Tanzanians called to respect and safeguard children’s rights

25Jan 2022
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaaam
The Guardian
Tanzanians called to respect and safeguard children’s rights

​​​​​​​TANZANIANS have been called to respect and safeguard children’s rights, as a way to assist in eradicating sexual exploitation (sextortion) and other acts of violence.

Community development officer from Kisutu Juvenile Court in Dar es Salaaam, Asha Mbaruku

Community Development Officer from the Kisutu Juvenile Court in Dar es Salaaam, Asha Mbaruku made the call yesterday at a meeting aimed to empower stakeholders fighting for sexual exploitation on children.

The meeting was organised by the women community based organisation – “Wanawake Katika Jitihada za Maendeleo” (WAJIKI) who brought together various stakeholders including motor cycle (bodaboda) and tricycle (bajaj) drivers.

Other participants included teachers, students, Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) the police and religious leaders.

"Some of the children rights is to live, to be loved and involving them in issues concerning them, but also to be listened to. I this way we can eradicate sexual corruption and build a better society,” she said.

She said in order to achieve success, joint cooperation among various stakeholders is needed and that WAJIKI is among those who show an example in the fight against sexual exploitation on students.

PCCB investigation Officer from Kinondoni district, Dorothea Mrema said no one should use his position to solicit sexual corruption on students, as by doing so they will be spoiling their life dreams.

She said PCCB has a slogan “Break the silence, refuse sexual exploitation” and that as an institution, PCCB continues to remind the society to abide by the slogan.

For her part, WAJIKI Director, Janeth Mawinza said her organisation has been fighting against sexual corruption on girl students in collaboration with some of the drivers who have offered themselves to become ambassadors in the fight.

"As for now we have more than 3,000 drivers in Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke districts who have formed over 108 groups,” she added.

She said some of these drivers are WAJIKI ambassadors, they are mobilising the public to avoid sexual corruption, and now they have another task in mobilising the public to receive Covid-19 jabs.

Mawinza added: “Women Fund Tanzania Trust (WFT), have been sponsoring the fight so that we can expand our activities to others regions in the country. 

The observation was made recently by WAJIKI in Dar es Salaam’s Mwananyamala, Makumbusho and Kawe Wards’ schools, wherein many students admitted to have been experiencing sexual violence abuse.

According to Mawinza, research results showed that offering free transport, plus a small amount of cash were commuter bus and motor vehicle operators’ approach to hook the minors.

She was quoted as saying: “They end up in sexual affairs which lead in to an increase of early pregnancies and school drop-outs. Again, sexually transmitted diseases, including HVI/AIDS are obvious in such un-protected affairs.”

Globally, economic impact and cost of physical, emotional and sexual violence against children are between three and eight per cent of a global Gross Domestic Products,” she said.