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P.O BOX 71517 Sinza Kwaremi B,
Shekilango Road, Plot No 36
Dar es Salaam Tanzania
Phone: +255 22 246 1656/7
Country Office Overview Activities Partners Media Center
Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a relatively large country in East Africa that shares its borders with many countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo .Tanzania became an independent state in 1961, after gaining its sovereignty from The United Kingdom. The currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). As well, the people of Tanzania are referred to as Tanzanian. The name Tanzania itself derives from the country's two states, Zanzibar and Tanganyika. Zanzibar is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania and a semi-autonomous part of the country. With 947,300 square kilometres of land, Tanzania is the 31st largest country in the world and the 13th largest in Africa. The estimated 2017 population of Tanzania is 57.31 million, up from the 2014 estimate of 50.8 million, ranking 27th in the world. Tanzania's population growth rate continues to climb with a current growth rate of 3.0% annually.

Highlights of issues affecting children in The United Republic of Tanzania
Tanzania approximately six million children aged 0-14 years live below the basic needs poverty line, and approximately 2.8 million children fall below the food poverty line (HBS, 2008). Chronic malnutrition in Tanzania remains endemic, with 35% of children under five stunted and 21% underweight. 44.5% children in rural areas are stunted, compared to 31.5% in urban areas. According to the Tanzania DHS 2004/05, 48% of rural children suffered three or more severe deprivations of basic need compared with 10% of children in urban areas.

Harmful traditional practices:
Include female genital mutilation (FGM); early marriage and early pregnancy; traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an impression of morality in the eyes of those practising them and have great consequences for the health of the girl child. Most of the regions that have high rate of child marriage still practice these harmful traditional practices.

Children in the streets
Getting accurate statistical data for “street children, trafficking children, migrating children and refugees” is difficult given the hidden and isolated nature of the life they lead. In Tanzania the problem of street children is a big issue, particularly in urban areas such as Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Mwanza. Sometimes the children have left home because of abuse or death/departure of parents and other times to supplement family income. Children living in the street are often viewed as a threat to society, they suffer from violence and abuse they also face health problems and are most malnourished. Street children are vulnerable to traffic accidents yet they have difficulties accessing medical services. In the streets they are also vulnerable to substance use. In Tanzania children are also trafficked internally, largely for domestic work purposes.

Violence Against Children
Violence against children is a serious problem in Tanzania: nearly 3 in 10 females and approximately 1 in 7 males in Tanzania have experienced sexual violence prior to the age of 18. In addition, almost three-quarters of both females and males have experienced physical violence prior to 18 by an adult or intimate partner and one-quarter have experienced emotional violence by an adult during childhood (i.e., prior to turning 18) Although the rates of sexual violence are lower for Zanzibar (approximately 6% of females and 9% of males), sexual violence against children is still an issue that requires immediate attention.

The unprecedented numbers of orphans and vulnerable children resulting from the AIDS pandemic, combined with the weakening of family and community care structures increase the risks of violence and exploitation faced by children. The parliament of Tanzania passed the Law of the Child Act in 2009, signalling increased political commitment to upholding children’s rights, including freedom from violence, abuse and exploitation. A nationally representative study of the magnitude of violence against children can enhance these efforts by supporting advocacy, informing national planning and budget processes, and monitoring the impact of violence against children

Gender Based Violence
Gender Based Violence (GBV) is a human rights abuse which is reflected in the fight against poverty but also impedes the progress in the national response to HIV and AIDS. It is widespread in the country in both rural and urban areas where women and girls do not have equal rights compared to men and boys to participate in social, economic and political arenas limiting satisfactory prosperity in their lives. Specific acts of GBV include among others: domestic violence which is physical and sexual abuse; rape, use of abusive language; early marriages; female genital mutilation; unwanted pregnancies; forced labour; unequal division of property between men and women; infection with HIV and STIs and human trafficking especially of girls for domestic work and prostitution. Gender inequity exists in Tanzania as it is in many Sub-Saharan countries. In Tanzania, women still experience discrimination and they are vulnerable to human rights violations. According to Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS), of 2010, 50% of every married woman have experienced either physical, emotional or sexual violence from husbands. Discrimination against women stems from cultural practices and societal attitudes that are gender biased while others are a result of policies and laws that do not address gender equality issues or have provisions that are gender discriminative.

Child Marriage
Tanzania has one of the highest child marriage prevalence rates in the world. On average, almost two out of five girls will be married before their 18th birthday. About 37% of the women aged 20-24 were married/in union before age 18. Data shows a 4% decline since 2004 (41%) (TDHS 2012). Child marriage in Tanzania mainly affects girls and women, Tanzanian women on average get married more than five years earlier than Tanzanian men. The Law of Marriage Act (1971) allows for boys to marry at 18 and girls to marry at 15. They can marry at 14 if courts approve their request. Girls under 18 need parental permission to marry. In addition, Customary Laws run parallel to Statutory Laws. e Local Customary Law (Declaration) Order, GN 279 of 1963 allows each ethnic group to follow and make decisions based on its customs and traditions. Minimum age of marriage is not provided in the constitution.

Child marriage in Tanzania occurs more frequently among girls who are the least educated, poorest and living in rural areas: 61% of women aged 20-24 with no education and 39% with primary education were married or in union at age 18, compared to only 5% of women with secondary education or higher. Household wealth influences the prevalence of child marriage among all wealth quintiles. Girls from the poorest 20% of the households were more than twice as likely to be married/ in union before age 18 than girls from the richest 20% of the households.

Other drivers of child marriage include harmful traditional practices such as setting of bride price and the practice of female genital mutilation. FGM is used as a rite of passage into adulthood, a signal that a girl is ready to marry. A girl from a practicing community is not considered ready for marriage until she has undergone FGM. e national prevalence of FGM is currently 14.6%.

According to UNAIDS, adult HIV prevalence in Tanzania is estimated at 4.7 percent, with regional HIV prevalence ranging from 0.2 percent (Zanzibar) to 15.4 percent (Njombe). Out of a total population of over 53 million (UN Population Division, 2015). An estimated 54,000 new infections and 36,000 AIDS-related deaths occur in Tanzania annually. It’s estimated that there are over 1.6 million Tanzanians currently living with HIV/AIDS, and the epidemic has resulted in an estimated 1.3 million orphans. The overall HIV rate in Tanzania reaches as high as 15.4% among women in some areas. This epidemic may result in lower life expectancy, a higher infant mortality rate, higher death rate, changes in age and sex distribution in the population as well as a lower population growth.

Tanzania’s goal is to reach HIV epidemic control by 2020, with 90 percent of people living with the disease aware of their HIV status, 90 percent of those testing positive placed on continuous HIV treatment, and 90 percent of those on treatment reaching viral suppression. While the Government of Tanzania remains committed to responding to and mitigating the effects of HIV/AIDS, gaps in human resources, domestic financing, health infrastructure, and the supply chain for commodities continue to challenge progress

Child Labour:
According to Tanzania Ministry of Labour, Youth Development and Sports in cooperation the ILO’s International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) 2001 report, estimated that 39.5 percent (4.8 million) children between the ages of 5 and 17 in Tanzania involved in work, of which 40% of them were boys and 39% of working children were girls. Approximately 27 percent of working children are between the ages of 5 and 9, and 44 percent are between the ages of 10 and 14. Thirty-four percent of rural children worked, compared to 11 percent of urban children who worked. Forty-eight percent of working children also attended school. In Zanzibar the (ILFS) 2006 estimates that 9.2 per cent of the children aged between 5-17 years were involved in work. Boys 51.6 %, girls 48.4 %.

Children in Tanzania work on tea, coffee, sugar cane, and tobacco plantations; in mining and as domestic servants and in urban areas they work as barmaids, street vendors, car washers, shoe shiners, carpenters and auto repair mechanics. This has a huge impact on their Psychosocial wellbeing and development in general.

Corporal Punishment:
Corporal punishment of children is legal in their homes, schools and in prisons, or as a punishment for crime. Corporal punishment is widely accepted as a disciplinary measure in childrearing and not perceived as harmful or abusive. UNICEF’s 2010 Violence Against Children study found that almost three quarters of children, both male and female, experienced physical violence prior to the age of 18, almost three out of five experienced physical violence prior to age of 18 from relatives and one out of two experienced physical violence from teachers. Cases of abuse in schools are increasing in Tanzania. Instead of school becoming centres of support they are becoming places where different kinds of abuses happen including physical toucher. Organisations in Tanzania are lobbying and advocating for corporal punishment to be banned in schools. More and more work needs to be done to support teachers find other ways to discipline children and support their learning.

Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Youth
There are more than 2 million orphaned or abandoned children, and 20 per cent of the 5 to 17 year olds are engaged in child labour. Only 8 per cent of children under 5 have a birth certificate. In both Zanzibar and the mainland, the true extent of child abuses and violence is concealed because of a lack of empirical data or clear evidence of national or regional trends, and because of the silence and stigma surrounding the issue. Reports from professionals working in child protection and anecdotal evidence suggests that violence against children, sexual exploitation and abuse is a significant problem and occurs at home, in the workplace and at school. People take advantage when they know the child is an orphan. Community parenting is no longer very strong as it was before.

Number of children reached by REPSSI Communities and schools in Shinyanga region with Campaigns against Child Marriage 2017. This was done in Partnership with ICS

Male Female Total
Adults 20 192 15 240 35 432
Children 5 212 5 350 10 562

Policy and frameworks supporting children
  1. National Costed Plan of Action for MVC
  2. National Action Plan for Violence Against Women and Children
  3. Programme of Action for Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth
  4. PSS guidelines
  5. Child development Guidelines
In-country HR capacity
Country Director 1
Program Officer 1
Finance and Admin officer 1
Support Staff 2
Volunteer 1
Country Facilitators 12
Master Trainers 10
Regional Facilitators 3
Non- Governmental Organisations Act No 24 of 2002, Section 12(2) I-NGO/ 0009501
REPSSI - East Africa Advisory Board members