Employers should check the National Child Protection Register before they hire people to work with children, which would help to prevent abuse by those who have been convicted of crimes against children.
South Africa established the National Child Protection Register in terms of Chapter 7 of the Children’s Act of 2005.
The call was made by President Jacob Zuma, who said there were 441 people on the register who had been found to be unsuitable to work with children in the past financial year. “Let us protect children from further abuse.”
He was speaking on International Children’s Day, which is observed on 1 June, at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
South Africa was “working hard” to address the scourge of child abuse, neglect and exploitation of women and children.
The Department of Social Development had set up the 24-hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre, which counselled and supported survivors of abuse and violence.
“The South African Police Service is under standing orders to act swiftly against those who abuse women and children,” said Zuma. “All our law enforcement agencies are also responding well and the conviction rates for perpetrators of crimes against women and children are encouraging.”
The Cabinet had also established an inter-ministerial committee, led by the department, to combat violence against women and children.
To report abuse, contact the development on 0800 60 10 11; the police emergency line on 10111 or Child Line on 0800 05 55 5.
International Children’s Day
International Children’s Day is observed annually on 1 June to honour children’s rights. It was proclaimed at the 1925 World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland.
In South Africa, the day coincides with Child Protection Week, which this year is observed from 29 May until 5 June under the theme “Let us all protect children to move South Africa forward”.
The first day of June also marked the beginning of Youth Month, held to commemorate the 16 June 1976 student uprisings. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the protests.