South Africa’s newly sworn-in administration will work hard to accelerate efforts to protect and promote children’s rights, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has said.
Zulu made the remarks after receiving the Children’s Manifesto from children’s representatives at the launch of the 2019 National Child Protection Week at the Chris Hani Sports Complex in Orange Farm near Johannesburg on Sunday, 2 June 2019.
Zulu said the seven days of Child Protection Week were not enough to address all the challenges children in South Africa were faced with, adding that she would lobby hard for the extension of the week-long programme to a month.
“You also have a responsibility. Your responsibility is to listen to your parents, listen to your teachers, and to be responsible from home to communities and streets where you live,” she said.
“But the greater responsibility rests with the parents, communities, churches, NGOs and all adults to protect children. That responsibility we should collectively take on, so we can say that the children of today are the future,” she said.
In the manifesto, the children demanded to be protected from bullying, corporal punishment, harmful traditional practices and substance abuse.
The parties also called on government to adequately address issues of child developmental rights, poor quality of education, teenage pregnancy and safe learner transport.
National Child Protection Week aims to raise awareness of the rights of children. Now in its twenty-second year, the campaign will be observed under the theme “Let Us Protect All Children to Move South Africa Forward.”
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