EDITORIAL: Tackle child abuse head-on

Thursday May 16 2019

According to the 2018 Human Rights Report of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), the state of children’s welfare in Tanzania is increasingly being eroded.

This is fueled by societal violence, including pernicious sexual abuse against highly-vulnerable, innocent, defenceless children.

LHRC was established in 1995 to create legal and human rights awareness among the public through legal and civic education, as well as human rights monitoring and advocacy.

This is especially regarding underprivileged segments of society, namely children, women and the underprivileged.

Child maltreatment is a devastating social problem in many societies, but more so in least-developed/developing countries like Tanzania.

According to LHRC, for example, 6,376 cases of violence/abuse against children were reported between January and June 2018 – averaging 35 cases daily. This is to say nothing of the incidents that remained unreported!

Child abuse is routinely blamed on abject poverty; family disintegration; neglect by parents/guardians/schoolteachers; witchcraft/black magic and similar beliefs; corruption and lack of requisite education/awareness.

If society is to blame for the malady, then society and its governing institutions must bend over backwards to devise ways of effectively tackling the challenges involved, to drastically minimise it.