The Legal and Human Rights Centre has on December 10, 2016 joined the rest of the world to commemorate the 68th International Human Rights Day. The Centre celebrated the day in style by getting-together with human rights stakeholders from within and outside the country. The gathering exhausted the day to discuss on the status of human rights in the country as well as to recommend the way forward towards promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
Concurrently to the celebration, the Centre launched the first and one of its kind Tanzania Civil and Political Rights Perception Index report 2016. The report unveils the situation of human rights in the country particularly in six key areas of the said rights. The report grades all regions of Tanzania based on the perceptions of human rights monitors and paralegals in their respective regions.
The celebration coincided with the last day of the UN’s annual 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence that runs from 25th November- 10th December each year and it was graced by the British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ms. Sarah Cooke who applauded the initiatives by LHRC in promoting human rights in the country. Ms. Cooke said “To this end, I am delighted the UK, through the Department for International Development and its partners Sweden and Norway, is supporting the work of LHRC, and in particular the UHAKIKI project that is tracking civil and political rights in Tanzania”.
Commenting on the launched Civil and Political Rights Perception Index Report, Ms. Cooke commended the index saying that “The Index uses an innovative way to collect perceptions of local people on civil and political rights through specially trained local monitors who collect local data and make informed assessments on the civil and political rights situation in their regions. By surveying this group of experts annually, the Index can then track human rights trends in different areas of Tanzania”. She further spoke well of the report saying that it was drawn from a bottom-up approach which makes it important contributor to civil society’s efforts to advocate for human rights causes and it can also help Government better understand the challenges faced by citizens, so that they can tailor policies and practices to respond more effectively to human rights challenges.
Prior to the Ms. Cooke’s speech, the Executive Director for the LHRC, Dr. Helen Kijo-Bisimba said that, the Index is a new adopted way of documenting perceptions of people at community level on how they perceive the standard of protection of civil and political rights. “The Tanzania Civil and Political Rights Perception Index Report establish a national and regional grade for six civil and political rights issues. These grades are based on the perceptions of a network of local experts across the country. LHRC and ZLSC have trained and supported 31 human rights monitors and paralegals across the regions to participate in the Index process and provide informed assessment on the civil and political rights situation in their region” She expounded.
While presenting the findings of the report, the LHRC’s Researcher, Paul Mikongoti illustrated that the index results show the precarious situation for civil and political rights in the aftermath of the 2015 General Election. The index reveals that despite the significant changes by Magufuli administration in cutting government corruption and wasteful spending as well as proactive efforts to protect the elderly and people with albinism, there have been negative developments including arbitrary restrictions to political assemblies which restricts freedom of assembly and enactment of laws such as the Media Services Act and Cybercrime Act which restricts freedom of expression. These negative developments have led to the country’s low average score, signaling deep discontent and concern that human rights are not sufficiently being protected in the country.
On December 10th, 1950 the UN celebrated the first Human Rights Day to honor the date the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948. The 1948 Declaration is a breakthrough in the history of human rights, laying out for the first time, universal rights for all.
This year- 2016- the international theme for World Human Rights Day is “Stand up for someone’s rights today!
Human Rights Day - Download the speech of the British High Commissioner
Human Rights Day - Download the speech of Dr. Helen Kijo Bisimba
Siku ya Haki za Binadamu -Pakua hotuba ya Dkt Helen Kijo Bisimba
British High Commissioner, Ms. Sarah Cooke addresses the gathering (not in a picture) during the commemoration of Human Rights Day by LHRC.
Executive Director for LHRC, Dr. Helen Kijo-Bisimba speaks during the celebration of Human Rights Day
Human Rights Clubs leaders accept a privilege to officiate the launch of the Tanzania Civil and Political Rights Perceptions Index 2016
Justice Lugakingira House,
Kijitonyama Area,P.O.Box 75254,
Dar es Salaam- Tanzania
Tel:+255 22 2773038/48;
| Arusha Office
Engira Road,Plot No.48,
Tel:+255 27 2544187
|Legal Aid Centre
Isere St.House No.660 Kinondoni
P.O.Box 79633,Dar es Salaam-Tanzania