18 May 2014

Tanzania: One-Stop Centres to Cater for Children's Protection

Dodoma — THE government has embarked on various programmes to ensure effective protection of children's rights.

Community Development, Gender and Children Minister, Ms Sophia Simba, said when tabling budget proposals for her ministry, that the efforts include the introduction of One-Stop Centre, which was currently operational at Amana Hospital, in Dar es Salaam, on a trial basis.

The centre, according to the minister, was introduced to provide services to children who are faced with violence and educate their parents on their role on child-raising.

She said her ministry, together with other stakeholders in the sector, started the Child Helpline 116 so the community could inform the authorities about cases of violence against children.

She mentioned some of the challenges faced as violence against children, increasing number of children living in harsh conditions, deteriorating morality among children and early marriages.

She further said that until March, this year, the number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) dealing with child affairs had increased to 6,427 from 3,000 organisations in 2001.

"Despite an increase in the number of these organisations, there are still some challenges which need urgent intervention and one of those challenges is that most of them depend on funds from donor countries to run their daily operations," she said.

She added that this makes it difficult for the organisations to continue with their activities in case the donors stop supporting them.

The minister said that other challenges in this sector included the absence of special ethical committees to monitor the organisations.

She said that during the financial year 2013/2014, her ministry, through the Women Development Fund, enabled 39 municipal councils to issue loans worth 428m/-.

She, however, said that her ministry would during the 2014/2015 financial year continue issuing loans to other municipalities, adding that this would, however, depend on the repayment of previous loans.

The ministry for the coming financial year has proposed a budget amounting to 30,233,474,000, out of which 21,215,930,000/- is for recurrent expenditure and 9,017,544,000/- is for development expenditure.

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