South Africa: Human Rights Month - We Are Killing Our Children, We Are Killing Our Future

opinion

South Africa remains an extremely violent and traumatised society, and violence and abuse of children are systemic. We have to do the hard work to unearth the causes and find sustainable solutions. We owe it to them and the future of this nation.

March is Human Rights Month, a time to reflect on how far we have come as a nation. Given South Africa's traumatic past, it is comforting to note the many positive developments over the past 26 years in legislative reform, creating institutional capacity to advance human rights, such as the Human Rights Commission, the Gender Commission, the Equality Court and even the Office of the Commissioner for Children in the Western Cape.

However, recent events compel me to flag the glaring statistics and pervasive phenomenon of children's rights violations and rampant abuse.

It is common knowledge that section 28 of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution states that "every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter, healthcare and social services, as well as the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation". So what is amiss? Where are we going wrong and why are we failing our children?

Law is never framed in...

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