Dar es Salaam – The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro this week launched two separate reports on a Violence Against Children in Tanzania survey and a second report on good governance self assessment prepared by the African Peer Review Mechanism in Tanzania.
The Violence Against Children survey report was published by UNICEF in association with Dar es Salaam’s Muhimbili University and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The three year UNICEF report findings on violence against children in the country is the first of its kind on the African continent after UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for action to end violence against children in 2006, urging countries to review their situations.
During the launch, the Deputy Secretary General expressed shock at the high level of violence against children in Tanzania. She revealed statistics indicating high rates of violence in schools. Examples of statistics given from the report is that, six per cent of children (questioned) have been forced to have sexual relations before the age of 18 and that one in ten school children have been harassed by their teachers at school. Dr. Migiro said this situation is unacceptable.
At the same event Dr Migiro also launched the national response plan on violence against children. She said a new hotline number 116 had been registered by the Tanzanian Police Force and it would soon be available for people to report abusive incidents. She further said “I have been informed that 40 police officers have already been trained by UNICEF in Hai District , Kilimanjaro Region on handling cases of violence against children.” In this respect, Dr. Migiro commended efforts being made in Hai District giving an example of a young girl who was previously subjected to sexual harassment by her step father who was provided assistance by the police and safe custody by a woman in society.
The Deputy Secretary General also called upon the Ministry of Education to scrap off corporal punishment in schools in order to avoid creating a violent society. The Violence against children report launch was well attended by members of the diplomatic corps, Senior Government officials including the Minister of Community Development Gender and Children, Minister of Education, Ministry officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Legal and constitutional Affairs, Regional Administration and local Government officials, Civil Society Representatives, Members of the United Nations family and school children.
On the second report on good governance by the Peer Review Mechanism in Tanzania which the Deputy Secretary General launched in Dar es Salaam, DSG Migiro challenged Tanzania to address over-independence on foreign aid.