A majority of children in Tanzania report experiencing violence and abuse without a clear point of contact for support. The 2011 Violence Against Children in Tanzania report presents violence against children as a serious problem in Tanzania with nearly 3 in 10 girls and approximately 1 in 7 boys in Tanzania having experienced sexual violence prior to the age of 18. Almost three-quarters of both girls and boys have experienced physical violence prior to the age of 18. Despite these alarming rates and national efforts to address the problem, necessary services for affected children have been fragmented and uncoordinated with no clear primary point of contact for services provided across different ministries, departments and national agencies. The lack of response from families, community leaders, police, and state departments has meant that many cases never get reported, let alone reach the health and/or judicial services.
Strengthening of the Multi-Stakeholder Child Protection System in Zanzibar
Funded by SIDA, the Multi-Stakeholder Child Protection System strengthening in Zanzibar focuses on ensuring that communities are aware of all forms of child abuse, that protection services are available, and that effective coordination and referral mechanisms ensure convictions of perpetrators. Save the Children is supporting the implementation of an integrated, functioning and well-coordinated child protection system by using the Children’s Act, National Guidelines on Child Protection, and working with various Government bodies and civil society through capacity building to ensure sustainability of resources as well as improved quality of services to children.
The Child Protection Unit under the Department of Social Welfare with the Ministry of Empowerment, Social Welfare, Youth, Women and Children (MESWYWC) is the coordinating agency at national level and responsible for the implementation of the national strategy and to involve and coordinate across governmental sectors (social welfare, health, education, justice, etc.), and involve civil society, international agencies, families and children in a safe way.
Creating One Stop Centres as part of broader child protection system strengthening
In 2011 Save the Children, in collaboration with the Child Protection Unit of the Department of Social Welfare, established the first One Stop Centre (OSC) at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Stone Town, Zanzibar. The Centre consists of a 3-room unit of police officers (without uniform); medical personnel and counsellors who provide health, legal and psychosocial services to survivors of violence 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Encouraged by the results and the government support, Save the Children has supported the establishment of 5 other Centers at the Chake Chake, Michweni and Wete hospitals in Pemba and Makunduchi and Kivunge hospitals in Unguja.
Each OSC aims to offer the following services to survivors of all forms of abuse:
- Medical services by health professionals who include a medical doctor
- Reporting of cases to police officers
- Psychosocial counselling provided by a social worker
Save the Children intends, with other actors, to expand this child protection initiative across the country.
Establishment of a child friendly court in Zanzibar as part of the Child Justice reform
In February 2013 the first child friendly court of Zanzibar was officially opened. Renovation of the rooms to establish the pilot child friendly closed court at the High Court in Stone Town was done, and appropriate furniture and appropriate audio visual equipment were purchased and installed in 2012. The court is set in a child friendly environment and although it is located in the High Court building, it is separate from the other courts. The Court, which is unique in Tanzania, will provide children with the support and security that they need when they make their appearance in court either as victims, witnesses or offenders.
Professionals graduate with a Diploma on “child rights and child protection” offered at Zanzibar University
Since 2012 Zanzibar University offers a Diploma course in Child Rights and Child Protection. Several of the students are professional law enforcement professionals (Police) and government civil servants such as Social Welfare Officers. Due to increased demand for a high level cadre with higher knowledge in the area of child rights and protection, Zanzibar University is exploring ways to establish a degree course in child protection.
Safe environment in schools
Save the Children supports the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT) to pilot a “safe school” model in 20 schools in Zanzibar which have introduced positive forms of discipline instead of corporal punishment, directly reaching almost 20,000 children. SCI has supported the MOEVT to develop child protection guidelines which will be used by all ministry staff, including the non-teaching staff, and includes all schools in Zanzibar i.e. private, government, and religious. These guidelines were adopted for use by all MOEVT staff as intended, thereby achieving a key child protection milestone we set for the year. In 2014 we will support the implementation of these guidelines in practice.
Fighting the Worst Forms of Child Labour
Fighting the Worst Forms of Child Labour project is funded by the European Commission and Embassy of Sweden/Sida. It is a pilot project working to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in the regions of Unguja and Pemba (Zanzibar Island) focusing on legal frameworks, strengthening the capacity of local and national institutions, providing educational alternatives, alternative income-generating activities for families, and enhanced corporate social responsibility.
General awareness raising on child labour and its negative impact on children has been undertaken in the communities through the 4 NGO partners’ sensitisation efforts, as well as through the media.
By February 2014 a total of 3,094 children under 18 years of age who were either working or were at risk of entering into labour were withdrawn or prevented from entering into labour on Unguja & Pemba. These children were sent back to school and were given scholastic materials such as uniforms, stationery (pens/pencils/exercise books), shoes, and satchels. By the end of 2013 a total of 672 most vulnerable families of children withdrawn from labour had been supported to start income generating activities (IGAs). Some of the families are engaged in goat keeping, poultry keeping, bee keeping, horticulture and tailoring.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on implementing and monitoring a child labour project were developed in 2012. These were adopted by the Ministry of Labour, Economic Empowerment. Within the SOPs is a list of hazardous labour for Zanzibar. The list was successfully incorporated in the draft regulations for the Zanzibar Children’s Act No. 6 of 2011.
Tutunzane II project (Support)
Funded by USAID, the Tutunzane II project provides an integrated package of family-centred services to orphans and most-vulnerable children in Shinyanga region, in collaboration with Pathfinders International, Population Services International, and Tanzania Red Cross Society. Tutunzane II Shinyanga orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) project was implemented in two districts of Shinyanga Municipal and Shinyanga District Council, ten wards and 72 villages between 2009 to 2013. It aimed at improving lives of 6,100 most vulnerable children (MVC) with education, health, nutrition and psychosocial support. Some immediate results of the programme are:
- A minimum of three standard packages of services provided to 6,100 MVC in Shinyanga Urban and Shinyanga Rural districts;
- Strengthened capacity of the districts, communities and families to effectively support provision of basic services for OVC in Shinyanga Urban and Shinyanga Rural districts;
- Increased technical and coordination capacity of service providers and communities to provide quality, consistent care, support, and protection to OVC.
Child Protection System Strengthening
From 2010 – 2013 Save the Children implemented a Child Protection System Strengthening Pilot, with support from UNICEF on the Tanzania mainland in Magu, Hai and Temeke districts. The pilot aimed at improving and strengthening district level government in management of child protection systems and structures. In addition it supported the development of a skilled child protection workforce at ward and district level for the effective delivery of social welfare services, prevention and response to child protection issues. It worked to develop and implement an M&E system to ensure adequate monitoring and oversight. Linked to this is the support to central government in developing National Guidelines on how to establish and manage a District Child Protection System and One Stop Centre to provide services for victims of abuse.