UNA Tanzania At The Forefront in Advocating For The Amendment of the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act

Mr. Goodluck William; SDGs and Human Rights Program Officer from UNA Tanzania showcasingThe National Anti Trafficking in Persons Plan of Action 2021-2024

On Friday 6th of May 2022 UNA Tanzania team with the support of Pact Tanzania was in Dodoma for a meeting with the Anti Trafficking Secretariat (ATS). The meeting was attended by three representatives from the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat under Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr. Mwidadi who is The Head of Training, Advocacy and International Cooperation and other members of the secretariat which included Mr. Alexander Lupila and Selestine Makoba together and 5 UNA Tanzania staff. The main agenda being to introduce UNA Tanzanias’ Anti-Trafficking initiative to the secretariat, sharing the project objectives and learning about the plan of the committee on amending the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act no.6/2008 and diving into the National Anti Trafficking in Persons Plan of Action 2021-2024 . During the meeting the team had an honor of  receiving the Anti Trafficking in Persons Act No 6/2008 and the National Anti Trafficking in Persons Plan of Action 2021-2024. The plan of action describes in detail the action points of the government for the coming 5 years and showcase avenues for collaborations on interventions centered around combating human trafficking in Tanzania.

Getting into action, on  26th And 27th May 2022 UNA Tanzania convened CSOs for two days activity. Day one aimed at creating a platform for CSOs involvement in a comprehensive consultative and validation meeting of recommendations for amending the Anti-Trafficking In Persons Act No.6/2008 and day two aimed at a strategic advocacy engagement meeting with the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat for presentation of the recommendations. The meeting was attended by Anti-Trafficking Secretariat representative which is under the Ministry of Home Affairs and 27 representatives from Civil Society Organizations including Tanzania Relief Initiatives (TRI) , Wote Sawa Tanzania, Railway Children Africa,  Bridge for change, Wote initiative for Development Empowerment (WIDE)  and Kiona Youth Coordinates, among them 10 were women and 17 men .

On the first day an interesting validation meeting to review Anti Trafficking in Persons Act Number 6 of 2008 took place, whereby CSOs representatives got the opportunity to air out their suggestions which were later compiled into a single document. The second day was for a strategic engagement advocacy meeting with the representatives from the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat, whereby a CSOs representative Mr. Ocheck Msuva from Bridge for Change Tanzania had the opportunity to present the recommendations from CSOs to the ATS. The activity established a solid base for the coming consultations to amend the Act that will be supervised by the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat  in June.

Recommendations provided in the meeting ranged from law enforcement, institutional and structural which all contribute to the practical reinforcement of the act. Mr. Edwin Mugambila  from Tanzania Relief Initiatives (TRI) Tanzania contributed that, “Inadequate penalties/punishment is one of the weaknesses in the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 6/2008, the punishment should be considered to be a sentence of minimum 30 years imprisonment to a maximum of life imprisonment accompanied by a fine”. This is because the punishment of paying a fine only still influences trafficking in persons.

Mr. Selestine Makoba, a representative from the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat appreciated the efforts shown by the participants and UNA Tanzania for getting together stakeholders for the consultations.  He stated that, “The purpose of human trafficking is exploitation, it is bad, we must join hands together to combat it. There are many improvements to be made to the act and it is important to make them and even make sure they come out this year for the benefit of the whole community”.

The United Nations Association of Tanzania mobilizes for action, promotes inclusiveness, and enhances accountability to ensure that no one is left behind in the implementation and achievement of SDGs in Tanzania. That is why we think of the most vulnerable groups in the community and maneuver ways to address policies, legal frameworks and structures so as to build a just society where no one is left behind.