All you need to know about Child Protection Week

2018-06-14 06:01
PHOTO: OMEGA MOAGIPupils at St Martin de Porress School (from left) Sinelethu Sokweleti, George Joji, and Asanda Mndiyatha encourage everyone to protect the rights of children.

PHOTO: OMEGA MOAGIPupils at St Martin de Porress School (from left) Sinelethu Sokweleti, George Joji, and Asanda Mndiyatha encourage everyone to protect the rights of children.

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MAY 27 to June 3 marked Child Protection Week and patrons and organisations wore their green ribbons and held various campaigns in order to raise awareness about the rights of children.

According to the South African News Agency, National Child Protection Week (CPW) — observed in South Africa annually — is aimed at raising awareness on the rights of children as articulated in the Children’s Act of 2005.

The campaign began in 1997 and it aims to mobilise all sectors of society to ensure that children are cared for and protected.

While the initiative is led by the minister of Social Development, it is every citizen’s duty to play a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them.

Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone.

Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value, but also an obligation clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution.

The aim of child protection is to ensure the safety, well-being, care and protection of children through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach.

However, despite the best efforts of the South African government and civil society to protect children from child abuse, neglect and exploitation, many children still remain vulnerable, the agency said in a statement.

“Reducing the high levels of violence against children is among South Africa’s most overwhelming tasks. Despite the country’s progressive child protection laws, policies and programmes preventing and addressing violence against children, it remains a major challenge.”

The green ribbon was worn by individuals in order to show their support to the initiative.

“By wearing the Green Ribbon it shows that you care and support Child Protection Week. It lets victims and survivors know that we are united in their support and emphasises the importance of partnerships to tackle child abuse, neglect and exploitation.”

For help, the Department of Social Development has a 24-hour call centre dedicated to provide support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence:

The toll free number to call is 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 to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

Help is also available from Childline South Africa: 0800 055 555. Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 4 CHILD (24453)/011 452 4110 or e-mail: info@childwelfaresa.org.za

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