TANZANIA: TANZANIA has reiterated its commitment in upholding Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Speaking here on Friday, Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi assured that the country will continue treasuring such values per United Nations and African regional human rights treaties since its constitution provides for the freedom of assembly, association, expression and the media.
Dr Mwinyi, who was officiating the 77th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) on behalf of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, said Tanzania is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights as defined by the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, and other regional and international instruments.
“We are very committed to uphold them as clearly stipulated in the mother law,” he said.
According to Dr Mwinyi, Human and People’s Rights have been highlighted in both Article 12 and 24 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
As a testimony to such commitment, Tanzania had created various institutions and bodies to protect and promote human rights, including the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) which is the National Human Rights Institution created under the Constitution.
The Zanzibar President further assured the Human Rights experts that the East African nation had more than 500 media houses to its name, a strong assertion of Tanzania’s resolve in upholding Human and People’s Rights.
He said the government remains committed to fulfil its international and national obligations, including educating and empowering people on human rights issues to make them a reality in Tanzania.
He equally reminded the delegates that Tanzania was no stranger to peace keeping missions on the globe, saying it demonstrated its strong commitment in upholding Human and People’s Rights.
More than 2,600 Tanzanian military and police personnel currently serve in six UN operations, performing a range of vital tasks such as protecting civilians and community policing.
Dr Mwinyi however admitted that there were some issues that still curtailed the promotion of Human Rights in the society.
“Civil wars, outdated traditions and customs and gender violence have become very common in Africa, but that will not derail our resolve,” he insisted.
Dr Mwinyi used the occasion to appeal to African leaders to take necessary steps to embrace Human and People’s Rights.
The African Union (AU) has three principal mechanisms for protecting human rights on the continent: a Charter, a Commission and a Court all devoted to Human and Peoples’Rights. These are complemented by other specific instruments, by the work of the AU institutions and by various international and national laws.
Despite this complex web, human rights are still violated in numerous African countries. The reasons stem from the fact that many legal instruments have not been ratified, that the human rights system suffers from weak capacity and — crucially — that many AU member states lack the political will to improve the situation.
In his rejoinder, ACHPR Commissioner Remy Lungu showered praise on Tanzanian government for maintaining peace and security, saying such a gesture was worth emulating.
“Without peace, there can be no development,” he emphasised.
Under article 62 of the African Charter, States are obliged to submit a report every two years on the legislative and other measures taken with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms recognised and guaranteed by the Charter.
The African Charter established the African Commission on Human and Peoples’Rights.
The Commission was inaugurated on November 2, 1987 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Commission’s Secretariat has subsequently been located in Banjul, The Gambia.
In addition to performing any other tasks which may be entrusted to it by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Commission is officially charged with three major functions, which include the protection of human and peoples’ rights, the promotion of human and peoples’ rights and the interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.