Since its establishment to date, LHRC is proud of the contribution and attribution that we have made in the field of human rights and the rule of law in Tanzania. We have witnessed positive legal and policy reforms which have strengthened human rights, the establishment of strong institutions to administer justice, empowerment of public on laws and human rights, enhanced accountability among rights holders and duty bearers as well as the promotion of access to justice to the indigenous. LHRC has grown to become the voice of voiceless, building the confidence of Tanzanians to stand for their rights; effecting necessary legal and policy reforms as well as helping the vulnerable to access legal remedy.
LHRC has thought big and responded boldly to a range of issues. It has articulated and given visibility to human rights issues in the country, built relationship with communities and strengthened social and emotional capitals. It has built capacities of young lawyers most of whom are now fearless activists and frontline human rights defenders both at home and abroad. LHRC has trained paralegals, human rights monitors, and volunteers and provided capacity building to civil society organizations. It has organized human rights campaigns on specific issues such as environmental justice, created spaces for citizens to air their views and complaints related to social justice and documented stories of abuse of human rights as well as positive stories.
However, despite the success LHRC has witnessed increasing incidences of human rights violations in the country. Incidences have been across all human rights groups i.e. violation of civil and political rights where there have been shrinking civic space and enactment of laws and policies which aims to regulate fundamental freedoms e.g. freedom of speech, association and access to information; additionally, there have been increased violations of social and environmental justice, increased inequalities among men and women and raising numbers of cases of violence against women, children and people with disabilities. Through research and fact findings LHRC has documented increasing sexual violence against women and children, victims from land eviction just to mention a few.
As such LHRC’s program are designed to call for accountability among members of the public in addressing such violence as well as strengthening of institutions responsible to ensure human rights are respected and protected. LHRC has been working with duty bearers and law enforcers to enhance their capacity in the administration of justice and addressing the existing gaps.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
International Women’s Day is observed by the international community every year on 8th March. It has a long history since back in 1910. But the United Nations started celebrating the International Women’s Day since 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member States to proclaim March 8th as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace.
Henceforth, LHRC has been commemorating this day each year and calls upon different actors to review and assess progress made in struggle for women’s rights. The day creates an opportunity for nations to highlight challenges faced and provide recommendations on areas that can be improved regarding the protection of women’s rights.
RATIONALE FOR THE MARATHON
As part of commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day, LHRC has organized a marathon and named it ‘‘Haki Marathon. This Marathon is not just another marathon but a chance to increase awareness and call for public accountability in addressing human rights violations including violence against women. The Haki Marathon will bring together people from different backgrounds and sectors ranging from members of the public, private sector, civil society organizations, human rights clubs and government officials. Through the marathon LHRC will be reminding the public on their role in safeguarding human rights and the need for collective efforts to fight injustices.