Children at risk despite strong laws to protect them
Publish date: 04 November 2019
Issue Number: 848
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
SA ranks 16 out of the 60 countries scored by the Out of the Shadows Index on the country's response to child sexual exploitation and abuse, reports TimesLIVE. A new briefing paper from the End Child Prostitution and Trafficking International and the Youth Research Unit of the Bureau of Market Research, said: 'Even though SA has knowledgeable welfare support workers and a strong legal framework to protect children from sexual exploitation, serious limitations still exist.' The new briefing paper was launched at Unisa yesterday. SA has policies and laws in place to protect children, but researchers believe there are gaps in funding, weak monitoring and enforcement, and mediocre co-ordination by government departments to implement laws. 'We have enough (policies and legislation), if we can't even meet the requirements of what we have available, what will be the point of developing more policies and legislation?' a researcher from KZN said. The surge in school violence was also highlighted in the paper. 'School-based behaviour-change programmes, like promoting alternatives to corporal punishment or peer leadership projects challenging gender-based violence or harassment, are urgently needed to address young people's attitudes towards violence and abuse,' it said.