Kidnapped children to be repatriated to Zimbabwe

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has received confirmation from the Zimbabwean Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of its willingness to receive the eight minor children who were smuggled into South Africa.

“The confirmation letter states that the Ministry is prepared to receive the eight unaccompanied minors at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare and will be placed in places of safety in Harare while documentation, tracing and reunification efforts are underway,” the department said in a statement on Thursday.

The children were smuggled into the country in November last year, and were found in a truck in Rustenburg en-route to Cape Town.

They are currently in the care of the State through the department.

The Department of Social Development has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its counterpart in Zimbabwe on matters related to unaccompanied and undocumented minors.

The department has been working with the Department of Home Affairs for the safe return of the children to Zimbabwe.

South Africa is a signatory to the African Charter on the Rights and the Welfare of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In terms of these treaties, South Africa has an obligation to protect the human rights of all children within its borders, irrespective of nationality.

In this case, the South African Government enacted the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act. –

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