Provision of psychosocial support for trafficked children under institutional care in Dar es Salaam region

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Date
2017
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
This study explored the provision of psychosocial support for trafficked children under institutional care in Dar es Salaam Region in Tanzania. Institutional care has been a predominant care system for victims of child trafficking in Tanzania with most institutions located in Dar es Salaam Region for more than a decade. However, over the years, the magnitude of child trafficking has been escalating and in most cases perpetrated by ex-victims, victims’ parents and relatives - the same people who were expected to act against child trafficking and prompt its suppression as beneficiaries of the psychosocial support provided by the existing care system. This study employed qualitative research approach to explore the types of psychosocial support provided for trafficked children under institutional care, investigate the challenges experienced by psychosocial support providers within these institutions and identify psychosocial challenges experienced by trafficked children in these institutions. The study was guided by John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory and involved 26 participants including 15 trafficked children, five caregivers, three social workers, one psychosocial advisor and two directors from four selected institutions in Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke Municipalities in Dar es Salaam Region. The institutions and participants were selected using various purposive sampling strategies. The findings reveal that apart from food and clothes which addressed trafficked children’s physical needs, other types of psychosocial support such as shelter, medical care, counseling, religious freedom, family attachment, access to information, formal education and vocational training which addressed trafficked children’s physical, cognitive, socio-emotional, spiritual and social security needs respectively were inadequately provided. The institutions did not afford to provide the types of psychosocial support that needed much expertise, a lot of funds and which demanded them to take children’s best interests into primary consideration. The provision of psychosocial support for trafficked children involved neither child psychologists nor trauma counselors. Furthermore, the government was too indifferent and too bureaucratic to ensure adequate technical and financial support for these institutions. The study concluded that currently, psychosocial support is inadequately provided for trafficked children and it is beneficial to very few trafficked children, leaving many trafficked children unsupported and vulnerable to retrafficking and perpetration. The study recommends a change of care system from institutional care to community-based care, a change of approach from charity-based to child rights approach, government ownership of the problem and involvement of counseling psychologists for effective provision of psychosocial support for trafficked children and subsequent suppression of child trafficking in Tanzania.
Description
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HV1348.5.M37)
Keywords
Child welfare, Child trafficking, Social conditions, Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania
Citation
Masaka, M.B. (2017) Provision of psychosocial support for trafficked children under institutional care in Dar es Salaam region. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Sala