#HumanRights – Protection of children

AS vulnerable members of society, children have their own set of rights enshrined in the South African Constitution.

As they require care from parents, guardians and those in authority, it is essential the rights of children are fastidiously defended.

The rights of children and the accompanying responsibilities of those who act on their behalf are demonstrated in this video from Save the Children.

The KZN African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) agrees that “it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that the interests of the children are put before their individual interests. It is our responsibility as adults to ensure that the children are protected and we should not do anything that puts the lives of children at risk.”

ANCWL spoke out about the recent alleged kidnapping of #Durbanbaby, Siwaphiwe Mbambo, calling for parents, and women in particular to protect the young. “As women, we are expected to nurture our children and protect them, therefore the ANCWL is deeply hurt that a woman was involved in kidnapping.”
Familiarise yourself with children’s’ rights as defined in the Bill of Rights:

1. Every child has the right:

  • a. to a name and a nationality from birth;
  • b. to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment;
  • c. to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services;
  • d. to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation;
  • e. to be protected from exploitative labour practises;
  • f. not to be required or permitted to perform work or provide services that:
    • i. are inappropriate for a person of that child’s age; or
    • ii. place at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health or spiritual, moral or social development;
  • g. not to be detained except as a measure of last resort, in which case, in addition to the rights a child enjoys under sections 12 and 35, the child may be detained only for the shortest appropriate period of time, and has the right to be:
    • i. kept separately from detained persons over the age of 18 years; and
    • ii. treated in a manner, and kept in conditions, that take account of their age;
  • h. to have a legal practitioner assigned to the child by the state, and at state expense, in civil proceedings affecting the child, if substantial injustice would otherwise result; and
  • i. not to be used directly in armed conflict, and to be protected in times of armed conflict.

2. A child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning them.

3. In this section “child” means a person under the age of 18 years.



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Erin Hanekom

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