Commemoration of the African Child Day 2023.
On June 17, 2023, LHRC collaborated with the Raising Up Friendship Foundation and the Ministry for Community Development, Gender, Women, and Special Groups aimed to commemorate African Child Day and raise awareness about the rights of children in the digital environment. The event occurred on June 17, 2023, at Kisenga Hall, Millennium Tower in Dar es Salaam.
Hon. Mwanaidi Ally Khamis, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Children, and Special Groups, was the Guest of Honor at the event. The theme of the Children's Parliament was "The Rights of the Child in the Digital Environment."
Children from 19 schools in the Dar es Salaam region and the Pwani region, specifically from Bagamoyo, participated in the Children's Parliament. The purpose of the event was to provide children with a platform to engage in dialogue, ask questions, and discuss issues that concern them. It aimed to raise their awareness about their rights and their role in society.
The Children's Parliament also addressed challenges faced by children in schools and shared opinions on the existing marriage law. The LHRC's Executive Director, Dr. Anna Henga, participated in the event and emphasized the importance of actively listening to children's perspectives in the implementation of laws. The aim was to bring about changes in legislation and policies that safeguard the rights of children in Tanzania.
Dr. Henga highlighted the challenges faced by children in Tanzania, including instances of violence, child abuse, sexual violence, child marriages, teenage pregnancies, exploitation, and an increase in children living and working on the streets. She mentioned that the Tanzania Human Rights Report of 2022 documented a notable escalation in instances of violence against children, with sexual violence being particularly prevalent, affecting a significant number of male children.
Hon. Mwanaidi Ally Khamis said the concept of organizing the Children's Parliament stems from the fact that children are part of the citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania who have a constitutional right to express their opinions on various issues concerning their interests. This is under Article 18 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977, and Article 12(i) of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which directs member countries to ensure that every child, regardless of their status, is provided with the right to express their opinions or thoughts without any hindrance and that these opinions are given due weight appropriate to their age.