On June 16 every year Africans commemorates African Child Day since 1991 when it was initially passed by the then Organization of African Countries now African Union (AU). On June 16, 1991African countries forming AU initiated the day to honour the contribution of children who participated in Soweto Uprising in South Africa and further promotion of children rights in the continent. The continental theme for 2018 commutation is “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development” while the country’s (Tanzania) theme is “Towards Industrial Economy; Leave No Child Behind”.
In its part Legal and Human Rights Centre being human rights advocacy organization joins the friends of human rights in the continent to foster the campaign for the promotion of children rights in the continent and Tanzania in particular. In commemorating this year’s (2018) African Child Day, the LHRC has designed several series of activities to be conducted in three different regions of Tanzania counting Shinyanga, Mara and Dar es Salaam. These interventions include legal aid, mass sensitization and students’ parliamentary session on children rights in Tanzania.
From June 11 to June 16, LHRC will be in Shinyanga to provide women in Shinyanga Municipal Council with legal assistance on cases related to family, matrimonial disputes, child maintenance and custody, inheritance, childcare, employment, HIV/AIDS and issues related to Gender Based Violence. On June 16, LHRC in collaboration with Amref Health Africa will join Serengeti District Council in a public meeting to be held at Majimoto ward in Serengeti District. The meeting aims at sensitizing the people of Serengeti to abandon the dreadful Female Genital Mutilation practice which is critical in the district.
Similarly, LHRC expects to organize students’ debate on Children Rights in Tanzania to bring together students from five selected primary schools from the five districts of Dar es Salaam. Students from Kijitonyama Primary School (Kinondoni), Mji Mwema Primary School (Kigamboni), Mkombozi Primary School (Ubungo), Mkoa Primary School (Ilala) and Temeke Primary School (Temeke) will be discussing on their rights during the debate to be held on June 19, 2018.
Together with these interventions, LHRC calls all Tanzanians to proactively and reactively safeguard and promote children rights given that the situation has been worsening in recent years. Tanzania Human Rights Report 2017 depicts the alarming increase in children rights violations counting an increase in child rape and molestation, child marriage, teenage pregnancies and physical abuse. Also, the government’s stance against reentry policy has been noted as a setback specifically to the girl child in enjoying the right to education.
Legal and Human Rights Centre calls on Tanzanians to despise and abandon harmful cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, Child Marriage, just to mention a few that deprive children from enjoying their rights. LHRC also urge Tanzanians to consider child inclusion in making the decision that affects the well-being of children from the family level to the national level.
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