The Transnational Human Rights Review

Document Type


English Abstract

This article examines the historical background of human rights in Tanzania and the ways in which Canada has been engaging with Tanzania on the improvement of human rights. In the past, Tanzania was ruled by colonial powers, for which respect for human rights was never a priority. Having attained independence in 1961, however, the country did not adequately respect human rights. This is in part due to the argument that, if the British themselves did not practice it, then independent Tanzania should not be forced to. Furthermore, the introduction of human rights at the time held the potential to paralyze the struggle for nationalization. It was not until 1984 that the country included a bill of rights into its Constitution as a result of mounting pressure from the Tanganyika Law Society. Despite the fact that the country has a bill of rights and works towards the achievement of human rights, the attainment of these rights necessitates financial support from donors, such as the aid that Canada has provided thus far. Canada has given attention and support to areas such as education and women and children’s rights. Nevertheless, the article suggests that more attention should be given to other human rights areas to ensure that citizens can fully enjoy their rights.