Govt to launch child abuse council

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pretoria-Government is to launch a National Council that will focus on child abuse, said Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister, Lulu Xingwana.

Speaking at the National Children's Day celebrations on Saturday, Xingwana said one of the greatest challenges facing the country was the protection of its children. "We have too many children being attacked, raped and killed," she said adding that muti-killings must stop.

Xingwana has written to several ministers including Justice Minister Jeff Radebe about the need to focus on muti-killings.

"We must address the root causes... we need to look at gaps in the law to get to the root to fight the scourge of such killings," she explained.

Xingwana said the department will build a peace park where children will play in peaceful surroundings. Civil society and other government departments will be represented on the Council which is to be launched by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

"The Council will focus on fighting abuse," she explained.

National Children's Day is observed every year on the first Saturday of November to celebrate progress being made towards the realisation and promotion of the rights of children.

"Today is an important day bringing children from various provinces together," said Xingwana adding that the children could play a participatory role by expressing their concerns.

The minister added that government is focusing on the improvement of the quality of education for poverty stricken children as well as children with disabilities.

The celebrations brought together children from all provinces except the Western Cape.