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 and advocacy.
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.
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.
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)
HRDs’ 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 MANAGEMENT)
Performance and sustainability of THRDC enhanced. (INSTITUTION BULDING AND SUSTAINABILITY)