Enforcing children’s rights this Child Protection Week

Puseletso Motsidi write on how the Department of Social Development is promoting parental engagement in the rearing of children

Cruelty to children was originally seen to be more of a private issue than a social one for quite a while, according to Safer Spaces.

Studies have found that it is likely that 784 967 children in South Africa have suffered sexual abuse at some point in their lives.

In collaboration with government and civil society organizations involved in child protection services, the Department of Social Development observes National Child Protection Week each year to raise awareness of children’s rights as outlined in the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).

Following instances of severe abuse, horrifying deaths, and child mutilation committed against defenceless children in Gauteng and other regions of South Africa, the government took measures to alleviate the vicious circle of child maltreatment.

Children’s rights are prioritized by Social Development because they believe that protecting children requires upholding their fundamental rights, including the right to social benefits, family care, education, and protection from abuse or inhumane treatment that disregards their needs.

The department has established a number of child protection-focused programs to assist in addressing the following urgent issues: Teen pregnancy, substance addiction, bullying, crime prevention, neglect of children, and gender-àaàaa violence against women and children are only a few examples.

The obligations of the Children’s Act are strengthened by the White Paper on Families, which also supports responsible parenting, including responsible co-parenting of both mothers and fathers to encourage parental involvement in raising their own children.

The Department of Social Development has a 24-hour call centre devoted to assisting and counselling victims of gender-based violence.

You can also call the toll-free number on 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling.

Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre you can contact them by dialling *120 * 867# (free) from any cell phone or Childline South Africa: 011-6452000

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