Tanzanian authorities have been criticized and condemned by campaigners for arresting five pregnant schoolgirls in the age group of 16 and 19.
Police detained the girls from southeastern town of Tandahimba last weekend and later were released on bail. Presently the five girls are with their parents.
Equality Now charity’s lawyer, Christa Stewart, said wrong message has been sent by leaving the adult perpetrators free and arrested the girls who were victims of sexual exploitation as well as violence.
Stewart added, “In a misguided attempt to prove that they take sexual violence seriously, the Tanzanian government is infringing on the human rights of adolescent girls and this is unacceptable. Arresting victims is never the solution.”
In June 2016 President John Magufuli voiced support for ban of such pregnant schoolgirls from going to schools describing it as immoral.
Meanwhile, the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights has called the adult men to be arrested and arrests of the pregnant schoolgirls are unacceptable.
Amnesty International’s Sabrina Mahtani said the arrests were illegal.
Data reveals more than fifty girls have been made pregnant in past two years duration.
The government has been strict under such circumstances and pregnant girls are banned to continue their studies, even after the child birth.
Late last month Tandahimba District Commissioner Sebastian Waryuba came up with strict order in the district in an effort to end school student pregnancies. He asked the arrest of 55 secondary school girls who were left pregnant in the period of last two years.