THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE STRATEGIES USED TO COMBAT VIOLATION OF CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
1.1 Background Information
‘Child’ according to The Children’s Act No.6 of 2011 means a person below the age of 18 years. They are so dependants and need protection and support from their parents, community and the Government. According to Zanzibar Children’s Act No. 6 of 2011 section 5,6,7,8,9 and 10 the children have their rights like participation and views expressed, non discrimination, right to name and nationality, right to registration of birth, right to live with the parents, and right to be provided with certain or good condition of living necessary for his development which include nutritious food, shelter, appropriate clothing, education including religious education, appropriate care and protection which involves adequate Medical care and immunization as well as sports (ZCA, 2011).
Zanzibar which is semi-autonomous and part of Tanzania is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, (UNCRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) a commitment towards response and prevention of all forms of violence against children. Yet it has been difficult to fully translate this national imperative to the actual protection of children from sexual, physical and emotional violence.
Despite children having those rights, they have been violated and now children encounters the risks such as child abuse, torture, child or forced labour, absolute poverty, child trafficking, early and forced marriage, family dysfunction and separation. While the problem is continuing in the society and very unfortunate that the accused or perpetrators sometimes are the ones who are supposed to socialize and protect them (children) as their leaders or teachers in schools, madrasa, relative at homes and at other socialization environment or settings.
States bear primary responsibility for preventing and responding to violence against children, and for upholding the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other treaties, which guarantee girls and boys every where the right to live their lives free from violence. There must be action in all sectors – from health and education to labour and justice – and at all levels, local, national and international. But civil society groups and individual citizens also have important roles to play. The UN family, for its part, remains strongly committed to this work (Annan, 2006).
World Health organization (WHO) estimates that almost 53,000 child deaths in 2002 were homicides. in the Global School Based Student Health Survey carried out in a wide range of developing countries, between 20% and 65% of school aged children reported having been verbally or physically bullied in school in the previous 30 days. 15 Similar rates of bullying have been found in industrialized countries. An estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence involving physical contact.
UNICEF estimates that in sub – Saharan Africa, Egypt and Sudan, 3 million girls and women are subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) every year. ILO estimates that 218 million children were involved in child labour in 2004, whom 126 million were engaged in hazardous work. Estimates from 2000 suggest that 5.7 million were in forced or bonded labour, 1.8 million in prostitution and pornography, and 1.2 million were victims of trafficking. Only 2.4% of the world’s children are legally protected from corporal punishment in all settings (Louise, 2006).
A majority of children in Nigerian report experiencing violence and abuse without a clear point of contact for support. The 2011 Violence Against Children (VAC) in Nigerian report presents violence against children as a serious problem in Tanzania with nearly 3 in 10 girls and approximately 1 in 7 boys in Nigerian 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 (URT, 2011).
In February 2013 the first child friendly court of Zanzibar was officially opened and according to statistical report from Department of Social Welfare under the Child Protection Unit shows that violation of children’s rights were 7 raping cases from 2010 to 3 cases in the year 2011 and 16 cases in the year 2012 to 13 with 2 Sodomy cases in the year 2013 then 12 raping with 2 sodomy cases in the year 2014 to 3 raping with 1 sodomy case in the year 2015. Apart from sexual violence there are also cases of Physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect which include Child and early marriage, Insult or defamation, Isolation of children from parent and cases of Claims for the children’s service (ZCPU, 2016).
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