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Title:'This is not my child': integrating orphans into the mainstream of Tanzania's society
Author:Rwezaura, B.A.ISNI
Periodical:Eastern Africa Law Review
Geographic term:Tanzania
children's rights
Abstract:Before the outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, the number of orphaned children in Tanzania was negligible and did not attract much public attention. Today, although figures vary, the number is estimated at one million orphans in a country of nearly 32 million people. The aim of this paper is to sound an alarm not only for Tanzania but also for all States in the region on the plight of orphan children, many of whom continue to suffer from discrimination and neglect. The paper begins with an outline of the orphan crisis in Tanzania, followed by a discussion of who has responsibility for these children under international law. Next it discusses field data showing instances of violation of the rights of orphans using international norms as a benchmark against which to measure these violations. The paper then examines Tanzania's response to the orphan crisis and the extent to which this response is equal to the challenge. The question of how and what can be done to integrate orphans into the mainstream of society are also considered in this section. In conclusion it is stressed that Tanzania needs to take action now to reverse the process that keeps pushing these vulnerable children to the periphery of society. Notes, ref.