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16 Days of activism: Remembering the Children's Charter

The dawn of a new South Africa in 1994 not only came with a constitution, it also came with the The Children’s Charter.
 
In 1992, a special summit was held in Cape Town, South Africa. The purpose of this summit was to discuss the challenges faced by children living in South Africa and was attended by over 200 children between the ages of 12 and 17.  From this summit, the Children’s Charter was written. 
 
What does The Children’s Charter of South Africa say about violence?
 
16 Days of Activism is a campaign to challenge the violence and abuse experienced by women and children. Although this should be a call to action campaigned throughout every single day, throughout the year, we can still appreciate this annual reminder to do more as a society to protect, care for and treat the women and children in our society with dignity and respect. 
 
Article 5 of The Children’s Charter speaks on violence in relation to children: 
  1. All children have the right to be protected from all types of violence including:
physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual, state, political, gang, domestic, school, township and community, street, racial, self-destructive and all other forms of violence.

     2.All children have the right to freedom from corporal punishment at school, from the police and in prisons, and at home.

     3.All children have the right to be protected from neglect and abandonment.
   
     4.All children have the right to be educated about child abuse and the right to form youth groups to protect them from abuse.
 
    5.All persons have the duty to report all violence against, abuse of and neglect of any child to the appropriate authorities.
 
    6.Children should not be used as shields or tools by the perpetrators of violence.
 
    7.The media has the duty to prevent the exploitation of children who are victims of violence and should be prohibited from the promotion of violence.
 
    8.All children have the right to be protected from violence by the police and in prisons.
 
    9.All children have the right to be protected from drug and alcohol abuse by their parents, families and others and to be educated about these forms of violence.
 
   10.Children have the right to a special children's court and medical facilities to protect them from violence.
 
It is the duty and responsibility of all adults (parents, caregivers etc) to ensure that the children in their homes and community are protected, safe and nurtured in a way that improves the wellbeing of the children. Our children are our future – it is important that we put them first. 
 
Did you know that children also have literacy rights? Check them out here.