Human Rights Monitoring
1. To coordinate and monitor human rights violations in Tanzania
The key function of the Human Rights Monitoring (HRM) Unit is to collect, verify and thus utilize the acquired information to address human rights violation/abuse in Tanzania. Modes of collecting data includes observation of human rights events (such as elections and trials), visits to specific sites where human rights issues might be involved such as refugee camps and prisons. It further involves visits to areas where LHRC has programs and fact-finding missions where human rights violations/abuses have been reported.
The information collected is normally used to pursue remedies in Court and/or is channeled to respective government authorities for appropriate administrative measures. It is further recorded by the Centre and later on used for advocacy activities to support positive reforms of law, policy, practice, and are published in its annual Human Rights Report .
HRM is endowed with monitors who have been trained on basic human rights and monitoring techniques. At the moment the centre has 127 monitors scattered in almost all districts of Tanzania except 9. Apart from monitors, LHRC receives details in regard to human rights violations and abuses from like-minded organizations as well as human rights activists, both known as human rights defenders.
LHRC conducts a regular assessment and training of human rights monitors and defenders as one of the Unit’s core activity and those victimized enjoy full and free legal representation from the legal aid clinics run by the Centre.
Additionally, the Centre plans to establish a Special Rapporteurs as a monitoring focal point in designated areas, such as refugees’ camps and prisons to keep abreast on prevailing human rights situation in these areas.
Human rights-related activities organized by the HRM Unit include the Annual Human Rights Conference which is held annually on the 10th of December. The day coincides with the commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights where the anniversary is marked with press conferences and consultative meetings with stakeholders. Moreover, the Centre has since 2003 prepared the Tanzania Human Rights Report. Currently LHRC prepares the said report jointly with the Zanzibar Legal Service Centre (ZLSC).
The report is based on data gathered from the LHRC human rights Monitors, as well as field research, in-house progress activities reports and national newspapers survey. The document further highlights success, challenges and failure by the government to fulfill its obligations as far as human rights is concerned.