Zuma to launch Child Protection Week

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is this weekend expected to launch a national campaign aimed at promoting the protection of children and their rights as articulated in the Children's Act.

The campaign, known as Child Protection Week, will be launched in Kimberley in the Northern Cape and will be marked from 27 May to 3 June 2012 under the theme: "Working Together to Protect Children".

The theme, adopted by the National Child Care and Protection Forum, upholds government's commitments to child protection, in partnership with civil society.

The campaign will emphasise the responsibility of everyone to create a safe and secure environment for children.

Government has in the past few years worked to ensure that the Constitution, legislation, policies, and international instruments are in place to provide statutory protection towards providing a better life for children.

"We invite parents, families, communities, the faith-based community, community based and non-governmental organisations, labour business and all sectors to join us in this important campaign for the protection of our children," said Zuma.

The Children's Act - which came into effect in April 2010 and is administered by the Department of Social Development - sets out principles relating to the care and protection of children and defines the related parental responsibilities and rights.

The objectives of the Children's Act are as to promote the preservation and strengthening of families, to give effect to certain constitutional rights of children, to give effect to the Republic's obligations concerning the well-being of children in terms of international instruments binding on the Republic, to make provision for structures, services and means for promoting and monitoring the sound physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional and social development of children and to strengthen and develop community structures which can assist in providing care and protection for children.

This also includes protecting children from discrimination, exploitation and any other physical, emotional or moral harm or hazards, providing care and protection for children who are in need of care and protection, to recognise the special needs that children with disabilities may have and generally, to promote the protection, development and well-being of children.

The President will be joined at the event by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and Women, Children and Persons with Disability Minister Lulu Xingwana.