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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Children’s participation

Children's Participation 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 child participation in issues that affect them. 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 focus is on:

  • Mismatch between the level of legislative protection of the right of children to participate and the recognition and implementation of the right at all levels of government and within social structures at a community and family level.
  • Culture and custom is a barrier to participation of children.
  • Access to information for children is a key barrier to exercising their rights to participate.
  • Limited understanding amongst all stakeholders of the value of children’s participation as an added value to the policy-making / decision-making process.

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

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.

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.

This is a discussion (originally posted in the Gender and Evaluation community) led by Rituu B Nanda regarding Laura Hughston's report which presents a child-led evaluation of a multi-sectoral programme in Cambodia seeking to empower adolescent girls and address the challenges they face accessing quality education. Read the report here. The report describes the process that enabled children to select evaluation questions, collect and analyse data in order to evaluate this multi-thematic programme’s relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, results, sustainability and equity. Gender, SRHR, School Governance and Accountability are among the themes addressed by the programme. The report also presents some practical data collection tools that are particularly suited to children and adults with lower levels of literacy, such as the daisy and confidence snails.

 

Link: Publication

 A principled framework for children and young people’s participation as valued citizens and learners. This collection of tools and resources are designed to support and empower children and young people’s participation as active citizens and learners.

A quick guide for members of parliament, management of legislature and members of municipal councils to support the involvement and voice of children in oversight.

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.

Children as advocates

This Handbook is a practical tool for UNICEF and partners in promoting and strengthening child participation in global advocacy. It is based on many years of experiences and lessons learnt. It incorporates minimum standards, protocols and guidelines that UNICEF has used to guide this process.

This toolkit is mainly aimed at governments, international agencies and NGOs who want to involve or consult with children in a meaningful way. It is not intended for project workers or researchers working on their own unless they are involved in structured consultations or focus group work. It is designed to create a participatory environment in which children can express their views and take part in policy debates and consultations rather than being about participatory learning.

This guide was designed to help those monitoring and evaluating projects with children. It does not aim to discuss how to do evaluation but shows how to involve children in the process of evaluation and what needs to change or be taken into account when working with them. It grew out of a participatory evaluation of the Girls First Clubs carried out in Togo, in March 2005, where the children from the clubs made a valuable contribution to the evaluation process.

This operations manual is a compilation of 34 documents to assist in coordinating the meaningful and safe participation of children in consultations and conferences. Many of the documents are templates, with information in parentheses for inserting information relevant to any user’s needs. A few documents are samples and are examples of documents that have been used in previous consultations and can be adapted for specific needs.

This booklet shows how to put children’s participation into practice. It is for everyone in roles of public leadership and service, answering questions about how and when children’s participation is needed. Links to further resources are also provided.

This resource pack, Communicating with Children combines knowledge from the fields of child development and media studies with insights from children’s media production, to provide simple information on developmental norms at different stages of a child’s life. It helps us understand the implications these norms have on what and how we can communicate most effectively with children of different age groups. It shares examples of good practice, many produced at very low cost by young professionals from around the world, to show how we can adhere to human rights and child rights principles, and address the child more holistically, while also creating communication that is engaging and enjoyable.

These are a set of guidelines created to facilitate a form of reporting that respects and protects the rights of children. It examines the legal and ethical obligations of reporters to ensure that they simultaneously protects children's rights, for example to privacy and dignity, while still allowing them the autonomy to make a meaningful contribution to matters in the press concerning them.

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.

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 South African Child Gauge 2010/11, an annual publication to help people understand what needs to be done to improve the lives of all children in South Africa. Part 1 looks at laws and policies that affect children. Part 2 takes a closer look at children’s right to participate in decisions that affect them. Part 3 looks at numbers on children’s access to schools, clinics, social grants and other services.

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.

This case study profiles the Hummingbird Children’s Centre and looks at how their play programmes address the lack of play spaces for children in South Africa. It looks at their successes and challenges as well as possible policy implications.

On 16 July 2014, the Department of Social Development (DSD) presented their budget speech to the National Assembly. PAN:Children in line with its mandate to provide high quality, timely information to inform policy and decision making in relation to children has highlighted the policy priorities from the budget speech for 2014 . In an effort to promote evidence informed policy making, this summary couples the policy imperatives in the budget speech with useful and relevant evidence found on the PAN: Children platform. 

The Handbook provides a detailed reference for the implementation of law, policy and practice to promote and protect the rights of children. The Handbook brings together under each article an
analysis of the Committee’s growing interpretation during its fi rst fourteen years and the examination of over 300 of its Concluding Observations following consideration of States’ reports. It places
these in the context of key comments, decisions and reports of the other treaty bodies and relevant United Nations bodies.

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child reaffirms the African Unions commitment to the principles of the rights and welfare of the child contained in the declaration, conventions and other instruments of the Organization of African Unity and in the United Nations and in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the OAU Heads of State and Government’s Declaration on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child.

An international charter drawing-together a variety of international principles to highlight and protect the rights of young people on the African continent. This document sets out a comprehensive package of rights, canvassing numerous areas including civil and political and socio-economic rights.

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 creates a framework for children entering the criminal justice system. It sets out how are when children are to be prosecuted, appropriate sentences for a court to impose upon child offenders and numerous other aspects.

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: 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 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?

Latest findings on how ‎children‬ are portrayed in the media from Media Monitoring Africa‪‬

 

 

Link: Publication

The Global Youth Wellbeing Index report details the performance and provides comparative analysis of 30 countries in terms of overall youth wellbeing and within six domains. The report also provides concluding recommendations and a discussion of next steps.

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

How do children see their rights affected by digital media and tools? In July and August 2014, 148 children in 16 countries took part in workshops to discuss the opportunities and risks associated with digital media; these discussions – and the voices of the child participants of the workshops – are reflected in this report. 

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 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 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

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

"Cell phones and the Internet have helped us connect and learn from each other in ways that most of us never imagined. We have only begun to explore the benefits that these, and future technologies, will bring to our lives. As with many things, it is not the technology, but the misuse of it, that creates problems'' , said Siegel. This article highlights the different type of cyberbullying and gives tips to parents and educators as they play an important role in helping young people understand the consequences of poor decisions in a digital age where favorable, as well as unfavorable, text and images spread exponentially.

Link: Publication

Media technology is an integral part of children’s lives in the twenty-first century. The world of electronic media, however, is changing dramatically. Television, until recently the dominant media source, has been joined by cell phones, iPods, video games, instant messaging, social networks on the Internet, and e-mail.This volume examines the best available evidence on whether and how exposure to different media forms is linked to child well-being.

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

This research report from Media Monitoring Africa looks at the portrayal of children in South African media. The report findings show that children are still underrepresented in the media making up only 12% of content in mainstream media and their voices are rarely heard. Issues around children's rights in the media were also explored in the report.

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 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.

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.

This study, globally the first comprehensive review of independent human rights institutions for children, takes stock of more than 20 years of their experience.The report provides practitioners with an extensive discussion of the issues as well as a series of regional analyses from around the world. The aim is to help readers understand the purpose and potential of independent human rights institutions for children, what it is they do and how they operate. This review covers institutions created by law or decree that are independent at least in principle. It includes institutions performing activities related to children’s rights operating at the national or local level. The report is organized into two major parts: a series of thematic chapters, drawing out lessons from practice on the distinctive principles and features underlying the function of child rights institutions; and an overview of their international development, looking at the work of institutions by region.

This paper addresses the right of children to be heard in any judicial or administrative proceeding affecting them. It introduces the subject based on examples from the laws and practices of 52 countries around the world. This paper is addressed primarily to child rights advocates, researchers, legal practitioners and other professionals working in the area of children and the law. Further research is needed to document good practices and to complement this introductory, global overview with studies focusing in more detail on different regions or legal traditions and specific types of proceedings.

"Independent institutions bring an explicit children’s focus to traditional adult-oriented governance systems. Acting as direct mechanisms for accountability, they fill gaps in checks and balances and make sure that the impact of policy and practice on children’s rights is understood and recognized. At a time of global economic uncertainty, a period in which inequities between rich and poor are widening, and a period of reflection on progress towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals and in defining what sustainable and equitable goals should come after, these institutions are key players in promoting systems that are effective in delivering results for children."

 

This report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/141. The Special Rapporteur describes her activities in relation to the discharge of her mandate since her previous report to the Assembly. She also analyses the role of child participation in preventing and combating the sale and sexual exploitation of children and provides practical guidance on the lessons learned in working with children as partners. She makes specific recommendations on how to establish and strengthen child participation within a rights-based comprehensive child protection system.

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 publication is based on a report compiled by the Community Law Centre at UWC, on workshops held to give effect to Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. These workshops were facilitated in order to ensure child participation in the law reform process occasioned by the South African Law Commission’s Review of the Child Care Act 74 of 1983. It is also informed by an evaluation report on this process compiled by Clacherty and Associates in 2001.

This paper examines the current policy and practice around children’s participation in South Africa. By situating the analysis from the perspective of the socio-economic and normative context within South Africa the paper critiques current typologies of children’s participation for focusing too narrowly on processes internal to participatory processes. The paper argues that theorisations of children’s participation need to take account of the range of activities which are labelled as children’s participation and interrogate issues around who gets to participate and why, what the purposes of the participation are and under what conditions it is possible. This requires examining participatory processes and the children involved in them in relation to adult actors within and beyond the process as well as in relation to broader socio-political and economic environments.

The law says that professionals (like nurses, doctors, social workers and teachers) must include children in decisions about their lives. For example the Children’s Act (a special law for the protection of children) allows children of 12 years and older to agree to their own medical treatment – as long as the doctor is satisfied that the child is able to understand the decision that he or she is taking. Doctors and nurses must explain things in a way that even very young children can understand. They must encourage children to ask questions, listen to what children have to say, and take children’s views seriously before making decisions. This helps children feel more in control of their lives, and cope better with pain and illness.

Children’s right to participate is protected by law, and adults have a responsibility to include children in decisions that affect them. The Constitution says that adults have to put children’s best interests first when they make decisions or do things that affect children. This means they have to think about and do what is best for the child. Understanding children’s experiences, wishes and opinions allows adults to make the right choices, knowing what the impact of their decisions will be on children. Adults also have to tell children what they have decided, and why. Children’s right to participate is made up of many different rights. These rights are shared by all children everywhere. Children have the right to be treated equally (the same as others) and not to be discriminated against. Children have the right to information that they can understand. Children have the freedom to think their own thoughts, and the right to express themselves freely, but they also have the right to privacy and don’t have to share personal thoughts or feelings.

All children – even very young children – are able to express their views and share opinions and ideas. And the best way to find out what is best for children is to listen to them and learn about their lives. Children need to be actively involved in decisions that affect their lives and the community where they live, so that adults and children can work together to make sure the right decisions are taken. Talking to children also helps governments provide services that truly meet children’s needs. Participation helps children develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to take action and solve problems in their homes and their communities. By working together, adults and children can help build a just and democratic society where everybody is treated equally.

Bray and Moses argue for a context-specific understanding of children’s participation and against the analytically convenient but theoretically limiting distinction between “formal” and “informal” forms of participation. Bray and Moses show how participation is constituted in and by different social spaces in South Africa.

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 report presents the findings of a regional study on children’s participation in Southern Africa. The study documented initiatives to promote children’s participation and identified elements of good practice as well as barriers to meaningful participation, with a particular focus on South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. It explored the opportunities for and challenges to building on achievements and lessons to date. The findings, and feedback from stakeholders form the basis for recommendations on how Save the Children can play a strategic role in strengthening and promoting children’s participation in the coming years." (Executive Summary)

This document seeks to explore customary law practices which protect children and those which are potentially harmful to them.It examines the legal framework surrounding the issue and the governance structures, parenting practices and customs which exist within traditional communities. It endeavours to provide a way forward for these communities to foster a climate conducive to the protection of their children.

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.

On 25 February 2015 PAN Children hosted a seminar titled 'Let us Play! Lessons and Reflections on Co-Creating Playful Cities in Johannesburg' which profiled the Hummingbird Children’s Centre. The seminar reflected on the learning gained through its Playwork practice, the challenges encountered in establishing permanent play sites and how to get play provision onto local government agendas. Attached is a report and presentation from the seminar. Click here to watch the seminar. Download a case study about  Promoting play and creating playful cities: A profile of the Hummingbird Children’s Centre.

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 Citizens Movement was established by senior leaders from politics, academia, business and civil society, under the leadership of founder Dr Mamphela Ramphele, with the aim of building an engaged and active citizenry by building momentum around key areas that affect South African society. The Citizens Movement will:

  • Develop a portal of information that any citizen can access and contribute to
  • Use tools available through social and digital media platforms for face to face engagement that will raise the profile of issues with decision makers and citizens 
  • Provide co-ordinated campaigns for dialogue, direct engagement and peaceful action through an integrated approach using TV, radio, print, website, polls, surveys, mobi and smses.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child holds a general discussion every September in Geneva on a specific article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child or related subject. These meetings provide an opportunity to foster a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of the CRC. The day of general discussion focuses on a topic selected by the Committee and is announced a year in advance of the event. This day of discussion focused on the right of the child to be heard

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.

Child participation

This selective and annotated bibliography presents resources on child and youth participation from Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Australia and the Pacific. The main audiences for this resource guide are practitioners and managers involved in promoting child and youth participation in government, community-based organizations, child-led organizations, NGOs and UN and donor agencies.

Children's Participation 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 child participation in issues that affect them. 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 focus is on: tThe mismatch between the level of legislative protection of the right of children to participate and the recognition and implementation of the right at all levels of government and within social structures at a community and family level, culture and custom is a barrier to participation of children, access to information for children is a key barrier to exercising their rights to participate, and,limited understanding amongst all stakeholders of the value of children’s participation as an added value to the policy-making / decision-making process.