The Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) of Tanzania was completed in May of 2011. The survey assessed levels of violence against girls and boys, the health consequences of violence and the use of social, criminal justice and health services by children.
The findings highlight:
- Among females and males aged 18-24 years, 27 percent of females and 12 percent of males reported experiencing sexual violence before the age of 18.
- About 60 percent of girls and more than 50 percent of boys believe that it is acceptable for a husband to beat his wife under certain circumstances.
- Almost 50 percent of girls who experienced sexual violence did not disclose the violence to anyone and for males the disclosure rate was even lower – almost 70 percent did not disclose.
- Over half of girls and boys in Tanzania experience physical violence before they turn 18.
The final VACS report was launched in August of 2011, followed by a one-year response plan, which was to cover the period between July 2012 and June 2013. A costed three-year “National Plan of Action to Prevent and Respond to Violence against Children” for 2013-2016 was then released in June 2013, building on the previous plan (see link above).
Under the leadership and guidance of a multi-sector task force, Tanzania’s response has been nested within a comprehensive national Child Protection System, and has included the following actions:
- The Tanzania Police Force developed guidelines for the establishment of gender and children’s desks, as well as police standard operating procedures on prevention and response to gender based violence and child abuse. A three year action plan for strengthening police response to GBV and child abuse was launched in November 2013.
- Eight one stop centres have been established in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare developed National Guidelines on How to Establish and Manage One Stop Centres, which were launched in November 2013. The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training revised the national code of conduct for the professional ethics of teachers and has drafted child protection guidelines for schools.
- The Ministry of Finance collaborated with Demand-Side Financing and the Prime Minister’s Office – Regional and Local Government to develop guidelines for budgeting for child protection at the Local Government Authority level.
- More than 40 Tuseme Clubs (Tuseme translates to “Let’s speak out!”) have been established to inform children of their rights, and to teach them to advocate for themselves and other children.
- 21 district-level child protection systems are in various stages of development, with a focus on district-level multi-sectorial ownership, community engagement to address social norms.
Government: Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Youth Development, the Prime Minister’s Office/Regional Administration and Local Government, the Tanzania Police Force, National Bureau of Statistics
Non-Government: TACAIDS, Legal and Human Rights Center, Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance, Institute of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, PACT, and Save the Children
Bilateral and Multilateral Organizations: Government of Canada, UNICEF, WHO, UNAIDS, UN Women, UNFPA, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Violence Prevention (CDC/DVP), USAID