Child Protection Week (1 – 7 June 2014) : Protect a child, wear a green ribbon!
National Child Protection week (CPW) is commemorated in South Africa annually to raise awareness of the rights of children. South African children are protected by the Children’s Act of 2005. Child labour is defined as work by a child which is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappropriate for a person younger than 15 years, and places at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health, or spiritual, moral, emotional or social development.
Despite the best efforts of the country’s progressive child protection laws, policies and programmes preventing and addressing violence against children, many children still remain vulnerable.
NAPTOSA recognises that teachers are uniquely positioned to educate and protect children from abuse. Teenage parenthood adds another dimension to this problem, and could place children born to these young teenage parents at risk of abuse and neglect. Education on children’s rights becomes critical in schools to educate and protect the rights of the generation born to these young parents. SGBs are uniquely positioned to educate their respective communities on how to support and protect children from abuse and on social grants and other benefits for children.
The following are considered as acts of child labour:
- Parents sending their children to streets to beg for money from tourists, motorists and public.
- Gangs use children for petty crime or begging.
- Using children for cheap labour to support families living in poverty.
How can you help as a teacher, parent and community member?
- Educate and empower children on their rights and responsibilities.
- Children should be protected and supervised at all times
- Monitor any changes in your child’s behaviour.
- Be wary of an adult that inappropriately or overly befriends a child.
Protection and safety tips for learners:
- Do not be pressured by others to do things that you are uncomfortable with.
- Do not accept free rides in taxi’s or other forms of transport.
- Do not stay out late, without informing your parents of your where-about.
- Choose your friends and company wisely.
- Report acts of child abuse to the SAPS
- Talk to your parents or teachers or a relative about abuse.
Contact details to help you:
- Childline – 0800 05 55 55
- Social Development – 0800 60 10 11