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Embassy partner urges protection of rights as Tanzania responds to COVID-19

Embassy partner urges protection of rights as Tanzania responds to COVID-19

Like governments across the world, public authorities in Tanzania have introduced a range of measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. These include public education about the outbreak, the closure of educational institutions, and promotion of hand washing.

The Embassy of Ireland has sought to complement the efforts of the government in combating the spread of COVID-19 through provision of dedicated funding, guidance and support to existing partners to adjust their work-plans in a manner that suits the context, and maximizes their contribution to limiting the impact of COVID-19.

The Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), a leading human rights organisation and Embassy partner since 2018, has responded by focusing on the nexus between human rights and COVID-19. LHRC’s advocacy and public education through TV and digital platforms has, in recent weeks, centred on public health messaging, and highlighting and monitoring potential human rights issues that may emanate, either directly or indirectly, from measures aimed at fighting COVID-19. Experiences from other countries have, for instance, uncovered violations arising from efforts to enforce restrictions on mobility, and pointed to a spike in the levels of Gender-Based Violence as a result of “stay at home” orders.

LHRC has produced and disseminated two briefs on the promotion and protection of human rights during the outbreak of COVID-19. These materials underscore the risks that Women, Children and People living with Disability face in times of crisis such as now. They call for the protection of rights through timely, targeted and accessible communication, strengthening of institutions such as the Police Gender and Children’s desks, and adoption of measures to support living standards.

LHRC is tracking and encouraging reporting of human rights issues through the organisation’s web-based platform – HAKI-Kiganjani. Although COVID-19 has made it necessary for the organisation to introduce procedures such as working from home, key services such as legal aid continue to be offered.

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