ECLJ at the UN: Persistence of trafficking and sexual exploitation in Mauritius

Human trafficking in Mauritius

By ECLJ1692697704226

The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) presented at the 45th session of the Universal Periodic Review in 2023 a report[1] addressing human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Mauritius. It critically examines the existing measures to combat these issues and highlighting the insufficiencies in the Mauritian government's efforts.

The Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean that is home to approximately 1.3 million people. Mauritius maintains a comprehensive legal structure aimed at the prevention of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. On the international stage, the country has ratified several international conventions dedicated to the protection of human rights, including the prevention of human trafficking. Domestically, Mauritius has further demonstrated its commitment to human rights through the enactment of targeted legislations, such as the Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2009 and the Children's Act of 2020. Despite these commitments, there remains a significant disparity between the laws in place and their actual enforcement.

The Underground Exploitation of Women and Children

The vulnerability of children in Mauritius is particularly alarming. Young girls, some as young as ten, are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation[2]. The hidden nature of this crime and the lack of comprehensive data make it a shadowy problem, difficult to quantify but impossible to ignore. Women, too, are victims of this hidden crisis. Cases have been reported where women were lured into Mauritius with false promises of employment, only to be sexually abused and forced into prostitution upon arrival[3].

Challenges and Efforts in Combating Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Mauritius

The government has demonstrated its determination to combat human trafficking and related crimes by forming a commendable partnership with the European Union: MIEUX+ (Migration EU Expertise) since July 2021[4]. This collaboration was specifically designed to enhance the capacity of Mauritian public officials, not only to identify victims of trafficking but also to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases with greater efficacy. Despite these efforts, the country still faces challenges in formulating a comprehensive strategy to effectively combat the sale and sexual exploitation of women and children. Coordination between various government bodies often proves to be difficult[5].

ECLJ’s Recommendations

To address the issues of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, the government of Mauritius must prioritize preventive measures and tackle the underlying causes leading to these despicable crimes. There must be a concerted effort to ensure that existing legal provisions are not only in place but are also rigorously enforced. That is why the ECLJ strongly recommends the creation of a specialized institution dedicated to combatting this problem. The government should provide the necessary resources and training to this specialized agency in order to prosecute the perpetrators and effectively combat human trafficking, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. If this measure is coupled with improving awareness, providing support to victims, and addressing socio-economic factors that are at the root of the problem, we are confident that the incidence of human trafficking and sexual exploitation can be substantially reduced in Mauritius.


[1] European Centre for Law and Justice, "UPR 45 - Mauritius - July 2023", http://media.aclj.org/pdf/ECLJ-UPR-45-Mauritius-July-2023.pdf.

[2] General Information on Mauritius, SOS CHILD.’S VILL.’S, https://www.sos-childrensvillages.org/where-we-help/africa/mauritius.

[3] Woman Returned From Mauritius Files Trafficking Case Against Recruiting Agency, PROTHOM ALO (Jul. 11, 2021), https://en.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/crime-and-law/woman-returned-from-mauritius-files-trafficking-case-against-recruiting-agency, see also Trafficked, PAUL CHOY, https://www.paulchoy.com/articles/trafficked.

[4] Mauritius III, MIEUX+, https://www.mieux-initiative.eu/en/actions/194-mauritius-iii.

[5] EPCAT, MAURITIUS: COUNTRY OVERVIEW 2 (2019), https://ecpat.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/ECPAT-Country-Overview-Mauritius-July-2019.pdf.


Cookies & Privacy

There is no advertising for any third party on our website. We merely use cookies to improve your navigation experience (technical cookies) and to allow us to analyze the way you consult our websites in order to improve it (analytics cookies). The personal information that may be requested on some pages of our website (subscribing to our Newsletter, signing a petition,  making a donation...) is optional. We do not share any of this information we may collect with third parties. You can check here for our privacy & security policy for more information.

I refuse analytics cookies