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Tanzania has ratified seven out of the nine core international human rights treaties, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and key regional instruments, including the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), legally binding itself to ensure the protection and promotion of children’s rights.

Although the Government has a primary responsibility of ensuring implementation of its national frameworks and international child rights instruments which it has ratified, CSOs are essential to the realization of children’s rights, playing a key role in awareness raising, advocacy and service delivery. CSOs also act as a watchdog to ensure that national and local actors are discharging their responsibilities effectively. Such efforts are much more effective when they are implemented in a coordinated manner.

During the run up to the enactment of the Law of the Child Act No.21 2009 – a ground breaking law to protect the rights of children, which enshrines key international child rights standards - for the first time, CSOs that have been working with and for children effectively collaborated to strengthen provisions for children’s rights in the new Law under the coordination of the Child Law Taskforce. Recognizing the importance of coordinated CSO engagement in the process to advocate for key child rights standards, about 40 CSOs joined force in those advocacy efforts with a huge success.

Following this successful coordination initiative, the CSO community decided to continue their collaboration to promote the implementation of the Law of the Child Act 2009 and international child rights standards through the establishment, in 2010, of a permanent child rights network – the Tanzania Child Rights Forum (TCRF). The TCRF secretariat has been registered in March 2012, and is currently reaching 85 CSO members from all over Tanzania.

TCRF and other platforms:
Role of members:
Through its members, the TCRF is making efforts to ensure that member organisations have the capacity and the right environments for evidence based advocacy work at national, regional and international level. Through member organisations, TCRF is represented in those platforms and participation is based on organisational or individual areas of interest, capacity, credibility, commitment to the Forum and the existing potential for their organisations and to the respective platform.

Naional level:
At national level, TCRF is already recognized as a key CSO partner by the Ministry of Community, Gender and Children and the unifying voice on child rights for CSOs. TCRF is a member of the National NGOs Coordination Board and seats as a secretary to the National Council for Non Governmental Organizations in Tanzania. TCRF is currently the leader in facilitating child rights CSOs in the country in the National Violence Against Children response initiatives after having been selected by the government to set out the priority commitments on behalf of the CSO community at the launch of the National Survey on Violence Against Children in August 2011.

Reginal level:
At regional level, the TCRF secretariat is present and taking lead in the child rights CSO network that works with the African Union on children’s matters, known as Africa Wide Movement for Children (AMC) being elected by CSOs representatives of the member states as a custodian for the Eastern region coordinating about 14 countries in the region. TCRF has actively been facilitating CSO members participation in the ACRWC CSO Forum being held twice a year ahead of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC).

International level:
At international level, TCRF is a member of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. TCRF continue to explore other opurtunities for international colllaboration that will give its members a chance to learn, share their experince and improve their work back home.

Peace for all children

Did you know?

The Law of the Child Act 2009 standardise the definition of a child in the country. Sec 4(1) A person below the age of eighteen years shall be known as a child.

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