Dar es Salaam. Incidents of violence against children in the country increased to 6,376 last year (2018) compared to the previous year, says a new report by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC).
In 2017, some 4,728 were reported, the LHRC executive director Ms Anna Henga, said on Tuesday, May 14.
The report, titled: âSexual Violence: a threat to child rights and welfare in Tanzania 2018â, was prepared in collaboration with Zanzibar Legal Service Centre (ZLSC) and other human rights bodies.
Sexual violence against children, particularly in forms of rape and sodomy, were a major human rights concern in 2018.
Further, the report shows that child rape incidents increased to 2,365 last year from 759.
Sexual violence was also mentioned as a one of the major violations of children’s rights in all 20 districts of 10 regions that LHRC surveyed last year.
âWe have observed that most of the incidents were committed by family members while in other children, they were done by their fellow studentsâ¦we need to continue providing education,â Ms Henga said.
She said the LHRC has been getting good cooperation from the government and other stakeholders, adding that more efforts need to be done to stop violence against children.
A researcher from the LHRC, Fundikira Wazambi, saidÂ child-on-child sexual abuse exists and is becoming a major problem especially at schools.
Reports of the existence of such abuse were made in seven out of tenÂ regions visited by the centre.
He said factors contributing to such incidents include a lack of proper care by parents and guardians as well as lack of parenthood and child care knowledge.
Violation of childrenâs rights also happen when men abandon their wives and children to marry other women, usually younger; poor school environment and long distance to school that leaves children vulnerable to bodaboda riders and peer pressure.
The report recommended that community members must protect and safeguard children’s rights and refrain from acts of abuse to children.
Civil Societies Organization (CSOs) should collaborate with the government to ensure effective implementation of the convention on the rights of the child in order to safeguard rights of all children including street children and children with disabilities, added the report.
The government should move to implement the convention of the rights of the child in line with the general comment no 21 on children in street situations prepared by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in order to safeguard rights of street children, it recommended.