CHILD TRAUMA TRAINING
(THE HIDDEN EPIDEMIC OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA)
ONLINE CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND THE LAW
The technological advances of the past few decades have not come without a cost. It has enabled the sexual exploitation of children to expand from the physical to the new online world. Law and policy makers continue to grapple with the challenges of ensuring that children are equally protected online.
Recently, the Centre Against Sexual Exploitation, South Africa (CASE-SA) gave a presentation on ‘the legislative framework of online child sexual exploitation in South Africa’ to about 50 child protection practitioners at a local child trauma training event. It is important that practitioners understand what laws and policies keep children safe online and what can be done when a child has been exploited. The two-day training on the ‘Hidden Epidemic of Sexual Exploitation of Children in South Africa’ was hosted by Jelly Beanz on 12 and 13 March 2020 in Durbanville, Cape Town.
 A programme under Cause for Justice (CFJ).
 Predominantly social workers and psychologist as well as legal and medical professionals.
 Jelly Beanz is an organisation that is passionate about helping children who have experienced abuse and neglect.
THE LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK OF ONLINE CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
CASE-SA Programme Coordinator, Liesl Pretorius, reminded delegates that online child exploitation should not be seen as a new kind of child exploitation, but as a new way in which child exploitation is facilitated. It is important that practitioners have a clear understanding of key concepts and specific terminology including ‘child in the online environment’, ‘child sexual abuse material’, and ‘live online child sexual abuse’ was discussed. These definitions are also important for law and policy makers who have to ensure that all instances of online child exploitation are recognised and criminalised by the law.
 Also CFJ legal advisor and parliamentary liaison.
 I.e. online-facilitated child sexual abuse.
GLOBAL AND REGIONAL FRAMEWORK
Delegates were also given an overview of the global legislative framework that applies to online child exploitation. The overview covered international legal instruments that are binding on South Africa – such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – as well as non-binding instruments and policy documents (which have persuasive value) and African regional legal instruments such as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
SOUTH AFRICAN FRAMEWORK
In South Africa, the Constitution is the supreme law and all other laws of the Republic have to conform to its values and principles. South African laws that protect children from online child sexual exploitation include the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Act, the Films and Publications Act, and the Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act.
Important legislative developments, such as the recently enacted Films and Publications Amendment Act, the Cybercrimes Bill (currently before Parliament) and the South African Law Reform Commission’s project on pornography and children.
 The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
 Act 32 of 2007.
 Act 65 of 1996.
 Act 7 of 2013.
 Act 11 of 2019.
 South African Law Reform Commission Project 107: Sexual Offences (Pornography and Children).
OTHER SPEAKERS AND TOPICS
There were various other speakers as well, including:
- Clinical psychologist Marita Rademeyer, gave insightful presentations on understanding the many faces of the online child sexual exploitation epidemic; assessing children’s exposure to inappropriate online content; and interventions for children addicted to pornography.
- Danny Myburgh, who was responsible for establishing the National Computer Crime Investigation Unit for the South African Police Services, discussed cyberthreats.
- Lieutenant Colonel Ruan Brummer described a day in the life of the Serial and Electronic Crimes Investigating Unit of SAPS.
 CEO of Jelly Beanz and co-founder of the Child Trauma Clinic in Pretoria.
A FIGHT WORTH FIGHTING
Protecting children from online child sexual exploitation is a daunting task, but all the speakers and delegates would agree that it is a goal worth fighting for. Training events like these offer invaluable opportunities for child protection practitioners to gain knowledge and network.
Cause for Justice and CASE-SA are proud of being able to contribute to such events and to join hands with others who are walking this road, doing their part, to end child sexual exploitation in South Africa.
DO YOUR PART AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE
We are doing our part to end child sexual exploitation in South Africa. Why not join us – by supporting us with a donation of any amount – you too can make a difference today!