Service delivery protests in South Africa are an indicator that our democracy is alive – but is it well? Are these public voices given the weight they deserve? In other words, do our experiences of public participation in governance decisions convince us that it is a fundamental principle that underpins our democracy? Or is governance still the only purvey of the government?
A United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) study has revealed that child poverty is high in South Africa.
Launching the report in Kliptown, Soweto, Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, said over 900 000 jobs were lost during the recession and had affected children in poor households the most.
The study on the impact of the global economic recession had on children indicated that child poverty remains high at 65.5 percent compared to 52 percent of the country.
Global child rights development organisation Plan International has clarified and corrected ‘gross inaccuracies and misconceptions’ in a story alleging that it openly campaigned for Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF party.
The organisation also denied that Plan built a classroom block at the school and named it after the Provincial Governor.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has encouraged Tanzania to urgently address the problem of violence against children.
UNICEF chief of child protection in Tanzania, Andrew Brooks, points out that, “Having had the courage to find out the scale and scope of violence against children in the country, the government now has the challenge of planning and delivering a proportionate response."
Hundreds of children, some as young as three months were left stranded in the cold streets of Johannesburg after their families were evicted from a building in the central business district.
About 2 000 occupants, most of who are foreigners, lived in a building which the City of Johannesburg found to be unsuitable for humans to live in.
The eviction is part of a joint operation between the police, Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS), Johannesburg Metro Police Department, the Environmental Health Department and the city’s Urban Management Department.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has urged young people to be the agents of change in South Africa.
Addressing children between the ages of 15 and 17 at the annual Tutu Youth Peace Summit in Cape Town, Tutu reminded them how lucky they are to be South Africans, adding that, “if you were born in the Democratic Republic of Congo you girls would almost all of you have been raped, maybe killed or maybe a refugee.”
He also urged the children to have the courage of the 1976 youth.
The 12 June global event attempted to shine a spotlight on the most exploitative and harmful forms of child labour, many which occur in South Africa.
Evidence of the active movement to protect children and end child labour can be seen in the large number of International Labour Organisation (ILO) policies and other legislation enacted over the past decade.
All this, however, has still not been enough to halt the exploitation of children in the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) category.
The Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Lulama Xingwana, says problems limiting children's rights need to be addressed.
Speaking at a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) workshop on ‘Equity in the Realisation of Children's Rights in South Africa’, Xingwana pointed out that, “We acknowledge the historical challenges that still limit progress in attainment of these rights.”
Xingwana said government programmes to improve children's rights will be developed based on this report and other reports.