum 
and diamond reserves, rich agricultural land, and hydroelectric 
potential, but faces severe macroeconomic distortions resulting 
from the war and misguided economic policy.  Territory under 
government control suffered from hyperinflation, scarcity of 
consumer goods, massive unemployment and underemployment, and 
continuing pervasive corruption in 1993.  Subsistence 
agriculture, traditionally the main source of income for the 
majority of Angola's approximately 10 million citizens, was 
severely affected by war-related damage, including heavy use of 
land mines by both the Government and UNITA.

Human rights in Angola deteriorated in 1993 in the face of 
heightened civil war brutalities and the absence of government 
and UNITA actions to curb egregious violations of humanitarian 
law.  Media, eyewitness, and international community reports 
indicated that UNITA forces, government military, and internal 
security forces flagrantly disregarded fundamental humanitarian 
values in their treatment of prisoners of war, their 
extrajudicial killings of unarmed civilians, including women, 
children and the elderly, and their impediments to delivery of 
humanitarian assistance to civilians in dire need.

The Government detained prisoners accused of political and 
other crimes for indeterminate periods of time under inhumane 
conditions and without due process of law, according to a 
persuasive report published by the Human Rights Subcommittee of 
the National Assembly.  UNITA held foreign hostages in Jamba, 
Huambo, and other areas under its control.  The media published 
credible allegations of UNITA "ethnic cleansing" in Uige 
Province bordering Zaire.  There were substantiated reports of 
government reprisals against Zairians resident in Luanda 
suburbs, as well as "cleansing" during military operations.

Despite the overall deterioriation in the human rights 
situation, there were a few isolated improvements.  Throughout 
the year the Government continued to release political 
prisoners.  The Government permitted the International 
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit UNITA prisoners in 
all but one facility.  The electronic and print media were 
increasingly free to criticize human rights infractions.


RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and other Extrajudicial Killing

Journalists credibly reported that government forces brutally 
interrogated and killed suspected UNITA sympathizers in 
Benguela Province.  Eyewitnesses reported that police in Huila 
Province killed unarmed civilians indiscriminately.  In a wave 
of violence in January, police and armed civilians targeted 
suspected UNITA supporters who "disappeared" or were killed.  
As the war continued, common criminal violence became 
indistinguishable from political violence.  Fighting between 
members of the military and police and among military, police, 
and bandits in a large open air market on the outskirts of 
Luanda regularly resulted in fatalities.

Media and eyewitness reports noted that UNITA forces ambushed a 
civilian train in Huila Province in May, resulting in a large 
number of casualties.  The first 140 victims, mainly women and 
young children, were buried in a mass grave at the site of the 
attack.  Many more died en route to or at the hospital in 
Lubango.  In August UNITA soldiers attacked three trucks that 
had left a World Food Program humanitarian relief convoy and 
killed three truckers.  Subsequently, a policeman was killed as 
he examined the booby-trapped corpse of one of the truckers.  
The following month eyewitnesses reported that UNITA forces 
killed and disemboweled unarmed civilians in Bengo Province.

     b.  Disappearance

Both government and UNITA officials reported incidents of 
abduction and disappearance.  The Government accused UNITA of 
abducting and killing civilians.

A considerable number of UNITA adherents remained missing from 
January conflicts in Huila and Namibe Provinces.  The ICRC 
indicated that despite government cooperation, efforts to trace 
the missing failed because UNITA discouraged family members 
from revealing information to the ICRC.  The bodies of some of 
the missing were reportedly burned.

In 1993 the Government allowed the ICRC to visit all UNITA 
prisoners throughout the country with the exception of the 19 
people held in the "Laboratorio" in Luanda from mid-March to 
mid-May.  The Laboratorio was known as the Ministry of 
Interior's high-security interrogation facility where torture 
was allegedly used.

The Government, with financial support from international 
nongovernmental organizations, employed the mass media and 
provincial government resources to search for family members of 
orphans and abandoned children.


     c.  Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

The Government and the National Assembly Subcommittee on Human 
Rights acknowledged that conditions in Angola's prisons were 
inhuman.  Many prisons, lacking financial support from the 
Government, are unable to supply prisoners with food and 
medicine, and prisoners are thus forced to depend on 
international relief organizations and their families and 
friends.  The Government allowed subcommittee personnel, as 
well as the ICRC, access to all prisons except the Laboratorio 
in Luanda.

According to credible reports government personnel tortured 
detainees at the Laboratorio, holding them incommunicado for 
months with a daily ration of two spoons of rice and one half 
liter of dirty water.  If interrogators were not satisfied with 
the information they were being given, detainees were taken 
unclothed to a cement cell, approximately the size of a large 
telephone booth with no windows, and for 10 minutes at a time 
subjected to electric shocks.  Reportedly, at the end of these 
sessions they could not see, stand, or walk unassisted for 
several hours.  There were credible eyewitness reports of the 
debilitated physical and mental condition of UNITA members upon 
their release from that facility.

In January there were credible reports that UNITA forces in 
Uige mutilated unarmed civilians.

In March accounts emerged, reinforced by a video tape, of an 
incident at Huambo where government forces were accused of 
using a shield of women and children hostages to cover their 
retreat.  Government sources claim that the women and children 
accompanying the government forces had sought their protection.

In September first-hand media accounts reported that government 
forces in Benguela Province beat and shot UNITA prisoners in 
the legs and feet so that they would not run away.

Also, in September Portuguese television alleged that armed 
elements of a faction of the Enclave of Cabinda Liberation 
Front (FLEC), a separatist group in Cabinda Province, had cut 
off ears, noses, and lips of unarmed civilians.


     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

In 1993 the Government mandated the transfer of the judicial 
process and prison system portfolios from the Interior Ministry 
to the Justice Ministry, but the law was not scheduled to be 
implemented until 1994.  During 1993 the Interior Ministry 
systematically, arbitrarily, and secretly detained individuals 
for all categories of crime, without trial, for indeterminate 
periods of time.  Detainees had no rights.  Persons detained in 
the Laboratorio were held incommunicado.

In January the ICRC reported that there were 1,100 known UNITA 
sympathizers under government detention in Luanda.  They had 
all been released by the end of the year and reintegrated into 
Angolan society.

At mid-year UNITA held 287 known prisoners in the north; no 
statistics were available for late in the year.  Throughout the 
first half of 1993, UNITA prevented the evacuation from Huambo 
and other UNITA-held areas of more than 400 foreigners trapped 
by renewed fighting.  These hostages had all been released by 
year's end.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

In October 1991, the Code for Penal Process was amended to 
bring Angola's judicial system in line with international 
norms; it guarantees a public trial, establishes a system of 
bail, and recognizes the accused's right to counsel and to 
testify.

The court system is comprised of municipal and provincial 
courts (the latter under the authority of the Ministry of 
Justice) of original jurisdiction and a Supreme Court at the 
appellate level.  Although the 1992 Law on Constitutional 
Revision speaks of an independent judiciary, as does the 1991 
amended Constitution, the President of the Republic appoints 
the Supreme Court judges (for life terms), and no National 
Assembly confirmation is required.  Despite legal safeguards 
provided by law, significant shortcomings in the administration 
of justice persisted in 1993 and the Interior Ministry 
frequently did not respect due process of law in its arrest and 
detention procedures. 

Municipal courts normally deal with summary cases on a daily 
basis.  Judges are normally respected laymen, not licensed 
lawyers.  Provincial courts, under the authority of the 
Ministry of Justice, are located in the 18 provincial 
capitals.  Judges are nominated by the Supreme Court and 
attorneys general by the Attorney General of the Republic.  
Cases are divided into four categories: criminal, civil and 
administrative, family, and labor.

The judge and two laymen selected by the court are to act as 
jury.  Normally cases are dispatched by a court within 3 
months.  The verdict is to be pronounced the day following the 
conclusion of the trial, in the presence of the defendant.

The Supreme Court has a total of 16 judges, all of whom are 
appointed by the President of the Republic upon recommendation 
by the Association of Magistrates.  In 1993 only 9 of the 16 
positions were filled.  Cases are divided into two categories: 
criminal, and civil and administrative.

A person caught in the act of a crime can be arrested and 
detained immediately.  Otherwise, arrests are supposed to be 
made openly, with a warrant signed by a judge or a provincial 
attorney general.  Following arrest, the attorney general is 
supposed to release to the public the grounds for arrest before 
forwarding a case for trail.  The prosecuting attorney and 
defense attorney have a maximum of 90 days to prepare a case.  
Detainees are to be allowed prompt access to family members and 
a lawyer.

In 1993 the Interior Ministry failed to respect due process of 
law in its arrest and detention procedures.  Although the 1992 
Law on Constitutional Revision calls for an independent 
judiciary and a constitutional tribunal, this tribunal has not 
yet been established.  Both the Ministry of Justice and the 
National Assembly called for modernizing laws and enshrining 
basic legal rights, but practice has not yet caught up with 
these intentions.

There is no evidence that UNITA has set up a judicial system 
responsive to international judicial norms.  

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

There were no known specific complaints about arbitrary 
interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence.  
However, it was widely thought that the Government continued 
surveillance of certain categories of people, such as the UNITA 
National Assembly deputies.


     g.  Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian 
         Law in Internal Conflicts

UNITA forces continued to attack and capture municipalities 
throughout the country in 1993, destroying infrastructure, 
including dams, bridges, electrical pylons, orphanages, 
schools, hospitals, and medical facilities.

In January the oil town of Soyo changed hands several times but 
ultimately fell under UNITA's control.  In March UNITA, after 
55 days of siege, expelled government forces from Huambo, 
Angola's second largest city.  The death toll in this battle 
was estimated at 15,000, mostly civilians.  Government forces 
were able to retake much of Benguela, Huila, and Bengo 
Provinces in August.

There were credible allegations that both the Government and 
UNITA engaged in indiscriminate killing of civilians and 
summary executions of prisoners of war.  Both sides impeded 
provision of emergency relief supplies and assistance by the 
ICRC, nongovernmental voluntary organizations, and United 
Nations agencies.  In UNITA-held Huambo, CARE International 
officials, visiting in June, described looting of supplies and 
confiscation of equipment by UNITA officials.  In March UNITA 
sacked an orphanage outside Luanda.  In August UNITA attacked a 
World Food Program convoy.  As many as 30,000 people died 
during UNITA's siege of the city of Cuito, including 30 to 40 
children each day who died of malnutrition.  UNITA allowed only 
Portuguese and other foreigners to leave Cuito in September, 
and continued to prevent local residents from fleeing.

More than 20,000 Angolans have suffered amputation due to land 
mines.  Credible sources including eyewitnesses reported that 
both sides conscripted young teenagers into military service 
(see also Section 1.c.).

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Angola's 1991 Constitution provides for freedom of expression, 
which was largely respected in 1993.  Although the Government 
continues to own the press, there were editorials, articles, 
and cartoons critical of the Government's prosecution of the 
war and its failure to respond to Angola's worsening economic 
and social crises.  Opinions of political opposition leaders, 
businesspeople, and National Assembly deputies critical of the 
Government on issues such as human rights also routinely 
appeared on national radio and television.

Foreign journalists register with the Government Press Center 
for access to officials and are permitted travel within Angola, 
although at times the conflict made this difficult.  Both the 
Government and UNITA invited journalists to planned press 
events and to visit areas under their control.

The Angolan Journalists Union (SJA) alleged in 1993 that the 
Government continued to restrict press freedom, including 
access to controversial public figures.  The SJA also accused 
the Government of blocking its attempts to gain information on 
the murder of two Angolan journalists in Lobito in May.  The 
results of the police investigation had not been made public at 
year's end.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution guarantees the right of peaceful assembly and 
association, provided a 3-day notice is given to the 
authorities.  In 1993, however, the war, increased violent 
crime, and a precarious security situation in urban areas 
discouraged normal civic assembly and association activities.  
There were no known violations of the right of assembly by the 
authorities.

Regulations allow the Government to deny required registration 
to private associations on security grounds.  There were no 
known instances of such denials in 1993.

UNITA did not tolerate traditional assembly and association in 
areas under its control.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

Religion plays an important role in Angolan society; some 85 
percent of the population is either Roman Catholic or 
Protestant; the rest is animist.  There is separation of church 
and state.  Freedom of religion is provided for in the 
Constitution and is accorded in practice.  All religious sects 
are welcome in Angola, and links may be maintained with 
coreligionists in other countries.


     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The civil war inhibited freedom of movement within the 
country.  However, according to U.N. statistics, over a million 
people escaped to government-controlled territory from the 
interior just ahead of UNITA's advancing troops.  At the end of 
1993, there were reportedly 2 million displaced persons who had 
fled from warfare in the countryside.  However, wartime 
conditions prevented physical access to many areas of the 
country by humanitarian organizations and a precise number of 
persons severely affected by the war remained unavailable.

Citizens have the right to change residence and workplace, but 
the scarcity of habitable dwellings as well as the massive 
unemployment and underemployment effectively impeded most 
voluntary changes.

The Government denied permission to travel abroad to UNITA 
National Assembly deputies following the defection of the first 
two well-known UNITA personalities who were authorized to 
depart Angola.  The Government made it difficult for other 
opposition party members to travel abroad during legislative 
recess by limiting their access to requisite foreign exchange.  
MPLA deputies had access to foreign exchange at favorable rates.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

The Angolan people for the first time exercised their 
constitutional right to change their government through 
peaceful means in the October 1992 presidential elections.  The 
17-year civil war resumed in late October 1992 when UNITA 
rejected the election results.  A second round of presidential 
elections was postponed indefinitely.  The resumption of the 
war slowed the democratization process significantly.  
Consequently, and despite the elections, governmental power 
remained in the hands of a small MPLA elite.

Guidelines for local government elections, scheduled to take 
place 2 years after democratic presidential and legislative 
elections, were elaborated and placed before the Council of 
Ministers.  However, the Council did not act on the guidelines 
because of the war.

The National Assembly consists of 130 deputies elected on a 
national basis and 90 elected to represent the provinces.  The 
MPLA-dominated Assembly was active during 1993, convoking 
members of the Government publicly to explain policies on a 
wide range of issues, including human rights and the economy.  
The Assembly passed, and the President promulgated, laws on 
human rights, the judicial system, military service, ethics and 
conduct of Assembly deputies, and national defense.

Women occupied 32 of the 220 National Assembly seats.  One of 
the nine Supreme Court judges is a woman.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

Because UNITA controlled most of Angola's national territory, 
the Government had little influence on investigations of human 
rights abuses in most of the country.

There were no functioning Angolan nongovernmental human rights 
associations or groups.  The two national human rights groups, 
the Angolan Human Rights Nucleus and the Angolan Human Rights 
Association, were inactive in 1993 due to inexperienced 
leadership and financial difficulties.

A newly established Human Rights Subcommittee in the 
MPLA-dominated Parliament was active.  Representatives from 11 
opposition parties participated in National Assembly debate.  
The Attorney General and Justice Minister were called to 
testify before the National Assembly eight times on human 
rights issues.

The Government allowed the ICRC and members of the Human Rights 
Subcommittee of the National Assembly to visit all political 
prisoners and prisons with the exception of those held in the 
Laboratorio in Luanda.  At the conclusion of the Assembly's 
first session, the Subcommittee published a report critical of 
the Government, noting that there were laws to protect human 
rights but no mechanisms to enforce the laws.  It also noted 
the abysmal condition of the prisons and the lack of due 
process.

UNITA did not allow international organizations access to most 
of the territory under its control.  Among the few exceptions 
were Lutheran World Federation activities in Cazombo (Moxico 
province) and the Lundas; UNHCR activities in Uige; and 
Medecins Sans Frontieres in Uige and Huambo.  UNITA cooperated 
with the ICRC regarding visitation of prisoners and hostages in 
Huambo and in the evacuation of 415 foreigners from UNITA-held 
territory.  However, UNITA's confrontational relationship with 
international organizations was further tarnished by shooting 
incidents at M'Banza Congo, Uige, and Luena, when UNITA fired 
on clearly marked, unarmed humanitarian assistance aircraft.  
The incident in Luena resulted in one death.

The Government permitted relatively unrestricted access to 
UNITA-besieged cities, spent considerable sums on airdrops of 
food to the city of Cuito, and subsidized the international 
humanitarian assistance effort throughout Angola by providing 
extremely cheap fuel.  However, the Government steadfastly 
blocked attempts by international organizations to provide 
humanitarian assistance to Huambo.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

Angolan law stipulates that all citizens are equal regardless 
of race, ethnic origin, sex, religion or, social status.  The 
International Labor Organization's (ILO) Committee of Experts 
has noted that this law omits reference to political opinion.  
Angola is a multiracial society, and in practice there was 
little evidence of official discrimination.

     Women

Women held senior positions in the military (primarily in the 
medical field), civil service, and political parties.  The 
media occasionally addressed women's issues.  The law proclaims 
equal pay for equal work, but in practice women were not 
compensated equally.  Adult women can open a bank account, 
accept employment, and own property without interference from 
their spouse.

Little information was available on the extent of violence 
against women, but it is believed to be widespread.  The number 
of assault cases brought by women to courts appeared to be 
increasing.  In many besieged cities, women swelled the ranks 
of the handicapped because when they foraged in the fields in 
search for food to feed their family, they often set off land 
mines.  Due to dire economic circumstances, increasing numbers 
of women engage in prostitution.  The clergy reports that 
marriages are breaking down at an alarming rate.


     Children

The growing presence of street children in Luanda and other 
cities indicates a breakdown in Angola's family institutions 
caused by the war and the deteriorating economy.  Young females 
were accepted into private homes to become domestics while 
young males roamed the market places and streets.  The living 
conditions in government youth hostels were so inhuman the 
dispossessed chose to sleep on city streets.  There were no 
active private children's rights advocacy groups.  The 
government-sponsored National Institute for Children was viewed 
as an MPLA organ and was inadequate to address the magnitude of 
the problem.

The extent to which female genital mutilation is practiced 
cannot be verified.  However, medical authorities say that it 
may have occurred in limited fashion in remote areas of Moxico 
province, bordering Zaire and Zambia.

     Indigenous People

Angola's population includes 1 to 2 percent of pre-Bantu stock 
indigenous peoples.  Mostly hunters and gatherers, these 
Khoisan and other linguistic groups are scattered throughout 
the southern provinces of Namibe, Cunene, and Cuando Cubango.  
There was no evidence that they suffered from official 
discrimination or harassment, but they do not participate 
actively in the political or economic life of the country and 
their ability to influence government decisions concerning 
their interests is marginal at best.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The long civil conflict has deep ethnic and urban versus rural 
roots.  The MPLA is heavily supported by the Mbundu ethnic 
group, which makes up an estimated 25 percent of the 
population, and by many city dwellers, notably in Luanda.  It 
also has strong backing among the small number of white and 
mixed-race Angolans who occupy technical and governmental 
positions.  Election results indicated a high level of support 
among other ethnic groups apart from the Ovimbundu.  UNITA has 
its principal backing among the country's largest single ethnic 
group, the Ovimbundu, who make up an estimated 37 percent of 
the population and are concentrated in the central and southern 
parts of Angola.  The Government continued to claim that 
inflammatory UNITA rhetoric exacerbated ethnic tensions by 
dwelling on the perceived colonial ties of white and mixed-race 
Angolans.

Foreigners resident in Angola were not immune to deadly 
violence.  In January mobs in Luanda, angered by allegations 
that Zaire was helping UNITA, went on a rampage of rape, 
lynching, and arson against Zaireans and others thought to be 
Zairians.  As many as 60 persons perished.

     People with Disabilities

There are many physically disabled individuals throughout 
Angola, the majority of whom are casualties of land mines and 
other war-related injuries.  While there was no obvious 
discrimination against them, the Government did little to 
ameliorate their physical, financial, or social distress.  
Physical access for the disabled to public buildings is not 
mandated.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The 1991 Constitution recognizes the right of Angolans to form 
trade unions and to bargain collectively.  However, the law 
governing unions has yet to be passed.

Organized labor is concentrated in the cities.  There is no 
organized labor in agriculture, traditionally the main source 
of income for the majority of Angolans.

The National Union of Angolan Workers (UNTA), the official 
labor union of the ruling MPLA, remained the principal workers' 
organization.  Two other groups without affiliation to a 
political party, the National Confederation of Free Trade 
Unions of Angola and the Democratic Confederation of Angolan 
Workers, waited in the wings for peace and the new labor union 
law.  The war, the Government's mismanagement of the economy, 
and the lack of necessary legislation effectively stifled these 
two organizations.  The Union of Angolan Journalists, formed in 
1992, was active, respected, and was not harassed by the 
Government.

The Constitution provides for the right to strike.  Legislation 
passed in 1991 provides the legal framework to strike.  The law 
prohibits lockouts and worker occupation of places of 
employment, and provides protection for nonstriking workers.  
Strikes by military and police personnel, prison workers, and 
firemen are prohibited.

There were strikes against the Government in 1993 by private 
fishermen obliged to register at the Ministry of Fisheries, and 
by employees of the state-owned cement factory.  Settlements of 
strikes were negotiated expeditiously.  

Laws which allow free labor organizations to affiliate with 
international labor bodies have not been enacted.  UNTA, the 
MPLA labor union, is affiliated with the Organization of 
African Trade Union Unity and the formerly Soviet-controlled 
World Federation of Trade Unions.  The new Angolan free trade 
union federations expect to apply for membership in the 
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions as soon as 
relevant domestic legislation is enacted.  

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Angolan workers have the constitutional right to organize and 
bargain collectively; discrimination against union members is 
prohibited.

However, in 1993 the Ministry of Labor and Social Security 
continued to set wages and benefits on an annual basis.  
Salaries for public servants were set at the Minister's 
discretion; salaries of employees of state-owned enterprises 
were based on profits of the previous year and available loans 
from the National Bank.  Loans were predicated on profit 
margins and on the percentage of government ownership.  In 
Angola's small private sector, wages are based on multiples of 
the minimum salary set by the Government.

Angola has no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Government indicated that in mid-1994 it would introduce 
legislation to prohibit forced labor, reversing laws and 
provisions which had been cited by the ILO for violations of 
its Convention No. 105.  The outdated legislation authorizes 
forced labor for breaches of worker discipline and 
participation in strikes.


     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The legal minimum age for employment is 14.  The Inspector 
General of the Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing 
labor laws.  The Labor Ministry maintains employment centers 
where prospective employees register.  These centers screen out 
applicants under the age of 14.  However, children at a much 
younger age work on family farms and in the informal economy.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

In 1993 the Council of Ministers approved a minimum salary for 
laborers equivalent to $7 per month (by the end of the year 
reduced to $2 by hyperinflation) and for civil servants a 
minimum salary equivalent to $137 per month (reduced to $40).

The minimum salary was insufficient to support a worker and 
family.  Accordingly, most workers depended on the thriving 
informal sector, second jobs at night, subsistence farming 
where security permits, theft, corruption, or remittances from 
abroad to maintain an acceptable standard of living.  The 
normal workweek, established by a 1982 government decree, is 44 
hours.  No information was available on adequacy of work 
conditions or health standards, but it was assumed they were 
generally low, given the extreme underdevelopment of the 
Angolan economy, lack of enforcement mechanisms, and the war.
(###)


[end of document]

flag
bar

Department Seal

Return to 1993 Human Rights Practices report home page.
Return to DOSFAN home page.
This is an official U.S. Government source for information on the WWW. Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.