South Africa needs more than a week to protect children
On the occasion of the official closing of the 2019 Child Protection Week campaign, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu emphasised that given the unacceptably high levels of child abuse, neglect and exploitation in South Africa, it will take more than just a week to tackle the scourge.
“While we officially close this year’s campaign eMalahleni today, the work of protecting our children takes more than just a week. It is a lifetime commitment because child abuse, neglect and exploitation is a matter of greater national concern. To this end, I have instructed Deputy Director-General, Ms Conny Nxumalo to start working on a submission to table before Cabinet a proposal to declare the month of May as Child Protection Month,” said Minister Zulu.
During the opening of this year’s campaign, children across South Africa submitted the Children’s Manifesto with the theme: Investing in South African children. The objective of the Manifesto is to hold political parties, Chapter 9 institutions and all spheres to uphold and deliver on the needs of children.
These include the need to build protective and safer environment within which all children can grow without the fear of violence to reach their full potential.
The Children’s Manifesto comes on the heels of the recent general elections in South Africa in which various political parties presented their own election manifestos.
Minister Zulu informed the gathering that she has handed over the Children’s Manifesto to the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and his Deputy, Mr David Mabuza.
She mentioned that now that the Manifesto has been taken to the highest level of decision making in government she will follow up to ensure that it remains a living reality for children in South Africa during her tenure.
As part of today’s proceedings, children from local schools gave feedback on the parents-children dialogues that took place in the area. The report shows that problems most commonly associated with the occurrence of child abuse and neglect in this areas are domestic violence, parental alcohol and drug abuse and parental mental health issues, poverty and young people that are disconnected from their families.
Social Development is leading government in the development of the 365 days National Action Plan to prevent child abuse, neglect and exploitation. This will ensure that child protection becomes everyone's responsibility.
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