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Department Seal


DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994


Botswana is a multiparty democracy.  The Constitution vests 
legislative power in the 38-seat National Assembly 
(Parliament), elected every 5 years, and executive power in the 
President, currently Sir Ketumile Masire, who was reelected in 
1989 for a second 5-year term.  The President selects his 
Cabinet from members of the National Assembly.  While Botswana 
has several active political parties, the country's politics 
are dominated by the governing Botswana Democratic Party 
(BDP).  The courts operate independently of both the 
legislative and executive branches.  All citizens, regardless 
of race, are free to participate fully in the economic and 
political life of the country.

Botswana's military, the Botswana Defense Force (BDF), numbers 
about 8,000 soldiers, and the Botswana National Police (BNP) 
has about 3,000 members.  Both the BDF and the BNP are 
subordinate to civilian authority.

The economy is market oriented with strong encouragement for 
private enterprise.  Spurred by diamond revenues, the country's 
economy expanded rapidly in the 1980's, although the growth 
rate slowed in 1992-93.  Since independence in 1966, per capita 
gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from $69 to a 
current figure of about $2,590.  However, more than 50 percent 
of the population lives outside the formal sector, gaining its 
livelihood from subsistence farming and animal husbandry.  
Furthermore, income distribution is heavily skewed, with the 
top 20 percent of the population probably earning more than 60 
percent of total income and the bottom 40 percent earning as 
little as 10 percent of the total.

Botswana's laws and legal system provide for a broad range of 
individual rights and freedoms, which are widely observed in 
practice.  However, women face significant legal and practical 
discrimination, and violence against them is a growing 
problem.  Dwellers in remote areas and groups not numbered 
among the eight "principal tribes" identified in the 
Constitution do not enjoy full political rights or full access 
to social services.  One man died while in police custody in 
November 1992 after allegedly being tortured; five police 
detectives were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 5 
years in prison (of which 3 years were suspended) for causing 
the man's death.  There were credible reports that occasional 
mistreatment of suspects continued in 1993.  Labor has the 
right to organize freely, although trade unions continue to 
face certain legal restrictions.  The press, human rights 
groups, and others sharply criticized the Government's use of 
its power to expel foreigners without giving reasons.


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

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

The death of the suspect in the November 1992 case was the only 
confirmed killing by police resulting from beatings or 
shootings which were not strictly in self-defense.

     b.  Disappearance

No instances of politically motivated disappearances were 

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

Although not authorized or routine, torture of suspects appears 
to be more common practice than was previously known.  Officers 
found to have abused suspects have been subjected to internal 
disciplinary procedures and criminal prosecution.  A suspected 
robber died in police custody in November 1992 after reported 
suffocation by a plastic bag.  Five police detectives were 
convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 5 years in prison 
(of which 3 were suspended) for causing the man's death.  The 
murder charge was downgraded to manslaughter because the police 
were acting in the line of duty at the time.  The judge 
explained the relatively light sentence by pointing out that 
the officers had no prior records of misconduct and that he did 
not want to "demoralize" the rest of the force.  Several 
credible accounts of such suffocation torture to extract 
confessions or leads in serious crimes surfaced after the 1992 
death.  Game scouts (wardens) accused of mistreating suspects 
in 1992 were suspended and prosecuted during 1993 but were 
acquitted of assault due to lack of evidence.  A former 
policeman alleged that torture of suspects in murder cases is 
"common" and not reported or stopped by higher authorities.  
Annually, a handful of game scouts and police found to have 
abused suspects have been been subject to disciplinary actions 
(transfer, suspension pending investigation, and reprimands), 
but police are reluctant to punish abuse of authority in their 
ranks and even more reluctant to have it publicized; so many 
abusers have not been disciplined.  Prior to 1992 there were 
succesful civil suits against police for mistreatment, and 
another well-documented civil suit for damages stemming from a 
1991 case--but significantly against the chief suspect in the 
1992 death case--is currently in court.  Such punishments do 
not appear to have been an adequate deterrent, for credible 
allegations of mistreatment continue.

The Government makes efforts to protect women in custody from 
rape and other abuse.  Arrested women are placed in the charge 
of female police officers, reducing the potential for 
mistreatment by male police officers.  Prison conditions are 
generally acceptable.  Basic nutritional and hygenic 
requirements are met.  Inmates, including some illegal 
immigrants later found to be elgible for refugee status, 
complained of mistreatment (pushing, rude treatment, denial of 
meals or privileges for relatively minor infractions).  Such 
abuse does not appear to be widespread or condoned.  Prisoners' 
complaints were not rigorously investigated; no prison officer 
was punished in 1993 for mistreatment of inmates.

Caning is allowed for certain offenses for men below age 40.  
Strict conditions regulate the size of the cane, require 
medical examinations of the prisoner before and after 
punishment, and prescribe strokes only across the buttocks.  A 
recent High Court opinion forbids corporal punishment for 
children under 14.  Parents and village headmen, however, may 
beat children under rules of "traditional punishment."

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

Citizens are protected from arbitrary arrest under the 
Constitution.  An arresting officer must explain the crime an 
arrestee is accused of and advise that the arrestee has the 
right to remain silent.  In most cases, a suspect may contact 
anyone of his or her choosing and must be charged before a 
magistrate within 48 hours of arrest.  Bail is allowed and 
detainees have the right to hire attorneys of their choice.  
Poor police training and poor communications in rural villages, 
however, make it difficult for detainees to obtain legal 
assistance, and procedures are not strictly followed.  An 
automatic public defender service for those unable to afford a 
lawyer is lacking.

Once a suspect has appeared before a magistrate, he or she may 
be detained only if the magistrate issues a writ of detention, 
valid for 14 days and renewable every 14 days thereafter.  
Observance of these procedures has been uneven, but police 
officers exceeding their detention authority have been 
administratively punished or sued successfully in civil actions.

These restrictions on detention do not apply to illegal 
immigrants (mostly Zimbabweans or Zambians).  Hundreds of such 
illegal immigrants are found in periodic sweeps by the police 
and deported, although many are detained for periods ranging 
from a few hours to over a year, pending deportation.

The Constitution allows the President to declare a foreigner a 
"prohibited immigrant" (PI) and order deportation.  This 
provision was used in 20 or more cases in 1993.  The law does 
not require any explanation for declarations of PI status, nor 
is any normally given.  The order is not subject to judicial 
review, although one controversial 1993 order expelling a 
prominent businessman was rescinded by the President after 
public protests.  Further, no explanation or judicial review of 
cancellation of residence permits for foreigners is required.  
This method of expulsion also came under public fire in 1993, 
resulting in presidential reversal of one such residence permit 

Persons charged under the National Security Act (NSA) must be 
arraigned before a magistrate within 96 hours, and suspects may 
be held indefinitely.  However, this act has rarely been 
invoked and was not used in 1993.  Security cases are tried 
under ordinary criminal procedures after an initial hearing.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative 
branches of government in both law and practice.  This was 
reaffirmed in 1993 with the bribery conviction and sentencing 
to jail of a prominent ruling party member of the National 
Assembly.  No instances of the courts being used to intimidate 
or silence political dissent were reported.

In late 1993 no political prisoners were held in Botswana, 
although migrants claiming refugee status were routinely 
detained and deported without due process.  In some cases, 
refuge-seekers have been held without charge for over a year 
even after the United Nations High Commission for Refugees 
(UNHCR) determined that they met the legal criteria for refugee 

Botswana has two court systems, the civil courts and the 
customary (traditional) courts.  In the civil courts, a 
defendant's right to due process is provided for by law and 
largely honored in practice, although many defendants are not 
informed of their rights in pretrial or trial proceedings.

Most trials are held in public and court records are public.  
However, trials under the National Security Act may be held in 
secret.  As a rule, courts appoint public defenders only for 
those charged with capital crimes (murder and treason);  
lawyers in these cases serve on a pro bono basis.  Thus, those 
charged with noncapital crimes are often tried without legal 
representation if they cannot afford an attorney.  However, 
defendants may in any case confront witnesses and present 
evidence and are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  There 
are clearly defined appeal procedures, which are often employed.

Customary courts handle land, marital, and property disputes as 
well as minor crimes but are open only to members of the given 
tribe.  No rules of evidence apply in these courts, and there 
are no attorneys for either side.  Tribal chiefs who preside 
over the court do not have judicial training and have been 
known to taunt defendants for confessions.  Maximum punishment 
is limited, and appeals are permitted.

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

Privacy in family matters and correspondence is respected, and 
there is no evidence of arbitrary surveillance of persons or 
their communications.

Court-issued search warrants are required, but police officers 
of the rank of sergeant and above may enter, search, and seize 
property provided they believe "on reasonable grounds" that 
criminal activity is involved and that evidence would be lost 
or compromised by waiting for a warrant, and provided that the 
evidence is later brought before a magistrate.  In practice, 
this means that seizures of property are frequently made 
without resort to search warrants.  Evidence gained without a 
warrant is admissible in court.  Judges may and do disqualify 
such evidence if it can be shown that it would not likely have 
been compromised by taking the time to obtain a proper warrant.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedom of speech and press are provided for in the 
Constitution and respected in practice.  Opposition viewpoints 
and criticism of the Government are freely expressed in 
Parliament and elsewhere.

The Botswana Press Agency (BOPA), Radio Botswana, and the Daily 
News are all part of the Department of Information and 
Broadcasting.  Each is independent of the other two, although 
Radio Botswana and the Daily News get the majority of their 
news stories from BOPA.  Both the Daily News and Radio Botswana 
are run with a modest degree of autonomy.  The Daily News, made 
available free of charge, consists largely of reports of 
speeches of ministers and other high officials and 
international wire service stories.  In addition, there are 
four independent weeklies which frequently disagree with or 
criticize senior officials.  These papers have reported 
incidents of fraud and misconduct, which led to resignations 
and prosecutions of prominent political figures.  While 
opposition parties' activities receive press coverage, the 
Government media gives more space to ruling party viewpoints.  
The independent press is more evenhanded and publishes a wide 
variety of opinions and features.

In the past, the Government clashed with the independent press 
over the proper reporting of national security issues.  In 1993 
the Government prevented the media from fully covering National 
Police Day celebrations, claiming that the restriction was 
required for logistical reasons.

Individual ministers and members of Parliament have brought 
suits against critical independent media, and in late 1993 a 
case was still pending against one paper for publishing 
allegedly secret documents regarding internal government 
deliberations in worker grievance cases.  Books and 
publications are not censored.  Academic freedom is fully 
respected.  Although a law was passed in 1990 authorizing 
restrictions on certain kinds of student protests, such 
restrictions have never been imposed.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Botswana has a long history of peaceful assembly which is 
integral to traditional village life and is exemplified in the 
village meeting, the Kgotla.  During Kgotla meetings, men 
freely question leaders and voice opinions on local and 
national politics.  Traditionally, women do not speak out at 
Kgotlas and are discouraged from expressing their opinions.  
Permits are required for public meetings and demonstrations and 
are usually granted if the police believe public order will not 
be threatened.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law.  There is no state 
religion, and while the majority of the population is 
Christian, many other faiths are practiced freely.  No 
restrictions are put on places of worship, the training of 
members of the clergy, religious publishing, religious 
education, conversion, or participation in charitable 
activity.  Restrictions were not placed on missionaries or 
foreign clergy during 1993.

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

Botswana has no restrictions on movement within the country, 
foreign travel, emigration, or the right to return.  Passports 
are easily obtained by citizens and are valid for 10 years.

Refugees documented by the UNHCR are readily accepted into 
Botswana but are normally required to live in the refugee 
settlement at Dukwe in the northeast, although the Government 
may authorize them to live elsewhere.  Refugees currently in 
Botswana number about 700.  South Africans continued to be 
processed as refugees in 1993, but displaced persons arriving 
from more distant east and central African countries were 
frequently detained as illegal immigrants and not referred to 
the UNHCR for possible determination of refugee status.

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

Botswana citizens have the right to change their government 
peacefully through democratic means, although in practice one 
party, the BDP, has dominated Parliament since independence 27 
years ago.  Members of Parliament are elected by secret ballot 
and universal suffrage of citizens 21 years of age and older; 
the President is elected by the Parliament.  In the National 
Assembly, 34 of the 38 members are elected every 5 years; the 
remaining 4 are appointed by the President.  In the 1989 
elections, the BDP won 31 of the 34 elected seats.  
Parliamentary debate is vigorous, and government policies are 
freely criticized as each proposed bill goes through three 
readings.  Members of Parliament frequently demand that 
ministers define and defend their departments' policies and 
performance.  New parties are freely formed.  Of the eight 
active political parties, only two, the BDP and Botswana 
National Front (BNF), are represented in Parliament.

The leading opposition party, the BNF, threatened to boycott 
the 1994 elections if the BDP did not agree to certain 
electoral reforms to reduce what they saw as built-in 
advantages of incumbency.  Although the opposition received 
more than 25 percent of the national vote in 1989, it won only 
3 seats in Parliament.  Opposition parties complain that 
election administration is partisan and that the BDP uses 
appointed seats to district and town councils to undo hard-won 
opposition victories in local elections.

The political rights of women and minorities are not restricted 
by law, but traditional patriarchal society has discouraged 
women from taking part in politics.  Yet, women vote in greater 
numbers than men, and the number of positions, including senior 
posts, held by women in various institutions is increasing.  
Women hold seats in local and district councils, and two women 
are in Parliament; one of them is the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs.  Groups living a nomadic life style in remote areas 
have difficulty participating in the political process and are 
poorly represented in politics (see Section 5).

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

Local human rights groups operate openly and independently.  
The Botswana Association for Human Rights aims to focus 
national attention on needed legal reforms, to make 
recommendations to the National Law Reform Committee, to 
heighten public awareness about human rights, and to pressure 
the Government to ratify more of the international human rights 
instruments.  Independent organizations dealing with the rights 
of women, the handicapped, and rural dwellers are also active.

The Government also permits international organizations 
involved in human rights and humanitarian affairs, including 
the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United 
Nations High Commission for Refugees, and the International 
Labor Organization, to operate in Botswana.  Amnesty 
International (AI) reported in 1993 on mistreatment of 
indigenous hunters apprehended for poaching in 1992 and earlier 
years.  The Government disputed AI's assertions and its 
conclusion but did not obstruct the investigation.

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


The Constitution and Penal Code forbid discrimination based on 
color, race, nationality, or creed but do not mention 
discrimination based on sex.  Moreover, a number of laws and 
customs have the effect of restricting social and economic 
opportunities for women.  For example, women married "in common 
property" become legal minors and, without their husbands' 
consent, may not purchase or sell property, gain access to 
credit, or make other legally binding agreements.  While a 
woman may enter a binding transaction as a public trader, she 
may become a trader only with her husband's consent.  Marriage 
license applications are increasingly accompanied by 
explanations of marriage "out of common property" under which a 
woman retains the property she brings to a marriage as well as 
full adult legal standing after marriage.  Although frowned 
upon by more traditional families, these marriages are 
increasingly common.  Under customary law a husband may have 
additional wives after consulting with his first wife and the 
families, although this practice is dying out.

A woman is required to obtain her husband's permission for 
operations to prevent conception.  Abortion is allowed in cases 
of rape or incest and when the physical or mental health of a 
mother is threatened, or when a child will suffer grave 
physical or mental abnormalities.  Two physicians must agree 
that the health of the mother is threatened, or that the child 
will have severe abnormalities.  If the health of a married 
couple's child is at risk, or the mother is an unwed minor, 
abortion is a family decision.  A married woman must get her 
husband's consent to abort a child if he is the father and the 
unborn child's health, not the mother's, is in question.  An 
unmarried minor seeking an abortion requires the parents' 

The Attorney General maintains that women have no legal 
recourse in sex discrimination cases.  However, a recent case 
attracting international attention (Dow vs. State) sucessfully 
challenged the Citizenship Act, arguing that the law 
discriminated by preventing a woman from transmitting Botswana 
citizenship to her children.  The ruling, upheld by the High 
Court in 1992, means the Citizenship Law must be rewritten.  At 
year's end the reform of Botswana's citizenship transmission 
laws was still under discussion within the Government.  No 
decision had been made to hold a referendum on the issue or 
attempt to amend the Constitution.  Inheritance laws and 
customs call for each child, regardless of sex, to receive a 
share of an estate.  The oldest male child receives a larger 
share but is responsible for his widowed mother and minor 

Violence against women, including rape, is a growing problem.  
Police statistics indicate that 172 women died between 1990 and 
1992 as a result of domestic violence.  In 1989 and 1990 alone, 
1,000 women reported being victims of battery.  Men have 
traditionally had the right to "chastise" their wives, and wife 
beating involving bruising to face and body is still accepted.  
No support groups or shelters for battered women exist.  
However, a legal center in Mochudi provides legal services and 
counseling to victims of violence.  Most women are reluctant to 
report cases of assault because they fear their husbands will 
be publicly reprimanded.  The parents of a couple are expected 
to help reconcile any differences, with the consequence that 
police are unwilling to intervene.  In serious cases, however, 
a woman must file a police report before being admitted to a 
hospital for treatment of injuries resulting from assault and 
battery.  The maximum penalty for a convicted rapist is life 
imprisonment with mandatory corporal punishment; the average 
sentence is 4 years with corporal punishment.  A few 
traditional doctors still perform a type of female circumcision 
on rare occasions.

Agricultural labor is shared, with men generally responsible 
for plowing, planting, and assisting with the harvest.  Women 
traditionally weed farm plots and protect them from birds, 
cattle, and other animals.  Cattle herding, the most important 
pastoral activity in Botswana society, is a male 
responsibility.  Women are responsible for household 
management, including child rearing, budgeting, and allocating 
tasks to other female relatives.  Urban women with modern 
skills and education appear to have entry-level opportunities 
nearly equal to men, but women's access dwindles sharply in the 
higher echelons of business and public service.  Urban women 
without such skills are generally relegated to low-paying 
service jobs.  Concerted government action to improve the 
status of women has been limited, but there is no evidence of 
particular jobs being reserved for men.  Women are increasingly 
visible in the professions and commerce and as laborers.  The 
number of women's organizations is growing.  The most active 
group is Emang Basadi, which seeks to educate women about their 
rights, argues for the enforcement of fathers' obligations to 
support their children, and advocates day-care in institutions 
like the National University and banks which employ large 
numbers of women.  In addition, numerous local women's groups 
are organized for self-help.


Children's rights are addressed in the 1981 Children's Act, 
which mandates a separate judicial process for juveniles, 
compulsory schooling until age 13, and the legal obligation of 
both parents to care for their children (including those born 
out of wedlock).  The employment section of the act prohibits 
children from heavy lifting and any participation in industrial 
labor or nighttime employment.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The Tswana majority, made up of eight principal tribes, has a 
tradition of peacefully coexisting with "minor" tribes, chief 
among which are the Kalanga, who constitute 25 percent of the 
population.  Each of the Tswana tribes is represented in the 
House of Chiefs while other groups are only allowed a subchief, 
who is not a member of the House.  Although ethnic rivalries 
are not entirely absent, no ethnic groups suffer from direct 
discrimination.  The most prominent complaint concerns the 
Government's refusal to allow school instruction in minority 
languages, especially Ikalanga.

Groups living in remote areas, including the Kgalagadi and the 
San (also called Basarwa or Bushmen), do not have full access 
to government services and legal redress, partly because of 
their distance from settled areas and their nomadic lifestyle.  
They are poorly represented in politics and have few 
opportunities for power, even at the local level.  The 
Government is revising controversial policies that limit remote 
area dwellers' access to land and the ability of foreign 
nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) to work with the San.

     People with Disabilities

The Government does not discriminate on the basis of physical 
handicaps, and, working with the NGO community, promotes 
special education and training.  A growing number of job 
opportunities exist for the disabled in both the private and 
public sectors, but opportunities do not match the number of 
those in need.  Public buildings and vehicles can rarely 
accomodate wheelchairs, although a handful of newer buildings 
in the Gaborone area offer ramps and elevators.  Those features 
are not, however, the result of legislation.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

Workers, except for civil servants, have the legal right to 
establish or join trade unions.  These government workers may 
form associations that function as quasi-unions but lack the 
right to negotiate wages.  Unions are well developed in the 
mining, railways, and banking sectors, as well as among 
government blue-collar workers.  There is one major 
confederation of trade unions, the Botswana Federation of Trade 
Unions (BFTU).  Trade unions are independent of government 
control or party affiliation and actively seek to represent 
their members' interests.  Unions may employ administrative 
staff, but the law requires elected union officials to work 
full time in the industry the union represents.  This severely 
limits union leaders' effectiveness and has been criticized by 
the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), 
with which the BFTU is affiliated.

In addition, the law severely restricts the right to strike.  
Legal strikes are theoretically possible after an exhaustive 
arbitration process, but, in practice, none of the country's 
strikes has been legal.  No significant strikes took place in 

Unions may join international organizations, and labor 
representatives regularly attend international conferences.  
The Minister of Labor must approve any affiliation with an 
outside labor movement, but unions may now appeal to the courts 
if an application to join or form an amalgamation is refused.  
Union officials and members may receive foreign scholarships 
and travel expenses without government permission.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Although employers are required under the Trade Union Act to 
bargain with any trade union that organizes at least 25 percent 
of the work force in a given industry, in practice, a union's 
ability to bring employers to the bargaining table depends on 
its overall strength.  Collective bargaining is common in the 
mining sector, where trade unions are strong, but is virtually 
nonexistent in most other sectors.

Public sector salary levels set under the Government's incomes 
policy used to serve as a benchmark for private sector wages, 
but that policy was voided by Parliament in 1990.  Since then, 
private sector pay raises and inflation indexing must be 
negotiated directly with employers.

Dismissals may be appealed to labor officers or civil courts, 
but labor officers rarely do more than order 2 months' 
severance pay.

Workers cannot be fired or suspended for legal union-related 
activities, and any person who has been dismissed would have 
the right to demand reinstatment.  The Government itself fired 
a handful of union activists in 1992 but did so on other legal 

Labor law and practice in Botswana's only export processing 
zone, in Selebi-Phikwe, are the same as in the rest of the 

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Neither forced nor compulsory labor is practiced, and both are 
specifically forbidden by the Constitution.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Although education is not compulsory, it is almost universally 
available, and most children attend school at least through the 
seventh grade.  The Government is rapidly making 9 years of 
free public education universally available.  The employment of 
children under age 13 by anyone except members of the child's 
immediate family is strictly prohibited.  No juvenile under the 
age of 15 may be employed in any industry, and only persons 
over 16 may be employed in night work.  No person 16 or younger 
is permitted to work in hazardous jobs, including mining.  In 
addition, young people may not be recruited for jobs outside 
the country.  The hours and working conditions of children in 
the informal sector, particularly in rural areas, are difficult 
to assess.  Such employment is almost always in family 
enterprises or on family farms, in which case juvenile labor 
laws do not apply.  There were no reported cases of formal 
sector employers violating these statutes in 1993.  The 
Department of Labor is insufficiently staffed to enforce 
compliance by small enterprises.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

As of April 1993, the minimum monthly wage was $100 (pula 
237).  The Central Statistics Office calculated a minimum 
monthly wage of $210 (pula 500) was required to provide food, 
clothing, and transport for a family of five.  The minimum wage 
generally varies by industry, but in most cases, workers must 
supplement it with a second job or subsistence farming.  Most 
families have more than one wage earner.  An average salary for 
a better paid worker would be between $400 and $700.

The minimum wage is legislated by the Government and is 
enforced and observed in urban areas for citizens of Botswana.  
Adherence is more sketchy in the pastoral sector, especially 
where housing and food are part of the employer-employee 
agreement.  Citizens of neighboring states, notably Zimbabwe, 
are frequently employed in the domestic service sector, where 
many work for low wages and in substandard living conditions.  
Such illegal migrants would be subject to arbitrary deportation 
if they attempted to take their cases to the police, making 
them particularly vulnerable to exploitation.

The law mandates a maximum 48-hour workweek with provisions for 
overtime pay (time and a half) for more than 48 hours.  Most 
major employers use the standard workweek, but some smaller 
firms do not pay overtime, and action is seldom taken against 

The Government establishes basic health and safety standards to 
which most industries adhere, although compliance by 
construction firms is sometimes lax.  Nevertheless, industrial 
accident rates are not high on the whole.  Though the 
Government employs a corps of safety and health inspectors, 
enforcement of safety standards, a shared responsibility of the 
Ministries of Labor, Mines, and Health, is hampered by 
inadequate staffing.  Workers who complain about hazardous 
conditions are legally protected from dismissal, but 
enforcement of this protection has been uneven. (###)

[end of document]


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