The Swedish Embassy is continuing its support for human rights. Ambassador Anders Sjöberg recently signed a new cooperation agreement with Sweden’s long-term partner the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC). Core support amounting to SEK 36 million will be provided for the period 2019–2021. The agreement was officially signed by Ambassador Sjöberg and LHRC’s Executive Director Ms Anna Henga at the office of LHRC in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday 23 January.
“This is a new phase in a long-standing cooperation between Embassy of Sweden and the LHRC. It builds on our shared beliefs in human rights. The rights of everyone to live in dignity, freedom, equality justice and peace, whoever they are and wherever they live,” said Ambassador Sjöberg during the signing ceremony.
The LHRC is Tanzania’s leading human right organisation when it comes to promoting and protecting the human rights of the citizens of Tanzania. Sweden and the LHRC have been partners since 2001 and the LHRC has achieved important results when it comes to the promotion and protection of human rights during these years.
For the LHRC, the long-term support from Sweden has ensured positive outcomes. Anna Henga, Executive Director at the LHRC stated:
“The long-standing cooperation has brought about a lot of positive changes in society, including improved access to justice, particularly for people who are marginalised. It has increased the awareness of human rights among members of the general public and duty bearers. And it has enhanced advocacy for reforms for human rights sensitive laws and policies, just to mention a few.”
The signing was followed by a visit to the LHRC legal clinic where the organisation provides legal aid to persons with limited financial resources and/or who are marginalised in society. Citizens can turn to the clinic when in need of advice for various legal issues. In addition to providing legal advice, the LHRC also plays a long-term and active role in promoting the rule of law, civic space, democracy and constitutional and legal reforms. They do so through legal and civic education and information; sound legal research and advice; monitoring and follow-up of human rights violations; and advocacy for reforms of policies, laws and practices in conformity with international human rights standards. The LHRC specifically contributes to improving the situation for the most vulnerable, such as women, children and people living with disabilities, since they are the ones most negatively affected by failure to respect human rights.
In addition to positive developments, both Sweden and the LHRC noted Tanzania’s ongoing decline in indexes measuring levels of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights. The continuing cooperation between Sweden and the LHRC is therefore particularly important, and the Embassy has faith in the LHRC as a key actor taking responsibility to promote and protect human rights in Tanzania.