Situation analysis of children in Tanzania

Situation analysis of children in Tanzania

This report on the situation of children in Tanzania is informed by a human rights-based perspective on the well-being and development of children.

The document states that although there have been signinficant macro-level developments in Tanzania these have yet to be translated into concrete improvements in the lives of children. The report goes as far as to say that forty years after independence the rights and wellbeing of children are still far from being assured. Indeed, throughout the 1990s virtually every measure of child wellbeing has declined:

  • infant and child mortality rates have increased
  • child-health programmes are not yet adequately developed to care for the needs of children
  • the quality of schooling is poor throughout the country
  • the number of children completing primary education is low
  • very few children have access to secondary education
  • children and young people in Tanzania are particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS with 60% of all infections occuring within the 15-24 age group yet coverage of life-skills based sex-education programmes is insufficient and more work is needed especially at the community level
  • there are acute rural-urban disparities in terms of children's wellbeing with children in rural areas doing less well than their urban counterparts
  • gender disparities are also in evidence especially in terms of female participation in decision-making processes
  • children with disabilities are probably the most disadvantaged group in Tanzania alongside other groups such as orphans, refugee children, pastoralist children, street children and children in prison

Overall the report shows that Tanzania is a far from equal place for chilren and highlights the theme of governance stating that whilst Tanzania has an elaborate structure of participation in practice the extent of public participation is extremely limited. Most people, especially young people have limited access to the resources, assets and opportunites they need to lead a decent life. The report also pays attention to public expenditure across the country especially in terms of funds allocated to health, education, and water. To counclude the paper recommends three key strategies for realising children's rights and wellbeing:

  • ensuring there is adequate funding for basic social services and that this funding is equitable distributed and reaches the community
  • focussing development on community empowerment with an emphasis on increasing public participation in democratic governance
  • strengthening national institutional capacity for promoting the human rights of children and young people

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