Justice for Street Children in Tanzania

Tanzania Street Child
A Tanzanian boy speaks to reporters about the dangers of living on the streets. (Photo: T. Fikowski)

When Clouds FM reporters, Aziz Kindamba and Salum Mwinimkuu,  started working on a story about the street children in Dar Es Salaam, They didn’t expect to uncover sexual abuse.

 

Working with JHR trainer Teri Fikowski, Azis and Salum interviewed street children, their mothers, and community support workers about the hardships of living on the street. A shy young boy explained: No food. No shelter. No clothing. Being raped by police. Azis, Salum and Teri were horrified. “Official corruption is a problem in Tanzania,” Teri explained, ” It was more the casual passing of information, like the weather, that disturbed me.  It is accepted, making it that much more unacceptable.”

 

At a police news conference, Azis and Salum were worried about  asking about the rape allegations. Journalists asking about corruption are often harassed when collecting information. But with Teri’s encouragement, pair asked tough questions. The police admitted they knew about the rapes. Azis and Salum created a two-part radio and TV broadcast about the lives of street children and their fear of sexual violence from the polices.

 

After the stories aired, the police promised to launch a rare internal investigation. Azis and Salum are following the story, keeping the issue in the news and tracking the investigation. Although life is still hard for the street children of Dar Es Salaam, because of brave journalists like Azis and Salum, their risk of sexual violence at the hands of police is steadily going down.

JHR’s work in Tanzania is made possible through generous support from:

 

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