PRESS RELEASEHUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATION IMPLORES PARLIAMENT FOR STRONGER CHILD PROTECTION LAWS - 27 November 2020
PRESS RELEASE BY CAUSE FOR JUSTICE: 27 NOVEMBER 2020
* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *
SUBJECT: HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATION IMPLORES PARLIAMENT FOR STRONGER CHILD PROTECTION LAWS
Parliament is considering legislative amendments to the central pillar of South African child law – the Children’s Act. The changes proposed by the Department of Social Development are set out in the Children’s Amendment Bill, 2020. The Department has already briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the various clauses contained in the Bill.
Human rights organisation, Cause for Justice (CFJ), is concerned that the Amendment Bill does not include much needed proposals for the strengthening of child protection laws. According to CFJ, the opportunity to insert an enforceable duty to protect children – from exposure to potentially disturbing or harmful materials, and from premature exposure to adult experiences – into the Children’s Act, should not be missed.
The detrimental impact of exposure to sexual and violent content, especially pornography, on children is well-researched and documented by a wide range of academics, researchers, international experts and child protection organisations.  During Covid-19 Lockdown, children have been spending much more time online – whether for education and recreation purposes. Child online safety is a major concern and child protection is a top priority.
In its written submissions to Parliament, CFJ insisted that creating and imposing a positive obligation on persons with a particularly significant impact on children’s lives – including the media, parents, caregivers, guardians and other accountable persons – to protect children from inappropriate materials and experiences, is not only constitutionally justified, but a responsible and necessary step towards strengthening South African child protection law.
Cause for Justice is committed to ensuring that all South African laws uphold the best interest of children, and will continue to follow the progress of the Children’s Amendment Bill through Parliament.
 See: https://endsexualexploitation.org/publichealth/; https://fightthenewdrug.org/get-the-facts/; https://www.echildhood.org/the_facts; http://globalkidsonline.net/southafrica/; and https://www.echildhood.org/statement.
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For further queries, contact CFJ at:
Tel: 074 355 0775