Let us protect children to move South Africa forward

4 June 2019

Government calls on members of society to join it in making safety, care and protection of children a priority, as South Africa observes Child Protection Week from 02 to 09 June 2019.

Observed under the theme: “Let Us Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward”, the 22nd Anniversary of the Child Protection Week campaign comes at the time when South Africa has seen atrocious abuse and violence against children.

Acting GCIS Director General, Phumla Williams, said: “Whilst government has put into place mechanisms and legislation to protect the rights of children, we must do more as society. We need to reflect on the Constitutional rights of our children and do much more to protect them.

This must happen every day and not only during this heightened period. It is the responsibility of each member of the community to play an active role by speaking out and protecting children as they are one of the most vulnerable group in society.”

Government has noted the good work of the criminal justice system and is pleased that it has demonstrated in several cases that child abusers will face the might of the law.

Government has adopted a zero-tolerance approach to child abuse and this is further strengthened by the recent launch of the Gender Based Violence Declaration as well as the opening of the Booysens Sexual Offences Court by President Ramaphosa. “We will be relentless in our fight to stop this scourge and call on communities to work with law enforcement agencies to bring perpetrators to book.

Parents are urged to raise a generation of children that is free from abuse and communities are expected to play our part in protecting, defending and loving the children of South Africa,” said Williams.”

Government also urges sectors of society, including non-governmental organisations, parents, child caregivers and teachers to work jointly in the fight against child abuse, neglect, exploitation and sexual violence in our communities.

“We all have a role in ensuring that our children are protected and we must all play our part and report any form of abuse to the authorities, silence is not an option,” added Williams.

Let us promote a safe environment for our children.  Any incidents of abuse or violation of children’s rights should be reported at the nearest police station or by contacting the following hotline numbers:

Department of Social Development 24-hour Command Centre: 0800 428 428 (toll-free)Callers may also request a Social Worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone:

  • ChildLine South Africa: 0800 055 555.
  • Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 424453 / 011 452-4110
  • SAPS Crime Stop: 08600 10 111
  • SMS Crime Line: 32211

On 9th June 2019, the Department of Social Development will host a community event to raise awareness and mark the closing ceremony of Child Protection Week in Witbank, Mpumalanga Province.

For updates on Child Protection Week activities, follow @GCISMedia @SAGovNews @GovernmentZA and @The_DSD using the hashtag: #ChildProtection2019 and #CPW19.

Enquiries:
Phumla Williams
Cell: 083 501 0139

Year: 
2019
Media Statement date: 
Tuesday, June 4, 2019