Rape and Domestic Violence: The law provides for life imprisonment for persons convicted of rape, including spousal rape during periods of legal separation. The law stipulates a woman wishing to report a rape must do so at a police station where she must receive a release form before seeking medical help. This process contributed to medical complications, incomplete forensic evidence, and failure to report rapes. Victims often feared that cases reported to police would be made public.
The law prohibits assault but does not specifically prohibit domestic violence. Domestic violence against women remained widespread, and police rarely investigated such cases.
The LHRC stated there were 7,474 reported cases of gender-based violence in the first half of 2016, and 2,059 cases of rape in the first quarter of 2017 (the latest figures available). See Appendix C for data on the incidence of domestic violence.
Authorities rarely prosecuted persons who abused women. Persons close to the victims, such as relatives and friends, were most likely to be the perpetrators. Many who appeared in court were set free because of corruption in the judicial system, lack of evidence, poor investigations, and poor evidence preservation.
There were some government efforts to combat violence against women. Police maintained 417 gender and children desks in regions throughout the country to support victims and address relevant crimes. In Zanzibar, at One Stop Centers in both Unguja and Pemba, victims could receive health services, counseling, legal assistance, and a referral to police.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): The law prohibits FGM/C from being performed on girls under the age 18, but it does not provide for protection to women ages 18 or older. For information on the incidence of FGM/C, see Appendix C.
Prosecutions were rare. Many police officers and communities were unaware of the law, victims were often reluctant to testify, and some witnesses feared reprisals from FGM/C supporters. Some villagers reportedly bribed local leaders not to enforce the law in order to carry out FGM/C on their daughters.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment of women in the workplace. There were reports women were asked for sexual favors in return for promotions. According to the Women’s Legal Aid Center, police rarely investigated reported cases. Those cases that were investigated, were often dropped before they got to court–in some instances by the plaintiffs due to societal pressure and in others by prosecutors due to lack of evidence.
Coercion in Population Control: There were no reports of coerced abortion, involuntary sterilization, or other coercive population control methods. Estimates on maternal mortality and contraceptive prevalence are available at: www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/monitoring/maternal-mortality-2015/en/ .
Discrimination: The law provides the same legal status and rights for women and men; the law, however, also recognizes customary practices that often favor men. In particular, women faced discriminatory treatment in the areas of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and nationality.
Overt discrimination in areas such as education, credit, business ownership, and housing was uncommon. Nevertheless, women, especially in rural areas, faced significant disadvantages due to cultural, historical, and educational factors.
Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived by birth within the country if at least one parent is a citizen, or if abroad, also if at least one parent is a citizen. Registration within three months of birth is free; parents who wait until later must pay a fee. Public services were not withheld from unregistered children. For additional information, see Appendix C.
Education: Tuition-free primary education is compulsory and universal on both the mainland and Zanzibar until age 15. Secondary school is tuition-free, but not compulsory.
Girls represented approximately half of all children enrolled in primary school but were absent more often than boys due to household duties. At the secondary level, child marriage and pregnancy often caused girls to be expelled or otherwise prevented girls from finishing school.
The Center for Reproductive Rights reported in 2013 that more than 55,000 girls over the previous decade had been expelled from school for being pregnant. Regional authorities reported that it was common practice for school administrators to subject girls to hands-on external abdominal examinations for pregnancy. Under the Education and Training Policy launched by the government in 2015, pregnant girls may be reinstated in schools. In June President Magufuli declared that girls would not be allowed to return to school after giving birth. Human rights NGOs criticized the policy as contrary to the country’s constitution and laws.
Child Abuse: Violence against and abuse of children were major problems. Corporal punishment was employed in schools and the law allows head teachers to cane students. The National Violence against Children Survey, conducted in 2009 (the most recent data available), found that almost 75 percent of children experienced physical violence prior to age 18. According to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children, between July 2016 and June, 37,888 cases were reported through the program’s hotline.
Early and Forced Marriage: The law sets the legal age for marriage at age 18 for boys but does not set an age for girls. In 2016 the government amended the Law of the Child to make it illegal to marry a primary or secondary school student. To circumvent these laws, individuals reportedly bribed police or paid a bride price to the family of the girl to avoid prosecution. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), girls as young as seven were married. Zanzibar has its own law on marriage, but it does not specifically address early marriage. For additional information, see Appendix C.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: The law criminalizes child prostitution and child pornography. Those convicted of facilitating child prostitution or child pornography are subject to a fine ranging from TZS one million ($460) to TZS 500 million ($230,000), a prison term of one to 20 years, or both. There were no prosecutions based on this law during the year.
The law provides that sexual intercourse with a child under 18 is rape unless within a legal marriage. The law was not always enforced.
Infanticide or Infanticide of Children with Disabilities: Infanticide continued, especially among poor rural mothers who believed themselves unable to afford to raise a child. Nationwide statistics were not available.
Displaced Children: According to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children, large numbers of children were living and working on the street, especially in cities and near the borders. According to the National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children in Tanzania 2017/18-2021/22, an estimated 36,000 children were living and working on the streets. These children had limited access to health and education services, because they lacked a fixed address or money to purchase medicines, school uniforms, and books. They were also vulnerable to sexual abuse.
International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. See the Department of State’s Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction at travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/en/legal/compliance.html.
The Jewish population is very small, and there were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.
Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.
Persons with Disabilities
The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities, but the government did not effectively enforce these provisions.
Few public buildings were accessible to persons with disabilities. New public buildings, however, were built in compliance with the law. The law provides for access to information and communication, but not all persons with disabilities had such access.
There were six members of the union parliament with disabilities. Persons with disabilities held three appointed seats in the Zanzibar House of Representatives.
Limits to the political participation of persons with disabilities included inaccessible polling stations, lack of accessible information, limited inclusion in political parties, the failure of the National Electoral Commission to implement directives concerning disability, and stigma toward persons with disabilities.
According to the 2008 Tanzanian Disability Survey, an estimated 53 percent of children with disabilities attended school. There were no significant reported patterns of abuse in educational or mental health facilities.
Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Consensual same-sex sexual conduct is illegal in the country. The law on both the mainland and Zanzibar punishes “gross indecency” by up to five years in prison or a fine. The law punishes any person convicted of having “carnal knowledge of another against the order of nature or permits a man to have carnal knowledge of him against the order of nature” with a prison sentence of 30 years to life on the mainland and imprisonment up to 14 years in Zanzibar. In Zanzibar the law also provides for imprisonment up to five years or a fine for “acts of lesbianism.” The burden of proof in such cases is significant, and according to a 2013 HRW report, arrests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons rarely led to prosecutions. They usually were a pretext for police to collect bribes or coerce sex from vulnerable individuals. Nonetheless, the CHRAGG’s prison visits in 2014 revealed that “unnatural offenses” were among the most common reasons for pretrial detention of minors. In the past courts charged individuals suspected of same-sex sexual conduct with loitering or prostitution. The law does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Police often harassed persons believed to be LGBTI based on their dress or manners. In March police in Dar es Salaam arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of being gay based upon a video he had posted on Instagram. The man was interrogated about his sexual history and taken to a government hospital where he was forcibly subjected to an anal exam seeking proof of homosexual conduct.
During the year government officials publicly stated opposition to improved safeguards for the rights of LGBTI persons, which it characterized as contrary to the law of the land and the cultural norms of society. Senior government officials made several anti-LGBTI statements. In March the deputy minister of health, community development, gender, seniors, and children tweeted “The war against promotion and normalization of homosexuality in Tanzania is real.” LGBTI persons were often afraid to report violence and other crimes, including those committed by state agents, due to fear of arrest. LGBTI persons faced societal discrimination that restricted their access to health care, including access to information about HIV, housing, and employment. There were no known government efforts to combat such discrimination.
HIV and AIDS Social Stigma
The 2013 People Living with HIV Stigma Index Report indicated persons with HIV/AIDS experienced significant levels of stigma countrywide (39.4 percent), with stigma particularly high in Dar es Salaam (49.7 percent). The most common forms of stigma and discrimination experienced were gossip, verbal insults, and exclusion from social, family, and religious activities. More than one in five persons with HIV/AIDS experienced a forced change of residence or inability to rent accommodations. In Dar es Salaam, nearly one in three of these persons experienced the loss of a job or other source of income.
The law prohibits discrimination against any person “known or perceived” to be HIV positive and establishes medical standards for confidentiality to protect persons with HIV/AIDS. HRW reported in 2013 that HIV-positive persons, particularly in three key populations (sex workers, drug users, and LGBTI persons) experienced discrimination by law enforcement officials and in accessing health services. Police abuses of these persons included arbitrary arrest, extortion, and refusal to accept complaints from victims of crime. In the health sector, key populations experienced denial of services, verbal harassment and abuse, and violations of confidentiality. In 2016 the government announced a ban on the distribution of lubricants and threatened to deregister and ban NGOs serving the LGBTI community, including those providing health services to counter HIV/AIDS, for “promoting homosexuality.” In response to government threats, several NGOs suspended services to the LGBTI community. In April community-based services for key populations were reinstated following the release of revised guidelines.
Gender Desks at police stations throughout the country were established to help address mistrust between members of key populations and police. The Tanzania AIDS Commission in 2013 established a Key Populations Task Force to enable members of marginalized communities to have a say in government policies affecting them.
Other Societal Violence or Discrimination
Despite efforts by the government and NGOs to reduce mob violence through educational outreach and community policing, mob violence spiked early in the year, reversing several years of decline. According to the LHRC, there were 479 cases of mob violence from January to June, a 255-percent increase over the same period in 2016. In April, for example, a person suspected of being an armed robber was killed by a mob in Dar es Salaam.
Witchcraft-related killings continued to be a problem, but the LHRC reported a 62-percent decline in such killings from the same period in 2016 (from 303 to 115).
Attacks on persons with albinism declined, and from January through June there were no reported cases of persons with albinism being killed or attacked. There was one reported incident in Tabora of an attempted abduction of two children with albinism. According to the UN Human Rights Council, however, persons with albinism remained at risk of violence. Some ritual practitioners, particularly in the Lake Zone region, sought albino body parts in the belief they could be used to create power and wealth. Schools used as temporary shelters in some cases evolved into long-term accommodation, with many students with albinism afraid to return to their homes. In 2015 the government outlawed witchdoctors in an attempt to curtail killings of persons with albinism.
Farmers and pastoralists sometimes argued over traditional animal grazing areas, and violence continued to break out during some disputes.