Joint Letter of Appeal to the United Republic of Tanzania

On 03 August 2017, the Commissioner Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the United Republic of Tanzania and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, together with the Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, transmitted a Joint Letter of Appeal to the President of the United Republic of Tanzania regarding the statement made on 22 June 2017 to the effect that pregnant girls and teen mothers will not be allowed to attend school.

The Joint Letter of Appeal expressed the view of the Commission and Committee that this statement runs the risk of undermining the right to education and the right to equality of girls, and urged the State to fulfil its obligations concerning these rights in terms of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

The original Joint Letter of Appeal to the United Republic of Tanzania can be found here: http://www.achpr.org/news/2017/08/d296/

BREAKING NEWS: Civil society recommendations integrated into Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Bill 2017

The East African Legislative Assembly committee recently conducted public hearings on the East African Community (EAC) Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Bill 2017 in its five member countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda). The committee, which held public hearings for Tanzania on Feb 22nd in Dar es Salaam, agreed to integrate recommendations on various sections of the bill from the recently-established Tanzania Youth and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (TAYARH) Coalition and Advance Family Planning (AFP) local partners.

The proposals included: a definition of youth to be those from age 15-24 as adopted by the United Nations; a clause on partnership to show the various stakeholders responsible for the implementation of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues in the East African Community countries; and a clause on an accountability mechanism to ensure that countries deliver on law implementation.

AFP Tanzania and the TAYARH coalition proposed text to strengthen clauses on adolescents and youth-friendly reproductive health services by expounding on what these services entail. Other clauses included providing age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health education in school curriculum and legislation against harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation.

The Bill will be tabled in mid-March at the East African Legislative Assembly after which it will be submitted to the five East African presidents for assenting into law.

The SRHR Bill can be accessed here.

About the EAC
The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organization of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Burundi, and Republic of Rwanda with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. It aims to deepen economic, political, and social cooperation among the partner states.