The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) was incepted in
2010 at the time when incidents of human rights violations were
relatively high in Tanzania. During this time, there were already human
rights organizations (HRO), most of which are current members of THRDC.
There were also HROs’ networks operated at national, regional and
district levels. Despite their efforts and notable results towards human
rights protection and promotion, still, none of these organizations had
a direct intervention on human rights defenders (HRDs).
As the threats to HRDs were
coming more open and real, a need for HRO which will specifically
address the rights of HRDs emerged. Around fourteen (14) HROs decided to
form a loose network in 2010. The aim of the network was to have a
common voice on HRDs’ issues and matters. Two years later (2012) the
network transformed itself into THRDC as a registered organization under
the laws of Tanzania. The regislation gives this Coalition a mandate
and justification to operate as a legal entity.
The registration of THRDC
marked a beginning of HRDs’ rights’ struggles and protection in
Tanzania.Unlike other HROs including networks, the THRDC is unique in
the sense that, its core function is more focused and very specific on
HRDs’ protection and promotion of their rights.
The uniqueness of this Coalition and high demand of HRDs’ protection
have turned THRDC as a centre of attraction. It is membership base has
grown from only 14 members in 2012 to approximately 170 members in
Tanzania mainland and approximately 30 members in Zanzibar mainland as
of October 2021. Its membership is open to human rights based
organizations of both sides of the United Republic of Tanzania (URT),
i.e mainland Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The findings of the just concluded
final evaluation of the 2013-2017 SP revealed that, at least 70% of the
current members of THRDC sought to be members of this Coalition because
they felt that they were not ‘protected’ in their work.
The Coalition envisages a free and secured working environment for Human Rights Defenders in Tanzania.
The Coalition strives to maximize the protection, respect and
recognition of HRDs in Tanzania through, protection, capacity building
The main objective of the THRD-Coalition is to work towards enhancing
the security and protection of the human rights defenders (HRDs) in the
United Republic of Tanzania and hence to ensure that human rights
defenders in our country are able to carry out their essential function
free from harm and repression, in accordance with the 1998 UN
Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Its specific objectives are:
To contribute to the growth of civic space in which Human Right Defenders (HRDs’) working environments are improved and secured.
The promotion of deep respect and empathy for defenders.
Acting in a very responsive, rapid, flexible manner
A result-oriented organization, with tangible impact.
Acting independently, with creativity, impartiality and integrity.
Operating with dedication, professionalism, transparency and accountability.
Strategic Goal & Our Priorities.
The main interest of this Coalition is
to, inter alia, work towards enhanced security and protection of HRDs in
the United Republic of Tanzania. It also intends to strengthen regional
and international interventions to protect and promote the rights and
responsibilities of HRDs. All that we do is to support the achievement
of these goals whereby our priorities are set to achieve the following
three strategic outcomes.
THRDC’s Members and the
general public are mobilized and effectively address human rights and
HRDs protection issues. (MEMBERS AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT)
THRDs’ security and protection mechanisms are strengthened.
This outcome area has three intermediate outcomes which are Protection
Engagement, Research and Advocacy, Protection Planning Risk Management
and Litigation, Emergency support and Rescue. (PROTECTION AND SECURITY
Performance and sustainability of THRDC enhanced. (INSTITUTION BULDING AND SUSTAINABILITY)