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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Children and HIV and AIDS

The distribution of the HIV epidemic follows historical social, economic, gender and geographical inequality fault lines, impacting most severely on the most vulnerable children in South Africa. This is a particular problem in a country with limited resources to provide a social support. This guide provides:

  • Revised policies for improved access to testing, treatment and prevention services for pregnant women and children – but difficult for health system to keep up with the demand and poor implementation of the new guidelines.
  • Late presentation of women at ANC facilities to commence PMTCT.
  • Low PCR testing rate for infants and low TB testing for children generally.
  • Transmission to infants via unsafe feeding practices.
  • Low rates of access to PEP for children that have been sexually abused.
  • Infection rates and inadequate prevention in early adolescents aged 13-19.

Children and HIV/AIDS  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 Children and HIV and highlight 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

Social protection programmes reduce poverty and vulnerability while strengthening a broad range of developmental impacts. This brief describes the pathways through which social protection – especially cash transfers – contributes to HIV prevention, particularly in addressing the social, economic and structural drivers of HIV in adolescents. This brief is important for policymakers and programme managers who work on HIV prevention or social protection – and the intersection of both.

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 Children Count brief provides an overview of the situation of children in South Africa, drawing on data from the first wave of the National Income Dynamics Study. NIDS is a national panel survey, and the fieldwork for the first wave was done in 2008. Households and individuals covered in the first wave will be tracked every two years. This will allow researchers to follow the progress of the child panel over time and place, and thereby describe the dynamics of child poverty rather than present a static profile. The data from the first wave serves as a baseline.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index or MPI is an international poverty measure developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) for the United Nations Development Programme’s flagship Human Development Report. The innovative index reflects the multiple deprivations that a poor person faces with respect to education, health and living standards. This brief summarises the method and key findings for 2011 and shows how the MPI can be used.

Link: Publication

Adolescents (10–19 years) and young people (20–24 years) continue to be vulnerable, both socially and economically, to HIV infection despite efforts to date. This is particularly true for adolescents — especially girls — who live in settings with a generalized HIV epidemic or who are members of key populations at higher risk for HIV acquisition or transmission through sexual transmission and injecting drug use. These guidelines provide specific recommendations and expert suggestions — for national policy-makers and programme managers and their partners and stakeholders— on prioritizing, planning and providing HIV testing, counselling, treatment and care services for adolescents. Related links: Testing and counselling, treatment and care for adolescents living with HIV - Policy brief

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.

A new set of guidelines and training tools dealing with the legal, ethical and counselling issues related to HIV testing of children is now available for HIV/AIDS practitioners working with children. HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) is the most important entry point for HIV-related treatment, care, support and prevention. The HSRC, through the SA National AIDS Council (SANAC), was commissioned to provide technical support to the Department of Health to ensure implementation of the goals for voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) as set out in the 2006-2011 National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB (NSP). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided the funding for this initiative.

This package of tools includes a trainers' manual, participants' manual, legal guidelines for implementers, as well as counselling and testing implementation guidelines. A CD containing all these resources is also being made available.

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."

Link: Publication

The data indicate that great progress has been made in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, resulting in an acceleration in the decrease in new HIV infections among babies. Thanks to the expansion of programmes that keep women living with HIV alive and well, and improved regimens for PMTCT, there has been a greater decline in the estimated number of new HIV infections among children since 2009 than over the entire previous decade. The success of PMTCT means more children will be entering adolescence free of HIV. Support from government and partners should focus on keeping these children HIV-free through the second decade of life, and in so doing, we can achieve an AIDS-free generation. Related links: Infographics and the  Double dividend .

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.

The 2010 National Antenatal Sentinel HIV and Syphilis Prevalence Survey has been conducted for the past 21 years and is used as an instrument to measure HIV prevalence trends in South Africa since 1990.

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.

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 Act seeks to amend and codify various the content of various criminal acts. Chapter 3 of the Act deals specifically with offences committed against children.

This is a supplementary document setting out the obligations of states to prevent childre from falling victim to these harmful practices. It stresses the need to protect the rights of children in this regard through a number of mechanisms, in particular, international co-operation.

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.

Link: Details

This report presents the findings of the Optimus Study conducted in South Africa. This study was designed specifically to estimate the annual incidence and lifetime prevalence of child sexual abuse and maltreatment in South Africa. Prior to this, no nationally representative data on the extent or impact of child sexual abuse existed.

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 comprehensive review examines evidence from high, low and middle income on interventions to reduce the prevalence and incidence of violence against women and girls. It covers a broad range of intervention models and many forms of violence including: intimate partner violence; non-partner sexual assault; female genital mutilation; and child marriage.  It highlights which interventions are most promising and gaps in the evidence base that merit further research.

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.

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 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

An AIDS-free generation means a generation in which all children are born free of HIV and remain so for the first two decades of life, from birth through adolescence. This Sixth Stocktaking Report examines the progress being made in the response to HIV and AIDS for children. It highlights key strategies to prevent HIV and to accelerate access to the treatment, care and support that children affected by AIDS need to remain alive and well. View Children and AIDS: Sixth Stocking Report, 2013 Summary .

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.

 
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

UNICEF hosted a Global Partners Forum (GPF) on Protection, Care, and Support for all children at the AIDS Conference in Melbourne on 20th July, 2014.  The forum addressed the social and economic factors that continue to hinder progress towards achieving an AIDS-free generations.  Specifically, the call to action aims to: propose innovative solutions to challenging problems, leverage existing evidence and experience on protection, care and support services, and mobilize action on a community and national level. The Call to Action framework was endorsed by USAID, PEPFAR, The World Bank, UNAIDS, and the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS.

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. 

Link: Publication

The Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive (Global Plan) is a road map that provides the foundation for country-led movements to ensure that children are born without ( and remain free of) HIV and their mothers are supported to remain healthy. This issue brief is intended to inform and support partners in ensuring that the implementation of the Global Plan in their respective countries considers the best interests and rights of women. These partners include the relevant government ministries, health-care providers, policy-makers, development partners, donors and all NGOs that are involved in perinatal care. This brief is also intended for women living with HIV. It was prepared in consultation with women living with HIV, because they are central actors in the HIV response and should be engaged in a meaningful way in the implementation of the Global Plan.

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.

 

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: Article
Mental health in Children

This article shows that there is a clear need for rigorous research on mental health and resilience in HIV-affected children and adolescents. To date, research on mental health in HIV- affected children (children who have an HIV-positive caregiver or live with the virus themselves) has focused on risk factors associated with the disease. However, simultaneous identification of factors that contribute to resilience in the face of risks is also needed. A greater understanding of modifiable protective processes that contribute to resilience in the mental health of children affected by HIV can inform the design of interventions that bolster naturally occurring supports and contribute to early prevention or better management of risks.

Section 27 of the Constitution of South Africa guarantees the right to access healthcare services; this right places a legal obligation on the government to ensure that access to health is not hampered and to create conditions in which there is progressive realisation of the right to access healthcare services. The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Section27 gathered information from February 2012 to December 2012 and compiled a report showing how healthcare in Gauteng has declined. The report highlighted shortages in medication and staff, infrastructure collapsing, and misuse of funds; this resulted in access to health in Gauteng being compromised.

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.

Report on a study on the modalities of rural communities’ access to healthcare in the Sekhukhune District of South Africa, Limpopo Province in South Africa. Focuses on unravelling the challenges that persons living with HIV/AIDS face in accessing healthcare and profiles the work undertaken by community home-based care givers and community development workers with a view to generating solutions to mitigate the spatial, institutional, financial, technological and other challenges that they face in effectively discharging their roles as care and information givers.

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 report reflects an analysis of key indicators to assess the fulfillment of children’s rights in South Africa. Most of the data is derived from Statistics South Africa’s General Household Survey (GHS), a household survey representative for the entire population of the country. It has been executed annually by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) since 2002. It covers six broad areas, namely: education, health, social development, housing, household access to services and facilities, food security and agriculture.

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.

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.

A notice from the Department of Social Development, the Child rights sector Indaba has been postponed until further notice. The department remains committed to engage with the sector. Kindly accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience  that this may have caused.

This workshop presented key findings from the 2012 national HIV population-based household survey (SABSSM4) and discussed their implications for both HIV/AIDS policy and programming in the country. The workshop brought together HIV researchers from within the HSRC and from other research organisations, including universities and policy makers drawn from the national Departments of Health, Social Development, Basic Education, Higher Education and Training, and Public Service and Administration. It will also include experts from SANAC Secretariat and its various sectors, UN agencies such as UNAIDS, and PEPFAR and other US agencies such as CDC.

The discussion focused on the current state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa, based on the findings of the 2012 population-based household survey (SABSSM4 that were released on 1 April 2014). The main aim was to discuss the implications of the findings on the current HIV/AIDS policies and programmes and efforts to implement them. In addition, it sought to identify gaps in information which could be addressed in next national HIV population-based household survey (SABSSM5) planned for 2015-2016.

Presentations are attached and further reports will be shared when they are made available. The final report and datasets from the survey can be downloaded here. A research brief from the workshop can also be downloaded above.

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  

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....

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.