Government has noted with concern various incidents of child abuse, which have been reported in the media.
These include kidnapping, bullying of children at schools and on the internet, as well as food poisoning of children, amongst others.
These acts against children are unacceptable. The government calls on all South Africans to commemorate the National Child Protection Week. 29 May–5 June 2022 is meant to raise awareness about the rights of children as articulated in the Republic’s Constitution of South Africa and in the Children’s Act.
Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele said they appreciate the media for their role in raising awareness of criminal acts committed against children.
“We are confident that law enforcement agencies will deal swiftly with cases involving children. It is important that as a country we rally behind the Department of Social Development. Commemorating Child Protection Week under the theme, Let us Protect Children during COVID-19 and beyond.”
This year’s National Child Protection Week comes amid reports that the number of children born to teenage mothers increased to 60%. This was during the National State of Disaster under the COVID-19 lockdown period.
The government has put in place various early intervention programmes that focus on sexual health and rights. This is an Integrated Programme of Action that responds to teenage pregnancy by coordinating the work of all stakeholders. It ensures that resources are directed to the hardest hit areas with a focus on prevention and early intervention.
Listen to Abenathi Magangana
Teenage pregnancy is a multifaceted problem that requires comprehensive interventions from all sectors of society. #ChildProtectionWeek2022 #childprotection365 #Beyondteenpregnancy #ShareYourStory #ReportChildAbuse #GBVCC pic.twitter.com/vvMI7v0vM1
— Social Development (@The_DSD) May 31, 2022
The Department of Social Development has a 24-hour call centre dedicated to provide support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence. You can also call the toll-free number on 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker. Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone or Childline South Africa: 0800 055 555.