THE Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereira Silima, has received humanitarian supplies donated by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in a short ceremony that took place at Segerea Prison.
The supplies offered by UNICEF are worth 8,972 USD (Approx 14.4m/-) and they aim to improve the appalling conditions in detentions for children and the pressing need for the provision of basic necessities after UNICEF had learnt about miserable living conditions facing children in prisons.
The items donated include beddings, mosquito nets and cleaning materials.In his speech, Silima said that he was aware that adult detention facilities also have a number of juveniles."This is due to the fact that the country does not have a juvenile justice system and, something which should be worked on," he said.
He added that there should be an adequate number of juvenile courts, juvenile remand homes and Juvenile Approved schools to ensure total separation from adult criminals. Pereira further stated that currently the Child Protection Project which is implemented by the government in collaboration with UNICEF is a clear testimony that the existing inadequacy is going to be addressed.
The Acting Commissioner General of Prisons, Fidelis Mboya, also agreed with the deputy minister's remarks, but he verified that UNICEF have tried to show charity even though infants and juveniles by law are not their clients and that there is a need to address their plight by protecting their right.
The Commissioner General also insisted that children are not supposed to be mixed up with adults because it hinders their developmental stages and affect them psychologically, but they have to mix them because prisons are not enough. The Deputy Representative of UNICEF, Paul Edwards, said that since last year UNICEF has been working with Tanzania Prisons Service to develop a child protection policy and procedure for prison and to build the capacity of prison staff at the Segerea and Ruanda Prisons, to better protect them from violence and abuse.