National Child Protection Week (CPW) is commemorated in South Africa annually to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Children’s Act of 2005.
The campaign that began in 1997 also aims to mobilise all sectors of society to ensure the care and protection of children. The campaign is led by the Minister of Social Development; however it is incumbent on all of us to play a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them.
Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value, but also an obligation clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution. The aim of child protection is to ensure the safety, well-being, care and protection of children through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach. Despite the best efforts of the South African Government and civil society to protect children from child abuse, neglect and exploitation, many children still remain vulnerable.
Reducing the high levels of violence against children is among South Africa’s most overwhelming tasks. Despite the country’s progressive child protection laws, policies and programmes preventing and addressing violence against children, it remains a major challenge.
The Department of Social Development has a pilot a 24-hour call centre dedicated to provide support and counselling to victims of gender based violence:
- The toll free number to call is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling.
- Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.
You can also get help at::
- Childline South Africa: 0800 055 555
- Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 4 CHILD (24453) / 011 452-4110 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Government urges everyone to wear the Green Ribbon during Child Protection Week to show support for promotion of the rights, care and protection of the child. The Green Ribbon was adopted by the National Child Protection Committee in 2004:
- The green refers to life and growth.
- By wearing the Green Ribbon it shows that you care and support Child Protection Week
- The Green Ribbon lets victims and survivors know that we are united in their support.
- It emphasizes the importance of partnerships to tackle child abuse, neglect and exploitation.
News on Child Protection Week
More information on child protection
- Stopping school violence [PDF]
- A South Africa fit for children 2012 – 2017 [PDF] [5 MB]
- Safety in education pledge [PDF] [2 MB]
- Safety in education partnership [PDF]
- Stop rape booklet [PDF]
- Management of physical violence in schools [PDF]
- Frequently asked questions [PDF]
- Child exploitation [PDF]
- Child Protection Register [PDF]
- Children’s rights
- Children’s Act booklet [PDF]
- Children’s Act [PDF]
- Tips for Parents on bullying [PDF]
- Cyber-bullying [PDF]
- Social benefits for children
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
- African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
- United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
- International Labour Organisation’s Convention Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Worst Forms of Child Labour
- The Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
- Department of Social Development