The following information reports U.S. Government priorities and activities of the U.S. mission in Tanzania to promote democracy and human rights. For background on Tanzania's human rights conditions, please see the 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the International Religious Freedom Reports at //2009-2017.state.gov.
Part 1: U.S. Government Democracy Objectives
The United Republic of Tanzania consists of the mainland and the Zanzibar archipelago, whose main islands are Unguja and Pemba. Building on the mainland's solid democratic foundation, the United States prioritizes promoting democracy through improving governance in the country by strengthening key institutions that support public accountability and civic engagement. This includes enhancing the capacity of civil society, the press, the judiciary, and the legislature to hold government accountable to its citizens. Further, U.S. Government efforts focus on electoral and civic participation in support of responsive government. The United States also focuses on addressing human rights issues, including trafficking in persons, child labor, and women's empowerment.Part 2: Supporting Top Priorities and Other Aspects of Human Rights and Democratic Governance
The United States promotes democracy through public outreach, programmatic support, and diplomatic engagement. U.S. officials emphasize publicly, including through media appearances and articles in the press, that respect for human rights, press freedom, and public sector accountability are cornerstones of the country's democratic consolidation. Further, U.S. officials encourage efforts to combat corruption and empower women. In Zanzibar, the United States engages with government and civil society leaders to promote reconciliation in advance of the upcoming elections.
The U.S. Government is providing vital support for the upcoming national elections with the aim of increasing voter participation, improving transparency, and ensuring free and fair elections. On both the mainland and Zanzibar, the U.S. Government is funding voter education programs as well as training for election observers. Before the national election in October, voters will benefit from U.S. Government support for voter education. In Zanzibar, a U.S.-funded team is observing voter registration and other election related processes. They will also monitor the elections in October. To improve access to justice, the United States supports efforts to strengthen the network of legal aid providers through training programs. Continuing its efforts to partner with civil society organizations, the United States is implementing additional public expenditure tracking systems in districts throughout the country. These tracking systems enable citizens to engage in the discussion of budget priorities and hold their government accountable for the delivery of public services. Further, the U.S. Government is helping civil society organizations to improve their internal organizational capacity so that they more effectively engage constituents and government. In a six-year program that concluded in 2010, the United States provided technical assistance to the mainland parliament to strengthen the legislature's oversight capacity and improve accountability.The U.S. Government supports a number of efforts designed to spotlight the importance of women’s rights. The ambassador honored the chairperson of a Tanzanian medical NGO with the embassy's annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Drum Major for Justice Award, for her efforts to improve women's access to health care. The U.S. Embassy awarded its annual Tanzanian Woman of Courage Award to the Executive Director of a women's media NGO for her tireless activism in pursuit of justice for women and girls. As one of three focus countries for U.S. Government efforts to combat gender-based violence, Tanzania will receive support to promote gender equality and reduce the incidence of gender-based violence. The U.S. Government also provided leadership training to women in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and Arusha in support of their work to promote Tanzania's development.
The U.S. Government helps to ensure that the rights of marginalized groups are respected through an initiative to build the capacity of the Commission on Human Rights and Good Governance and other government offices to implement national laws that protect the human rights of the disabled, persons with albinism, persons with HIV/AIDS, and women. Over the past year, the government prosecuted crimes committed against persons with albinism and made strong public statements in support of that community.
The United States also works with government officials and international and local NGOs to raise awareness about trafficking in persons, to provide assistance to victims of trafficking, and to encourage prosecution of traffickers. The U.S. Government funds initiatives to address the worst forms of child labor and promote formal and transitional education to prevent such labor, particularly in rural areas. The U.S. Government also sponsors local citizens for visit and exchange programs in the United States in several fields related to human rights and good governance, including investigative journalism, youth leadership, and accountability in government.