Child Protection Week
27 May - 3 June 2012
Sunday, 27 May ushers in Child Protection Week. On this day, President Jacob Zuma will launch the campaign to protect children and promote their rights in Galeshewe, Kimberley. The campaign runs from 27 May to 3 June under the theme "Working Together to Protect Children".
The campaign calls on you to create a safe and secure environment for children. To show your support, wear the green ribbon which symbolises life and growth associated with children.
This year, government will use the campaign to raise awareness of the rights of children as expressed in the Children's Act of 2005. The Act outlines the principles relating to the care and protection of children. It also spells out the rights and responsibilities of parents.
Government plays a leading role in protecting children's rights. The Department of Social Development has developed the Strategy and Guidelines for Children Living and Working on the Streets to guide all spheres of government in developing their own programmes for the management of children living and working on the streets. Government also set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee at the Early Childhood Development (ECD) conference hosted by the Department of Social Development in March 2012 to promote the well-being of children and protect their rights. Goverment has also set up places of safety for children called the Thuthuzela Care Centres.
The South African Police Service Service has also come on board, placing 2 155 detectives at the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units. The Child Protection Units are there to prevent and combat crimes against children, including rape, incest, assault, kidnapping, child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children.
Conditions for children in South Africa are improving, with 10,3 million receiving social grants and over 500 000 on Foster Child Grant. Immunisation coverage has increased from 63% in 1998 to 95,5% in 2009 and the transmission of HIV from mothers to children decreasing from 8% in 2008 to 3,5% in 2010. The number of children enrolling for Grade R has more than doubled from 300 000 in 2003 to 705 000 in 2011 whilst 99% of children between 7 and 15 years attend school. Government subsidises over 514 000 of the total of 19 331 registered ECD centres in the country.
In 2010, the President established a dedicated Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.
Still, Government recognises that it cannot by itself tackle all the problems facing children in communities. We therefore call on you to be part of the collective effort to look out for each other's children. In the words of an old African proverb, "it takes a village to raise a child".
More on Child Protection Week.
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