A NEW CHILDREN’S ACT FOR SOUTH AFRICA: MAKING IT WORK FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Roseline September

Abstract


Numerous civil society organisations as well as the National Children’s Rights Committee
(NCRC) and UNICEF supported South Africa’s post-apartheid government to institutionalise
children’s rights as a fundamental pillar of the new democracy. Towards this end, in 1995 the
government ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Child (1989) (the CRC). Drawing on
this international standard, children’s rights was enshrined in Section 28 of the SA Constitution
(1996). Further to cover the particular vulnerabilities of African children, the government also
ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the ACRWC) in 2000.
Collectively these instruments seek to ensure that children have a range of integrated political,
civil, cultural and socio-economic rights. In addition to the general human rights to equality, a
basic education and the right to dignity, children have additional socio-economic rights,
including the right to family and parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed
from their family setting; to basic nutrition, shelter, health care, social services and to be
protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse and degradation. By ratifying the international
children’s rights instruments and through its national constitutional provisions for children’s
rights, the SA government accepted an obligation to put in place mechanisms to realise these
rights. However, the nation made these laudable commitments within a context of the huge
resource and capacity challenges required for their implementation.

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15270/44-2-247

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