In a crucial gathering commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Tanzanian activists rang alarm bells over the significant hurdles civil society organizations (CSOs) continue to face in their operations without government interference. The voice leading this chorus of concern was Helen Kijo-Bisimba, a retired director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC).
Need for Legal Reform
Kijo-Bisimba underlined the urgent necessity for alterations in the law governing CSOs. This, she stressed, was pivotal to ensuring CSOs' freedom in assisting the government with legislative work, providing support to the people, and representing the country effectively in international human rights forums. She lauded the inclusion of human rights in the Constitution as a positive ripple effect of activism. However, she also drew attention to the worrisome instances when political rights were curtailed without any changes to the constitution.
Youth Engagement and Education Challenges
Rebecca Gyumi, the Executive Director of the Msichana Initiative, used the platform to call upon the youth to take the reins in the battle for human rights. She highlighted the educational challenges that disproportionately affect girls and boys due to factors such as early marriage, pregnancy, and truancy.
Bakari Machumu, Executive Director of Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL), accentuated the pivotal role of the media in educating, entertaining, and informing the public about human rights. He urged media outlets to bridge issues with broader global objectives and human rights standards.
Marcel Akpovo, the representative of the UN Human Rights Commissioner in Africa, lauded Tanzania for establishing platforms for human rights discussions. He also announced an upcoming youth forum on the same topic. The article, in addition, touched upon the challenges of accessing clean and safe water in Tanzania, despite its abundant water resources. It also reported on the recent decline in fuel prices, as announced by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura).