Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Tanzania
|Publisher||Child Soldiers International|
|Publication Date||20 May 2008|
|Cite as||Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Tanzania, 20 May 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/486cb1352d.html [accessed 26 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Population: 38.3 million (19.1 million under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 27,000
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 16 (younger with parental consent)
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: acceded 11 November 2004
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182, ACRWC, ICC
There were no reports of under-18s in the armed forces although their presence could not be ruled out as defence force regulations permitted recruitment under some circumstances. No recruitment of child soldiers from Burundian refugee camps was reported after September 2004.
Tanzania continued to host large numbers of refugees who had fled conflict in their countries of origin. The UN Refugee Agency's (UNHCR) planning figures for 2008-9 indicated over 381,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in Tanzania, mostly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).1 In January 2007 there were some 600,000 refugees, over 350,000 from Burundi and over 120,000 from the DRC.2 In early 2007 the Tanzanian authorities were accused of ill-treating Burundian and Rwandan refugees and of forcibly expelling them during 2006.3
The entry of Burundi's main armed opposition group, the Conseil National pour la Défense de la Démocratie – Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD-FDD, led by Pierre Nkurunziza), into the Burundian government in 2003 and the subsequent reform of the armed forces there appeared to have triggered the return to Burundi of some 90,000 refugees in 2004. Thousands more returned ahead of Burundian local and legislative elections in 2005.4 Repatriation of both Burundian and DRC refugees continued in 2007.5
National recruitment legislation and practice
When acceding to the Optional Protocol in November 2004, Tanzania stated in its declaration that "the minimum age for the voluntary recruitment into armed conflict is eighteen years."6
However, Section 67 of the Defence Forces Regulations prohibited the recruitment of persons apparently under 18 into the armed forces, "except that where a person is not of the apparent age of eighteen years he may be enrolled in the Defence Forces with the consent in writing of one of his parents or guardian, or, when the parents or guardian are dead or unknown, with the consent of the Area Commission of the district in which that person resides".7 The regulations provided that no child under the age of 18 could be used directly in armed conflict.8
In July 2007 the government stated that the age of voluntary recruitment to all defence forces was set at 18 and that birth and other certificates were scrutinized to prevent the recruitment of under-18s. It also stated that only over-18s could enlist, and that some military training was provided. There was no compulsory recruitment.9 The government reported that although the recruitment of under-18s appeared to be a possibility in exceptional circumstances, in practice there was no such recruitment of under-18s in the Tanzania People Defence Forces (TPDF). No schools were under the control of the TPDF.10
Prior to 2004 Burundi's armed political groups reportedly recruited children as young as eight from refugee camps in Tanzania and carried out training in or near camps.11
The entry of the CNDD-FDD (Nkurunziza) into the Burundian government in 2003 and the subsequent return to Burundi of large numbers of CNDD-FDD (Nkurunziza) fighters led to improvements in camp security. Recruitment by the CNDD-FDD (Nkrunziza) was reported in refugee camps as late as September 2004, and at the end of that year they and other armed political groups were reported still to be demanding financial contributions from the refugee population.12
Although recruitment, including of children, by the one remaining active Burundian armed political group, the National Liberation Forces (Forces nationales de libération, FNL), was reported in Burundian territory bordering Tanzania in 2006,13 no recruitment from Burundian refugee camps had been reported since 2004.14
In 2005, in its second periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Tanzania acknowledged that child trafficking existed within Tanzania, and proposed introducing a "Children's Law" to address this and other child protection issues, including a consistent legislative definition of a child.15 In 2006 the Committee expressed concern at the lack of a clear time frame for finalizing and enacting this legislation.16 As of October 2007 the government reported that it had yet to incorporate international humanitarian laws (such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols) into its domestic legislation.17
3 Human Rights Watch (HRW), letter to President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania, 8 May 2007.
4 Amnesty International (AI), "Burundi: refugee rights at risk: human rights abuses in returns to and from Burundi", AI Index: AFR 16/006/2005, 27 June 2005.
5 UNHCR, "Uncertain future for return operation from Tanzania to Congo", News Stories, 24 September 2007, http://www.unhcr.org/; UNHCR News, 'UNHCR and partners in new initiatives to boost repatriation to Burundi", 12 July 2007, www.unhcr.org.
7 Confidential sources, Tanzania, July 2007.
8 Second periodic report of Tanzania to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/70/Add.26, 24 August 2005.
9 Letter to the Child Soldiers Coalition from the Tanzania High Commission, London, July 2007; Second periodic report, above note 8.
10 Initial report of Tanzania to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/TZA/1, 19 October 2007.
11 HRW, "Child Soldier Use 2003, a Briefing for the 4th UN Security Council", Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, January 2003.
12 Burundi: refugee rights at risk, above note 4.
13 UN Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Burundi, UN Doc. S/2006/851, 27 October 2006; ITEKA, (Burundian Human Rights League), http://www.ligue-iteka.africa-web.org.
14 Confidential sources, Dar es Salaam, June 2007.
15 Second periodic report of Tanzania to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/70/Add.26, 24 August 2005.
16 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of report submitted by Tanzania, Concluding observations, UN Doc. CRC/C/TZA/CO/2, 21 June 2006.
17 Initial report, above note 10.