Human Rights Report 2018: Sexual Violence Against Children on the rise, Civil and Political Rights still in jeopardy
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
May 14, 2019
Legal and Human Rights has on May 14, 2019, launched the Tanzania Human Rights Report 2018 depicting the situation of human rights in the country. The 2018 report is themed "Sexual Violence: A Threat to Child Rights and Welfare in Tanzania" because of the increased number of reported incidences of sexual violence against children. The report suggests that from January to June 2018 a total of 6,376 incidents of violence were reported; 1648 more compared to the same period in 2017.
Incidents of rape and sodomy against children have tremendously increased from 759 incidents in a mid-2017 to 2,365 in mid-2018. LHRC’s media survey unveiled that 91% of reported VAC incidents were of sexual violence, while 9% were physical and psychological violence. According to the report, lack of proper care and parental guidance, household poverty, witchcraft-beliefs; low awareness about child rights and family disintegration among other reasons triggers sexual violence against children.
Apart from violence against children, the report has also recorded yet deteriorating trends on civil and political rights in Tanzania. Continued legal and extra-legal measures threatening right to freedom of expression; right to equality before the law and effective remedy; right to liberty and personal security; right to freedom from torture; right to freedom of assembly; right to freedom of association as well as right to participate in governance are among issues affecting civic space in Tanzania.
Moreover, the report highlights the trends on rights of other vulnerable groups including Women, Elderly, PWDs and People Living with HIV/AIDS. The report suggests that economic violence, physical and psychological violence, sexual violence, marital sodomy and sexual corruption are among the key issues affecting women's rights. While rights of PWDs were challenged by the inadequate budget allocated to address issues affecting PWDs; income poverty; physical barriers leading to inaccessibility of services; lack of employment opportunities and social stigma.
Speaking during the launching event, the LHRC’s Executive Director Ms. Anna Henga called upon all the responsible stakeholders and the general public to play their roles in addressing human rights challenges as depicted in the report.
“I call upon every one of us to read the report and act to rectify the situation of human rights in the country” – said Anna Henga.
Michael Mallya – Public Relations and Communications Officer