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Tanzania

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									          State Party Examination of Tanzania’s Second Periodic Report
                  Session 42 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child
Tanzania ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991. On 19 May 2006,
the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) examined Tanzania’s Second
Periodic Report.
Opening Comments
The country Rapporteur, Mrs. Lucy Smith, congratulated the delegation on its second report. It
was prepared in conformity with CRC general guidelines and focused on changes based on the
Committee’s recommendations. It also provided an assessment of the implementation of
UNGA Special Outcome Document.
Implementation
The head of the delegation, Hon. Sophia M. Simba, Minister for Community Development,
Gender, and Children, introduced the implementation measures which were included in the
report. She reminded the Committee of the economic situation in Tanzania and pointed out that
inflation had decreased from 27.1 1997 to 4.3 2004. Real GDP was 6.7%. There was no quick
fix to eradicate poverty but the National Institute for Economic Growth aimed at the following
targets: children and young people’s issues, early childhood, infant and children’s health,
nutrition, water and sanitation, support of vulnerable groups, and HIV/AIDS. Tanzania had so
far managed to reduce infant mortality and the death rate, while increasing the nutritional
intake of children. These factors illustrated progress and the government’s political motivation.
Tanzania had also prepared a National Plan of Action covering areas such as: providing healthy
lives, quality education, combat HIV/AIDS, promoting children and youth participation. In July
2003, the Department of Children Development was established within the Ministry of
Community Development, Gender and Children (MCDGC) to address issues of children and
youth. The MCDGC was responsible for monitoring and implementing children’s rights. There
were also improvements in the areas of primary education and health services, notably
enrolment rates among primary school children increased by 82%. It was decided to put efforts
into improving the quality of secondary education as well, ensuring that children from poor
families could access education.
Still, there were persistent problems in obtaining targets on child mortality rates because of
HIV/AIDS and malnutrition. HIV/AIDS was declared a national emergency disaster. The
Zanzibar AIDS Commission (ZAC) coordinated efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. In addition, the
government ensured the protection of orphans and women affected by AIDS. The NGOs and
community-based organisations also conduct programmes for education.
In November 2005, general elections were held and the 4th government was formed.
Committed to putting efforts into improving welfare in order to strengthen the union between
Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, a new ministry became responsible for Union matters.
Another objective was to strengthen collaboration with NGOs on community development,
gender and children’s issues. The government was in the process of reviewing the Child
Development Policy of 1996 to address emerging issues, such as: orphans, street children, child
labour, children with disabilities, increasing child abuse and violence. The new government
also advocated the principles of protection, development, participation and non-discrimination.



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The head of the delegation noted with regret that one of the biggest obstacles for the proper
implementation of the CRC remained the mindset of adults, which failed to incorporate
children. The latter were often denied the right to expression and contribution of ideas. To this
end, the government had introduced child-friendly schools in 6 areas, children’s parliaments in
hospitals and clinics. Children were also included in process of public expenditure review. Mrs.
Simba proceeded to inform the Committee about an initiative to create a new Children’s Action
Plan. The views of stakeholders would be compiled through a national whitepaper, which was
due to start in 2006. It would include Children’s Act legislation, minimal age of criminal
responsibility, marriage and employment. The paper would also take into account: child care,
maintenance of customs, minimum age of marriage, protection of children, parent’s guardian’s
responsibilities and rights to inheritance.
In the legal sector, juvenile courts were constructed and the death penalty was addressed. A
person who was child at the time of the offence was not liable to the death penalty. The
government was reviewing laws on succession, inheritance and marriage to support orphans
and vulnerable children to overcome apathy and enhance decision-making, health and the
nutritional status of infants.
Tanzania was still faced with challenges, such as economic constraints, negative attitudes,
customary practices, ignorance of the majority of the population all hindered the level of
achievement. The challenges in the CRC related to poverty, women, children, child labour,
HIV/AIDS, all needed serious attention. Tanzania and Zanzibar were taking administrative,
legislative and judicial measures to implement the provisions of the CRC.
The country rapporteur, Mrs. Lucy Smith, reassured the delegation of the awareness of the
Committee that Tanzania was a country in a particularly difficult economic situation and
welcomed the ratification of the two Optional Protocols to the CRC.
National and International Legislation
The Committee enquired about the types of legislation that applies to the Union of Tanzania
and Zanzibar and whether the Child’s Act was part of this. The delegation explained that there
were Union issues, such as finance, home affairs and public security, and non-Union matters,
such as health and education, which required collaboration between ministries.
The Committee enquired if international law took precedence over national law. From the
report it seemed that the CRC was domesticated but not the Optional Protocols (OPs). The
delegation responded that for international law to be part of national law, it had to be
domesticated, which could be done through enabling acts. Only then could it take precedence.
The head of delegation expressed hope that the OPs would soon be domesticated.
The Child Act
The Committee noted that the Child’s Act was in progress over the past 10 years and wanted to
know the reason for it, the time necessary for completing the Act, and its intended status in
legislation. The delegation explained that the government had to make sure that the wishes of
stakeholders were taken into account, namely children, NGOs and communities as a whole.
The consultation process could prolong itself to mid 2007 because of sensitivities with religion
and customs of different groups. This piece of legislation would not legally apply to Zanzibar,
even though the government of Zanzibar would take it into account.




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The Committee further enquired whether it was true that the 1977 Bill of Rights had no
provision for children. The delegation responded that on the contrary, children were included in
the term ‘human beings’.
Child Labour
The Committee asked for more information on the campaigns to eliminate child labour. The
State party replied that children were made aware of the worst forms of child labour. US and
ILO funds covered the budget for child labour elimination policies for 2002-2005. The
government contributed a token amount to these policies. In 2005, 72,000 USD were allocated
to scale-up nationwide child labour interventions, and as a result child labour had dropped quite
substantially. For instance, there were policies of reintegration of exploited children:
youngsters removed from working in mines went to school and those too old for primary
school, received basic education. All children were encouraged to return to their families.
Corporal Punishment
The Committee wanted to know whether corporal punishment at home, at school and in the
courts would be abolished. The delegation replied that the public still saw a need for corporal
punishment. The government tried to change that by raising awareness and disseminating the
CRC and supporting child-friendly schools.
Respect for the Views of the Child
The Committee enquired about child participation, child-friendly schools and junior councils.
The delegation explained that junior councils, although not part of the government, brought
children’s views to the government with the help of local authorities. Children’s participation
was further promoted through programmes such as the Children’s parliament, the Coucouta
review and the Child forum.
Coordination and Cooperation with Civil Society
The Committee commented on the need to improve the state’s coordination of financial and
human resources at local level. In particular, the Committee recommended a better organisation
of the plans of action, frameworks, documentations and allocated resources.
The Committee expressed concern that NGOs were not sufficiently involved in the process of
implementation. The delegation responded that the official government policy was to
collaborate with NGOs and cooperation would be increased in the future.
Data Collection
The Committee recognised the big improvements and the gaps in data collection. It
recommended a centralised data system with disaggregated and prioritised data and offered full
technical assistance. The delegation made a note of that.
Definition of Child
The Committee enquired for an update regarding the possible raise of the age of majority from
16 to 18 years. The delegation explained that the government was consulting stakeholders on
that issue.
Good Governance and Monitoring
The Committee requested a short update on good governance and eliminating corruption. The
delegation provided an exhaustive response to the Committee’s request. The Procurement


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act/finance act was reviewed (since 1995) with consultants from the World Bank. The results
showed that the current legislation was fairly standard. The President’s office was responsible
for the bureau of corruption with a staff of 300 people in all districts. Public education and
awareness were provided so the general public could participate in fighting corruption. A Unit
called Good Governance was created within the government and a donor community provided
reports on quarterly bases. The government also addressed efficient service delivery and
improving the morale of the workforce.
Tanzania’s Human Rights Commission
The Committee requested detail on the Human Rights Commission, which operated under the
government budget. The delegation explained that the Chairman and Vice Chair were former
judges, but were not encouraged to look into matters going to courts of law. Any Commission
delegate was free to investigate any complaint. The Commission reports to the president on an
annual basis and anything reported was acted upon. The Commission was also trying to
accommodate the CRC into future legislation and make it publicly known.
Awareness Raising
The Committee asked about awareness raising and the delegation pointing out that the mass
media was often used, especially concerning abuse and violence. There was a programme
starting in June involving issues regarding children and giving them a chance to speak out.
Budgetary Allocations
The Committee noted the UNESCO recommendations for the education budget were 6% of the
GDP. The Committee encouraged Tanzania to meet this requirement in consecutive periods,
and asked whether there was a mechanism to guarantee equitable distribution of the budget
along the varying levels of development.
Islamic Law and Non-Discrimination
The Committee enquired whether the laws applied were secular and objective. The delegation
noted that both common law (secular law) and the Sharia (community law) were used. The
Islamic law applied solely to the Muslim population, while common law applied to everybody.
One reason the Child’s Act was heavily discussed was that it involves inheritance, separation,
and family matters, and Islamic law already had such provisions in its legislations. The
coexistence of these two laws had a negative effect on children as it imposed a standard for all
children. However, the delegation noted that there had not been problems with the penal court.
The Committee was further concerned that for children born out of wedlock, food allowances
could be stopped at age 14. The Committee asked if the Land Act had provisions to protect
children, and the delegation replied that food and other necessities would be taken into
consideration under the Child’s Act. There was also a concern that pregnant girls, HIV/AIDS
infected people in homosexual groups, and handicapped children were being discriminated
against in Tanzania. The Committee asked about steps to improve the integration of these
people. The delegation replied pointed to the Spinster’s Act, which prevented pregnant girls
from being expelled from school.
Juvenile Justice




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The Committee requested an estimate of the total number of children in jails. The delegation
could not provide an exact number but assured the Committee that the government would
undertake a study. One positive aspect was the special jails for juvenile offenders.
From the report it was unclear whether there were specialised courts for children. The
Committee wanted to know if matters for majors and minors were treated separately, if
confidentiality was systematic and if children were protected when witnessing in court. The
delegation noted that there was a special juvenile court in Dar el Salaam. Children committed
various offences such as pick pocketing, assault and abuses; and Islam children committed
‘maddah’. Those found guilty of ‘maddah’ could be pardoned by the President, as was recently
the case. Other children were given the chance to continue their studies or carry out community
service. In addition, there were ‘home’ for children who committed petty crimes where they
were counselled by social workers. This applied to Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania. The
Committee also addressed punishment and sanctions. The State party had banned the death
penalty and life sentence before the age of 18 but it was unclear what was the maximum
duration of detention. The question was not answered.
Alternative Care and Adoption
The Committee wanted to know how the alternative care system operated. According to the
report, it seemed that there were two guidelines for the care and protection of orphans: one
community-based and one institutional-based. The Committee requested further clarification on
this distinction. The delegation did not provide clear answers to these questions.
The Committee requested more information on the legislation for adoption and the possibility
of foster homes and families. According to the report only citizens residing in Kenya, Tanzania
and Uganda were allowed to adopt, and enquired why adoption was limited to East African
States. The delegation replied that adoption was open to foreigners with permanent residence in
Tanzania as well. The Committee also wanted to know if there were provisions for people who
left the country after they adopted a child. The delegation replied positively and added that such
children were monitored by social agencies abroad. The Committee also enquired if Tanzania
was considering ratifying the Hague Convention on International Adoption. The delegation
replied that it was under discussion.
Health
1.   Malaria
The Committee enquired about the implementation of the Malaria control programme. There
was information that nets could not be distributed in the peripheral or marginal sectors of
Tanzania, particularly in rural areas. The delegation reasserted that there were interventions to
use nets and that the government was trying to disseminate them as far into the interior as
possible.
2.   HIV/AIDS
The delegation mentioned the difficulty in coordinating different parts of the government
fighting against HIV/AIDS. The Committee enquired if international assistance was sufficient
and adequate, and asked about the possibility of guaranteeing universal distribution of ARV’s.
It was noted that Tanzania had difficulties in manufacturing and distributing ARVs but it was
not clear whether this was due to international patents and restrictions. The delegation
mentioned the AIDS Commission, which was formed in 1999. In addition, there was a National


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Multi-Sectoral Strategic Plan for HIV AIDS applicable across the border. A lot of advocacy
was carried out and more than 1,000 NGO collaborated. The religious groups were advocating
abstinence and the government was distributing condoms. Results showed that people were
able to change their behaviour –96% of the people knew what AIDS was and how to prevent it.
However, young people were the most vulnerable, as incidents were very high among the age
group of 20-35 years. Medication was expensive but cheaper drugs could be found. The
delegation made a special note about a programme on prevention of mother-child transmission
and proper breastfeeding that was launched in 2002.
Orphans of HIV AIDS parents
The Committee enquired about the number of HIV/AIDS orphans and the institutions they
were placed in. The delegation responded that a study showed that the most vulnerable children
represented about 10-12% of the population and 53% of them were taken care of by
grandparents. There was a data management system, ensuring that information was collected
about these children at national level. There were also ‘home’ institutions, which provided
services and care for orphans. The money for these homes was provided by the government and
was used to pay for materials and medication. UNICEF was also of a huge support and the
organisation ‘Orphans and Vulnerable Children’ was in charge of mobilising communities to
take responsibility and reduce the placement of children in institutions.
Drugs
The Committee asked about the approach to combating drugs and the treatment for children
involved in drug use. In addition, it wanted to know about the preventive measures available to
the public, especially children. The delegation explained that the Commission for the
Prevention of Drug Abuse was in charge of drug prevention. Programmes existed to care for
drug abusers in centres that provided counselling, psychotherapy and rehabilitation. Awareness
about drug abuse was recently integrated into the school curriculum. The Committee also
enquired if the possession of drugs was criminalized and the delegation answered that only
individuals involved in drug trafficking were brought to court.
Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriages
The Committee noted that female genital mutilation (FGM) was prohibited by law but was still
widely practiced. The law did not seem to provide punishment for FGM. The delegation
reasserted that FGM was a crime which was penalised either through imprisonment or fines.
NGOs were working intensively on combating FGM and people were more aware of the
harmful practices. However, it was widely practiced despite the penalties.
Education
The Committee congratulated Tanzania on the progress in primary education enrolment but
noted the regional disparities in the quality of education and training. Moreover, more attention
to the pre-primary and secondary level plan was needed. The delegation agreed that pre-
primary education rates were very low. To that end, the Ministry of Education had issued a
guideline for every school to have a pre-primary institution. Communities and NGOs were
encouraged to establish more daycare centres. In addition, for the next financial year pre-
primary schools would be given a grant for each child. Thus, schools would be allocated the
money for every child attending a pre-schooling programme.




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The Committee asked if there was any attempt to ensure gender parity in education by
affirmative action programmes. The delegation replied that girls were given priority in the
selection of secondary education. The Committee pointed out that up to 90% of disabled
children were not in school. The delegation responded that in Zanzibar there was a special
programme to enrol vulnerable children in schools, and that a comprehensive policy addressing
this issue was under way in Tanzania.
Refugee Children
The Committee congratulated Tanzania on its long established open door policy for refugees. It
noted that voluntary repatriation of refugees back home was introduced as a main policy and
solicited the Refugee act for its protection measures. However, it wanted to receive more
details about education in refugee camps. The delegation informed the Committee that refugee
children were sometimes integrated in regular schools depending on their country of origin.
Child Abuse, Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking
In response to the question about child abuse, the delegation responded that the Commission
played a role in terms of the law and social workers were involved with their placement and
protection. They investigated and ensured that the culprits were tried. If a child was abused the
matter could go through the HRC and others could go through the legal system.
The Committee requested information on measures to combat sexual exploitation. The
delegation explained that the National Plan of Action addressed sexual exploitation. The United
States had provided a budget plan for the implementation of programmes against sexual
exploitation. In the meantime, civil society was making a poverty revision and estimating a
minimum amount needed for care and support for sexually exploited children.
The Committee wanted to know whether the legislation prohibited traffic in all its forms. The
delegation replied that it would soon start an assessment of laws that affect human trafficking.
Complaint Mechanisms
The Committee enquired about a help line for children. The delegation answered that the
government was interested in establishing a 3-digit toll free help line for children or adults to
report violations of rights. However, it still needed to ensure that it could offer a link between
the police, the court and other appropriate authorities.
Conflict within the family and Custody
The Committee wanted to know if there were awareness programmes to remind family
members of their responsibilities. The delegation replied that no particular studies were
undertaken on conflict within the family. However, in cases of conflict, there was a system
whereby tribunals regulated conflicts within or outside the family. This was called a ‘word
tribunal’. Retired magistrates usually sat on the tribunal and administered the conflict issues.
The Committee asked for more information about child custody and procedures for granting
custody. The delegation responded that a child was usually allowed to choose with which
parent to stay, as of the age of 14. The courts also looked at the best interests of the child and
the financial situation of the parents.
Concluding remarks
The Committee noted that Tanzania needed to improve data collection. Secondly, it was
advisable to invest resources into strengthening institutional structures and coordination


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mechanisms for the CRC. Also, Tanzania should finalise the process revising the Child
Development Policy and endorsing the National Plan of Action. The government should also
strengthen its cooperation with NGOs and encourage the participation of children and young
people. Improving the quality of secondary education should be a key goal, as well as the need
to access services for sexually exploited and trafficked children. Finally, the Committee
advised Tanzania to disseminate child-friendly versions of all documents that might be relevant
to children. The Committee acknowledged that much progress had been made since the last
report and expressed its hope that the second report, along with the concluding observations of
the Committee, would be widely disseminated.
Prepared by the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child/ Liaison Unit




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