12 June 2017

South Africa: Undocumented Children in SA - Averting the Coming Catastrophe


Just days before the start of Child Protection Week 2017, a physiotherapist in Soweto made the horror discovery of a nine-year-old disabled boy, naked, rat bitten, covered in faeces and starving to death, one of 14 living in a tiny shack. He is the face of undocumented children in Gauteng, he is the reason why we can no longer ignore the problem.

Child Protection Week 2017 drew to a close last Sunday, and the Department of Social Development packed away their green pins and posters for another year, and the minister returned to the pressing matters of politics that had kept her away from the event's launch. But the spectre of the country's child protection problems - those discussed, like exploitation, child-headed households and child marriages; those studiously avoided, like abandonment and late-term abortion, and those which other government sectors kept in the spotlight, like violence against children, and child rape and murder - will loom large over the nation for many years to come. They must, because no amount of awareness has brought respite from the atrocities towards children.

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