Child Protection Week

31 May – 7 June

Theme: Working Together to Protect Children

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As a parent one of my greatest fears is something happening to my boys. Now when I say something, I don’t mean them falling and breaking an arm (however that would also traumatize me). I mean someone taking my boys, someone hurting my boys, them disappearing, and the not knowing.

For many South Africans this tragedy has actually occurred. Not all are known and spread on all the channels, not every child gets the same attention which is terrible and many families, many parents never ever find closure.

We read in the newspapers (well I don’t as I hate reading the newspapers, always doom and gloom), hear on the radio, see it in the news, DAILY, these crimes committed against children and its sickening. Remember it is our responsibility to protect children from exploitation and abuse.

Background behind Child Protection Week

Children remain a high priority for the country. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value, but also an obligation clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution. The aim of child protection is to ensure the safety, well-being, care and protection of children through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach. Despite the best efforts of the South African Government and civil society to protect children from maltreatment, many children still remain vulnerable.

Reducing the high levels of violence against children is among South Africa’s most overwhelming tasks and providing care and support to millions of orphaned and vulnerable children. Nevertheless with the country’s progressive child protection laws, policies and programmes preventing and addressing violence against children remains a major challenge.

Objectives

The objectives of the child protection awareness campaign are:

1. To advocate for children’s rights, educate and mobilise families and communities about their responsibility towards the protection and care of children.

2. To reduce incidents of Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (CANE) through awareness campaigns.

3. To inform and educate the public on the comprehensive basket of services needed by children in their emotional, cognitive and physical development. 

“The aim of child protection is to ensure the safety, well-being, care and protection of children through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach”

Children’s rights and services

Understanding your child’s rights can help to protect them from abuse. The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 is dedicated to protecting your child’s rights. It deals with the following issues:

Age of maturity
Paternity
Custody
Child support
Children’s courts
Human trafficking
Foster care
Surrogacy
Circumcision
Day care
Adoption

These rights apply to all children under the age of 18 and aims to protect their emotional, physical and mental well-being.

Get help

The Department of Social Development has a pilot a 24-hour call centre dedicated to provide support and counseling to victims of gender based violence:

The toll free number to call is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker for assistance and counseling.

Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialing *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

You can also get help at:

Child line South Africa: 0800 055 555
Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 4 CHILD (24453) / 011 452-4110 /  info@childwelfaresa.org.za
Lifeline Western Cape: 0861 322 322 / info@lifelinewesterncape.org.za

Green ribbon

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Government urges everyone to wear the Green Ribbon during Child Protection Week to show support for promotion of the rights, care and protection of the child. The Green Ribbon was adopted by the National Child Protection Committee in 2004:

The green refers to life and growth.
By wearing the Green Ribbon it shows that you care and support Child Protection Week
The Green Ribbon lets victims and survivors know that we are united in their support.
It emphasizes the importance of partnerships to tackle child abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Every child is my child

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