International Day of the Girl Child 2016: A call to end child marriage and all other forms of violence against the girl child
Ahead of the International Day of the girl child, the Legal and Human Rights Centre, one of the prominent defenders of children’s rights in Tanzania joins the world to commemorate this day by calling upon the government and society in general to value children’s dignity regardless of gender. LHRC commends the different efforts that have been going on in promoting and safeguarding the rights of girls in the country.
However girls still face a number of challenges as there has been an increase on reported incidences of violence and discrimination against girls in the country. The LHRC’s Bi annual report 2016 reveals a number of cases of violence and abuse which girls suffer including girl child trafficking, rape, female genital mutilation, child and early marriages, defilement, sexual harassment, drug trafficking and sexual exploitation just to mention a few. The LHRC bitterly condemns the increasing incidences of violence against children and particularly the girl child in the country as they are demoralizing the wellbeing of girls in the society by denying their right to education which escalates women dependency. Child marriage has multiple effects to girls including health effects, economic effects as well as societal effects. Girls are subjected to risks of death due to early pregnancies, HIV/AIDs infections, fistula and other STDs.
We urge our leaders at all levels from our respective communities at grassroots, to national level to proudly pioneer the agenda of children's rights and particularly the rights of girls as a national agenda so as to tackle all barriers that stops girls from unleashing their potentials. Each of us should be responsible in ensuring that girls are free to live their dreams, free from harm and by doing so as a nation we will be able to realize the implementation of the sustainable development goals which the country has committed to.
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Dar es Salaam- Tanzania
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