Call For Action

Dar es Salaam Declaration on Child Marriages

The Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF) held a three day meeting from the 19th – 21st of September 2007, held at the Russian Cultural Centre in Dar Es Salaam, bringing together 50 participants from governmental institutions, faith based organizations, non-governmental organizations and human rights organization from Tanzania, as well as international participants and organizations. The National Consultative Meeting to End Child Marriage unanimously passed the Declaration to End Child Marriage in Tanzania, by requesting the government of Tanzania to address the challenges women and girls still face, stating that:

We, the participants of the National Consultative Meeting to End Child Marriage, on the 19th – 21st of September 2007, make the following acknowledgment & declaration:

1. That, there is a pervasiveness of child marriage in Tanzania

2. That, child marriages have physical, psychological and severe health effects on children

3. That, Tanzania has signed and ratified various international conventions on children’s rights including the United nations Convention on Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Charter on Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC)

We call upon the government and all stakeholders to take action, including:

(a) Domesticating international conventions, so that they can be part of the domestic laws, and enforceable in Tanzania
(b) To increase the age of marriage from the current age of 14 to 18 years old
(c) To put in place strategies on how to educate the public on the effects of child marriage
(d) To make secondary education compulsory and universal, so as to reduce the number of girls who leave school and get married at a young age

We implore both the government and international organizations to recognize and support the efforts by nongovernmental and civil society organizations to work together in the endeavor to end child marriage.