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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Child Survival

All children in South Africa have a right to survival. This right is however dependent on the realisation of a multiplicity of complimentary rights, which if neglected will result in fatalities. These rights include, the right to life, adequate standard of living, basic health care, nutrition and social services. As a result the state has obligations to ensure a child's right to survival. 

Child survival is one in a series of topical guides developed for PAN:Children that provides key information on the current state of affairs in South Africa related to poverty and children. It highlights practical guidance, lessons learned and case studies (both national and international) that will be helpful in policy development dialogue and knowledge sharing.

The topical guide is rich with references and these are available in the sub-sections below, which are arranged according to 'type' of document for example Policy Briefs or Country Studies.

Feedback on the topical guide is welcomed and can be submitted to imagaya@hsrc.ac.za.

The PAN secretariat also welcomes any additional documentation which is aligned to the focus of this guide.


Related publications

This policy brief introduces systematic reviews and evidence gap maps as two relatively new types of synthesised evidence in South African context. It explains why these synthesis tools are particularly valuable for the policy-making processes. It offers a brief history of their development, their main characteristics and procedures, as well as the main resources where they are found. In addition, it describes current production levels and usage of these synthesis tools in South Africa, and concludes with a call for greater attention and use of these tools to improve research evidence availability in the policy-making processes. 

Document(s): PDF icon Policy_Brief_1.pdf

Dignity is a foundational value in South Africa’s Constitution and is also experienced as a psycho-social phenomenon. Dimensions of dignity were explored with almost two hundred low income female caregivers and the impact of poverty on dignity was examined.

Link: Policy brief

RIATT-ESA is seeking to improve understanding and build the evidence base around the kinds of interventions which are most effective in improving outcomes for children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS in the family. Related to this is how children's health, protection, care and support are interrelated. RIATT-ESA consequently commissioned secondary analyses of existing data sets in the eastern and Southern Africa region (ESA) and systematic reviews in order to better understand how children affected by AIDS in the region are made vulnerable. In particular the research sought to establish if and how being orphaned by HIV and AIDS leads to an increased likelihood of negative outcomes for children in comparison to other orphans or non-orphans. This included investigating factors that can predict vulnerability and tracking the different pathways by which HIV and AIDS impacts child outcomes, hence identifying key risks to children for targeted action.

Link: Policy brief

A longitudinal survey of over 3,000 girls found that cash transfers to poor households allow teenage girls to make safer sexual choices. They reduce reliance on 'sugar daddies' to provide basic needs. However, cash transfers do not reduce all HIV-infection risks, and must be part of combination prevention approaches. Click here to view other research in this series.

Link: Policy Brief
HIV?AIDS and adolescents

This policy brief provides recommendations on HIV testing and counselling, ART service delivery, major operational and service delivery, and clinical recommendations for adolescents.In 2012, an estimated 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV. Between 2005 and 2012, HIV-related deaths among adolescents increased by 50%, while the global number of HIV-related deaths fell by 30%. This increase in adolescent HIV-related deaths is due primarily to poor prioritization of adolescents in national HIV plans, inadequate provision of accessible and acceptable HIV testing and counselling and treatment services, and lack of support for adolescents to remain in care and adhere to antiretroviral therapy.

This policy brief from World Vision provides insight on child mortality ahead of the World health Assembly. There is a brief discussion of the major causes of newborn and child death as well new global initiatives to end preventable child death. In addition, the role of government in securing life saving commodities of chidren under five is addressed and recommendations are provided.

Many young fathers want to be active parents and have a strong sense of responsibility towards their children. They are, however, confronted with numerous barriers. This policy brief makes recommendations for policies and programmes to increase young fathers’ chances of being positive, involved parents.

Link: Publication

This guide examines of modern responses to child labour as embodied in policy and legislation. It covers where and how the lines have been drawn between the types and arrangements of work that have no harmful effect on children and those that do; how countries have expressed their antipathy to child labour and created institutions to combat it; how governments have responded to children not getting a proper education; and how governments have responded to adults exploitation of child labour.

Link: Publication
Right to water and sanitation

This publication provides an analytical tool designed to help Governments and other stakeholders to establish a baseline measure of the equity of access to water and sanitation, identify related priorities, discuss further actions to be taken and evaluate progress through a process of self-assessment. The publication contains recommendations on how to plan for the self-assessment and provides concrete examples of the benefits of using the score-card in different settings. Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health and other stakeholders can use the Equitable Access Score-card to support the definition of targets to bridge the existing gaps in access to water and sanitation and thus to achieve the human right to water and sanitation

Link: Publication

The 2013 Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection span style combines and harmonizes recommendations from a range of WHO guidelines and other documents, including guidelines on using antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection in adults and adolescents, in infants and children and for treating pregnant women living with HIV and preventing HIV infection in infants. Comprehensive guidance is now provided on using ARV drugs across age groups and populations of adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women, adolescents, children and key populations. The guidelines also aim to consolidate and update clinical, service delivery and programmatic guidance.

Scaling Up for Nutrition

The first complete version of this M&E Framework is reflected in this document and consists of three complementary components. The document was developed in consultation with SUN Networks. A Reference Group, consisting of representatives of all Networks, and Lead Group were constituted to support this work. A two-day design workshop was held in Geneva on 07 & 08 March 2013. The M&E Framework brings together, in one document, the expected results of the Movement and stakeholder commitments as outlined in the SUN Movement Strategy and Roadmap and in individual Network planning documents. The M&E Framework encompasses the results of the Movement as set out in the SUN Movement Strategy, the revised SUN Road Map and individual planning documents, such as SUN Network Activity Plans or strategies.

A factsheet providing answers to frequently asked questions surrounding the 2012 Nutrition Barometer. The Nutrition Barometer itself is available on PAN: Children at http://children.pan.org.za/node/9110.

The Nutrition Barometer provides a snapshot of national governments’ commitments to addressing children’s nutrition, and the progress they have made. It looks at 36 developing countries with the highest levels of child undernutrition. The Barometer measures governments’ political and legal commitment to tackling malnutrition (eg, whether they have a national nutrition plan), as well as their financial commitment. Countries’ progress in tackling malnutrition is measured by children’s nutritional status – the proportion who are underweight, stunted or suffering from wasting – and children’s chances of survival.

This handbook provides Members of Parliament with information on children’s issues and their rights. Its purpose is to equip MPs with the tools to integrate a child-rights perspective into all work that Members engage with.

"Family planning is a human right. Yet today some 222 million women in developing countries are unable to exercise that right because they lack access to contraceptives, information and quality services or because social and economic forces prevent them from taking advantage of services even where they are available. The State of World Population 2012 explains why family planning is a right, examines the challenges in ensuring that all women, men and young people are able to exercise that right and suggests actions that governments and international organizations can take to give everyone the power and the means to decide freely and responsibly how many children to have and when to have them."

The 2012 edition of the Child Development Index tells a story of success. This edition of the Index shows that substantial progress has been made in addressing the most basic threats to child survival and well-being. On average, the lives of children around the world in the indicators that have been measured improved by more than 30%. However, When the different components of the index – health, education and nutrition – are broken down, data shows that under-nutrition has consistently lagged behind and remains one of the major factors holding back further progress on children’s well-being. This study finds that the proportion of wasted children (suffering from acute weight loss, which is commonly used to indicate the severity of food crises), actually rose in the second half of the 2000s.

Published by Save the Children Sweden, this report constitutes a part of the "no child born to die" campaign.

Link: Publication

Every day 700 children acquire HIV; however, in 2011 only one third of children exposed to HIV were tested for the virus within the recommended two months. This is largely because it requires complex laboratory technology that is often only available at central laboratories. Also, results can take a long time to come back, which means that families do not always return for the results and never learn of a child’s HIV status. Without knowing the HIV status of a child it is impossible to access life-saving treatment. Without treatment, half of all children born with HIV will die by the age of two and the majority will die by the age of five.

Online data from a report which systematically presents comparative data on laws and public policies in 191 countries covering areas essential to children's healthy development. Changing children's chances examines policy data and their impact in the areas of poverty, discrimination, education, health, child labour, child marriage, and parental care. The report provides a global picture of the policy tools governments can use to make a difference to children's opportunities in life. The website summarizes key original findings from databases on current laws and policies in UN member states.

Chapter in Saving children 2009: Five years of data: A sixth survey of child healthcare in South Africa which makes a set of recommendations that have arisen from analysis of the overall Child PIP data and of each of the main causes of mortality in young children. The recommendations are targeted at different key functions within the health sector and are thus divided into four sections, namely policy, management and administration, clinical practice and education.

This is an annual report intended as a snapshot of the child rights climate in South Africa, It includes discussions about children and law reform, children participating in social dialogue and datasets.

Link: Publication
Good practice on water rights and sanitation

This compendium of good practices on the human right to water and sanitation provides discussion and analysis of existing practices, with the aim of inspiring policy and decision-makers, practitioners, activists and civil society in general to engage with the rights to water and sanitation and to assist in the difficult but crucial process of ensuring that everyone has access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for all basic daily personal and domestic purposes. Amongst other issues this publication discusses gaps in the practices, the areas where there continue to be problems in both understanding and implementing the rights, and attempts to look into the future to see where these practices may take us.

Link: Details

The Customary Initiation Bill seeks to provide for the effective regulation of customary initiation practices as well as the establishment of a National Initiation Oversight Committee and Provincial Initiation Coordinating Committees and their functions. The Bill seeks to articulate the responsibilities, duties, roles and functions of the various role-players involved in initiation practices or in the governance aspects. The Bill also proposes to provide for the effective regulation of initiation schools and regulatory powers of the Minister and Premiers. Lastly, it has a proposed monitoring framework for the implementation of the Act and seeks to provide for provincial peculiarities and other related matters. 

PAN:Children from time to time invites experts in the child rights field to write opinion editorials on specific topics to stimulate debate. This piece on the gaps in the implementation of legislative provisions and policy pertaining to children with disabilities in South Africa was written by Sue Philpott an expert in disability issues in South Africa.

Documents South Africa’s social and economic plan for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality and incorporates a number of child-specific developmental goals.

Policy framework for post-apartheid restructuring of social welfare services, programmes and social security and emphasises the need for attaining equity and redress through social development.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, was approved by the Constitutional Court (CC) on 4 December 1996 and took effect on 4 February 1997. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. No other law or government action can supersede the provisions of the Constitution.

This is an international treaty created by the African Union. It sets out the rights of the child and the obligations of its signatory states to bring about realisation of these rights. Widely ratified, it is one of the key child rights documents for African states.

An international treaty setting out the rights of the child. This instrument has been ratified by almost all states worldwide and is considered a key child rights document.

Document(s): PDF icon Study.pdf
Link: Details

The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) released its first ever comprehensive study on the impact of conflicts and crisis on children in Africa during its 28th Ordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia. The study concentrates on conflicts and crises across Africa over the last 10 years and the measures by State and non-State actors to protect the rights of children during and in the aftermath of such situations. It addresses psychological impact, education, health, nutrition/food security, separation from parents/caregivers, and sexual and gender-based violence. Child rights underlie its analysis, particularly the best interest of the child; the rights to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child as evidenced through children’s voices.Being the first of its kind at the level of an Organ of the African Union, the study draws urgency towards Member States to address the challenges that children are facing in conflict situations and halt recruiting and using children for military purposes. Taking the new challenges into consideration, the study, particularly, urges for a high level commitment from Member States to establish effective and functioning mechanisms to address the impact of conflict and crises on children and provide for the care and protection of children affected by armed conflict. 

Developed with Columbia University and experts from the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing this series of briefs provides a much needed review of contemporary research methodologies for adolescent well-being in low- and middle-income countries, covering: indicators and data sources, ethics, research with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, participatory research, measurement of the social and structural determinants of adolescent health, and adolescent economic strengthening interventions.

The aim of these briefs is to improve efforts to collect rigorous evidence for programmes and policies on adolescent health and well-being. They will assist a wide range of professionals and stakeholders who conduct, commission or interpret research findings to make decisions about programming, policy and advocacy.

Document(s): PDF icon UNICEF_SOWC_2016.pdf
SOWC 2016

Every child has the right to health, education and protection, and every society has a stake in expanding children’s opportunities in life. Yet, around the world, millions of children are denied a fair chance for no reason other than the country, gender or circumstances into which they are born. The State of the World’s Children 2016 argues that progress for the most disadvantaged children is not only a moral, but also a strategic imperative. Stakeholders have a clear choice to make: invest in accelerated progress for the children being left behind, or face the consequences of a far more divided world by 2030. At the start of a new development agenda, the report concludes with a set of recommendations to help chart the course towards a more equitable world.

The ability to correct childhood malnutrition, or for children to display ‘catch-up growth’, has important population-level implications for economic and social development. According to most recent estimates, over one third of all children under the age of five in developing countries suffer from some form of nutritional deficiency, with approximately 27% classified as underweight, 31% exhibiting stunting and 10% exhibiting wasting. This working paper contributes to the catch-up growth debate by presenting results from three widely varying population based samples using identical statistical techniques, controlling for endogeneity of lagged health in several different ways, and measuring height in z-scores. The estimates for these three different populations indicate that while previous health does not track future health perfectly, there is still significant persistence in health status for young children. These estimates do not account for household health-related behaviour.

Link: Publication

This paper analyses the interplay between the rights to social protection and to adequate food, as well as the importance of a human rights-based approach to social protection. It explores the right to social protection under human rights treaties and standards arising from the United Nations. It describes the key issues that should be taken into account, in particular the importance of having legally enforceable rights, clear institutional responsibilities, transparency of eligibility criteria, application and termination procedures and recourse mechanisms. The paper recommends that social protection programmes have a clear legal basis that is consistent with human rights.

Link: Publication

KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa has the largest population of children under the age of five and experiences the highest number of child births per annum in the country. Its population has also been ravaged by the dual epidemics of HIV and TB and it has struggled to meet targets for maternal and child mortality. This report finds that focused attention on a set of key interventions could have a significant impact on averting stillbirths and maternal and neonatal mortality in KwaZulu-Natal. Concerted effort to prioritize family planning will save more lives overall and has the potential to decrease costs in other areas of maternal and child care.

This paper is a useful introduction to how strategies for change may be most effective when they promote norm change in multiple spheres. It provides a framework that conceptualises the forces that maintain discriminatory gender norms against adolescent girls at the individual, community and structural level. The framework integrates how norms are experienced, the broader structural forces that sustain these norms and the social psychological processes by which gender norms change in order to understand the processes of change.

Link: Reading pack

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is considered one of the most pervasive human rights abuses of our times, affecting more than one in three women globally. VAWG cuts across cultures, socio-economic status, ethnicities and other demographic diversities. However, rates and patterns of violence vary significantly across settings and across the life-cycle, showing that violence against women and girls is not inevitable. There is increasing recognition that efforts to respond to survivors of violence must be complemented by holistic prevention efforts to stop violence before it starts. The eight readings selected for this pack illustrate core elements of the challenges in addressing this complex and deeply rooted problem, including: stronger enforcement of laws and policies to prohibit VAWG; improved access to comprehensive support for survivors; more holistic and longer term investment in prevention, including shifting discriminatory social norms and engaging men and boys; and further evidence about what works to prevent VAWG, cost-effectiveness and how efforts can be taken to scale.

Link: Publication

This report aims to stimulate discussion and action by decision-makers and serve to inform the strategic thinking, programming and practice. It confirms well-known hindrances, identifies opportunities, and highlights how meaningful youth participation needs to address power. It calls on the broad range of actors working on child and youth development issues to take action and improve their own effectiveness and the enabling environment. While several findings identify new challenges and opportunities, others add more nuance and context to current discussions on child and youth development. The recurrence of some issues suggests that current actions are either inadequate or absent.

Link: Publication

This paper synthesises evidence about effective interventions and strategies to improve early child development, and calls for it to be included in a new global strategy on women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health.The millennium development goal on child health has led to great improvements in child survival worldwide. Child mortality has fallen by almost 50%, resulting in an estimated 17 000 fewer children dying every day in 2013 than in 1990.Nevertheless, many children who survive do not thrive, with over 200 million children under 5 years of age at risk of not attaining their developmental potential. Physical and mental health, educational and occupational attainment, family wellbeing, and the capacity for mutually rewarding social relationships all have their roots in early childhood. We now have a good understanding of the serious implications of young children going off course, including the longer term economic and societal ramifications. 

Link: Publication

This report outlines the research that supports each of the policy areas in the Alliance for Early Success’ recently revised Birth through Eight State Policy Framework. Research at a Glance provides an overview of the evidence base for the policy choices in the Framework, summarizing the factors that contribute to, and sustain, the healthy growth and development of young children. The revised Framework emphasizes policy options in the areas of health, family support, and learning, and policy options that bridge these three areas. - See more at: http://www.childtrends.org/our-research/early-childhood-development/#sth...

This technical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics argues that rising global temperature is causing major physical, chemical, and ecological changes across the planet. There is wide consensus among scientific organizations and climatologists that these broad effects, known as climate change, are the result of contemporary human activity. Climate change poses threats to human health, safety, and security. Children are uniquely vulnerable to these threats. The effects of climate change on child health include physical and psychological sequelae of weather disasters, increased heat stress, decreased air quality, altered disease patterns of some climate-sensitive infections, and food, water, and nutrient insecurity in vulnerable regions. Prompt implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies will protect children against worsening of the problem and its associated health effects. This technical report reviews the nature of climate change and its associated child health effects and supports the recommendations in the accompanying policy statement on climate change and children’s health.

Adolescent care cover

Global initiatives are urging countries to prioritize quality as a way of reinforcing human rights-based approaches to health. Yet evidence from both high- and low-income countries shows that services for adolescents are highly fragmented, poorly coordinated and uneven in quality. Pockets of excellent practice exist, but, overall, services need significant improvement and should be brought into conformity with existing guidelines.

WHO/UNAIDS Global Standards for quality health care services for adolescents aim to assist policy-makers and health service planners in improving the quality of health-care services so that adolescents find it easier to obtain the health services that they need to promote, protect and improve their health and well-being.

This report is published in four volumes. Read more HERE

Link: Publication

This helpdesk query from GSDRC answers the following question:- What evidence is there on the development outcomes of the political and social inclusion of young people? Review the evidence in lower and middle income countries for including young people (10-25 years) in political processes, formal institutions and governance structures (political inclusion) and informal institutions such as household and community structures (social inclusion). What development outcomes (positive and negative / costs and benefits) are associated with these forms of inclusion, both for the youth cohort as well as wider society?

Link: Publication

This statistical release presents information on prenatal deaths in South Africa for prenatal deaths that occurred in 2011 - 2013 based on all perinatal death notification forms from the civil registration system maintained by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). Specifically, the release provides statistics on the causes of perinatal deaths focusing on the main cause of death. Information on perinatal deaths for the period 1997-2010 has also been included to show trends in perinatal deaths.

Link: Publication

This paper describes voluntary or coerced sexual experience at sexual debut from a longitudinal perspective among a large sample of young South Africans participating in the Birth to Twenty Plus cohort.

Link: Publication

World leaders are setting out a roadmap for human progress over the next 15 years. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals, these new global targets will drive investment and action in virtually every country on earth, touching millions of lives. That is why it is vital that every child is included – and that children everywhere are at the heart of the new global agenda. This ‘Agenda for Every Child’ sets out seven priorities that must be addressed in the new development goals.

Link: Publication

As the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) comes to an end in 2015, a new framework for global development will be put in place. The ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda’ will culminate in the formulation of a new set of goals and targets – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – that will build on the progress of the MDGs and also address the shortcomings. Additional resources: Post-2015 Issue Briefs .

 

 

 

 

Link: Publication

The policy was revised through extensive consultation among UNICEF staff and partners, and establishes the basis for UNICEF programme cooperation with governments and other partners to promote equality between girls and boys.  It defines the core standards of performance that are expected, and sets out the organizational mechanisms that will help bring about results over time. The policy addresses UNICEF’s contributions to the development and equal rights of girls and boys through its cooperation both in regular situations and through humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery. Furthermore, the policy addresses the responsibilities and expectations of UNICEF staff at all levels.

Link: Publication

The MDG report is based on comprehensive official statistics and provides the most up-to-date summary of all Goals and their targets at global and regional levels, with additional national statistics available online. Results show that concentrated efforts to achieve MDG targets by national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are working to lift people out of extreme poverty and improve their futures.

Link: Publication

The 2013 report includes the domesticated indicators which are applicable to the South African context. The key feature and contributor in the 2013 MDG report has been the availability of data emerging out of the Population Census of 2011.

 

The report provides a global overview of alcohol consumption in relation to public health (Chapter 1) as well as information on: the consumption of alcohol in populations (Chapter 2); the health consequences of alcohol consumption (Chapter 3); and policy responses at national level (Chapter 4). In addition the report contains country profiles for WHO Member States and appendices with statistical annexes, a description of the data sources and methods used as well as references.

 
Link: Publication

The IPEC project “Tackling child labour through education” (TACKLE) was jointly launched by the European Commission (EC) and the ILO with the support of the Secretariat of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) in 2008 to fight child labour in 12 ACP countries (Angola, Fiji, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan and Zambia). The objective of the TACKLE project was to contribute to the withdrawal of children engaged in child labour and to prevent further entry of children into employment by offering them alternative education and training opportunities and thereby contributing towards poverty reduction. It is hoped that this collection of good practices serves as an inspiration for their replication and contributes to the work of practitioners and policy-makers on child labour worldwide.

Link: Publication

The ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) Implementation Report 2014 provides a summary of the work of the Programme during the biennium 2012-2013. It also provides an overview of significant developments during the biennium including the Global Conference on child labour and new global estimates on child labour.

Link: Publication

This new report is the first in a series to be published annually by the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour. It brings together research on child labour and social protection, identifying policies that are designed to achieve multiple social goals. It discusses the role of poverty and economic shocks in rendering households vulnerable to child labour and considers the impact on child labour of cash transfers, public employment programmes, social insurance and other social protection initiatives as they have been implemented around the world. The report distils a broad range of research in economic and social policy and should be of interest to those looking for ways to combat poverty in the present and reduce its burden on the next generation.

Link: Publication

New report on domestic work within the framework of the two ILO fundamental conventions on child labour. It provides detailed information on current data regarding the estimated number of child domestic workers worldwide. It also explores the ambiguity of the working relationship, the discrimination and isolation associated with the practice, the hazards and risks of this type of work, as well as the vulnerability to violence and to abuse to which child domestic workers are too often exposed. It also explores policy responses to child labour and underlines the key role of the social partners and civil society organizations in the fight against child labour in domestic work. The report concludes by making a call for specific action towards ending child labour and protecting young workers in domestic work.

Link: Publication

This fact sheet is an update to the global estimates on child domestic work 2008.

Link: Publication

This is the fourth issue of the ILO’s report series: Global Estimates on child labour. The present Report provides new global and regional estimates on child labour for the year 2012 and compares them with the previous estimates for 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Link: Publication

This publication is a companion volume of the "Children in Hazardous Work: What we know, what we need to do" report, outlines the problem of hazardous work and highlights possible solutions. Although it is too early to say, in most cases, that the activities included here are proven "good practices" ready for emulation, nonetheless items in this selection have already demonstrated some unique or notable elements.

Link: Publication

Fact Sheet: Generation 2030 Africa Report -  On current trends, almost 2 billion babies will be born in Africa in the next 35 years due to high fertility rates and increasing number of women of reproductive age. Over the same period Africa’sunder-18 population will increase by two thirds, reaching almost 1billion by mid-century.

 

Link: Publication

A comment by The Lancet, on how unprecedented growth in the continent's child population came about, and its implications for Africa and the rest of the world, is the subject of Generation 2030 Africa, a report on child demographics released by UNICEF on Aug 12, 2014.

Link: Publication

A new report from UNICEF, Generation 2030 | Africa, shows how Africa, already the world’s second most populous continent with over 1 billion inhabitants, is experiencing a demographic shift unprecedented in its scale and swiftness. In the next 35 years, 1.8 billion babies will be born in Africa; the continent’s population will double in size; and its under-18 population will increase by two thirds to reach almost 1 billion. By 2050, Africa will be home to two in five of the world’s children. This unprecedented projected increase gives policymakers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to craft a child-focused investment strategy that enables the continent, and the world, to reap the benefits of Africa’s demographic transition.

Link: Publication

A report from the European Commission to the European Parliament, Council, European economic and social committee and The Committee of Regions. This report highlights key policy strategies which aim to stimulate online content that is useful to children, empower children, protect children while they are online and prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation of children while online. It provides a useful model to ensure child online protection.

 

Link: Publication

This research report prepared by the UK Evidence Base for the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. This piece looks at the risk of harm to children on the internet, children who are most vulnerable while online and children’s general use of the internet. It also looks at best practices by discussing the various strategies used by 600 schools in their e-safety policies.

 

Link: Publication

Risks and safety on the internet: The perspective of European children. Full findings and policy implications from the EU Kids Online survey of 9-16 year olds and their parents in 25 countries. This report presents the full findings from a new and unique survey designed and conducted according to rigorous standards by the EU Kids Online network. The survey investigated key online risks: pornography, bullying, receiving sexual messages, contact with people not known face, to-face, offline meetings with online contacts, potentially harmful user-generated content and personal data misuse. 

Link: Publication

This guide is intended to offer examples of some successful initiatives undertaken by civil society organizations as well as individuals and government agencies concerned with protecting children around the world. 

Link: Publication

The report focuses on the risks faced by children online and policies to protect them. It provides a useful evaluation of existing policies for the protection of children online from different member states of the OECD. 

Link: Publication

A guide for judges and other professionals for effective responses to teen sexting produced by Futures Without Violence.

Link: Publication

Multiple incidents of violence in South African schools have elevated the issue to being a national concern. The aim of this article is to report on an investigation into the perception of school communities regarding conditions that make violence such a persistent problem in schools. 

Link: Publication

Effective and scalable HIV prevention for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa is needed. Cash transfers can reduce HIV incidence through reducing risk behaviours. However, questions remain about their effectiveness within national poverty-alleviation programmes, and their effects on different behaviours in boys and girls. 

The annual report highlights the main accomplishments and results UNICEF achieved in South Africa during 2013, with special features such as infographics and human interest stories. UNICEF’s work is aligned with the South African Government’s Medium-Term Strategic Framework for 2009–2014, including its 12 priority outcomes and the priorities outlined in the National Development Plan. Within this context, UNICEF focuses on reducing inequities, addressing child poverty and promoting children’s rights.

 

Every Newborn: an action plan to end preventable deaths sets out a vision of a world in which there are no preventable deaths of newborns or stillbirths, where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth celebrated, and women, babies and children survive, thrive and reach their full potential. Nearly 3 million lives could be saved each year if the actions in the plan are implemented and its goals and targets achieved. Based on evidence of what works, and developed within the framework for Every Woman Every Child, the plan enhances and supports coordinated, comprehensive planning and implementation of newborn-specific actions within the context of national reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health strategies and action plans, and in collaboration with stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, professional associations and others. The goal is to achieve equitable and high-quality coverage of care for all women and newborns through links with other global and national plans, measurement and accountability. 

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health identified the actions, policies and solutions from 10 countries making substantial progress in improving women and children’s health. This report highlights 10 low- and middle-income countries and the factors that have led to their progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health, from 1990 to present. The 10 ‘fast-track’ countries with notable achievements in maternal, newborn and child health include: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda and Viet Nam. This report summarises the highlights of a three year multi-disciplinary, multistakeholder series of studies.

The 2014 report, Fulfilling the Health Agenda for Women and Children, was released exactly 18 months to the day from the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals at the end of 2015. Like previous Countdown reports, it includes an updated, detailed profile for each of the 75 Countdown countries, which together account for more than 95% of the global burden of maternal, newborn and child death. The report shows that progress has been impressive in some areas, but it also highlights the vast areas of unfinished business that must be prioritized in the post-2015 framework. The 2014 report also provides an assessment of the state of the data to support evidence-based decisions in women's and children's health, and describes elements of the Countdown process that might inform ongoing efforts to hold the world to account for progress. It concludes by laying out concrete action steps that can be taken now to ensure continued progress for women and children in the years ahead.

Maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain high in many low-income and middle-income countries. Different approaches for the improvement of birth outcomes have been used in community-based interventions, with heterogeneous effects on survival. The research paper assess the effects of women's groups practising participatory learning and action, compared with usual care, on birth outcomes in low-resource settings.

Poverty, inequality and exclusion are hallmarks of a highly iniquitous society. In order for the rights of all children to be realised, it is essential that this gap- and the resultant chasms in service delivery and overall quality of life- be removed. The child population is one of the segments of the population more prone to becoming trapped in poverty and therefore the most logical site for successful poverty-ending intervention.  The publication seeks to explore the kind of intervention that would be necessary to bring this about through literature reviews and policy simulations. This research report investigates the extent to which groups of children are caught up in the intersection of poverty and exclusion, what the characteristics of these children are and to what extent they are or are not reached by policies and the additional efforts necessary to break free from the surrounding traps.

The 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released  by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) states that 27 per cent of all victims of human trafficking officially detected globally between 2007 and 2010 are children, up 7 per cent from the period 2003 to 2006. An increase in the number of girl victims, who make up two thirds of all trafficked children. Girls now constitute 15 to 20 per cent of the total number of all detected victims, including adults, whereas boys comprise about 10 per cent, says the Report, which is based on official data supplied by 132 countries. "Human trafficking requires a forceful response founded on the assistance and protection for victims, rigorous enforcement by the criminal justice system, a sound migration policy and firm regulation of the labour markets," said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC of the findings.

The report on Violence against children in South Africa was put together by the Department of Social Development, the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities and UNICEF in 2012. It looks at various types of violence or abuse that children experience in different places such as their homes, schools and communities. This is a summary report written especially for young people 10 years and older.

The report states that there are more than 60 million women and children are in need of humanitarian assistance for the year 2014. Over half of maternal and child deaths worldwide occur in crisis-affected places; still the majority of these deaths are preventable. In this report, Save the Children examines the causes of maternal and child deaths in crisis settings, and suggests urgent actions needed to support mothers who are raising the world’s future generations under some of the most difficult and horrific circumstances imaginable.

NACSA consultant Dee Blackie, who conducted the research largely based on in-depth interviews and participant observations among young mothers and community members in Tembisa, Soweto and Alexandra. They found that the new Child Protection Act and “cultural barriers” were the major drivers of plummeting adoption rates in South Africa.Adoptions dropped from 2 840 in 2004 to 1 699 last year. According to the research, there were only 297 unmatched parents for 428 unmatched children available for adoption.

The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100 000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015.The study showed that child death rates dropped by 48 percent globally between 1990 and 2013. But 6.3 million children still died before their fifth birthday in 2013.It found that child deaths in South Africa increased by an average rate of 1.4 percent per year from 1990 to 2000, then fell by 6.1 percent between 2000 and 2013. Maternal mortality in South Africa fell at a rate of 6.9 percent per year during 2003 to 2013. While important progress was being made, 171.4 mothers per 100,000 live births died from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications in South Africa in 2013.

 

The Mediterranean journal of social sciences published an article entitled, The determinants of child poverty in a South Africa township: a case of Boipatong. The study  investigates the possible determinants of child poverty in the Boipatong Township. 

 The paper discusses the effects of the household’s total income, employment status, age of the household head, the number of people in the household and gender of head of household on child poverty.The results of the study indicate that the employment status of the head of the household; number of people living in the household and total income of the household are significant determinants of child poverty status in Boipatong. This may imply that policies that are aimed at dealing with poverty and child poverty in particular should consider ways of creating formal employment for people in the townships. 

 

A review of South Africa's laws aimed at realising children's rights to assess whether these laws have been designed and are being implemented in compliance with international and constitutional law.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights published its sixth annual Human Rights Report Card indicating where, in their opinion, South Africa has been making progress with regard to human rights and where it has been regressing.

Link: Publication

Between 1990 and 2010 child mortality decreased in general terms in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), although the differences between countries over time are significant. This paper examines the relationship between short-term economic fluctuations and changes in child mortality in the LDCs during the period 1990-2010. Unlike other studies, this paper considers a large group of LDCs and provide empirical evidence of the asymmetrical effects of variations in Gross Domestic Product per capita on the evolution of child mortality rate in periods of economic recession and expansion. The significance of said effects diminishes when other relevant socio-economic control variables are considered, and some development policy considerations are addressed in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 4 target.

Link: Publication

The Millennium Development Goals prompted renewed international efforts to reduce under-five mortality and measure national progress. However, scant evidence exists about the distribution of child mortality at low sub-national levels, which in diverse and decentralized countries like India are required to inform policy-making. This study estimates changes in child mortality across a range of markers of inequalities in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, two of India’s largest, poorest, and most disadvantaged states. Although child mortality rates continue to decline at the national level, our evidence shows that considerable disparities persist.

Link: Publication

This Review examines progress in the past decade in child survival. Knowledge of child health epidemiology has greatly increased, and although more and better interventions are available, they still do not reach large numbers of mothers and children. Child survival should remain at the heart of global goals in the post-2015 era. Many countries are now making good progress and need the time and support required to finish the task. 

Link: Publication

The question is: Why have some high burden countries realized significant reductions in child and maternal mortality over time while others have not? What lessons can be learnt from a close examination of countries’ progress, or lack thereof, towards MDG 4 and 5? What is the context of countries’ successes or struggles? A systematic review of the literature was conducted to examine these questions and identify socioeconomic, political, and health-related factors that explain why some high-burden countries have been more effective than others in reducing child and maternal mortality.

Link: Publication
PAN: Children

The Sixth Report aims to communicate to policy and decision makers the future perspectives of the world food and nutrition situation through 2015, the implications that these hold for achieving international development goals and realizing the right to adequate food, and ways in which things could be improved.The report by the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) is part of a series of UNSCN publications reporting on trends in nutrition. It suggests ways to realize the human right to adequate food, focusing on local food production and maintaining agricultural diversity. At a time when human achievements are being threatened by economic and climatic crises, ensuring adequate food and nutrition is more important than ever. 

Preparing a lunchbox for school-going children may have significant advantages for their eating behaviour and long-term health prospects, says ZULFA ABRAHAM and her research team, following a study at disadvantaged schools in the Western Cape.

A study on dietary habits of learners from disadvantaged schools in the Western Cape found that lunchboxes play an important role in the nutritional status of school-aged children. Learners who take a lunchbox to school are more likely to consume a diet adequate in nutrients.

Globally, non-communicable diseases are increasingly being recognised as major causes of illness and death, especially in low-income regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. The burden of non-communicable diseases is growing in South Africa, where a mix of over-nutrition and under-nutrition is found. This has resulted in nutrition-related conditions existing in primary schools. 

Link: Publication

Maternal undernutrition contributes to 800 000 neonatal deaths annually through small for gestational age births; stunting, wasting, and micronutrient deficiencies are estimated to underlie nearly 3·1 million child deaths annually. Progress has been made with many interventions implemented at scale and the evidence for effectiveness of nutrition interventions and delivery strategies has grown since The Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition in 2008. This study has a comprehensive update of interventions to address undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in women and children. It features interventions to alleviate child mortality and showcases what works in various countries.

Link: Publication
Child survival

The annual number of under-five deaths fell from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012. But much faster progress is needed to reduce preventable diseases that cause child mortality. This is the second report in a series intended to track progress on child survival and promote accountability for global commitments.

Link: Publication

This sixth stocktaking report focuses on the response to HIV and AIDS among children in low- and middle-income countries. It is structured around the first and second decades of a child’s life, and has the following objectives: To review the HIV burden among children and adolescents and the progress being made in addressing it. To identify key strategies to accelerate access to HIV prevention, treatment, protection, care and support for children and adolescents. To summarize opportunities arising from recent scientific advances, new technology and emerging practice innovations. To mobilize national and international efforts to keep children HIV-free and ensure that those living with HIV remain AIDS-free.

While national governments are ultimately accountable for their international and domestic commitments, this report is intended to inform the coordinated efforts of all stakeholders striving to achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation.

Link: Publication

Published for the first time in 2013, this report presents valuable insights into the range of exciting initiatives currently taking place within the South African public health sector. The publication represents a rare opportunity to actively facilitate understanding about good practice identification and the sharing of knowledge towards improved management and delivery of public healthcare services. The Good Practice Project is an initiative of Health Systems Trust (HST) and it seeks to encourage good practices by mobilising Provincial departments of health in South Africa to engage in reflective practice.

Child Mortality report

The United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN-IGME) updates child mortality estimates annually for monitoring progress. This report presents the UN-IGME’s latest estimates of under-five, infant and neonatal mortality and assesses progress towards MDG 4 at the country, regional and global levels. It aims to help countries and partners give high priority to reducing newborn and child mortality, particularly by targeting the major killers of children with effective preventive and curative interventions.

Link: Publication

This paper analyzed Brazil's efforts in reducing child mortality, improving maternal and child health, and reducing socioeconomic and regional inequalities from 1990 through 2007. The paper explored the roles of broad socioeconomic and demographic changes and the introduction of health sector and other reform measures in explaining the improvements observed. The findings provide compelling evidence that proactive measures to reduce health disparities accompanied by socioeconomic progress can result in measurable improvements in the health of children and mothers in a relatively short interval. The analysis of Brazil's successes and remaining challenges to reach and surpass Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 can provide important lessons for other low- and middle-income countries.

Link: Publication

Divisions between communities, disciplinary and practice, impede understanding of how complex interventions in health and other sectors actually work and slow the development and spread of more effective ones. This paper tests this hypothesis by re-reviewing a Cochrane-standard systematic review (SR) of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions’ impact on child diarrhoea morbidity: can greater understanding of impacts and how they are achieved be gained when the same papers are reviewed jointly from health and development perspectives?

Link: Article

There is urgent need for improvement in community-based mental health care for children and families. Multiple studies have documented serious limitations in the effectiveness of “usual care.” The goal of this selective review is to highlight and synthesize that empirically-supported knowledge to stimulate and facilitate the needed translation of knowledge into action. The review provides a sound foundation for constructing improved services by consolidating descriptive data on the status quo in children’s mental health care, as well as evidence for an array of promising strategies to improve (a) Service access and engagement; (b) Delivery of evidence-based practices; and (c) Outcome accountability. A multi-level framework is used to highlight recommended care improvement targets.

Link: Article

Although the connection between early life experiences and later health is becoming increasingly clear, what is needed, now, is a new organizing framework for childhood health promotion, grounded in the latest science. This publication reviews the evidence base to identify the steps in the overall pathway to ensuring better health for all children. A key factor in optimizing health in early childhood is building capacities of parents and communities. The paper outlines a framework for policymakers and practitioners to guide future decision-making and investments in early childhood health promotion.

Link: Article

This article reviews the progression of a research program designed to develop, implement, and study the implementation of “achievable” evidence-based practices (EBPs) in schools. We review challenges encountered and ideas to overcome them to enhance this avenue of research. A number of challenges, many not reported in the literature, are reviewed, and ideas for overcoming them are presented. Given the reality that the majority of youth mental health services are delivered in schools and the potential of school mental health services to provide a continuum of mental health care from promotion to intervention, it is critical that the field consider and address the logistical and methodological challenges associated with implementing and studying EBP implementation by clinicians

Link: Article

This publication examines the effects of a teacher consultation and coaching program delivered by school and community mental health professionals on change in observed classroom interactions and child functioning across one school year.

Link: Article

This study describes indicators of school mental health integration preparedness, including role identification, willingness to engage in tasks associated with mental health services integration and implementation facilitators. Trends toward delivering services where children are located are noted and schools have emerged as de facto provider of mental health services to children. Yet, schools are not traditionally arranged or organized toward mental health services delivery, and though school-based mental health innovations are emerging there is no agreed upon unifying framework for integration of mental health services into school settings. Whereas school-based mental health is connecting to the evidence-base more often, evidence-based practices remain under-utilized.

Link: Report

This report explores the leading causes of infant mortality and goes on further to look at how promises by stakeholders can be translated into action. The report shows that in 2012, approximately 6.6-million children worldwide – 18 000 children per day – died before reaching their fifth birthday, according to a new report released by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. This is roughly half the number of under-fives who died in 1990, when more than 12-million children died. The leading causes of death among children aged less than five years include pneumonia, prematurity, birth asphyxia, diarrhoea and malaria. Globally, about 45% of under-five deaths are linked to under-nutrition.

Link: Report
Child malnutrition

This report displays new findings on the impact of malnutrition on children's learning abilities.  Report shows that child mortality has decreased and the number of children in schools has increased, these are good developments that are under threat. The long term consequences of malnutrition in relation to health and education of children are explored.

This report highlights global governments’ failure to support family-friendly policies and calls for new measures to enable the world’s children to thrive, not merely survive.

This new report, launched by the World Policy Analysis Centre, contains never-before-available comparative data on laws and public policies in 191 countries covering poverty, discrimination, education, health, child labour, child marriage and parental care. Changing Children’s Chances reveals how millions of children across the world face conditions that limit their opportunities to thrive and reach their full potential.

Children with disabilities

Each year, UNICEF’s flagship publication, The State of the World's Children, closely examines a key issue affecting children. 2013 focuses the attention on children with disabilities. Their many vulnerabilities are explored and highlighted and the report advocates for equity for these children through inclusion. Extensive recommendations are given.

Improving children's life chances is central to what the MDGs were seeking to achieve. There is some consensus that the MDGs have achieved progress but with the target date of 2015 fast approaching there are questions about how equitably gains in education, health and living conditions have been distributed. A focus on children is essential, CONTINUE

Presented at the trans-disciplinary conference on early childhood development and education, What is the Relationship between the Millennium Development Goals and Early Childhood Development and Education?, 17 – 18 July 2012, Cape Town.

This Journal Article is found in 'South African Medical Journal, 2013, 103 (3):133.' for more READ HERE

This publication by FAO identifies the knowledge gaps on child labour in the livestock sector.

This report presents the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) undertaken from August 2011 to July 2012, illustrating the implementation of the six thematic priorities of the Office as defined in its management plans for 2010-2011 and 2012-2013. The six areas are: Strengthening of human rights mechanisms and the progressive development of international human rights law; Countering discrimination, in particular racial discrimination, discrimination on the grounds of sex or religion and discrimination against others who are marginalized; Pursuing economic, social and cultural rights and combating inequalities and poverty, including in the context of the economic, food and climate crises; Human rights in the context of migration; Combating impunity and strengthening accountability, the rule of law and democratic society and Protecting human rights in situations of armed conflict, violence and insecurity. The report shows that while determined to undertake these challenges, the Office of the High Commissioner needs adequate political and financial support if it is to fulfil its mandate in a timely and meaningful manner,with a view to contributing effectively to the protection of human rights everywhere.

This report analyses the improvements to children’s lives during the past two decades in five sectors: health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection. It is a clear demonstration that, when the right steps and approaches are taken, ‘development works’. Building on this evidence, this report makes a powerful case for greater investment in ‘child sensitive’ development. It sets out the drivers of change and the key steps to achieving progress.

Lancet journal article which makes recommendations to reduce child mortality in South Africa, referring to the continuing impact of poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Suggests that the costs of the proposed interventions are affordable and that the key gap is leadership and effective implementation at every level of the health system, including national and local accountability for service provision.

The essay in Child Gauge 2009/10 examines the following questions: What are the levels and trends in child mortality in South Africa? What are the leading causes of child mortality in South Africa? What are the risk factors and determinants of the dominant childhood disease pattern? How does inequity impact on child health? How is South Africa performing in comparison with selected other African countries? What are the recommendations and conclusions?

This is an annual report mapping the world's progress in reaching eight targets known as the Millennium Development Goals. These are to: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; Promote gender equality and empower women; Reduce child mortality; Improve maternal health; Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases; Ensure environmental sustainability, and, Develop a Global Partnership for Development

This is a report published annually. Each year, it has a different theme. 2012's report canvasses the situation of children living in urban areas. Within the report such children's rights and the challenges associated with their realisation are discussed. The document is also a source of statistics on this matter and includes the perspectives of various differently-situated writers.

Highlights policy innovations including expanded social protection programmes in Africa that are facilitating progress toward at­tainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

For a brief overview of this report please go to Association for Women's Right in Development here

The South African Child Gauge is published annually by the Children’s Institute, University of Cape, to monitor government and civil society’s progress towards realising children’s rights. This issue focuses on children and inequality.It was launched on the 17th October 2012.This document is divided into three parts:

PART ONE: Children and law reform Part one discusses recent legislative developments affecting children. This issue comments on litigation and law reform in relation to the Children’s Act; the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act; the Social Assistance Act regulations; the National Health Act; and the Traditional Courts Bill. See pages 14 – 19.

PART TWO: Children and inequality: Closing the gap Part two presents 10 essays – the first four essays set the scene by defining children’s equality rights and explaining the nature and extend of inequality, the spatial dimensions of child deprivation in South Africa, and the impact of place, care and migration on children’s lives. The following five essays outline the potential of particular policies and programmes to reduce inequalities amongst South Africa’s children, including social grants, early childhood development services, access to health care, HIV treatment and prevention services, and access to quality education. The final essay reflects on emerging opportunities and challenges, and critical considerations for policy. See pages 22 – 77.

PART THREE: Children Count – the numbers Part three updates a set of key indicators on children’s socio-economic rights and provides commentary on the extent to which these rights have been realised. The indicators are a special subset selected from the website www.childrencount.ci.org.za. See pages 80 – 105.

This is one of the most definative and widely utilised South African child rights documents, providing a concise and focused synopsis of the situation of children throughout the country.

In commemoration of Universal Children’s Day on 20 November 2015, the HSRC convened this forum to reflect on the South Africa’s progress in the realization of the MDG’s over the past 15 years and importantly to assess the opportunities and challenges that the SDG agenda provides in the fulfillment of the rights of children and making this a world fit for children. A panel of researchers led a discussion on South Africa’s progress in realization of the MDGs and to help us consider what South Africa must do and how to intensify efforts to strengthen the links between SDGs and children’s rights. Presentations can be downloaded above.

Some of the world’s authorities on child poverty, development and wellbeing will gather in Cape Town this week, 2-4 September, for a conference that will reveal new directions and approaches to research that can improve social policy and services for children.

This is the first time the biennial conference of the International Society for Child Indicators will be held in Africa, and it provides an important opportunity to shift the focus of discussions to the global south.

The conference will include papers, panel sessions and discussions on a range of issues affecting children, including the following:

  • Youth transitions to adulthood
  • Early childhood development
  • Child-focused indicators of social change
  • Measurement of child poverty and inequality
  • Child protection and violence against children

Over 200 researchers, policy-makers and practitioners will attend from more than 40 countries. These experts are concerned with the measurement of children’s deprivation and development – and the translation of evidence into policy and practice. They are brought together by a common vision of a world in which children have equal opportunities and the potential to thrive and develop. The conference is about providing evidence that points the way forward to address inequality and improve children’s life chances, whether children grow up in Germany, Chile, South Africa or Indonesia.

Previously held in Chicago, Sydney, York and Seoul, this year’s conference will be hosted by the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, in partnership with UNICEF, the African Child Policy Forum, and the Poverty & Inequality Initiative of UCT.

Venue: Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town. Dates: 2-4 September 2015.

For more information, profiles of the keynote speakers and a detailed programme go to www.isci2015.org or Facebook at ISCI 2015.

THere will be brief outlines of a few key sessions available for distribution on Monday 31 August.

Please contact aislinn.delany@uct.ac.za if you would like to receive these.

This seminar is a follow-up to the government cluster policy workshop held in February 2014, which examined selected key elements of the SANHANES-1 findings with a view to devise a programme of priority actions for: 

  • Improvement of care and quality of life during the first 1000 days; 
  • Coordination of food security and dietary diversity;
  • Evaluation of the school health and the school nutrition programme;
  • Reappraisal of the Integrated Nutrition Programme (INP); and
  • Design and implementation programmes for the early prevention of NCDs. 

The current seminar similarly focused on food, nutrition, and care security in the first 1,000 days with the aim to assess the situation of South African women and children during that period, and to chart the way forward for new or improved interventions designed to address care and the nutritional status of women and their children. Presentations and selected workshop references can be downloaded above.

 PAN: Children hosted a policy dialogue titled 'Children and the media: Yesterday, today and tomorrow ' on 28 July 2014. The seminar discussion on children and the media seeks to provide a brief overview of how children are represented in the media. It chronicles some of the challenges and map out possible solutions or policy interventions to some of the problems children face, from existing media challenges to addressing the growth, dangers, potential and development of digital media and what they mean for children and the future of our country. The presentation was done by William Bird and Kgalalelo Morwe from Media Monitoring Africa.

Link: Details

The theme selected by the African Committee for the celebration of the DAC in 2017 is “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for children in Africa: Accelerating protection, empowerment, and equal opportunity”. DAC was instituted in 1991 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then OAU instituted in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. In selecting the theme for the 2017 DAC celebration, the Committee is reconfirming the importance of linking the 2030 Agenda with child rights. It is emphasizing that with a view to increase accountability, strengthen coherence and alignment among various stakeholders, prevent inequitable outcomes, and invest in all children, and to stress that the child rights commitments of States need to be made central to the implementation of SDGs. In addition, the Committee, as a treaty body, is seeking to draw attention to the fact that, the so called “priority SDG targets and indicators for children” should be brought closer to the African Charter reporting cycle.

Link: Publication

This book features two delightful eight-year olds living in Africa: a girl called Kayla and a boy called Kendi. Kendi is living with HIV, but seems as happy as any other child. The story focuses on their carefree life at school, at home and in the countryside. It comes with a guide which is used to help people understand HIV among children and especially to understand that children bounce back and do well when on treatment. HIV-positive children can go to school, play and live like any other children. They, and their families, need care and support, not stigma and discrimination. For parents, caregivers, teachers and health-care providers: if a child has acquired HIV, you can take comfort in knowing that there is hope. Treatment is now available and it means that children can survive and thrive. There are many adults alive today who became infected with HIV at birth and have grown into adulthood. People living with HIV can enjoy a better quality of life because of new HIV medicines, better care and more support.

Link: Publication

This document reports the findings of a Workshop organised by UNICEF UK in London, UK, about social accountability for Children. Read Background documents HERE  

The paper, which was approved at the UN-Water meeting on 27 January 2014, is the result of a broad technical consultation process among UN-Water members and partners, as well as a range of other stakeholders and aims to inform, provide advice and recommendations in support to Member States in their decision-making process on the post-2015 development agenda. It proposes a set of potential targets and indicators to support a dedicated global goal for water and contributes towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) consultation process.

Link: Publication

Focusing on sustainability in the realization the human rights to water and sanitation, the Special Rapporteur examines in this report how the rights to water and sanitation can and must be met for present and future generations. She highlights challenges to sustainability and particularly aggravated risks in times of economic and financial crisis. After addressing the relevance of sustainability to the core human rights concepts of progressive realization and non-retrogression, the Special Rapporteur explains how the normative content and principles of the human rights to water and sanitation contribute to ensuring sustainability. Using the human rights framework, the Special Rapporteur analyses States' common approaches to water and sanitation, particularly in adopting measures both during times of normalcy and during economic and financial crises, and shows how those approaches often fail to incorporate sustainability. She then demonstrates that the human rights framework can and should facilitate improvement in such policies.

Link: Publication
DFID report

Two years on from the 2011 HIV Position Paper, DFID is making substantial progress against its expected results. Treatment related commitments have already been achieved, and the remaining targets set out in the HIV position paper are largely on track to be met by 2015.

However, major challenges remain in the global response to HIV. In a rapidly evolving context, DFID remains committed to the goal of universal access and targets set out in the 2011 UN Political Declaration. Within this DFID has particular policy priorities to respond to the evolving nature of the epidemic, including key populations; women and girls; and the integration of the HIV-response within sexual reproductive health and rights....

This issue paper was prepared to stimulate debate and to elicit responses which will serve as basis for the SALRC‘s deliberations in an investigation into the rights of a child to know his or her own biological origins.

The SA Law Reform Commission (SALRC) is asking for comment on its Issue Paper on whether a child should have a legal right to know his or her biological origins and how such a right could be enforced and whether the law should be amended in light of prevailing and anticipated circumstances and contemporary mores and thinking.

Find here: Issue Paper 32: The Right to Know One‘s Own Biological Origins

Comments can be emailed to Veruksha Bhana at VBhana@justice.gov.za  by no later than Thursday, 31 August 2017.

Enquiries can be directed to Veruksha Bhana on tel (012) 622 6332

Link: Publication

The Committee recognizes that children face many violations of their rights under the African Children’s Charter when their parents and/or primary caregivers come into conflict with the law. Through its consideration of States Parties’ Reports, and other activities falling within its mandate, the African committee has become aware that children can be affected by both the stigma of their parent or primary caregiver’s involvement with the criminal justice system as well as by the trauma of separation caused by arrest, pre-trial detention and imprisonment. In recognition of the importance and invisibility of the issue of children affected by the incarceration of their parents/ primary caregivers, the African Committee decided to prepare its first General Comment on this issue  - More

Document(s): PDF icon NPAC.pdf

The National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) 2012 -2017 has been developed to embrace the new legislation and legal instruments for children, which have been adopted at local, regional as well as international levels. The NPAC focuses on 'The Child' as the central point of departure. There are five sub-themes of the NPAC: these were child survival, child development, protection and care for children, standard of living of children in South Africa, and child participation. Existing governmental goals that were contributing towards the achievement of mandates focusing on children had been used as benchmarks to inform Government programmes.

Consolidation of the State of the Nation and State of the Province addresses prepared by André Viviers, Senior Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF South Africa.

This desk review surveys existing literature and research on the effects of traditional and religious practices surrounding child marriage on Africa’s socio-economic development. The review is the first part of a study that will also include field visits by the AU Special Rapporteur on Ending Child Marriage.

Although religious and traditional leaders may in the past have been the primary instigators and defenders of harmful practices against children, the research covered here offers proof and encouragement for the view that with the appropriate interventions they now may become key instruments – and in fact leaders – of the movement to end such practices.

One in a series of topical guides developed for PAN:Children that provides key information on the current state of affairs in South Africa related to the topic and highlight practical guidance, lessons learned and case studies (both national and international) that will be helpful in policy development dialogue and knowledge sharing.

This Topic Guide aims to answer the question ‘What is the interaction between social development issues and human development outcomes?’ An individual’s right to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living cannot be realised without addressing social development issues. This is because these issues determine individuals’ access to resources – who gets what, where, and how. This in turn affects whether human development is inclusive and equitable or perpetuates inequalities and exclusion.

This guide provides an overview of available evidence on how social development influences human development outcomes. It focuses on five social development issues (human rights, accountability, gender inequality, age and social exclusion) and their influence on four human development sectors: 1) health; 2) sexual and reproductive health (SRH); 3) education; and 4) water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).