Parents urged to protect children

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza, has urged parents to protect children from all forms of abuse, violence and inhumane treatment.

"Protection of children is our responsibility. We have to protect these children from exploitation, violence and abuse. We cannot keep quiet when we see children in our neighbourhood being abused," Khoza said.

The MEC emphasised that parents should know the whereabouts of their children at all times, and pay attention to what they tell them.

“We want to see more cases of child abuse behind closed doors being reported to the law enforcement agencies. It is unacceptable when parents protect those who violate children's rights," she said.

The MEC made the call during a handover ceremony of a mobile Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre at olwasini area in Umdoni Local Municipality, on Tuesday.

The department has funded a non-profit organisation, Tree, to the tune of R1.1 million to operate the ECD centre, pay salaries, provide maintenance of the truck, and the provision of nutritious food to children.

The centre will benefit children in Ward 2 and 18 from Umziwabantu and Umdoni Municipalities.

The handing over of the ECD was in line with Child Protection Week, which ended on Tuesday. During Child Protection Week, society is encouraged to promote the children’s rights and ensure their protection.

Khoza said mobile ECD centres play a significant role in ensuring that no one is able to conceal cases of child abuse, and also ensure child care and protection.

“It is the most important tool to ensure cognitive stimulation of children in their first 1 000 days. It is very easy to identify abused children when they attend ECD centres as our practitioners are trained to do so. 

“We also do not expect children to be abused in ECD centres. People employed to take care of children have to go through a vigorous process of screening to ensure they have no criminal cases or were once involved in abuse of children," Khoza said. –

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