Human Rights Awareness Campaigns at Grassroots Level

Participants during one of the Haki Maendeleo awareness campaigns on human rights and principles of good governance .

On 15 and 16 February, 2019 Haki Maendeleo conducted Awareness Campaign on human rights and principles of good governance in to the citizens in several regions of Tanzania at grassroot level. The workshop was conducted to representatives of Civil Society Organizations, Respected Leaders and members of community.

The main objective of the training workshop was to assist the Communities at local level on the human rights concerns within their communities.

“Awareness in our society has flipped all types of injustice on its head” Serj Tankian

The target group of this workshop were Civil Society Organizations, Respected leaders and member of community coming from districts in Lake Zone Region. In total twenty participants attended, including men (8) and women (12), the workshop were facilitated with Haki Maendeleo staff, Wilfred Warioba, Philipo Sungu (Volunteer supported) from head office Dar es Salaam.

The topic presented during training workshop includes; Understanding the Haki Maendeleo functions, and limitations, Challenges faced to the realization of access to justice for citizen, available avenues to report the human rights violations and respective Institutions, The understanding of what ere human rights and good governance principles and its importance. the workshop was designed in a participatory environment where there were discussion and group sessions which includes discussions and presentations, of which participants were able to share their experiences and more over create a network among participants.

The participants expressed many concerns and challenges that they are facing in addressing human rights violation which some of the concerns include challenges of accessibility due to its challenging geographical locations, poor infrastructures and insufficient transportation facilities hinder smooth operation of CSOs in public service delivery, concerns on the inadequate or lack of improved modern working tools and equipment’s used to gather information (testimony) in the incidents of violations of either human rights violation, public education and awareness campaign etc. noted to trim down efforts of CSOs in the process of enhancing access to justice to the community.

Low perception on human rights and principles of good governance education among the Government executives and employees in village, ward and district levels, as a result, poor cooperation between duty bearers and rights holders. Centralized, bureaucratic and cost full system of CSOs registration lead to unnecessary inconveniences to right holders during registration processes. and the security of informers on human rights violation and contravention of principles of good governance to the state security organs especially PCCB and Police is fragile. Some of the good citizens who inform on human rights violation and contravention of principles of good governance to PCCB and Police held victims by their good acts regardless the presence of the Act that protects them.

The participants also shared some suggestion to Haki Maendeleo which includes improve of the public social service delivery particularly enhancement the access to justice include, human rights education and principles of good governance to the Government executives and employees at village, ward and district levels is vital importance for them to understand and adhere to their roles and responsibilities. This can easier and improve collaboration and performance of CSOs in their day to day public service delivery, another suggestion was the particular for the CSOs was the improvement of process of registration at least to the regional level and the reduction of the costs of registration also to see the possibility of amendment and avoid bureaucracy without unnecessary inconveniences for better-improved public social service delivery to the people.

Many participants showed their concern of the Security and welfare of informers on human rights violation incidences and contravention of principles of good governance to state security organs have to be guarantee by laws in place.

Haki Maendeleo was founded in 2017 and registered in Tanzania in 2019 as a national level Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). Throughout its existence, the core agenda of Haki Maendeleo has been campaigning for the entrenchment of human rights, good governance and democratic culture in Tanzania. Its founders and staff are among the foremost leaders and activists in struggles for human rights, good governance and democratic reforms in Tanzania.