This week has seen a huge step towards ensuring that the rights of children are met in Tanzania as the high court outlawed marriage for anyone below the age of 18 years. Any man who breaches this law could face up to 30 years in prison.
Global Citizen has written;
“…keeping young girls from getting married means they’ll actually be able to take advantage of… free education. To maximize attendance, the government intends to punish parents who fail to keep their kids in school.
The threat of jail time will no doubt act as a strong deterrent, but it doesn’t fully address the problem of child marriage. The new law is dependent on schools notifying officials if a girl becomes married or pregnant. But most child marriage occurs informally with community assent, outside the view of law enforcement, which may discourage informants. In some communities, child marriage is an accepted tradition. In others, parents need money and sell their daughters to prospective husbands. In all cases, it may be hard for teachers to fully assess a girl’s situation.”
It is currently estimated that up to 37% of underage girls are currently married in Tanzania and 21% of teenaged girls aged 15-19 years of age have given birth. We believe that every child has the right to live, learn and play. To be happy, safe and free. We are working with children in Moshi through our ‘My School, My Voice’ child collectives to ensure that children understand these rights, and know how they can raise their voices when these are not being met. Last year, we held 96 child rights workshops with 450 children across 15 schools. The workshops focused on children’s right to participate in decisions that affect their lives (including child marriage), and empowered them on the steps to take action.
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