Child to be repatriated tomorrow

By Drum Digital
11 April 2016

A team from the Department of Social Development will tomorrow, April 12, travel to Mozambique to repatriate a child aged 3 years and 6 months who was born to a South African woman imprisoned in that country for drug related crimes.

According to the Department of Social Development, the mother wrote to the Department requesting that the child be repatriated to South Africa for placement in foster care with her extended family – a couple in their fifties – in the Free State Province.

The Mozambican government does not allow children born to imprisoned mothers to stay in prison and requires them to be released immediately after birth, making this repatriation an urgent matter.

The Free State couple is already providing care to the imprisoned woman’s 15 year old brother, for whom they receive government support through the child support grant. Because of their inability to fund the trip to Mozambique, the Department of Social Development will finance the repatriation of the child.

In a statement the Department points says South Africa is obligated by the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 to repatriate children living distress in foreign countries.

The Department renders international social services to individuals, children and families confronted with social problems in foreign countries as a consequence of international migration or displacement, as is the case with this child.

Between 2008 and 2015, 18 South African children in distress have been repatriated from foreign countries.

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