UPR of Tanzania: Improvements in child education, but concerns over violence against women
Monday, 10 October 2011 15:29


During the afternoon of 3 October 2011, the Working Group on the UPR examined the human rights situation in Tanzania.  The delegation was led by of Mr Mathias M Chikawe, the Tanzanian Minister of State, and included seven other officials including the Permanent Represenative of Tanzania in Geneva.  Mr Chikawe was the only member of the delegation to speak during the review. In his introductory speech, he noted his country’s efforts in the areas of primary education, women’s rights, access to justice, and prison conditions.  He admitted however that there were still improvements to be made in a number of areas including education.  Mr Chikawe also highlighted the issue of violence against those with albinism, a problem which exists largely in the area of Cape Victoria.


The interactive dialogue included much discussion on violence against women and women’s rights.  Also raised were the issues of same-sex relationships, freedom of the press, people with albinism, and children’s rights.  Numerous States praised Tanzania’s efforts in the area of primary education, with Tanzania having met the millennium development goal on primary education five years before its deadline.  States also commended Tanzania’s efforts in resettling 30,000 refugees between 2009 and 2010, and its improvements to the quality of its justice system.  Specific recommendations, questions, and comments raised included:

  • Recommendations for Tanzania to formally abolish the death penalty; although there has been a moratorium on the death penalty for 16 years, the death penalty is still a legal form of punishment.
  • Recommendations to accede to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment, the Convention on Enforced Disappearances, and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  • Calls to strengthen the mandate of the country’s national human rights institution, the National Committee on Human Rights and Good Governance;
  • Recommendations to abolish laws discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation, including the abolition of the law criminalising consensual same-sex relations;
  • Calls to address the issue of child labour as a matter of urgency;
  • Calls for Tanzania to ‘discourage’ traditional customs, which are ‘unfriendly’ to gender equality;
  • Recommendations to establish an independent body to investigate the actions of security officials;
  • Calls to continue efforts in the protection of albino people; and
  • Appeals to Tanzania to engage civil society in the implementation of the recommendations arising out of the UPR.

The delegation of Tanzania engaged constructively in the process, responding to States’ concerns and noting the areas in which there is much room for improvement, such as education. In responding to some recommendations from States, Tanzania noted that cultural traditions and beliefs were a barrier to achieving further progress in the area of LGBTI rights, while limited finances were a constraint to furthering efforts in education. The delegation highlighted freedom of the press as one point of success , pointing to the existence of many registered newspapers and television stations, all of which, it said, are open and free from censorship.


Of the 153 recommendations contained in the report, 96 were accepted, and 57 were left pending until the 19th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2012. Mr Chikawe noted that the acceptance of the recommendations would improve the human rights situation in Tanzania but also noted that UN assistance would be required for the implementation of the recommendations. 

© by The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) 2018