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TITLE: MOZAMBIQUE HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE: FEBRUARY 1995









                           MOZAMBIQUE


Following decades of war, Mozambique enjoyed in 1994 its second 
year of peace and a significantly improved human rights 
situation.  In the country's first multiparty elections October 
27-29, President Joaquim Chissano and the National Front for 
the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO, which has ruled 
Mozambique since independence in 1975) won 53.3 percent of the 
presidential vote and 44 percent of the parliamentary vote (129 
of 250 legislative seats).  Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of the 
former insurgent movement, the Mozambique National Resistance 
(RENAMO), received 33.7 percent of the presidential vote 
and--with a popular majority in half the provinces--38 percent 
of the parliamentary vote (112 seats).  Although Dhlakama 
threatened to pull out of the elections at the last minute and 
later charged that there were serious irregularities in the 
voting process, he said RENAMO would abide by the results.  The 
U.N. Special Representative and other international observers 
declared the elections generally free and fair.

On December 8-9, Chissano and the Parliament-elect were sworn 
in.  At year's end, political tensions resurfaced after 
Chissano declined to appoint any RENAMO members to the Cabinet 
and resisted RENAMO's demands that they be consulted in the 
naming of governors for the provinces in which RENAMO won a 
majority of the vote.  RENAMO walked out of the opening 
parliamentary session, protesting that FRELIMO was attempting 
to continue one-party government as usual.  It remains to be 
seen whether the new multiparty legislature will have any more 
resources, authority, or independence than its predecessors.

Despite occasional lapses by both FRELIMO and RENAMO in 
adhering to the General Peace Accord of October 1992 which 
ended the civil war, the U.N. peacekeeping force (ONUMOZ) 
successfully oversaw the cease-fire and the 2-year transition 
to multiparty elections.  ONUMOZ's mandate ended December 9 
with the swearing in of President Chissano; its withdrawal from 
Mozambique is scheduled to be completed by January 31, 1995.

The status of the military and security apparatus remained in 
flux for most of the year.  The Peace Accord specified that 
FRELIMO and RENAMO would each transfer 15,000 soldiers to a 
new, unified army.  However, in an attempt to keep a military 
option open, both the Government and RENAMO made efforts to 
slow the planned demobilization of their 75,000 (total) troops 
and the establishment of the new Mozambique armed defense force 
(FADM).  However, the pace of demobilization was forced when 
thousands of disaffected soldiers, having waited months in 
assembly areas, mutinied or simply deserted.  At year's end, 
the FADM was comprised of only about 11,500 soldiers according 
to the Government.  Given this downsized military establishment 
and the absence of any threat from its neighbors, all of whom 
are ruled by democratically elected governments, Mozambique 
should find it possible to drastically reduce military 
expenditures.

FRELIMO internal security forces included the controversial 
intelligence arm, the State Information and Security Service 
(SISE), the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC), the Mozambique 
National Police (PRM), and the Rapid Reaction Police (PIR).  
The Peace Accord placed SISE under the supervision of a 
21-member monitoring committee (COMINFO) of government and 
RENAMO representatives and independent citizens, and a 1993 
Chissano-Dhlakama agreement gave ONUMOZ responsibility for 
overseeing the Mozambican police force.  As part of this 
agreement, almost 1,000 international civilian police (CIVPOL) 
monitors arrived to monitor police activities.  Despite the 
presence of the latter, police forces committed a number of 
human rights abuses, and prior to the elections the Government 
violated the Peace Accord by transferring a significant 
quantity of arms and men to the police, including to the 
presidential security force.

The economy is largely agricultural, with approximately 80 
percent of the population involved in small scale, subsistence 
farming.  Major exports are shrimp, sugar, cotton, and cashew 
nuts.  While near normal rains and continuing peace permitted 
many Mozambicans, including returning refugees and the 
internally displaced, to farm their lands again, the economy 
remained heavily dependent on foreign aid.  Mozambique, 
continuing the transition from a centrally planned economy to a 
market-based system, is privatizing many government-owned 
companies and attempting to attract foreign investment.  
Nevertheless, Mozambique, remains one of the world's poorest 
countries, with a per capita income of only $80 annually.

Although the overall human rights situation in Mozambique 
continued to improve in 1994, the Government, and to a lesser 
extent RENAMO, continued to commit serious human rights 
abuses.  Despite the presence of international police trainers, 
police continued to commit abuses, including instances of 
extrajudicial killings and excessive use of force, and 
routinely beat and otherwise abused detainees.  The Government 
rarely investigated such abuses or punished those responsible.  
Citizens sometimes turned to mob justice as a way to counter 
the ineffective and corrupt police force.  The weak judiciary 
continued to be unable to implement constitutional guarantees 
of individual human rights or provide an effective check on the 
power of the executive branch.  Early in the year RENAMO and 
FRELIMO traded accusations that they could not operate in areas 
under each other's control.  Throughout the year, freedom of 
movement was severely hampered at times by armed bandits and 
FAM and RENAMO soldiers awaiting demobilization, who 
contributed to criminal activity by blocking roads, detaining 
civilians, and extorting money and food.  Other human rights 
problems included harsh prison conditions, press restrictions, 
and violence against women.

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 reports of political killings by the 
Government or RENAMO.  However, the Mozambique National Police 
committed a number of extrajudicial killings.  For example, in 
January in Nampula province, an off-duty police officer 
arrested and subsequently beat to death a pharmacy owner.  
Also, in July, in Quelimane in Zambezia province, police beat 
to death a RENAMO guard, Andre Filipe, while he was in 
custody.  As far as known, the Government took no action 
against the officers involved in this incident.

The rise of criminal activity, combined with police corruption 
and a weak judicial system (see Section l.e.) led to an 
increase in mob-vigilante killings, often involving necklacing, 
a method of killing and torture in which gasoline-filled tires 
are placed around a victim's neck and set alight.  A medical 
journal reported that doctors had treated 18 young men in 
Maputo's central hospital over a 12-month period for severe 
burns caused by necklacing.  Most of the 18 did not survive.  
The local press frequently reported instances of angry mobs 
beating or even lynching suspected thieves.

     b.  Disappearance

There was one report of an alleged government-perpetrated 
disappearance.  In a complaint filed with the Cease-Fire 
Commission (CCF), one of the commissions established to oversee 
implementation of the Peace Accord, RENAMO accused the 
Government of responsibility for the disappearance in May of 
Renuge Paconote, a former government soldier, who claimed to 
have evidence that the Government was training troops in 
Tanzania in violation of the cease-fire.  The Government denied 
the allegation and requested that the CCF suspend the 
investigation.  The investigation proceeded but failed to reach 
any conclusions about Paconote's whereabouts.

A number of members of the Presidential Guard, including 
Alberto Gomes, remained missing in 1994, following government 
suppression of a 1993 mutiny in the Guard.  The Government 
reportedly refused to respond to a request by former soldiers 
that it establish a commission of inquiry.   To date, there has 
been no news of Gomes' whereabouts or any indication that there 
will be an investigation into the matter.

In another case, a government soldier held by RENAMO at a base 
in Zambezia in 1993 remained missing in 1994.  RENAMO claims 
the soldier fled before he could be transferred to government 
custody in October 1993.

The fate of thousands of Mozambicans who disappeared during the 
civil war remain unresolved.

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

Although the Constitution expressly prohibits torture, there 
were credible reports that the Mozambique Police Forces 
routinely beat and whipped detainees, which sometimes resulted 
in death (see Section 1.a.).  Police routinely assaulted those 
suspected of even minor crimes.

In Montepuez, Cabo Delgado province, three RENAMO members were 
detained by police in September for 3 days and severely beaten 
before being released without charges.  In December RENAMO 
leaders also maintained that their supporters were being 
detained, harassed, and beaten by police in a number of 
provinces, but these charges could not be confirmed.

Corruption in the police forces extended throughout the ranks; 
the PRM also used threats of violence and detention to 
intimidate people from reporting abuses, as in the case of 
Rosario Sweleke, a Radio Mozambique journalist who reported on 
alleged police criminal activity (see Section 2.a.).  On 
occasion, the Government has taken action to counter police 
abuses.  For example, in January the Interior Minister 
announced that 100 police had been expelled because of 
corruption and abuse of authority.  In December the Police 
Commander of Maputo announced that 50 policemen were being 
prosecuted for "irregularities" committed during the election 
period.

Harsh prison conditions continued to deteriorate during the 
year.  Medical and food supplies were often insufficient, and 
overcrowding remained a serious problem.  In some provincial 
prisons, men and women do not have separate facilities, and 
violence against women, particularly rape by guards and other 
prisoners, was a serious problem.  At year's end, Machava 
prison, the largest in Mozambique, located on the outskirts of 
Maputo, held over twice the number of inmates for which it was 
built, and others held up to four times their intended 
capacity.  The Government permitted international human rights 
groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross 
(ICRC) access to prisons.

During 1994 RENAMO began to allow nongovernmental organizations 
(NGO's) much greater access to children in their custody, some 
of whom had been forced to become soldiers (see Section 5).

     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 those 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 two additional periods of 84 days while the 
police complete their investigation.  In practice, however, 
these rules are often ignored.  The detainee's constitutional 
rights to counsel and to contact relatives or friends are also 
frequently not respected.  The Government has broad latitude 
for determining what constitutes a security offense.

Citizens are also often unaware of their rights, particularly 
those granted under the 1990 Constitution, and detainees may 
spend many months, even years, in pretrial status.  In some 
cases, detainees may be released from prison while the 
investigation proceeds, but the bail system remains poorly 
defined, and the police often take bribes to effect the release 
of those who can afford to pay.  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 both regular 
and security cases, in part because of the severe lack of 
administrative personnel, trained judges, and sufficient 
lawyers to monitor the judicial system (see Section 1.e.).

Throughout 1994 the serious backlog of pretrial detainees 
continued, and the Government made little effort to address 
this problem.  A Mozambican human rights organization, the 
League of Human Rights (LDH), found that Machava prison alone 
had over 500 prisoners awaiting trail beyond the 
constitutionally mandated legal detention period.  In one case, 
an attorney reported that a client had been held for 15 months 
without trial only to be found not guilty when he was finally 
able to stand trial.  In another case, the LDH reported that a 
52-year-old woman, accused of her husband's murder, was still 
awaiting trial after 3 years of detention.

In May the Nampula police detained Rosario Sweleke, a Radio 
Mozambique journalist, on charges of defaming the local police 
for reporting on alleged criminal police activity.  He was held 
for several hours.

The 1990 Constitution expressly prohibits exile, and the 
Government does not use exile as a means of political control.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trail

The 1990 Constitution formally established an independent 
judiciary and specifically states that the decisions of the 
courts take precedence over all other authorities and 
individuals and must be obeyed.  Nevertheless, the executive, 
and by extension the FRELIMO party, dominates the judiciary.  
In general, judges are beholden for their positions to the 
ruling FRELIMO party, which exercises significant influence on 
all aspects of public life through the executive and through 
party organs.  Moreover, the President appoints the members of 
the most important tribunal, the Supreme Court, and prior to 
the October elections, these were automatically ratified by the 
FRELIMO-appointed National Assembly.  At year's end, it was 
unclear whether the newly elected National Assembly would 
assert it prerogatives and strengthen the independence of the 
judiciary.

The Government has also ignored court decisions.  For example, 
in August the Defense Ministry refused to obey a court order 
that it compensate a goods vehicle driver for the loss of his 
truck when an army driver ran into him in 1986.

There are two complementary formal justice systems--the 
civil/criminal, which includes customary courts and the 
military justice system.  At the apex of both systems is the 
Supreme Court.  A 1991 law empowered the Supreme Court to 
administer the civil/criminal system; it also hears appeals, 
including military cases, although the Ministry of Defense 
administers the military system.  In addition, local customary 
courts handle matters such as estate and divorce cases.  In the 
regular courts, all accused persons are in theory presumed 
innocent and have the right to legal counsel and appeal, but 
the authorities do not always respect these rights.

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 rape 
cases.

RENAMO continued during the year to administer the areas under 
its control through a rudimentary form of civil administration 
and traditional courts, often using RENAMO commanders as judges.

The issue of political prisoners remained controversial.  In 
1992 the Government held an estimated 400 to 550 national 
security prisoners, most of whom were accused of sympathizing 
with, or committing crimes on behalf of, RENAMO.  The October 
1992 Rome Accords provided for the release of such prisoners, 
and the National Assembly passed an amnesty law in 1992 
allowing over 300 prisoners to be released.  In 1994, as in 
1993, the Government claimed that there were no national 
security prisoners.

However, in August  the National Information Commission 
(COMINFO), established under the Peace Accord to monitor the 
activities of SISE, accused the Government of continuing to 
hold political prisoners.  COMINFO's RENAMO-appointed chairman 
alleged that a RENAMO prisoner, Alexandre Niquisse, had been 
released from prison only in August.  The COMINFO chairman 
accused SISE of "hiding" approximately 60 political prisoners, 
including Niquisse, in Inhambane province by reclassifying them 
as criminals.  The chairman further speculated that more 
political prisoners continued to be held in detention 
throughout the country.  When interviewed by the press about 
the allegations, the Minister of Justice downplayed the 
seriousness of the charge, but he admitted that bureaucratic 
mistakes could have occurred.  The Government's handling of the 
Niquisse case lends credence to the COMINFO findings.

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

The 1990 Constitution provides for the right to privacy and 
expressly prohibits the use of surveillance techniques.  By 
law, police need a warrant to enter homes and businesses, but 
in practice most policemen routinely operate without them.  
During the war, police and security forces entered homes at 
will, used a variety of surveillance techniques, and often 
forced civilians to move into government-protected villages.  
However, since the signing of the Rome Accords, the number of 
reported incidents of intrusive government actions declined 
markedly.

Although there are fewer reports of such activity, incidents of 
illegal telephone wiretapping by Government intelligence 
agencies allegedly still occur.  In November the independent 
weekly Savana reported what it considered convincing evidence 
that a telephone conversation between two of its journalists 
was tapped.  The SISE denied the charge.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution, the 1991 Press Law, and the 1992 Rome Peace 
Accords provide for freedom of expression and the press, except 
in cases involving national defense considerations.  In 
practice, however, the Government restricts these freedoms.  
Although criticism of the President is not legally prohibited, 
the 1991 Press Law holds that, in cases of defamation against 
the President, truth is not a sufficient defense against 
libel.  Although this law had not been tested in court, it 
resulted in considerable media self-censorship and almost no 
direct criticism of the President.

The Government dominates the media through direct control of 
the most important means of reaching the public, radio and 
television.  The Government owns Radio Mozambique and 
Television Mozambique, TVM, and also controls, either directly 
or indirectly, the most important newspapers such as Domingo 
and Noticias.  Radio Mozambique reaches the largest number of 
Mozambicans.  The official media do not criticize government 
officials or policies, even though corruption at the 
ministerial level is common knowledge.  The only independent 
television station began its second year of broadcasts in 
1994.  While independent administratively and financially from 
the Government, the station is owned by a FRELIMO Central 
Committee member, and programming has not taken an independent 
political line.

The government-controlled media frequently ignored or distorted 
Rome Accord issues and regularly criticized RENAMO military and 
political leaders for alleged violations of the Accord.  The 
government media also targeted the U.N. Special Representative 
and various members of the diplomatic community, particularly 
as the October elections approached.  They were subjected to an 
orchestrated campaign which impugned their motives and falsely 
alleged various conspiracies against the peace process.

There were several incidents in which security officials 
harassed the press.  For example, in May the Nampula Chief of 
Police castigated the media for criticizing the police, and the 
police arbitrarily detained Radio Mozambique announcer Rosario 
Swelke for several hours (see Section 1.c.).  The Governor 
intervened to release Swelke, and the Higher Council of Social 
Communications (CSCS), an oversight organ mandated by the Press 
Law, and the Independent National Organization of Journalists 
investigated the incident.

Notwithstanding the dominance of the official media, there is a 
small, but growing independent press that includes several 
daily facsimile (FAX) newsletters which carry opposition 
viewpoints.  However, the influence of this independent press 
and, for that matter, of the official press as well, is limited 
largely to Maputo and the provincial capitals.

During the official 33-day election campaign, all parties, 
including RENAMO and other opposition parties, had an 
opportunity to present their views on Radio Mozambique and 
television at no cost, in accordance with the Electoral Law, 
and the guidelines established by the nonpartisan National 
Elections Commission.  The media also featured nonpartisan 
voter education programs.

RENAMO published a magazine, Novos Tempos, and its radio 
station, Voz de Renamo, began nationwide shortwave and 
Maputo-only FM broadcasts in 1994.  RENAMO continually 
criticized the Government, often without any factual basis.

There are no formal restrictions on academic freedom, 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 there 
were no known incidents of the authorities denying permission 
for groups to hold public marches or demonstrations.  However, 
security forces used excessive force on several occasions in 
controlling unauthorized demonstrations, killing and wounding 
several persons.  In July in Xai-Xai, Gaza province, rapid 
intervention forces fired on crowds demanding the return of 
possessions from PRM members they suspected of theft, injuring 
several demonstrators.

During 1994, 18 registered political parties, including the two 
largest, FRELIMO and RENAMO, held congresses and press 
conferences and traveled in areas under government control.  
Although the electoral campaign was generally peaceful, there 
emerged a pattern of FRELIMO harassment of opposition parties 
throughout the country.  This often involved heckling and 
stoning opposition candidates and systematic defacing of 
opposition campaign material.  FRELIMO also made extensive use 
of state resources in its campaign and used governmental powers 
to coerce campaign contributions from local businessmen.  
FRELIMO accused RENAMO of preventing government campaigners 
from going into RENAMO areas, but there was little independent 
evidence to support these allegations.  RENAMO accepted the 
electoral outcome, although it claimed that many irregularities 
had prevented the process from being "fair."

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Constitution mandates strict separation of church and 
state.  It provides for the freedom to "practice or not 
practice a religion" and also gives religious institutions the 
right to own property and operate schools.  The Government 
respects these rights in practice.

     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 Government began to enforce a law 
requiring disproportionately heavy fines for foreigners who 
overstayed their visas.

The unstable security situation in the country remained the 
greatest threat to freedom of movement.  In mid-1994, 
government and RENAMO soldiers demanding immediate 
demobilization frequently detained and robbed travelers along 
major highways.  Using trumped-up charges, police also 
frequently stopped truck drivers and foreign visitors and 
demanded bribes from them.

During the year, RENAMO permitted increased travel to its 
controlled areas, although it insisted that in order to ensure 
safety, relief workers and others had to carry RENAMO passes.  
During the initial phases of the voter registration campaign, 
electoral workers hesitated to enter RENAMO zones unless 
security guards were escorting them, but later they entered all 
RENAMO zones freely.

With the end of the civil war and the return of the rains after 
the worst drought on record in 1992, citizens who had been 
internally displaced or had sought refuge in neighboring 
countries, began to return in large numbers.  Under the 
auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 
(UNHCR) and with the assistance of the International 
Organization of Migration, over 1.5 million refugees and most 
of the 3.6 million displaced persons had returned to their 
homes by year's end.

At the end of 1994, there were few refugees from other 
countries, although 343 asylum seekers were 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

During 1994 the President, the FRELIMO leadership, and the 
Council of Ministers continued to control policymaking and to 
influence implementation of the Rome Peace Accords.  The 1992 
Accords established a timetable for elections and an 
independent monitoring system to ensure their fairness.  On 
October 27-29, Mozambicans freely exercised for the first time 
their right to vote in multiparty elections.  President 
Chissano and FRELIMO won the presidential and legislative 
elections, gaining 53 percent of the presidential vote and 129 
seats in the 250-seat National Assembly.  RENAMO defeated 
FRELIMO in 5 of the country's 10 provinces, including in the 
2 most populous provinces, Zambezia and Nampula.  Dhlakama took 
33.7 percent of the vote, and RENAMO won 112 legislative 
seats.  A third party coalition, the Democratic Union, won the 
remaining 9 seats.  While RENAMO charged that the Government 
had engaged in ballot-rigging, Dhlakama accepted the outcome, 
and the U.N. and other observers declared the election results 
free and fair.

While there are no legal restrictions hindering women's 
involvement in the political process, cultural factors have 
inhibited women's participation and advancement.  At year's 
end, there was one female minister (for Coordination and Social 
Action) and four female vice ministers in the Government.  The 
21-member National Elections Commission included 2 women to 
oversee the elections.  Of the 250 newly elected National 
Assembly deputies, 62 are women (48 of 129 for FRELIMO, 13 of 
112 for RENAMO, and 1 of 9 for the Democratic Union.

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, and two groups formed in 1993 continued to 
operate throughout the year.  The Mozambican League for Human 
Rights focuses particularly on the rights of prisoners.  On at 
least one occasion in 1994 it openly criticized the Government 
in the press for judicial delays affecting prisoners' rights.

The Government was receptive to visits by international human 
rights monitoring groups, including the ICRC and Amnesty 
International.

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

The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, 
religion, or disability, but the Government does not ensure in 
practice that citizens may exercise all these rights.

     Women

Despite constitutional prohibition of discrimination based on 
sex, women suffer both legal and societal discrimination.  
Mozambique has civil and commercial legal codes which predate 
independence and frequently contradict each other and the 
Constitution.  Among these laws are discriminatory measures 
based on traditional African practices which limit widow's 
inheritance rights, with estates reverting to the deceased 
husband's relatives.

Women continue to be underrepresented in the professions and 
have less access than males to educational institutions at all 
levels.  Discrimination against women is most apparent in rural 
areas where over 80 percent of the population live, and where 
women are engaged mainly in subsistence farming and 
child-rearing, with little opportunity for schooling or access 
to health care.

According to medical and other sources, violence against women, 
especially wife beating and rape, 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 specifically 
addressed the issue of violence against women.  While rape can 
theoretically be prosecuted in the courts, cultural pressures 
would make it difficult for most women to do so.

The Justice Ministry and an NGO organization, the Association 
of Women, Law, and Development (MULEIDE), which aims to promote 
and defend the legal rights of women, are collaborating to 
identify those outdated laws that conflict with rights granted 
women by the 1990 Constitution.  However, at year's end MULEIDE 
had not taken concrete action on the problems with the legal 
code.  In addition to MULEIDE, a Zimbabwe-based group, Women in 
Law and Development in Africa, opened a Mozambique chapter in 
1994 to focus on women's legal rights.

     Children

The Government has not made children's rights and welfare a 
priority.  It has made little attempt to reintegrate into 
society the large numbers of child soldiers that served in the 
military and RENAMO forces or alleviate the plight of the 
increasing numbers of urban street children, many of whom were 
orphaned by the war.  During the year, RENAMO began allowing 
the ICRC and other NGO's greater access to children in its 
custody, some of whom had been forced to be soldiers.  Of the 
3,500 children who had been in RENAMO custody, approximately 
500 had served as soldiers.  At year's end, all but a minority 
of problem cases (where parents were no longer alive or could 
not take their children back) had been resolved, and the ICRC 
announced plans to close its operation.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

There is no systematic persecution or discrimination on the 
basis of race, but the FRELIMO Government included at all 
levels a disproportionate number of southerners, mostly from 
the Shangaan ethnic group.  RENAMO leadership is predominantly 
Shona-ethnic.  There is no indication that the conflict between 
the FRELIMO Government and RENAMO was primarily motivated by 
ethnicity, although ethnic and regional factors played some 
role and explain some of the civil war violence.

     People with Disabilities

Although the Constitution expressly states that "disabled 
citizens shall enjoy fully the rights enshrined in the 
Constitution," the Government has made few resources available 
to assist the disabled and has not passed legislation mandating 
accessibility to public buildings or transportation.  In 1991 
the Association of Mozambican Disabled (ADEMO) was created to 
address the social and economic needs of the disabled.  
Although poorly funded, ADEMO provides training, raises public 
awareness of the need to integrate disabled persons into 
society, and lobbies the Ministry of Labor to initiate 
legislation to support the working rights of disabled persons.  
The Electoral Law governing the first multiparty elections 
specifically addressed the needs of disabled voters in the 
polling booths by stipulating that sick or disabled persons 
could go to the front of the line and be assisted by another 
voter to vote if necessary.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The Constitution specifies that all workers are free to join 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 the right to register independently from the 
then FRELIMO-dominated Organization of Mozambican Workers 
(OTM).  Three unions broke away from the OTM in 1992 and formed 
the Organization of Free and Independent Unions in 1994.   
While still considered to be under strong government influence, 
at its third National Congress in May the OTM membership for 
the first time elected its President and Secretary General; 
previously both were government appointees.  New OTM statutes 
call for independence from all influence by companies, 
governments, political parties, and religious groups.

The Constitution explicitly provides workers with 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).  While no general strikes occurred in 
1994, there were numerous wildcat strikes, with workers 
protesting low or long overdue salaries.  A downturn in 
Mozambique's industrial sector resulted in many factory 
closures and employers unable to meet payrolls.  Clashes 
between protesting workers and police sometimes turned violent, 
as in May in Nampula at the Modemo Wood Company, when police 
wounded several workers demanding their unpaid wages.

The 1991 Labor Law forbids retribution against strikers, the 
hiring of substitute workers, or lockouts by employers.  There 
were no known instances during 1994 of employer retribution 
against striking workers.  Specific labor disputes are 
generally arbitrated through ad hoc workers' committees, 
formally recognized by the Government.

The Constitution and labor legislation provide unions with 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.  In 
1994 Parliament ratified four International Labor Organization 
(ILO) conventions, including those on collective bargaining and 
protection of trade union rights.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The Labor Law protects workers' rights to organize and engage 
in collective bargaining.  In practice, the Government 
dominates the industrial sector through state-owned enterprises 
and is deeply involved in the bargaining process, even though 
in late 1991, the Government decreed that it would no longer 
set all salary levels.  During the year the OTM, the three 
independent unions, and business organizations met with the 
Government to negotiate a "social pact," which resulted in an 
increased minimum wage and the setting of voluntary price 
ceilings on certain food staples.  The more activist 
independent unions and, to a lesser extent the OTM, utilized 
the threat of a general strike to compel the Government and 
business organizations to establish a formal tripartite "social 
pact" committee to negotiate labor issues.

The Labor Law expressly prohibits discrimination against 
organized labor, although antiunion discrimination has not been 
an issue since, until recently, unions were 
government-controlled organizations.

While Mozambique has enacted legislation for the establishment 
of export processing zones, no zones have been created.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, and there have 
been no reports of such labor practices.

     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 employed 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, or selling trinkets and 
food in the streets.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The Government sets minimum wage rates administratively.  The 
minimum wage at year's end was less than $20 (117,500 meticais) 
per month.  The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing 
the minimum rates in the private sector and 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 fringe 
benefits such as transportation and food.  The minimum wage is 
not considered sufficient to sustain an average urban worker's 
family.  Many workers must turn to a second job, if available, 
as well as work garden plots to survive.

The standard legal workweek is 44 hours, with a 24-hour rest 
period stipulated.  In the small industrial 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 the Ministry of Labor 
enforces the laws ineffectively.(###)

[end of document]

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