Speaking yesterday during the commemoration of the International Day of the African Child, TAMWA Executive Director Rose Reuben said that sexual violence against children is still a major concern in the country, calling for more players to chip in and address it.
Citing police report, Rose said sexual violence against children cases have increased whereas in 2020, 7263 cases were reported which is an increase of 26 per cent compared to 2015 where 5803 cases were recorded equivalent to 615 cases per month which is said to be endangering the future welfare of children in the country.
With these cases, the activist said despite existing legal and policy frameworks, children in Tanzania continue to experience high rates of sexual violence in their homes, schools and communities and children continue to feel that not enough is being done to ensure they are safe from abuses, she added.
Further, efforts to fight such barbaric behaviors against children the government in collaboration with partners through its National Plan of Action against Violence against Women and Children (NPA-VAWC) 2017/18-2021/22 aimed at reducing violence against women children by 50% in reaching 2022, she commented.
“Although there are different plans in action the government must keep on striving to continue improving their fight against child abuse because the children lives are being threatened by these abuses,” she said.
“In celebrating this day and looking at our government's efforts to reduce and eliminate child abuse, we call on communities, civil society organisations to see that it is everyone's responsibility to put an end to child abuse because these abuses starts at a family level,” she added.
One of the Dar es Salaam-based parents, Secelela Balisidya said parents need to set time for children as well so that they can be able to talk to them and get the chance to know what is going on with them on a daily basis.
“As parents, we need to look at our children closely and not leave everything to our house help so that our children can be able to confide in us on every little detail that is happening to them in the course of their everyday lives be it at school or at home,” she said.
Esther Dogani, a form four student from Magoza Secondary School called upon students and children to be more open to their parents, when facing abuses because only through them they will be able to get the help needed.