Below is a report on a workshop conducted on 23rd April 2021 by Mr. Duncan, Senior Social Welfare Officer from Moshi Municipal District.  He explained about child rights and protection in Tanzania and, after sharing his presentation, he promised to give a handout of his notes to the tutors so that they can read it on their own whenever they want.

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The title of Duncan’s presentation was “Child Rights and Protection.”  The training took place on 23/4/2021 at Muungano Primary School-Moshi Municipal Council.  The session consumed 1 hour and 20 minutes, from 1:00pm to 2:20pm.  The training team involved – aside from Mr. Duncan Mgati, Senior Social Welfare Officer from Moshi Municipal District – Mr. Emmanuel Mnubi and Ms. Belinda Modest, both from The Toa Nafasi Project.

The objective of the training was to strengthen the skills and understanding of child rights and protection to the participants.  In order to meet the objectives/aims, the participants were given some hints in order to be knowledgeable on child rights and protection.  These included background of child rights, basic rights of children and protection, and children’s responsibilities and duties to parents and the community.

The session was conducted in the participatory approach where facilitators asked some questions to assess the pre-knowledge on the meaning of who is a child, what are the rights of a child, and what is the background of child rights and protection.  The majority of the participants responded well but some clarifications were provided by facilitator especially on the citation of the Child Act.  Therefore, the participants got further information on the following issues:

–> The right to grow with a parent: The facilitator told the group that any child shall be entitled to live with parents or guardians and to grow up in a caring and peaceful environment.  If these are not available, they were given different ways on how to create awareness in their working place as well as in their family.

–> The right to maintain duties to the child: It’s the duty of the parent or guardian or any other person having a custody of a child to maintain that child with all basic requirements like food, clothing, education, medical care, and other things required for his/her development and leisure especially giving them the opportunity to participate in games and sports.

–> Harmful employment: The facilitator shared different scenarios regarding how young people are getting attached with illegal work nowadays.  According to the Law of Child Act, a person shall not employ or engage a child in any activities that may be harmful to his education or health; mental, physical or moral development.  Participants were informed on how to deal with all harmful employment to children and to take precaution when they recruit house care.

–> Child care and protection: The facilitation touched on different types of gender-based violence and live cases were shared to participants in order to make them aware with what is going on to children pertaining to violent acts.  Based on GBV data, our area is experiencing raping and sodomizing to children from 1.5 years to 18 years.  Therefore, the participants were told to take care with their children because they are not safe if no one is looking after them.

–> Reporting process of children abuse cases: Participants got informed on how to follow the process during reporting GBV cases when they find incidents of GBV.  The reporting system is to start within the community and then to go to the Police Gender Desk, Social Welfare, Hospital, and Court.

Other issues raised included that the participants asked for more orientation on child protection and to have a community session and school sessions.  Everyone agreed that social workers should work closer with teachers to bring the issue of child protection into school meetings and policies.  The participants of this session should be closer with children so that they can get more information regarding their wellbeing.  And, finally, parents should work on parenting skills in order to know how to take care of their children.