As the battle against the second pandemic of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide continues in South Africa, many children remain victims of different forms of abuse including physical and sexual abuse, murder, rape, assault, abduction and child trafficking.
Girls are physically and sexually assaulted at school by teachers, classmates, or other individuals. Fearing sexual assault, the girls often choose their safety to the detriment of their education. The South African Police Service (SAPS) statistics suggest that someone is raped every 35 seconds, but according to the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation (NICRO) only one in 20 rape cases is reported to the SAPS.
The 2019/2020 Annual Crime Statistics presented by the SAPS showed that child murders dropped by 7% and more than 24,000 children were sexually assaulted in South Africa.
It is against the backdrop of these child abuse incidents that that the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, will in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), host a National Roundtable Webinar on Child Killings, Abuse and Rape tomorrow, Friday, 26 March 2021.
This webinar also forms part of the National Human Rights Month which also seeks to highlight and address the plight of children and their rights to protection. This year, South Africa is observing the month under the theme, “The year of Charlotte Maxeke: promoting human rights in the Age of COVID-19.”
Similar to all human beings, children’s rights must always be defended as enshrined in the Constitution of the country and the Children’s Act which amongst other issues, advocates for children’s rights to basic services including the rights to life, shelter, protection, maintenance, education, social security and parenting.
South Africa is a signatory to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The latter expects member countries to make provision for children’s civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights. Apart from these set of rights, the Convention further reaffirms that due to their vulnerability, children should be protected from abuse and neglect.
Children have a right to be protected from abuse amongst other things; neglect, degradation and exploitation, as well as trafficking.
The Webinar, will be hosted in partnership with UNICEF and different government departments, child protection stakeholders, parents and children will be having a national dialogue to discuss issues of child killings, rape and child abuse.
Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the Webinar arranged as follows:
Date: Friday, 26 March 2021
Time: 09h00 - 11h00
Public Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82741828636
YouTube: Dept of Social Development South Africa
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT