Child Rights Governance

The Enactment of Law of the Child Act in 2009 and development of regulations for its enforcement have moved Tanzania closer to making the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child a reality for boys and girls in the country. Nevertheless, it takes money to deliver rights. If the commitments outlined in the Law of the Child Act are not translated into budgetary allocations, they will remain little more than empty promises. Despite being responsible for the implementation of the Law of the Child Act, local government has not provided enough space for children to participate effectively in decisions affecting their life and so far they receive limited resources to realize these legal provisions. Local government officials also find it difficult to request adequate resources due to lack of knowledge on child rights programming and budgeting.

Save the Children is addressing these challenges in Tanzania through the Child Rights Governance programme. The programme focuses on strengthening the governance infrastructure – the systems and mechanisms that need to be in place to effectively make all children’s rights a reality.

Giving Rights to the Silent Majority

This project,funded by Embassy of Sweden/Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), works in Lindi, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions. The project covers 7 districts of Tanzania mainland (Kilwa, Ruangwa, Lindi, Temeke, Handeni, Same and Arusha). Its purpose is to ensure that children are able to claim their rights to protection, education, healthcare, and meaningfully participate in policy discussions through Children’s Councils. It also works collaboratively with the media with a view of ensuring accurate media coverage of child rights, while informing and influencing national debate and dialogue.

The project works with 942 children councils located in 7 districts with more than 26,376 members, 6 partner CSOs, 6 ministries, 8 district councils, 6 Parliamentarian Standing Committees, 20 media outlets and communities.

Results have been encouraging: in 2013 the programme reached directly 105,895 children (8% being most vulnerable) and 369,545 children were reached indirectly. Through meetings with representatives of Children’s Councils, Members of Parliament showed commitment to support establishment and running of Children’s Councils in their respective areas to raise awareness and advocate.

Hafisa Mgaza, Chairperson of the Arusha Children’s Council (2011) addresses members of the press during the field visit of the Tanzania Association of Journalists for Children (TAJOC) to children’s councils in Arusha.

Young Reporters Network

Young Reporters Network project enables children and young people to learn new skills in radio reporting and use of social media in producing child rights programmes. It also works on developing their capacity to be advocates for child rights. Young Reporters network complements other methods used by children’s councils in advocating for and raising public awareness about children’s rights. By 2013 Young Reporters have produced a total of 61 radio programmes  reaching more than 2 million people.