SA rating at 103 in Kids’ Rights Index not good enough
THE SOUTH African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) believed the country was failing to act in the best interests of its children.
This came on the heels of last week’s national Child Protection Week, which put a spotlight on South African children and served as a precursor to Youth Month.
“At this time in our country this is a much-needed time to reflect more deeply,” the SAHRC said.
The commission is expected to implement special measures nationally to advocate for the protection and promotion of the rights of children.
The constitution enshrines various rights for children, such as basic health care and social services, basic nutrition and shelter, and family care or an appropriate alternative.
However, the commission said, “these rights appear to be violated with ease in our society”.
“It is a concern for the commission that, within the extensive human rights framework in our constitution, children remain among South Africa’s most vulnerable persons.”
It recognises that children are vulnerable to social conditions such as crime, poverty, ill health and poor education, among others.
In response, the commission has created special complaints procedures and spaces within all of its offices countrywide to be better able to serve children.
According to the commission, these are efforts to support children as direct complainants and form a part of the range of interventions to advance the rights of children.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma said, during a Parliamentary debate on the Presidency budget vote last week, that although progress had been made in regards to protecting children, more needed to be done.
“We celebrate these achievements of our country today, while also noting the work we must still do to improve the lives of children in informal settlements and rural areas of our country.
“We remain fully aware of our responsibilities in this regard, as a caring government,” he said.
A new report from international NGO Save the Children added that one quarter of the world’s children are being denied a childhood.
Helle ThorningSchmidt, the chief executive of the organisation, made a brief appearance last week at an early childhood development centre in Setjwetla, Alexandra.
Thorning-Schmidt said: “Of the 172 countries we looked at, South Africa comes out at No 103, which is not good enough for a country like South Africa.”
Last year, South Africa came in at 109, out of 163 countries according to a global ranking of children’s rights released by Kids’ Rights Index.
“As a South African, I think we’ve gone numb on the issues of children,” Save the Children South Africa chief executive Gugulethu Ndebele said at the launch.
“We need to stop being reactionary.
“Our emotions flare up when we hear these horrific reports of gender-based violence and brutal attacks on our children – as they should – but then we go back to our daily lives,” she said.
“We need to invest in preventing these incidents from taking place, protect our children and reclaim their childhood.
“We have comfortably reduced the lives of children and women to hashtags instead of taking action.”
The new report also revealed South Africa had the
Children’s rights violated with ease in SA