AFRICA/TANZANIA - National Commitment to curb violence against children

Dar es Salaam (Agenzia Fides) - Authorities in Tanzania have recently launched a five-year National Program for Prevention and Response to Violence against Children, which aims to eliminate all forms of violence against children, including sexual, physical and emotional abuse, as threats of being abandoned, killed or thrown out from the parents, guardians and relatives house. From a survey carried out, out of 3,739 females and males between 13 and 24 years, in several families across the country, showed that the terrible acts of violence are mainly caused by the parents, guardians, relatives and teachers, as well as other persons assisting children and young people every day. Sexual violence against children is rampant, 3 out of 10 girls are raped at least once before the age of 18, while among the males of the same age group the victims are 13.4%.
The Program consists of a multisectoral plan to improve efforts to break the silence around violence against children, and to take additional future steps in the health, education, HIV/AIDS, judiciary and police field. The police have already established positions reserved for children in all the stations in the country, where they can be welcomed and then listen to their experiences of violence and cruelty. The Ministry of Education is committed to ensuring equal access concerning study for all the children, by prohibiting any kind of corporal punishment in schools. Tanzania is the first African country to conduct a survey on the nature and extent of violence against children. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 28/09/2011)

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