Brief History of the Tanzania Human Rights Report
Tanzania Human Rights Report was first produced by the LHRC in 2002 documenting analysis of human rights situation in Tanzania with emphasis on mainland Tanzania. The idea to compile and publish the report came as a result of media reports and fact finding missions which revealed humn rights violtation in different places in the country. The LHRC was concerned about the prevalence of rights violations going undocumented and made available to both decision makers and the general public, hence intervened to ensure the situation is put to light so as to bring changes towards respect of human rights. Being an advocacy organization LHRC thought of producing a report that will be used as a tool for data driven/evidence based advocacy in Tanzania.
Initially, LHRC started to document human rights violations as reported through media particularly newspapers. The first Tanzania Human Rights Report was a 48 pages report in five chapters covering some few areas of human rights including civil and political rights, economic,social and cultural rights and rights of special groups.
In 2006, the LHRC stretched its wings to include more on Zanzibar in the report as it joined efforts with the Zanzibar Legal Services Centre to produce the first report which extensively covered Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania on Human Rights. From there on, the LHRC in collaboration with the ZLSC has been consistently producing the report in a defined structure that is part one that covers human rights situation in Tanzania mainland and part two depicting human rights situation in Tanzania Zanzibar.
Eventually Tanzania Human Rights Report has evolved from just a summary of human rights incidences reported in media to be the number one reference tool for human rights situation in Tanzania. The report has been a useful advocacy tool to both international and national stakeholders including international human rights organizations, development partners, embassies, academic institutions, media, and even individual researchers. In Tanzania the report has been an educational tool used in higher-level education institutions particularly in universities. Civil Society Organizations, media, policy makers, politicians, researchers and individuals have been making use of the report for reference, policy making, advocacy and awareness.
Since 2013 there has been diversifications in data collection, data analysis and presentation processes to respond to increased numbers of information sources. To maintain the credibility of the report, the Legal and Human Rights Centre and Zanzibar Legal Services Centre have been working closely with state organs, government institutions and non-state actors in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar to obtain findings and researches that are useful to the report.
Similarly, primary information from people/general public and reports from media as well as reports from paralegals and human rights monitors nourish the report.
The advanced and current version of the report covers almost all areas of human rights. Tanzania Human Rights Report 2017 is 414 pages report with ten chapters.
Chapter One of the Report provides background information on Tanzania (both Mainland and Zanzibar). Chapter Two covers the situation of key civil rights, namely: right to life; freedom of expression; rights to equality before the law and effective remedy; right to liberty and personal security; and freedom from torture. Chapter Three is about the situation of political rights, particularly freedom of assembly and freedom of association. Chapter Four covers economic rights such as right to property and right to adequate standard of living. Chapter Five examines the situation of social and cultural rights, especially the quality and accessibility around rights to education, water and health. Chapter Six looks at collective rights, particularly right to development and right to benefit from natural resources, while Chapter Seven is on the rights of vulnerable groups, which are women, children, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), and the elderly. Chapter Eight is on Corruption, Good Governance and Human Rights. Chapter Nine looks at human rights mechanisms, at domestic, regional and international levels, while Chapter 10 is on other issues of human rights concern in 2017.
Major Human Rights Violations in 2017
Human rights violations in Tanzania increased in the year 2017, compared to the year 2016. Most violations were of civil and political rights, especially right to life, freedom from violence, right to liberty and personal security, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. Restrictions on these human rights also negatively affected the right to participate in governance, particularly the right to participate in political life.
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