Home
Friday, 21 September 2018
 
 
Main Menu
Home
About Us
Programmes
Services
Speeches and Statements
Events Calender
Documents
Links
Tenders
Database Application Form
Webmail
Where to find us
NISIS
National Integrated ECD Policy
Children Services Directory
Ministerial Review of the White Paper
Nomination Form & NDA Board Advert
Application – PFA Finalisation
PAIA
TORs toreduce Vulnerabilities to HIV and AIDS
Call for Proposal
Vacancies
SASSA-SAPO Review Interpretation and Analysis report
Nomination Form for Recruitment of Board Member: CDA 2017
ICT Strategy
Annual Reports
DSD Login





Lost Password?
No account yet? Register
Minister: Susan Shabangu
Deputy Minister: Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu
Deputy Minister
iconDSD Customer Care Charter iconStudy Report on Children's access to Social Insurance Benefits
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MIGRATION CALLS FOR PROMOTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANT CHILDREN Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 September 2018
JOHANNESBURG - The protection of the human rights of migrant children came under the spotlight today at the second day of the international conference on migration currently underway at the Sunnyside Park Hotel, Johannesburg.

The conference under the theme: Southern Perspectives on Migration: Addressing Knowledge Production, Policies and Cooperation has brought together migration researchers, activists, policy experts and practitioners to deliberate on migration in the African continent.

Speaking in a parallel session focusing on Mobility and Social Transformation, Mr Michael Boampong, a PhD candidate from the University of London, highlighted how children are often regarded as “luggage” rather than as active players on migration issues.

“Children in migration are continuously exposed to risks such as human trafficking, exploitative child labour, sexual violence and sexual exploitation and other forms of human rights violations that do not get reported and the perpetrators are not prosecuted for these crimes” said Mr Boampong.

The conference heard that unaccompanied and undocumented minors form a large group of intercontinental migration in Africa. Currently, there is no official data on the number of undocumented and unaccompanied migrant children in South Africa. This on its own has serious challenges for government and children themselves as it means that such children cannot be identified or provided with appropriate required services.

Last year, the Department of Social Development held a three-day colloquium that culminated into a plan of action to address the issue of unaccompanied and undocumented minors in South Africa. Key amongst others, the colloquium recommended the harmonisation of existing legislation, promoting and upholding the human rights of undocumented and unaccompanied minors as well as the provision of social protection services such as education and health.

The Department of Social Development has signed a number of cooperation agreements with neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Zimbabwe to address the issue of undocumented and unaccompanied minors. The Department also chairs the Steering Committee, comprising of various government departments including Home Affairs, Health, DIRCO and civil society organisations, including UN agencies.

The fundamental legal principle underlying the Department of Social Development’s response to the issue of unaccompanied and undocumented minors is the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), all of which prioritise the best interest of the child regardless of their immigration status or their citizenship.

The principle of the best interest of the child was at the heart of the recent North Gauteng High Court, which ordered the repatriation of eight undocumented and unaccompanied minors who were illegally smuggled into South Africa from Zimbabwe. The children, aged between two and twelve years were rescued when a truck they were being transported in was intercepted at a service station in Rustenburg, North West.

The conference ends tomorrow, Friday 7 September 2018 and will table key recommendations on migration in the African continent.

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Media inquiries may be forwarded to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it