You are here: Home News Media Releases Make South Africa Safe for Children: “Let us protect children to move South Africa forward.”

Make South Africa Safe for Children: “Let us protect children to move South Africa forward.”

Every day we hear horrific stories of children subjected to neglect, trafficking, murder, young marriages, bullying and different forms of abuse. SOS Children’s Villages is joining hands with the Department of Social Development on this Child Protection Week and we are saying “Let us protect children to move South Africa forward.”

 

A study conducted by UCT in 2015 showed that 1 in 5 (19.8%) boys and girls reported having experienced some form of sexual abuse in their lifetimes. More than a third (34.4%) of respondents reported having been hit, beaten, kicked or physically hurt by an adult who was supposed to be taking care of them. A total of 16.1% - 1 in 6 young people reported experiencing emotional abuse. Girls reported higher rates than boys.


Unfortunately, most of the atrocities are perpetrated by people entrusted with the safety of these children. Children are not safe both at home and in public spaces. It has now escalated to children not being safe in the presence of other children because as it has been established through research, children who have faced violence often pass it on to other children.


Children need families and communities who have courage to take steps to protect them and address all forms of violations of their rights. We also need to familiarise ourselves with Children’s rights covered in Chapter 2, Section 28 (1 d & e) of the Constitution of South Africa of 1996 which states that every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.


In the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 and subsequent amendments, a whole chapter is dedicated to the provision of child protection services by the state. It says the state must develop a comprehensive inter- sectoral strategy aimed at securing a properly resourced, co-ordinated and managed national child protection system. There is still more that needs to be done with regards to the protection of our children in our country.


In SOS Children’s Villages we care for children with difficult and traumatic backgrounds. Some have already been subjected to abusive situations when they lost parental care and others who are at risk of losing parental care. We have our own child protection systems and structures for dealing with issues of child safeguarding and to create a safe space for the upbringing of children. Our child safeguarding systems are aligned to the national and regional systems.

For interview opportunity with the Child’s Rights Advocate: Mosa Moremi contact Seithuto Seakgwa on +27 (0) 11 234 8708; +27 (0) 78 338 6537 or Seithuto.Seakgwa@sos.org.za.