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TITLE: MOZAMBIQUE HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993 DATE: JANUARY 31, 1994 AUTHOR: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE MOZAMBIQUE In 1993 Mozambique continued to be governed by President Joaquim Chissano and the Ruling National Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO). The multiparty elections called for in the 1990 Constitution, and initially set for 1 year from the October 4, 1992 signing in Rome of the General Peace Accord of Mozambique, marking the end of the civil war, were delayed until October 1994. The Rome Accord addressed political party registration, organization of the electoral system, the size of the military, political amnesty, and oversight of the state intelligence service. Approximately 16 unarmed political parties were active in 1993, 11 of which met the registration criteria set by the Government. FRELIMO and the Mozambican National Union (UNAMO) were registered by the end of 1992. The former insurgents, the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), had acquired political party status as a result of the peace accord. The presence of a United Nations peacekeeping force (ONUMOZ) of approximately 7,000 was fully operational by June and undertook responsibility for helping the people of Mozambique to achieve peace and democracy in their country. Although RENAMO agreed that Mozambique would continue to be governed by the Chissano Government until multiparty elections were held, RENAMO continued to assert the right to control certain areas they claimed to have occupied prior to the signing of the Rome Accord. Estimates of the size of the government security forces varied from 60,000 to 92,000. These figures included the Armed Forces of Mozambique (FAM), a territorial force, and a people's militia. RENAMO claims a force of 21,000. The State Information and Security Service (SISE) replaced the Mozambican National Security Service (SNASP) in 1991. SISE is to be placed under the supervision of a 21-member monitoring committee made up of representatives of the Government, RENAMO, and independent citizens. In an agreement reached between RENAMO's President Dhlakama and President Chissano in August, ONUMOZ is to have responsibility for overseeing the Mozambican police force. SISE, unlike the former SNASP, does not have the power to arrest and detain suspects, and there were no reported incidents of abuses by SISE in 1993. Under the terms of the peace agreement, the Government and RENAMO are to merge their armies into a new national force of 30,000 soldiers to be known as the Mozambique Armed Defense Force (FADM). Those soldiers on both sides not chosen for the new force are to be demobilized. RENAMO and the Government began sending soldiers to Nyanga, Zimbabwe, to start FADM training in August. Demobilization of troops on both sides began on December 1 at 20 assembly areas under U.N. supervision, but initially proceeded slowly and unevenly, especially on the RENAMO side. As the month progressed, the rate of demobilization picked up, and additional assembly areas were opened. At year's end, 35 areas were open, and ONUMOZ reported that a total of 7,949 government soldiers (19 percent of those expected at these areas) and 3,764 Renamo soldiers (36 percent of those expected) had checked in. The Mozambique economy remained heavily dependent on foreign aid. The country continued to move towards a market economy. The gross domestic product declined over 2 percent in 1992, though the International Monetary Fund forecast a 4-percent growth in 1993. The return of rain after the worst drought on record in 1992 and continuing peace meant that many Mozambicans were able to farm their lands again, making them less dependent on food aid. Approximately 80 percent of the population is employed in agriculture, mostly on a small-scale, subsistence level. Major exports are shrimp and cashew nuts. Blatant human rights abuses in 1993 included the continuing use of access to humanitarian relief as an instrument of political control and RENAMO's continuing efforts to limit freedom of movement into and within zones over which it claimed control. Access to humanitarian relief improved as a result of complaints submitted to the Cease-Fire and Control Commission. Both sides frequently attempted to use control over the distribution of food aid for their own purposes. RENAMO used it as a political weapon for partisan ends, often refusing to cooperate with relief efforts while demanding more assistance. On the government side, corruption and red tape, not political maneuvering, were the most significant obstacles to relief efforts. Each side accused the other of cease-fire violations and illegal military incursions and takeovers. Both sides submitted their complaints to the Cease-Fire and Control Commission. Laws guaranteeing individual human rights as granted in the Constitution were not implemented. Other major human rights problems included sexual violations of kidnaped women and children in RENANO-controlled areas, harsh prison conditions, incidents of military and police extortion and harassment of civilians, and the inability of citizens to change their government. In some areas, the country's human rights' record improved. Press and other media criticized official corruption and, to a lesser extent, government policies, but there was no direct criticism of the President. Because legislation in 1991 enabled labor unions to register individually, three unions declared their independence, and the FRELIMO-dominated Labor Federation Union sought ways to respond more effectively to worker needs. Although hampered by lack of funding, political parties spoke up freely throughout 1993 on the economic and political situation in the country. RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from: a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing There were no known or suspected cases of Government forces targeting persons for political killing in 1993. RENAMO was accused by the family of Tiago Salgado of murdering him in July. RENAMO admitted that Salgado, a former RENAMO official, had been accused of being a FRELIMO spy but claimed he had been killed trying to escape detention. b. Disappearance There were no reports of government-perpetrated disappearances. However, thousands remained missing due to the conflict, often as a result of kidnapings in areas affected by the war. Although some missing children were identified for family reunification, RENAMO was reluctant to release them and in a few cases reportedly bartered the children's freedom for material goods or money. c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment The Constitution expressly prohibits torture. However, during the prosecution of the war both government and RENAMO forces tortured prisoners and civilians, and there have been occasional allegations of torture since the war. In 1993 there were charges that RENAMO had tortured apparent defector Tiago Salgado before his death (See section 1.b.), as well as a Nampula police sergeant detained in December after an alleged attempt on the life of Afonso Dhlakama. While similar highly publicized allegations were not known to have been directed at the Government in 1993, the suspicion that it too continues to employ torture remains widespread. Prison conditions throughout the country remain poor. Medical and food supplies are often insufficient, and overcrowding is a serious problem. Machava Prison on the outskirts of Maputo, the largest in Mozambique, holds over twice the number of inmates for which it was built. On July 26, inmates rioted at the Maputo City Jail, demanding that the guards remove the body of a prisoner who had died in his cell. The prisoners complained that the deceased, Moises Eduardo Mapuro, had been sick for 5 days but had received no medical attention. In September inmates at Beira Prison in Sofala Province went on a hunger strike to demand better living conditions and an end to treatment that they felt violated their constitutional rights. Police ended the strike by force, causing injuries among the inmates. Since 1988 the Government has allowed international human rights groups access to prisons where national security prisoners (mainly RENAMO soldiers and sympathisers) were held. In 1992 the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was also given access to prisoners held in military prisons. This access continued through 1993. Reliable evidence accumulated that RENAMO continued to hold women and children, about 5,000 of the latter, against their will. They lived in abysmally poor conditions and were used as porters, personal servants, and guards in RENAMO camps. There were credible reports that kidnaped women were used for sex, as were some of the children. In 1993 there were no reports of detention of prisoners for national security reasons. d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile The law requires that most detainees be charged or released within 30 days. However, persons accused of the most serious crimes, i.e., security offenses or other offenses requiring a sentence of more than 8 years, may be detained for up to 84 days without being formally charged. With court approval, such detainees may be held for 2 additional periods of 84 days while the police complete their investigation. The detainee's constitutional right to counsel and to contact relatives or friends is often not respected. In some cases, detainees may be released from prison while the investigation proceeds, but the bail system in Mozambique remains ill defined. The law provides that, if the prescribed period for investigation has been completed and no charges have been brought, the detainee must be released. In practice, however, this law is often ignored, in part because of the severe lack of administrative personnel and trained lawyers to monitor the judicial system (see Section 1. e.), and in part because citizens are often unaware of their rights, particularly those granted under the 1990 Constitution, and do not demand them. As a result, throughout 1993 there continued to be a large backlog of prisoners awaiting trial. Detainees often spend many months, even years, in pretrial status. The 1990 Constitution's prohibition of exile or the expulsion of any Mozambican citizen was honored in 1993. e. Denial of Fair Public Trial Mozambique has two complementary formal justice systems: the civil/criminal, which includes customary courts; and the military justice system. The Ministry of Justice administers the civil/criminal system and shares the administration of the military courts with the Ministry of Defense. At the apex of the system is the Supreme Court, to which appeals, including military cases, may be made. Local customary courts handle matters such as estate and divorce cases. In these courts, proceedings are usually conducted in public by a trained representative of the Ministry of Justice, assisted by two to four popularly elected lay judges. The entire judicial process suffers severely from a shortage of trained personnel and the Government's inability to reduce a large backlog of cases. The Government, with international assistance, continued to develop a comprehensive plan for improving the professional level and efficiency of the judiciary. However, no actions have been taken to put this plan into effect. As a result, there were no changes in the legal system in 1993; it continued to be weak and inefficient. Although all accused persons are in theory presumed innocent and have the right to legal counsel and the right of appeal, these rights are not always honored. Prisoners who were poor and without formal education could remain in detention awaiting arraignment beyond the 30 days allowed by law, usually without access to legal counsel. The 1990 Constitution formally established an independent judiciary and provided for the selection of judges by other jurists, replacing the prior system of administratively appointed justices. However, the President still appoints the members of the most important tribunal, the Supreme Court, and the FRELIMO-controlled Assembly appoints "lay judges" to that Court. Since the establishment of the Supreme Court in 1988 and the abolition of the Revolutionary Military Tribunal, persons accused of crimes against the State are tried in common civilian courts under standard criminal judicial procedures. A judge may order a trial closed because of national security interests or to protect the privacy of the plaintiff in cases concerning rape. In 1993 the Government claimed that there were no national security prisoners. At the beginning of 1992 it was reported by credible sources that the Government held an estimated 400-550 national security prisoners, most of whom were accused of sympathizing with, or committing crimes on behalf of, RENAMO. The Rome Accord provided for the release of such prisoners, and an amnesty was passed allowing for the release of over 300 prisoners. All credible reports indicate that the Government no longer detained national security prisoners in 1993. RENAMO continued to administer the areas under its control through a rudimentary form of civil administration. Reports continued that RENAMO relied on traditional courts in these areas, with military commanders sometimes acting as judges. On September 10, RENAMO announced that the authority of the Constitution did not extend to areas under its control, a controversial position at variance with the 1992 peace agreement. f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence The 1990 Constitution provides for privacy. During the war, police and security forces entered homes at will, but after the signing of the Rome Accord such activity abated. Many persons were forcibly resettled during the war by both RENAMO and the Government. With the end of the war, persons in government-controlled territory have been generally free to return to their homes. Persons under RENAMO's control have not always had the same freedom to return to their homes (see Section 1. b.). Throughout 1993 there were credible reports that RENAMO was forcing individuals in areas under its control to join it. In Manica Province, RENAMO was accused of confiscating FRELIMO membership cards. A report from Zambezia Province claimed that RENAMO insisted that individuals join it before they could recover their property in RENAMO-controlled areas. RENAMO made similar accusations concerning government political activity, particularly in Nampula Province. While the accusations are credible, coercive activity by government authorities is not systematic. It is widely assumed that government forces employ surveillance devices to monitor local and international telecommunications systems and that they periodically inspect mail, even though the new Constitution expressly prohibits such surveillance. g. Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian Law in Internal Conflicts The Rome Accord ended the fighting that had marked the brutal 17-year civil war, although violations of the cease-fire continued to occur in 1993. Although neither the Government nor RENAMO officially opposed access to humanitarian aid during implementation of the peace process, RENAMO was credibly accused of hindering distribution of humanitarian relief in areas under its control. For example, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) reported in September that malnutrition and medical shortages existed in some RENAMO-controlled areas in Zambezia Province due to RENAMO reluctance to allow access to relief organizations. The same month another international assistance organization reported difficulties with RENAMO administrators who hindered distribution of agricultural aid kits. There were also numerous cases of unpaid, hungry soldiers extorting food from NGO warehouses, including a late November incident in which armed government soldiers invaded offices and residences of an international NGO in Mutarrara in Tete province and seized food. These incidents do not represent any systematic government policy, however, but rather are an indication of its inability to support and pay its forces. Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: a. Freedom of Speech and Press The Constitution, the 1991 press law, and the 1992 Rome Accord provide for freedom of expression and the press, but with restrictions in cases involving national defense considerations. Legally, criticism of the President is not prohibited; in practice, few news reports or editorial commentaries critical of him appear. The 1991 press law holds that in cases of defamation against the President, truth is not a sufficient defense against libel. Through the end of 1993, this law had not been tested in court, but its result was considerable self-censorship. On balance, freedom of the press continued to improve in 1993. The media, particularly the private newssheet Mediafax, television, and radio, reported objectively on controversial topics, including disagreements between the Government and RENAMO on peace agreement implementation, high-level military corruption, internal unrest in the military, and political opposition viewpoints. Several journalists continued to push the boundaries of press freedom, and the National Organization of Journalists maintained its strong support of an independent media. For example, TV Mozambique aired a story in which the President's late brother was accused of suspect real estate dealings involving land of a psychiatric hospital. However, even without formal prior press censorship, journalists in the state-run media were often implicitly held to unwritten and vague guidelines by their directors (who are appointed by the Government). There is ample evidence that journalists in the state-run media continue to be under strong pressure to avoid any investigative reporting that could expose high-level corruption. During the 1993 multiparty conference on the electoral law, opposition politicians received almost daily coverage of their statements and views on the proceedings. RENAMO complained that it was consistently mistreated in the government-run media, whose bias was evident in skewed stories and emphasis on the negative. While the import of speeches and attendance at RENAMO rallies was routinely downplayed, for example, RENAMO defections or alleged hindrances to the peace process were blown out of proportion to their true significance. Nonetheless, RENAMO received wide coverage in media organs, and the party began to publish its periodical, Novos Tempos, in Maputo instead of Portugal. In early 1993, a reporter for radio Mozambique was denied access to RENAMO areas in Manica Province. As a result, the head of Mozambique's National Union of Journalists accused RENAMO of refusing to allow free press coverage in areas under its administration. RENAMO responded that all journalists would need specific authorization to enter areas under its control. In practice, RENAMO territory is not freely accessible to journalists, or any other outsiders, and a few Mozambican journalists, who had given no advance notice of their trips, were turned away at the borders of RENAMO-controlled areas. For most journalists, this has not been an issue because they have been primarily interested in visiting RENAMO headquarters at Maringue, a trip which for purely logistical reasons requires advance preparation. RENAMO was generally cooperative in arranging such visits. The Higher Council of Social Communications (CSCS), created by the 1991 press law, met for the first time in 1993. Its stated mission is to arbitrate disputes, hear complaints, and set guidelines on media issues. At year's end, it was uncertain what influence the CSCS might have. Until 1992, almost all media were government owned or government operated. In 1992 Mozambique's first privately owned daily news bulletin, Mediafax, began publication, and in 1993 Mediacoop, Mediafax's parent cooperative, planned to begin publication of a weekly news journal, Savana, but complained that publication was being delayed by government interference and the levy of excessive taxes. These charges appeared to be well grounded. Also in 1993, Mozambique's first independent television station, Radio Televisao Klint (RTK), began broadcasting in Maputo. Two opposition political parties, the National Convention Party (PCN) and the Social Liberal and Democratic Party (SOL), began publication of periodic newssheets. An independent media cooperative, Coopartes, received funding to begin a new weekly, although publication had not begun by year's end. In mid-1993, the government-run Noticias group of newspapers announced plans to privatize their operation, although the State directly and through the Bank of Mozambique will continue to have majority control after contracts are awarded. No formal restrictions on academic freedom exist, but in practice teachers routinely adhere to self-censorship since their employment depends on the State. b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly and association. Legislation enacted in 1991 set up guidelines for registering as a political party and for holding public demonstrations. During 1993 political groups were free to hold congresses and press conferences and to travel in areas under the Government's control. RENAMO, however, limited access to areas under its control and in September announced that it would not permit political parties to campaign in its areas. Under legislation approved in October 1992, a legally recognized political party must demonstrate that it has no racial, ethnic, or religious exclusiveness and secure at least 2,000 signatures of support. By the end of 1993, 10 parties, including FRELIMO, were registered. In September the registration application of one party, the Federal Party of Mozambique-Democratic Federalist (PAFEMO-DP), was denied by the Ministry of Justice because the use of the term "federalist" in its party name was deemed contradictory to the unitarist definition of the Mozambican State as set forth in the Constitution. Under the Rome Accord, RENAMO received political party status without having to meet registration requirements in advance. No groups were known to be have been denied permission to hold public marches in 1993. c. Freedom of Religion The Constitution mandates strict separation of church and state and provides for the freedom to "practice or not practice a religion." The Government does not require religious organizations or missionaries to register, and foreign missionaries are readily granted visas. The Constitution gives religious institutions the right to own property and to operate schools. Relations between the Government and religious organizations, tense in the early years after independence, began to improve by 1992 and improved further in 1993. d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation The Constitution provides for freedom of travel within the country and abroad. The Government no longer requires citizens to obtain permits from local authorities in order to travel within the country. The civil war and the 1992 drought caused massive internal migrations in search of food, water, and safety. With the end of the civil war and the return of the rains, 3.6 million internally displaced people were free to return home, as were the almost 2 million refugees who had sought safety in neighboring countries. Under the auspices of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization of Migration, the displaced and refugee populations began to return. Although numbers were difficult to gauge, it was estimated that by the end of 1993 over 450,000 refugees had returned to Mozambique. Involuntary repatriation from South Africa continued well into 1993. An agreement between the UNHCR and South Africa was concluded in September to allow UNHCR access to Mozambicans who had fled into South Africa. In October South Africa, Mozambique, and the UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement governing the return of the Mozambican refugees from South Africa. Reports from credible sources, including international organizations, indicated that in 1993 RENAMO prevented the free movement of people and goods throughout its regions. RENAMO officials were requiring travel documents, "Guias da Marcha", to allow people to enter areas under its control or to move within those zones. In June RENAMO detained a Member of Parliament, Aurelio Fernando Manhica, and his party of 18 in the Salamanga region of Maputo Province. RENAMO claimed that the party had been hunting in RENAMO territory without permission. Despite the intervention of the U.N. peacekeeping force, RENAMO held the detainees for almost 3 weeks. In July RENAMO detained 17 timber workers and confiscated 2 tractors in Sofala Province because they were doing forestry work in a RENAMO area without its permission. In August RENAMO refused to allow road repairs in areas under its control. Both cases were symptomatic of the extremely contentious issue of administrative control in disputed areas. Mozambique hosted few refugees from other countries. At the end of 1993, there were 80 refugees from other countries under the protection of the UNHCR and another 250 asylum seekers awaiting determination of their status. There were no reported cases in which refugees were forced to return to countries where they might have a well-founded fear of persecution. Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government In 1993 citizens could not change their government by democratic means. Though the 1990 Constitution officially ended FRELIMO's status as the sole legal political party and permitted the creation of other parties, the President, the FRELIMO Political Commission, and the Council of Ministers continued to control policymaking and implementation and were set to remain in office pending future elections, scheduled for October 1994. The Rome Accord established an election timetable and an independent monitoring system to ensure their fairness. Multiparty elections decreed by the Constitution were to be held within a year of the October 4, 1992 signing of the Accord. However, because of delays in the implementation of the peace process, all parties agreed to postpone elections until October 1994. Balloting is to be secret, and an electoral commission made up of members of FRELIMO, RENAMO, and the political parties is to organize and direct the election process. The Accord specified that the Government, in consultation with RENAMO and other opposition parties, should enact an election law. A multiparty conference on the draft law ended after prolonged debate failed to produce results. However, the Government continued to consult with RENAMO and the opposition parties in bilateral meetings to produce a final document which was submitted to the National Assembly and ratified on December 9. The peace agreement allows for international election observers to be supervised by the United Nations. Under the Rome Accord, RENAMO is to be an equal partner in supervising and monitoring the electoral process, the cease-fire, and demobilization of the armed forces. The agreement accorded RENAMO the right to participate in the civil administration of areas it nominally controlled at the time of the agreement. A summit meeting in Maputo in August between President Chissano and RENAMO's President Dhlakama produced agreement that RENAMO was to appoint advisors to the provincial governors. A few days later RENAMO partially pulled back from the agreement and declared that the Government's Constitution would not be effective in areas under its control, nor would RENAMO permit political parties to campaign in its zones. There were no women ministers in the Government at year's end. There was one vice minister (of foreign affairs). A few women are active in the leadership of nongovernmental organizations. While there are no legal restrictions hindering women's involvement in government, cultural factors have inhibited their political advancement. Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights There are no legal obstacles to the formation of local human rights groups. The Mozambican League for Human Rights became active in late 1993, holding several public meetings in Maputo and developing plans for education and monitoring programs to be started in 1994. Human rights organizations with more defined constituencies and goals have been effective. Two groups, the Association of Women, Law, and Development (MULEIDE) and the Association of Mozambican Disabled (ADEMO), were established chiefly to address the legal rights of the groups they represent (see Section 5.). Another group, the Movement for Peace in Mozambique, announced its formation in 1993. It aimed to involve all sectors of Mozambican society to safeguard the peace process. The Government remained receptive to international human rights monitoring groups and is responsive to inquiries on human rights issues. In 1992 the New York-based Africa Watch was allowed to visit and interview prisoners, and it publicly praised the Government for its cooperation. The only access by an international human rights monitoring group to RENAMO areas during 1993 was a trip by the Africa Watch rapporteur early in the year. It should be noted, however, that his visit was primarily concerned with investigating the mine-clearing issue, not the human rights situation. Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, religion, or disability. Women The Constitution forbids discrimination on the basis of sex and mandates equal rights and responsibilities for women. In practice, however, women continue to be underrepresented in the professions and in educational institutions at all levels. Over 80 percent of Mozambican women are peasant farmers, and most have had little education or access to good health care. Mozambique has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Although the Constitution upholds the equality of women in society and before the law, practical implementation often falls short of this ideal. Old civil and commercial legal codes that predate independence and still exist deny women full financial rights once they marry. The Justice Ministry, in collaboration with MULEIDE (see Section 4), was tasked with identifying these outdated laws which contradict rights granted women by the 1990 Constitution. MULEIDE aims to promote and defend the legal rights of women, particularly as they pertain to improving social conditions and ensuring participation in the development process. According to medical and other sources, violence against women, especially wife beating, is fairly widespread in Mozambique, especially in rural areas. The police do not normally intervene in domestic disputes, and cases are rarely brought before the courts. The Government has not addressed the issue specifically. A local women's group indicates that nondomestic violence against women also has increased and that there has been a rise in the number of rape cases in urban areas. Both trends are concomitant with the overall rise in the national crime rate. Children Children's rights and welfare have not been a priority of the Government. For its part, RENAMO in 1993 continued to utilize children taken from their homes during the war as soldiers and porters. While RENAMO has not agreed to a full-scale program aimed at resolving this problem, it cooperates on a case-by-case basis with efforts to reunify these children with their families. Female genital mutilation is practiced in Mozambique, most frequently in the Muslim northern part of the country. National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities There was no systematic persecution or discrimination on the basis of race, but no whites and few mixed-race Mozambican and Asians serve in the military. Moreover, the FRELIMO Government includes at all levels a disproportionate number of southerners, mostly from the Shangaan ethnic group. The Government also includes white, Asian, and mixed-race Mozambicans. The leadership of RENAMO is predominately from the Shona-speaking ethnic groups concentrated in the center of the country. There is no indication that the conflict between the Government and RENAMO was primarily motivated by ethnicity, although ethnic and regional factors may have played some role, and tribal factors may explain some of the violence during the conflict. Historical accident appears to be responsible for the ethnic composition of the RENAMO leadership; the Shona was the group culturally and geographically most accessible to the Southern Rhodesian intelligence organization, which established the forerunner to RENAMO in the late 1970's. Since that time, RENAMO recruited from all ethnic groups and never significantly emphasized ethnic issues in its communiques or negotiating positions. It has, however, criticized FRELIMO for being dominated by southerners. People with Disabilities Although the Constitution expressly states that "disabled citizens shall enjoy fully the rights enshrined in the Constitution," reality often falls short of this ideal. In 1991 ADEMO (see Section 4) was created to address the social and economic needs of the disabled. ADEMO provides training, raises public awareness of the need fully to integrate the disabled into society, and lobbies the Ministry of Labor to initiate legislation to support the working rights of the disabled. The Government has not legislated or otherwise mandated access for the disabled to public buildings. No special access facilities exist. Section 6 Worker Rights a. The Right of Association The Constitution specifies that all workers are free to join or refrain from joining a trade union. A labor law passed in December 1991 further protects workers' rights to organize and to engage in union activity at their place of employment. The legislation gave existing unions--those created as appendages of the FRELIMO-dominated Organization of Mozambican Workers (OTM)--the right to register independently. During 1993 the three unions that had broken away from the OTM announced their intention either to reform OTM from within or, failing that, to form their own association. Their activities resulted in OTM's reexamination of its own constitution, structure, and policies in representing workers. Late in the year, in the face of threats by the independent unions to call a general strike, the Government agreed to negotiate with these unions on the minimum wage and other issues. The Constitution explicitly provides for the right to strike, with the exception of government employees, police, military personnel, and employees of other essential services (which include sanitation, firefighting, air traffic control, health care, water, electricity, fuel, post office, and telecommunications). Nevertheless, strikes by soldiers to protest the Government's failure to pay back wages continued in 1993. Wildcat strikes continued to occur elsewhere, mostly due to the failure of pay rates to keep pace with inflation and employers' failure to provide promised benefits. Maputo postal workers went on strike for these reasons in August, returning on September 1 after some of their demands were met. In September workers at a marble factory in Cabo Delgado Province successfully negotiated a 50-percent pay raise and better working conditions after a 3-day strike. The 1991 labor law forbids retribution against strikers, the hiring of substitute workers, or lockouts by employers. There were no known instances during 1993 in which employer retribution against striking workers was an issue. Most labor disputes continued to be arbitrated through ad hoc workers' committees, formally recognized by the Government. The development of the newly independent labor unions was hindered by a lack of resources. However, their actions influenced the OTM which called for a national labor congress and began to address areas of dispute between the OTM and the independent unions. In August the OTM was highly critical of a government-announced minimum pay raise, complaining that it was insufficient to meet worker needs, and insisted that the OTM should have been consulted prior to the announcement. The Constitution and labor legislation guarantee unions the right to join and participate in international bodies. The OTM is a member of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity and the Southern African Trade Union Coordinating Council. b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively. The labor law protects workers' rights to organize and engage in collective bargaining. It expressly prohibits discrimination against organized labor, although antiunion discrimination has not been an issue since until recently unions were government-controlled organizations. In late 1991, the Government decreed that it would no longer set all salary levels. Negotiating wage increases was left in the hands of existing unions. During 1993, workers continued to bargain with employers through legally recognized ad hoc committees. The law requires government arbitration if labor and management fail to reach agreement. The majority of labor disputes dealt with management's failure to meet salary and other contractual obligations. There are no export processing zones in Mozambique. c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor. Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited by law, and there have been no reports of such labor practices by the Government. There were cridible reports in 1993 that RENAMO continued to hold and mistreat children and civilians, kidnaped prior to the 1992 Peace Accord, who were used for forced labor (see Section 1.c.). d. Minimum Age For Employment of Children Child labor is regulated by the Ministry of Labor. In the wage economy, the minimum working age is 16. Because of high adult unemployment, few children are in regular wage positions. However, children commonly work on family farms or in the urban informal sector, where they perform such tasks as guarding cars, collecting scrap metal, and vending. e. Acceptable Conditions of Work The Government sets minimum wage rates administratively. The minimum wage at year's end was approximately $13.75 (70,600 meticais) per month. The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing the minimum rates in the private sector, the Ministry of Finance in the public sector. Violations of minimum wage rates are usually investigated only after workers register a complaint. It is customary for workers to receive benefits such as transportation and food. The minimum wage is not adequate to sustain an average urban worker's family. Workers must turn to second jobs, if available, as well as work garden plots, to survive. An estimated 80 percent of the work force is engaged in subsistence agriculture and is not covered by minimum wage legislation. The standard legal workweek is 44 hours, with a 24-hour rest period stipulated. In the small modern sector, the Government has enacted health and environmental laws to protect workers. On occasion, the Government has closed firms for noncompliance with these laws, but enforcement by the Ministry of Labor has been irregular, particularly in the poor economic conditions of recent years.
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