According to the Tanzania Human Rights Report 2018, by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), incidents of violence against children increased from 4,728 by mid-2017 to 6376 incidents by Mid-2018.
The report further reveals that a media survey by the (LHRC) shows 91 per cent of reported violence against children incidents were of sexual violence while 9 per cent were physical and psychological.
“Sexual violence against children particularly in the forms of rape and sodomy was a major human rights concern in 2018,” reads the report in part.
Sexual was also mentioned as one of the major violations of children’s rights in all 20 districts that LHRC visited in 2018.
The report which was presented by LHRC researcher, Fundikira Wazambi further said showed that child rape incidents increased from 759 in the first six months of 2017 to 2,365 from January to June 2018.
“Child -on -child sexual abuse was said to exist and is becoming a major concern, especially at schools,” the report said.
The report said the main contributing factors to sexual violence in Tanzania mainland includes lack of proper care and parental guidance, lack of parenting and child care knowledge among parents and guardians.
The study warned that sexual violence against girls and young women puts them at increased risk of HIV infection which will hamper the country’s efforts to achieve its 90-90 HIV infection reduction targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Among other factors contributing to sexual abuse, according to the report was the long distance to and from school saying some girls were raped on their way to and from school.
The main perpetrators of sexual incidents against children were identified as neighbours and relatives. Bodaboda drivers and male teachers were also mentioned among perpetrators and implicated in several acts of sexual violence against children in 2018.
Earlier, LHRC executive director Anna Henga said this year’s report carried the theme: Sexual Violence: A Threat to Child Rights and Welfare in Tanzania because of the increasing cases of violence against children.
“This is very sad because it shows there are no deliberate efforts to protect our children, there is need for an urgent plan to ensure that children enjoy their basic rights the same as other human beings, the society and the government have different roles to play,” she said.