June 29, 2017

News:

Pre-school children march against abuse

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Taking tough stand . . . Stepping Stone pre-school children commemorate National Child Protection Week

Taking tough stand . . . Stepping Stone pre-school children commemorate National Child Protection Week

More than 200 learners from Stepping Stone pre-school in QwaQwa on Wednesday marched to voice concern over their safety.

The march was part of events to mark the National Child Protection Week from 28 May to 4 June, celebrated annually to raise awareness for the rights of children. It aims to mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children.

The commemoration allows the country to shine a spotlight on children’s issues; highlight successes and identify what still needs to be done.

The Bill of Rights in the Constitution specifically states that every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.

South Africa has also drafted legislation to protect children which is based on the United Convention of the Rights of the Child, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

The principal and founder of the Stepping Stone Pre-school, Monica Maholela said the children’s march follows constant abuse, trafficking, stealing and raping of children that has bedevilled the country in recent months.

“Children want society to be aware of their plight and intervene to protect them. Child protection is led by the Social Development Department but it is also the responsible of every citizen.

Mothers must make sure they look after their children and fathers provide for them. Our neighbours must remember it takes a village to raise a child, this means we must unite to protect children because they are our future leaders,” said Maholela.

She noted children need to be protected, taken good care of and not neglected.

Despite South Africa having good laws aimed at protecting children, without good implementation these were not effective, she argued.

Maholela said government established one top child justice centres in Mangaung and Thabo Mofutsanyana to assist abused children by offering them rehabilitation.

Statistics released by the Department of Social Development at the beginning of Child Protection Week in South Africa are horrifying – one in five children in the country fall victim to physical, sexual or emotional abuse before their 18th birthday.

The theme for 2017 is: “Let Us All Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward.”

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