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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.

UNA Tanzania and Community Led Actions to Combat Climate Change.

Take a look at the above photo. What comes to mind? Wetlands? ordinary farming activities?

Well the photo is showcasing the people of Kengeja Community in Pemba, Tanzania planting mangrove trees as a means to reduce salt water intrusion in their farms. You might be asking yourself how did salt water invade farms in the first place and how is that a threat? you guessed it right, it is all a result of climate change.

Salt water intrusion is the movement of saline sea water into coastal lands and fresh water sources which are in proximity to the ocean. The act is facilitated by climate change either directly or indirectly. The direct cause is through the rise in sea levels due to expansion of water particles which is brought about by abnormal temperature rise. While the indirect cause is through the increase of drilling or pumping of coastal underground freshwater, might be for creation of wells or boreholes. These actions lead to an imbalance in the water pressure between the sea and underground water, hence making salt water invade the coastal areas.

Salt water intrusion affects the world differently. It is evident to coastal communities in Pemba where its impacts cut across fresh water availability, crop growth, productivity and quality of crops produced without forgetting the livelihood of farmers. Most of the people in Kengeja practice subsistence farming, to them it is the main source of food and income. When salt water invades, crop growth and productivity is affected due to the presence of traces of salt in the water which enters the farms. The action subsequently leads to a greater risk of food insecurities, furthermore low productivity leaves farmers with low earnings. Collectively all these escalates vulnerability to coastal communities.

If we are to tackle saltwater intrusion, climate action must be taken. Everyone has a role to play in our communities. It starts with the simplest things that we can all adopt. From spreading a word about the impact of climate change to being mindful of our daily activities at home or in the working environment. Making sure we create proper habits to adapt to climate change impacts like proper usage of water, planting trees and saying no to cutting trees. Apart from that, raising awareness about the importance of using clean energy, reducing the use of plastic materials and preserving our environment.

The United Nations Association of Tanzania is at the forefront of climate mitigation. We worked hand in hand with the people of Kengeja community in Pemba to plant mangrove trees in order to reduce salt water intrusion. UNA Tanzania engaged different age groups in this project while putting a particular priority in youth and women participation due to their influence. Climate dialogues were conducted to know the level of community understanding on climate action. Community sensitization on the adverse effects of climate change and adaptation measures were advocated. However, this is not enough. We therefore make a call upon everyone reading this article to be an agent for change. The climate change nightmare is not to be left in the hands of governments only. It is everyone’s battle, Play your part now!

OPPORTUNITY!!! Apply now

Are you a university student with passion and interest in sustainable development goals, can you commit your 1 academic year term in serving as an SDG Coordinator and do you have some professional or volunteer work experience, particularly with campaigning, community mobilization, project coordination, event management, or stakeholder engagement. Then the SDG coordinator program is definitely for you.

About the SDGs coordinator  (2022-2023 cohort)

SDG Coordinators is under the SDNS Youth program of the United Nations Sustainable  Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN); an initiative launched by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in 2012 to mobilize global expertise around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The coordinator shall support SDSN Youth’s mandate by working in SDSN member universities around the world to mobilize university students around the SDGs. SDG Coordinators operate under the SDG Students Program, which runs a global network of SDG Student hubs at universities to nurture effective lifelong advocates for sustainable development in their local and global communities. As SDG Coordinator, you will become the representative and key mobiliser who run an SDG Student Hub with support from the SDG Students Program. Coordinators work to ensure that all students in their university/campus are aware of the SDGs, understand their importance to the wider community, and have opportunities to take action towards their implementation.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Establish and/or operate an SDG Student Hub on campus and use it as a platform to build a community of students interested in taking action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Manage the core operations of this SDG Student Hub through several processes, including:
    1. Recruitment – Promote the SDG Student Hub to fellow students, encouraging them to join the community and help facilitate their membership.
    2. Organize – with the hub community and leadership team – discuss, plan and allocate responsibilities for actioning the core functions of the hub
    3. Engagement – of the student community, both at the hub and with other student groups, to fulfill the core functions of the hub
    4. Community building – Arrange casual community gatherings and informal networking events to promote a sense of community and social ties between members.

Why should you become an SDG Coordinator?

Benefits and learning outcomes

  • Make an impact
  • Be trained as a youth sustainability leader
  • Get support from SDSN Youth
  • Enhance existing or gain new work-related skills and experience for your future career

Who is eligible to apply?

Applications for this role are ONLY open to students and staff from SDSN Member Institutions, in Tanzania only students from the following institutions qualify.

Find more descriptions on the role through the SDSN Youth website: www.sdnsyouth.org

Youth Symposium: Youth Roles In Sexual Reproductive Health and Ending Intimate Partner Violence

On Saturday 30th of April 2022 The United Nations Association of Tanzania joined hands the Youth of United Nations Association of Tanzania for a thrilling youth symposium with the theme YOUTH ROLES IN SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND ENDING INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE a pre-event towards Tanzania International Model United Nations (TIMUN 2022 ) at the National Museum, Posta. The symposium was attended by 584 young people with the intention of providing information and understanding on sexual reproductive health and rights. To evaluate the challenges and solutions of addressing Intimate partner violence. To raise awareness on the national and International commitments that Tanzania abides with on sexual reproductive health and rights. As well as utilize the space to foster conversations on the importance of youth participation and engagement in policy processes in order to stimulate youth desired change.

The symposium included presentations from guest speakers and a panel discussion. The presentations were from Tausi Hassan, Program analyst – youth development at UNFPA Tanzania and Catherine Fidelis, Program assistant – Education for health and well being at UNESCO Tanzania. Aside from that, there was a panel discussion which was moderated by Ms. Frida Muslimu, Youth Advisory Panel ( YAP ) member at UNFP Tanzania included panelists with rich experience in different components of sexual reproductive health and rights. They were Salha Azizi- Founder of Binti Salha Foundation and SRHR consultant speaking on intimate partner violence, Shedrack Msuya- Founder Salama Foundation and Content Developer at Infolife Tanzania reflecting on age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education, Ummilkher Yassin- President TIMUN 2021 and SRHR Advocate articulating friendly sexual reproductive health services to youth, Catherine Madebe- Program Lead Mulika Tanzania revealing the national and International commitments that Tanzania abides with on sexual reproductive health and rights and Lucas Kifyasi- Head of Programs UNA Tanzania expressed on youth participation on policy processes.

In the first presentation Tausi Hassani gave a situational analysis on youth and adolescents sexual health in the country. It showcased important statistics such as teenage pregnancy (age 15-19) is at 27% (8% in ZNZ), HIV prevalence among youth (age 15-24) is at 1.4% and GBV: Adolescent  girls experience of sexual violence by age 15 is at 4% while the total percentage of young people (aged 10-24) in the country is at 33% and adolescents aged 10-19 years is at 23%. All these are out of the 2018 NBS projections from the 2012 national census. She went on to put greater emphasis on how accurate SRHR information to adolescents and youth would alleviate the situation. She said, “Education and proper information of sexual reproductive health should be accepted by the society and made accessible to youth”. Furthermore she encouraged youth to seek SRHR education.

Ms. Catherine Fidelis, who was among the guest speakers, conveyed the second presentation on the issues concerning intimate partner violence particularly to higher learning students in Tanzania . She noted that “acts of violence  are end results but they actually begin from the mind and in addressing  the issue, among other things we need to create interventions that deal with attitude and mindset change”.

An interesting panel discussion proceeded the presentations diving more deeper on the components of SRHR. Mrs. Salha Azizi spoke about the solution to Tanzania’s Intimate Partner Violence problem and its root causes. Poverty and economic dependency are two of the reasons of violence, according to her. “Youths in relationships should keep an open eye to symptoms of violence, such as a dominating partner, and if they are faced with any physical or psychological violence, they should come out and report to the responsible authority,” she strongly advised the young. Followed on the floor was about Shedrack Msuya, he highlighted Tanzania’s comprehensive sexuality education scenario as well as a few challenges. He added that the government and civic society are working to provide sexual education to teenagers and adolescents, but that the process is complicated by ideological differences in cultures and religion. Another important aspect discussed was friendly sexual reproductive health services, Ms. Ummilkher Yassin presented a review of the country’s youth-friendly sexual health-care conditions, stating that “youth sexual health-care services should be welcoming,administered with less judgment by the health care workers, and confidential to allow youths to feel more comfortable accessing them”. She also recommended the youngsters to seek health services regardless of the present challenges but also to participate in local government health meetings for the sake of suggesting ways to make youth health services more pleasant. Ms. Catherine Madebe spoke on the country’s strategic commitments. She went on to say that since 2018, the government and civil society have been working hard to develop a health strategy for youth that addresses concerns such as providing a safe environment for adolescents to access SRHR while also providing guidelines to non-governmental groups providing SRHR education. Last but not least on the panel was Mr. Lucas Kifyasi Focused on youth participation in decision-making in youth health initiatives. He explained, “No one should decide on the youngsters, it is up to youths to be confident enough to utilize local decision making bodies to express their voice on youth’ health agendas, influence policies and budget because that is where national plans begin”.

UNA Tanzania believes that good health and well being is crucial for the prosperity of the lives of young people and sexual health is not to be ignored. It starts with providing access to accurate information that will allow young people to make informed decisions about their sexual health. Henceforth we support the creation of an environment that enables young people to obtain such information like symposiums for youth by the youth.

 

The Speech of The United Nations’ Secretary General on World Environment Day

“The theme of this year’s World Environment Day, “Only One Earth”, is a simple statement of fact.

This planet is our only home.  It is vital we safeguard the health of its atmosphere, the richness and diversity of life on Earth, its ecosystems and its finite resources.  But we are failing to do so.  We are asking too much of our planet to maintain ways life that are unsustainable.  Earth’s natural systems cannot keep up with our demands. 

This not only hurts the Earth, but us too.  A healthy environment is essential for all people and all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  It provides food, clean water, medicines, climate regulation and protection from extreme weather events.  It is essential that we wisely manage nature and ensure equitable access to its services, especially for the most vulnerable people and communities.

More than 3 billion people are affected by degraded ecosystems.  Pollution is responsible for some 9 million premature deaths each year.  More than 1 million plant and animal species risk extinction, many within decades.

Close to half of humanity is already in the climate danger zone – 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts such as extreme heat, floods and drought.  There is a 50:50 chance that annual average global temperatures will breach the Paris Agreement limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next five years.  More than 200 million people each year could be displaced by climate disruption by 2050.

Fifty years ago, the world’s leaders came together at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and committed to protecting the planet.  But we are far from succeeding.  We can no longer ignore the alarm bells that ring louder every day.

The recent Stockholm+50 environment meeting reiterated that all 17 Sustainable Development Goals rely on a healthy planet.  We must all take r responsibility to avert the catastrophe being wrought by the triple crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

Governments need urgently to prioritize climate action and environmental protection through policy decisions that promote sustainable progress.  To that end, I have proposed five concrete recommendations to dramatically speed up the deployment of renewable energy everywhere, including making renewable technologies and raw materials available to all, cutting red tape, shifting subsidies and tripling investment.

Businesses need to put sustainability at the heart of their decision-making for the sake of humanity and their own bottom line.  A healthy planet is the backbone of nearly every industry on Earth.

And as voters and consumers we must make our actions count: from the policies we support, to the food we eat, to the transport we choose, to the companies we support.  We can all make environmentally friendly choices that will add up to the change we need.

Women and girls, in particular, can be forceful agents of change.  They must be empowered and included in decision-making at all levels.  Likewise, indigenous and traditional knowledge must also be respected and harnessed to help protect our fragile ecosystems.

History has shown what can be achieved when we work together and put the planet first.  In the 1980s, when scientists warned about a deadly continent-sized hole in the ozone layer, every country committed to the Montreal Protocol to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. 

In the 1990s, the Basel Convention outlawed the dumping of toxic waste in developing countries.  And, last year, a multilateral effort ended the production of leaded petrol – a move that will promote better health and prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths each year.

This year and the next will present more opportunities for the global community to demonstrate the power of multilateralism to tackle our intertwined environmental crises, from negotiations on a new global biodiversity framework to reverse nature loss by 2030 to the establishment of a treaty to tackle plastics pollution.

The United Nations is committed to leading these cooperative global efforts, because the only way forward is to work with nature, not against it.  Together we can ensure that our planet not only survives, but thrives, because we have Only One earth”.