The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) is honoured to coordinate the compilation of laws, policies and regulations governing CSOs in Tanzania in the form of a compendium. THRDC is the first and only Human Rights Defender organization which addresses rights of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs)/CSOs in specific and comprehensive ways. THRDC was established in 2012 specifically to address the rights of HRDs in Tanzania through advocacy, capacity building and protection of HRDs by providing legal aid and counselling.
Human Rights Defenders and the Civil Society sector have recently witnessed a bad trend in which their operational scope in the country has continued to shrink. There have been attempts to crack down Civil Society Organizations and creating environments not conducive for their work. One of the constraints is the fragmented and complicated legal and policy
framework governing CSOs in the country. This makes it difficult for CSOs to comply as most of grass root CSOs’ awareness is still low and there is not much awareness programs on the same.
Because of lack of awareness of the laws and regulations governing the sector, CSOs have found themselves in constant challenges. These challenges range from coordination, regulations (compliance issues), funding, and sustainability of the sector, harmonious working relationship, management and succession plans. Others are skewed accountability, reporting, lack of transparency and promotion of objectives contradicting government’s policies rules and regulations.
Therefore, for the past five years, THRDC through its advocacy program has been working for the improvement of the legal and policy framework addressing HRDs as well as fostering solidarity among HRDs. The Coalition has conducted several programs on improvement of HRDs rights and widening of the civil society space. These programs have been conducted in
the form of dialogues, meetings, trainings, round table discussions and sometimes engaging with the government in implementing issues affecting CSOs space.
The idea to have this compendium was suggested and endorsed on the 13th and 14th of October 2017 when Civil Society Organizations in Tanzania celebrated 30 years of operation. More than 70 Civil Society Organizations representatives from Tanzania gathered at the Mount Meru Hotel, in Arusha for a two-day CSOs Self Reflection Meeting regarding three decades of operation. During this meeting, CSOs directors, veteran CSOs directors, representatives from government, academicians and other stakeholders held a joint self-reflection session by setting aside time to quietly and honestly review the CSOs sector after 30 years of full operation.

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