Child Protection Collaborative Charter
The Collaborative was formed in 2017 to address the rapid increase of child deaths in the Western Cape.
- The Collaborative is a representative body made up of various organisational entities but is not itself a registered entity.
- The Collaborative is made up of any civil society entity which is dedicated and committed to the protection of all children.
- Membership is recognised by the signing of this charter, including the Child Protection Declaration. This is a commitment to the joint vision.
- All members must have their own Child Protection Policy.
- All organisations are equal in the collaborative with no one organisation dominating the agenda.
- Members are encouraged to build relationship and synergies with one another and cluster together for joint initiatives (either thematically or geographically).
- A Steering Group, nominated by the members, provides leadership for advocacy and governance of any joint funded initiatives (done through and on behalf of the collaborative).
Recognition of children
For the purposes of the charter, a child means any person under the age of 18 years old, unless otherwise stated and considers the cultural values, languages, and traditions of all the children. Members recognise that:
- All children have the right to protection and guarantees of all the rights stated in the Charter
- All children are created equal and are entitled to basic human rights and freedoms and that all children deserve respect and special care and protection as they develop and grow.
- No child should be discriminated against because of his / her or his / her parents or family’s colour, race, sex, language, religion, personal or political opinion, nationality, disability or for any other reason.
- Within South Africa, many children have not been treated with respect and dignity, and many have been subjected to violence, poverty, discrimination, family breakdown and racism that has disrupted their environment of safety and the ability to thrive.
- Children are continuing to suffer at the hands of adults and systems that are meant to protect them. These children are not treated with the respect and dignity that every human being deserves, but instead are subjected to violence and the ignorance of adults.
- South Africa is a signatory to international instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, that offer statutory protection towards providing a better life for children. Over and above this, Government has
legislation and policies aimed at protecting children from exploitation. In South Africa, 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 as well as the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act 38 of 2005).
- The urgent need for attention to be given in order to improve the life of children in the Western Cape by protecting their rights
- All children have the right to be protected from all types of violence including: physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual, state, political, gang, domestic, school, community, street, racial, self-destructive and all other forms of violence.
- All children have the right to be protected from neglect and abandonment.
- All children have the right to have “safe places” and to have community centers where they can go for help and safety from violence.
- All children have the right to be educated about child abuse
- All persons have the duty to report all violence against, abuse of and neglect of any child to the appropriate authorities.
- Children should not be used as shields or tools by the perpetrators of violence.
- Children have the right to say no to violence.
- The media has the duty to prevent the exploitation of children who are victims of violence and should be prohibited from the promotion of violence.
- All children have the right to be protected by the police and Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit in the SAPS. These FCS Units should have trained and sufficient staff for child victim support.
- All children have the right to be protected from drug and alcohol abuse by their parents, families and others and to be educated about these forms of violence.
- Children have the right to a special children’s court and medical facilities to protect them from violence.
- Special groups and organizations should be formed within the communities to protect and counsel victims of all types of violence.
- All children have the right to be protected from prostitution and sexual exploitation such as pornography.
- All children have the right to a safe, secure and nurturing family and the right to participate as a member of that family.
- All children have the right to love and affection from their parents and family.
- All children have the right to clothing, housing and a healthy diet.
- All children have the right to clean water, sanitation and a clean living environment.
- All children have the right to be protected from domestic violence.
- All children who do not have a family should be provided with a safe and secure place to live and clothing and nutritious food within the community where they live.
- No child should be forced to live on the streets
- Communities and families have a duty to protect their children from becoming homeless and abandoned.All persons should be made aware of the plight of homeless children and should participate in programmes which act to positively eradicate the problem of homeless children.
- All teachers should be qualified and should treat children with patience, respect and dignity. All teachers should be evaluated and monitored to ensure that they are protecting the rights of the child.
- Parents have the duty to become involved in their children’s education and development and to participate in their children’s education at school and at home.
- All children have the right to play and to free and adequate sports and recreational facilities so that children can be children
- All children have the right to education on issues such as sexuality, human rights, and family life.
- All children have the right to adequate educational facilities and the transportation to such facilities should be provided to children in difficult or violent situations.