Tanzania has been time and time again stressing a need for the protection of children’s rights, including a right to immunisation, food, clothing, shelter, health and medical care.
Others include a right to education, a right to parental care, a right not to be discriminated against and a right to right to express an opinion, to be listened to and to participate in decisions which affect the child’s wellbeing. These rights are well-stipulated in the Law of the Child Act, 1999 and in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
According to Section 4(1) the Law of the Child Act, 1999 and also Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is any person aged below 18 years. Yet, with these in place, children are still abused to due to their docility. With this in mind, some parents and guardians are wary of leaving their children with relatives, who seem to be key child molesters.
In some cases, even parents themselves have turned into molesters of their own children. This shows the importance of not only enforcing the Child Act, 1999 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but also promoting children’s rights and welfare because it is only through this that we will be able to make mature adults.
In light of this, Tanzania on November 20 joined other nations across the world to mark World Child Day through the promotion and protection of children’s rights and welfare. While there are global and local efforts to protect children’s rights, children do not all that enjoy their rights in various parts of the world, including Tanzania.
Yes, there are still cases of child molestation, child labour and even child assault through which children have been wounded and been even caned to death while being disciplined at school or at home and the culprits have been arraigned, charged and imprisoned.
In other cases, girl children have been raped, impregnated, married off or even subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). On the other hand, some boys have been sodomised. In whichever case, children still suffer a great deal due to inadequate care, protection and docility.
All these give us a picture that the protection of children’s rights and wellbeing is still wanting at both global and local levels. As we ponder on children’s rights and protections, let us remind each other the responsibility we have towards them.
We should know that, the more we protect children’s rights and wellbeing, the more they too will protect the rights and wellbeing of their children when they become adults, while the less we protect their rights and wellbeing the less too they will do it to their own children when they become adults.
So, what do we commit ourselves to doing to protect their rights and welfare?