An Analysis of the Coninutation and Expansion of Transnational Organized Crime: The case of Human Trafficking in Mozambique


Devor, Camilla Pahle. 2013. “An Analysis of the Coninutation and Expansion of Transnational Organized Crime: The case of Human Trafficking in Mozambique.” Master's Thesis. Stellenbosch University.

Author: Camilla Pahle Devor


In 1992, warring factions in Mozambique put an end to 15 years of violence and instability. By signing the General Peace Accord in Rome, the civil war was officially over, and postconflict reconstruction could begin. The post-conflict state has been struggling with high poverty, weak infrastructure and the burden of returning refugees as well as internally displaced people (IDP’s) in the aftermath of the war. Moreover, in recent years, increasing domestic activity on the part of transnational criminal syndicates has become a major national and regional security dilemma.

In this study, Mozambique, as a post-conflict state has been examined to identify the most important factors that lead to the increase and continuation in transnational crime in terms of human trafficking. Using prevailing state theories and post-conflict theories within the field of Political Science and analyzing Mozambique from the conceptual theoretical lenses of Max Weber, Charles Tilly, Shmuel N. Eistenstadt, and several other scholars, it is argued that there are numerous elements present within the state that have led to an increase in crime. These are first and foremost the (neo) patrimonial features of the state, corrupt state-officials, the state’s pluralist legal-system and a general lack of public trust in the legitimacy of the government.  Incomplete post-conflict reconstruction efforts, resulting in lack of public goods, such as health-care, schooling and jobs along with a culture of exploitation and objectification of women and deep-rooted gender-inequality in Mozambique is argued to provide criminal syndicates with an opportunity to capitalize on organized crimes such as trafficking of humans.

In recent years, positive developments manifest themselves through the international recognition of human trafficking and domestic ratifications of international laws and protocols to combat human trafficking. While Mozambique has ratified “The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children” this study reveals state factors that make the elimination of the crime of human trafficking in Mozambique difficult. The findings of the study are symbolic of a globalized problem. Combating transnational crime does not depend solely on international, regional and domestic cooperation through laws and regulations; it also necessitates increased national efforts in dealing with the root-causes of trafficking and to increase the political and public awareness in the country towards this human rights violation.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, International Law, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2013

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