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Universal Period Review of Tanzania
Statement by Australia
3 October 2011
Australia welcomes the delegation from Tanzania and appreciates its engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.
Australia commends Tanzania’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. We encourage the government to follow up on this positive step by ratifying the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment and its Optional Protocol.
While we note progress made by the government in promoting women’s rights, we are concerned that gender-based violence remains a serious problem in Tanzania. We call upon the government to ensure that violence against women is addressed in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Australia is concerned by reports of declining prison conditions in Tanzania, including in relation to overcrowding and inadequate health care.
While welcoming the de facto moratorium on the use of death penalty in Tanzania, we note that the death penalty remains in Tanzanian law and death sentences continue to be imposed by courts.
Australia wishes to make the following four recommendations to Tanzania:
1. Accede to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment, and incorporate its provisions into domestic law;
2. Strengthen efforts to fulfil its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, including by adopting and implementing legislation prohibiting female genital mutilation;
3. Improve conditions in Tanzania’s prisons, including in relation to overcrowding and inadequate health care; and 4. Accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty, and take the necessary steps to remove the death penalty from Tanzania’s justice system.