National Child Protection Week takes place annually from 28 May to 2 June. The initiative was launched by the Department of Social Development to highlight and raise awareness of the rights of children living in South Africa; as well as to uphold Government’s commitment to protect and promote children’s rights in partnership with civil society.
Children are protected by law in accordance with the Children’s Act of 2005 and have a right to be cared for and loved in a safe environment. Despite these protections in place on paper, a study published by the UBS Optimus Foundation found that by the time young South Africans are 15 to 17 years old, many of them have been left vulnerable and exposed to crime, violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse.
The theme for National Child Protection Week is: “Let Us All Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward”, highlighting the significance of everyone’s responsibility to ensure that all South African children are protected.
Although the annual campaign is led by the Minister of Social Development, it aims to mobilise all sectors of South African society to protect and care for children. It also provides an opportunity for society to reflect on the past year, highlighting successes and identifying what still needs to be done to further protect our children and youth.
What can be done to protect our children?
It is up to all South Africans to play their own roles in protecting our children and creating a secure environment for them. Children are a vulnerable part of our society, so we need to make sure that they don’t suffer at our hands; and we need to take every measure possible to break cycles of abuse, neglect and violence.
- Raise awareness about children’s rights
- Emphasise children right to be protected from abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation
- Support and organisations dedicated to providing child protection services
- Speaking up and not remaining silent
- Work together to create healthy and safe communities in which children can thrive
You can show your support for National Child Protection Week by wearing a green ribbon.
How to report violence and child abuse
Visit www.saferinternetsouthafrica.co.za for practical advise on how to keep kids safe online and understand the dangers they are facing daily.
Call Childline’s 24-hour toll-free helpline on 0800 055 555 or the South African Police Service on 0860 010 111.