Seminar on Child rights Protection

Date: 22.02.2020
Place: St. Joseph Boys Science Secondary School Kituri

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 38 (LIST ATTACHED: both teaching and domestic staff)


  1. Human rights in general and their evolution in Tanzania
  2. What are children’s rights
  3. List of children’s rights
  4. Rights of school children
  5. International and domestic laws
  6. Case studies on child abuse
  7. Reasons for violation of children’s rights
  8. Implementation of children’s rights in Tanzania
  9. Mechanism to implement children’s rights in Tanzania
  10. Judicial actions
  11. Reports on Physical and Psychological violence of children
  12. Action plan


  1. Sharing of experience by the resource person
  2. Group discussion
  3. Interactive sessions
  4. Power point presentation
  5. Lively/challenging discussion on the prevailing situation in the school and society.
  6. Action plan to be implemented in school/places of residence


  • A child is a person under the age of 18 years
  • Every child has the right to be alive
  • Every child must be registered when born and have a name which is officially recognized by the government.
  • Every child must have nationality.
  • Children should not be separated from their parents unless the situation requires so.
  • Government has the power to stop children from being taken outside their country when it is against the law e.g. being kidnapped by someone or one of the parents.
  • Children have the right to give their opinion freely when the matter affects them in any way.
  • Children have the right to share freely with others what they learn, think and feel.
  • Children have the right to choose their own thoughts, opinions and religions.
  • Every child has the right to privacy
  • Every child has the right to get information from every source of information including Television, radio, internet, newspapers etc.
  • Every child who cannot be looked after by their own family has the right to be looked after properly by people who respect the child’s religion, culture, language and other aspects of their life.
  • Children with disability should enjoy the best possible life in society.
  • Children who are accused of breaking the law have the right to legal regal representation and also not subject to tortures, killed or treated cruelly, put in prison forever or with adults (juvenile courts/prisons)
  • Children have the right to education and primary education should be free. (In Tanzania, direction from the charter provides free education up to secondary schools)
  • Children have the right food, clothing and a safe place to live in.
  • Children have the right to be protected from doing work which is dangerous or bad for their education, health or development.
  • Government must protect children from any kind of abuse, violence and being neglected by anyone who looks after them
  • Children have the right to be protected from all other kinds of exploitation
  • The government must protect children from sexual exploitation/abuse including people forcing children to have sex for money or making sexual pictures or films.


  1. Right to education
  2. Right to be treated equally without discrimination.
  3. Right to have a name this is properly written and pronounced.
  4. Right to opinion, comment and access to information necessary for education.
  5. Right to protection from any kind of torture, ill-treatment/ violence affecting self-dignity
  6. Right to protection from any kind of danger to their health or development.
  7. Protection from early marriage, FGM (female genital mutilation) and pregnancy.


  1. Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977 (article 12-24)
  2. Tanzania Penal Code, Cap 16, revised edition 2002
  3. The Law of the child Act no. 21 of 2009
  4. Different laws by the ministry of Law
  5. Right to protection from any kind of torture, ill-treatment/ violence affecting self-dignity
  6. Decided cases.


  • Judiciary
  • Government move to establish gender desk at schools, both primary and secondary in order to prevent child exploitation.
  • The Commission for human rights and good governance (CHRAGG)
  • The DPP (Director of Public prosecution)is the administer of criminal cases by charging and prosecuting persons
  • Police officers
  • Various ministries like home affairs, gender, labor and health
  • Local governments/people
  • The acts of violence are committed by the closest people of the children such as parents, relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers or any person having authority over the child.


  • Witchcraft beliefs
  • Poverty
  • Revenge between parents
  • Long distance to school
  • Poor law enforcing authorities


A. DIFFERENT CUSTOMS AND CULURAL BELIEFS: There was a discussion as to whether certain laws per se are applicable to African countries. E.g. homosexuality which is banned most of the African countries. The resource person said that whatever may be the customs and beliefs, the right of privacy of every individual should be respected.

B.THE LAW CONCERNING DISCONTINUATION OF EDUCAITON OF PREGNANT GIRLS: In one of his speeches the President of Tanzania had said that the girls who get impregnated in the schools could not be allowed to continue their schooling. As a result these days such girls are barred from continuing studies which is spoiling the career of so many girls. There is no strong action being taken against the boys who are responsible for such acts. This is against the previous laws which allowed pregnant girls to still continue their studies.

C. THE CANING OF CHILDREN BY THE REGIONAL COMMISSIONER: Recently in Mbeya region boys of certain secondary school lit fire to the dormitory and as such the dormitories were destroyed. On hearing this local Regional Commissioner visited the school and canned the boys who did such acts. He canned them four times while the law allows only caning 3 times. However the act of the Regional Commissioner got the assent from the President of the country.

D. CONTINUATION OF EDUCATION OF JUVENNILE CRIMINALS: Questions were raised about the discontinuation of education of boys who are caught in criminal actions and are put in prison. As a result, their education suffers and it impacts their career. While in other countries they have still possibility of continuing their studies while being in prison, no such provision exists in Tanzania.

E. DIFFICULTY IN GIVING ALTERNATIVE PUNISHMENTS: The issue came up with regard to giving alternative punishments which often becomes difficult. For example, a student cannot be allowed to forgo his meal because it’s against the right of living. Further, he cannot be allowed to do manual work which may affect his health and disturb his right to study. We need to be innovative in giving punishments so that the students learn to be better because of the punishments.

F. LEGAL AND MORAL ISSUES: There was also a discussion with regard to actions which may be allowed under the law but may be prohibited by customs and religions. For example, a man may have sexual relationship with many women who may be protected by his right to privacy but at the same time it becomes immoral according to his religion. One’s conscience plays the primary role in such cases.

G. SUBJUGATION OF THOSE WHISTLE BLOWERS: Often it’s found that people who raise issues concerning human rights/children’s rights are taken revenge by the perpetrators. This makes the job of whistle blowers difficult and they do not come forward to bring out such issues.

H. WITCHCRAFT: Witchcraft is playing havoc in African countries. Any sort of abuse is permitted in the name of witchcraft. Many children are being killed, albino persons are murdered, unnatural sexual offences take place and as a result human dignity is thrown to the winds.

I. SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS: Several of the irrational beliefs put humanity into jeopardy. Female organ mutilation, child sacrifice, subjugation and violence towards girl children are some of such beliefs which damage the spirit of human value. As a result, several children/humans are put to untold ferocity.


he seminar was an opportunity to evaluate the various punishments meted out to our students in the school. It was a forum to express pro and anti-views on various punishments. The following was the outcome of the discussion:

  • It was found that the corporal punishment given to our students is beyond the permitted limits.
  • Even the position of caning the students is often found detrimental to the dignity of the students
  • As per the government rules, the Headmaster should authorize to give any corporal punishment
  • Corporal punishment can often lead to some accidents and it may put the teachers and the school management in trouble
  • Corporal punishment beyond measures can spoil the self-image of the child.
  • The headmaster clarified that any corporal punishment which is detrimental to the student in any way will not be allowed in the school.
  • It was decided to get the issue clarified by getting clear government directives on the issue.



  1. AT SCHOOL: A Seminar to the students to be given before March
  2. To prepare a child right protection policy for the school
  3. To follow the diocesan policy on child protection right
  4. To have a clear documentation of government laws especially schools
  5. PTo have alternative ways of punishing.
  6. IN THE SOCIETY: Arrange for a training program for leaders of 2 villages before April.To create trainers in the villages


  1. To prepare skits of awareness by the Civic club in the school
  2. Prepare some post to be circulated by whatsApp by the school teachers to be sent to the parents.
  3. Explore ways of awareness through Radio Maria and local television.
  4. To have a clear documentation of government laws especially schools


  1. AT SCHOOL: To be finalized after the seminar to the students.
  2. To strengthen the forums for the free expression of opinion of the students
  3. IN THE SOCIETY: To be finalized after the training to village leaders.


  1. To look for regular counseling facility by the end of March
  2. Creating a friendly environment between teachers and students
  3. To train teachers as counselors by the end of June.


  1. By the end of March, children rights will be displayed in the school campus in prominent places


  1. The social club will be made more active by combining the civics/geography and cultural club.
  2. They will focus more on human rights and social issues.
  3. Create human right friendly environment in school/society.


  1. Tanzania lacks safety centers for children as well as women. To work with government agencies on this issue.
  2. To work on this issue with church organizations.


  1. Discovering and building contact with NGOs working on the issue.
  2. Establishing contact with government.
  3. Promoting one point service centers.


  1. TEACHER AIDAN: I came to know the history of human/children rights. I liked the idea that the children have the right to express their views and the right to be listened to. I have already changed my attitudes towards children by skipping to take the cane along with me!
  2. TEACHER EDWIN: We need to have seminar like this every year. We need to become ambassadors of human/children rights. It would be nice if a certificate of participation is given.
  3. TEACHER ALEXANDER: I appreciate the idea of right to listen to the students. I came to know the horrific reality of the various cases on the violation of children rights. I feel sad that the implementing machinery is weak. I will do my mite to improve the system.
  4. TEACHER MOSES: I got an idea of how to behave with students. I also came to know what is happening in the country. I shall follow them in my profession as a teacher.
  5. TEACHER PETER: I am horrified to see what is happening around us. Unlike Kenya, the implementation agencies in Tanzania are not strong. I want to work on these cases and I would like to establish some contact with NGOs in working for the cause of the children as well as women.


The seminar was a success due to the following:
  1. Almost all the teaching and non-teaching staff took part in the seminar
  2. It was conducted in Swahili which could be understood by all
  3. It was very inter-active.
  4. Practical issues of the school/society were raised.
  5. The arrangements were good.
We sincerely thank the diocese of Stockholm for sponsoring this seminar. We promise that the decisions during the seminar will be faithfully implemented.

--Fr. Victor Machado
Coordinator for the seminar

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