The Voice of Child Domestic Workers
All are Equal
All are Equal
Wotesawa, which literally means ‘all are equal’, has evolved into an established and unique forum in which child domestic workers are represented and are able to address their interest and rights as one of the most vulnerable groups to abuse and exploitation in Tanzania. Wotesawa also acts as bridge between child domestic workers, government leadership, employers and law enforcers in advancing the interests of child domestic workers.
So far Wotesawa has been able to mobilize hundreds of girls to come together in order to have a collective voice and to redress challenges they are facing as child domestic workers. Wotesawa has established a unique participatory strategy where CDWs are mobilised and advocate for their own rights at a community level. This is achieved through Advisory Committees of Child Domestic Workers. Moreover, Wotesawa has successfully interacted with government, law enforcers and community based organisations so that child domestic workers rights are now being addressed. In the past child domestic workers were regarded as an inferior group in the society with their rights neglected.
Wotesawa is a youth led non governmental organisation, established in 2011 by current and former child domestic workers in Tanzania. Its office is currently situated in Mwanza, Tanzania.
The organisation is led by Angela Benedicto, a former child domestic worker who refused to remain silent when she was abused and exploited.
We envisage a righteous and responsible society in which every child domestic worker is free from all forms of abuse and exploitation
We strive to empower current and former child domestic workers to understand, safeguard, promote and reinforce their rights in Tanzania through legal and psychosocial support, economic empowerment and child abuse monitoring; in conformity to the national and international child welfare standards.
Our overall goal is to contribute to the reduction of all forms of abuses against child domestic workers in Tanzania.
What We Do
Since Wotesawa establishment, 559 cases of abuse and exploitation of Child Domestic Workers were received, among them 10 cases have been worn in the Court of Law and the rest were resolved amicably through Police and Social Welfare Departments. Within this period, a total of 315 victims of abuse and exploitation were re-unified to their families,among them 150 victims were re-enrolled back to primary schools. Some times significant reduction was seen in cases of abuse and exploitation of Child Domestic Workers. Wotesawa together with its stakeholder is still using different intervention strategies to eradicate /reduce abuse and exploitation to Child Domestic Workers.
So far Wotesawa has been able to mobilize hundreds of CDWs and children Victims of abuse and exploitation and no victims to amplify their collective voice and to redress challenges they are facing as child domestic workers. The Wotesawa Organization managed to establish a shelter for the temporarily stay of the victims of abuse, Wotesawa offers protection at an established shelter as well as psycho social support, medical support, legal assistance and reintegration with their families .Also Wotesawa Organization has established a unique participatory and empowerment strategy where CDWs are mobilized and advocate for their own rights at community and institutional levels. This is achieved through Advisory Committees of Child Domestic Workers. Moreover, Wotesawa is successfully interacting with government institutions, law enforcers and Community Based Organizations for addressing the rights of child victims of abuse on emphasis to child domestic workers. With most vulnerable CDWs being victims of abuse and all forms of exploitation, Wotesawa is working in collaboration with various stakeholders to achieve planned objectives.
Empowerment and Capacity Building
We believe a comprehensive and participatory empowerment program offers child domestic workers the possibilities to change their lives. We run empowerment activities, providing informal training on their rights, and help children to develop skills in negotiation and leadership so that they can claim their rights. We offer vocational training and income generation activities to support child domestic workers’ economic empowerment and we help them to acquire a formal education.
Lobbing and Advocacy
We participate in National and International campaigns to advocate for the rights of child domestic workers. In 2012-14 we participated in campaigns (at ILO conference in Geneva) for the rights of child domestic workers to be included in International Labour Organisation Domestic Workers Convention (189) on Decent Work for Domestic Workers . Angel has been awarded with the Queen's Young Leader award from Her Majesty the Queen in 2015. Through raising the voice for child domestic workers we continue to advocate and lobby for the implementation of Child Act of 2009 and the ratification of ILO Convention (C189).
Through community based dialogues in rural areas, where child domestic workers originate from, we build awareness of the real situation that children experience as child domestic workers. In urban areas (where children are sent to work as domestic workers) we work with children’s employers who are encouraged to understand their legal and moral responsibilities towards child domestic workers. We strengthen existing- (or build new) networks of advisory committees composed of child domestic workers in how to address the needs of child domestic workers and train local government authorities in the prevention or protection of child domestic workers to exploitation, abuse and trafficking.
Legal Aid and Counseling
We work together with ‘Street Leaders’ (local government officials), police gender & children desk and department of social welfare to rescue and identify children and employers. We provide child domestic workers with legal or social advice and represent child domestic workers in front of the authorities or courts if necessary.
Service Provision (Shelter)
In collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration and funded by the European Union, we run a rescue center for child domestic workers who are Victims of Trafficking and offer them a home until they get re-integrated or re-unified.
Who we are
our Senior Management Team
Executive Director and former CDW
M & E Officer
our Core Staff
Counselor and former CDW
Stephan E. Mabamba
Finance and Management Support
Ezra S. Machumu
IT & social media consultant
Child Domestic Work in Tanzania
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), around 15.5 million children work as paid or unpaid domestic workers in the homes of other people worldwide. Over two-thirds of these young domestics, mostly girls, are below the legal minimum working age or are exposed to slave-like conditions in their work. Such situations are likely to expose children to exploitation, sexual, physical, and verbal abuses.
Child domestic work in Tanzania is an informal sector and almost entirely unregulated. The precise number of child domestic workers is therefore unknown, but estimates are at a million in total, mostly girls (c. 80%) aged between 10 and 18. In Tanzania child domestic work is legally tolerated over the age of 14. But most employers fail to comply with labor laws and the rights of child domestic workers are neglected, their situations are not monitored effectively and protective legislation is poorly implemented.
Poverty and lack of parental care are some of the core factors which push children to domestic work and expose them to a greater risk of abuse, trafficking or exploitation.
Child domestic workers are considered as one of the most vulnerable groups to exploitation and abuse in Tanzania. WoteSawa has developed a unique participatory approach of engaging with and empowering child domestic workers in its advocacy strategy for the rights of the child domestic workers in Tanzania.
What they say about us
Youth and the Future of Tanzania
Our participation to a celebration of youth leadership, entrepreneurship, and the potential of young people to drive sustainable development organised by DFID