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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Opinion pieces

Link: Op-Ed

Despite the laws, systems and agents in place to develop, guide and protect the most vulnerable of children, there are many that fall victim to the state’s inadequacies. 

The constitutional right to basic education is unqualified and immediately realisable on the part of the state. It is a right which through progressive judgments, policies and regulations has begun to take substantive shape.

In practical terms the right to education includes the right of every learner to receive textbooks before the school curriculum commences, the right to be educated by qualified teachers and the right to receive education in a safe learning environment.

The right to basic education is an important empowerment right which has been reinforced by the Constitutional Courts in many a judgment, such as that of Governing Body of the Juma Musjid Primary School and others v Essay NO and others:

“Basic education is an important socio-economic right directed, among other things, at promoting and developing a child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to his or her fullest potential. Basic education also provides a foundation for a child’s lifetime of learning and work opportunities.” CONTINUE READING HERE

 

PAN: Children from time to time invites experts in the child rights field to write Opinion Pieces on specific topics to stimulate debate.The opinion piece reassesses the minimum age of criminal capacity in South Africa and it was written for PAN: Children by Morgan Courtenay. He is a member of the Johannesburg Society of Advocates. In addition to his private practice he is in-house counsel for the Centre for Child Law. His areas of interest in child law include: detention of children; mental health and disability; and child justice.

PAN: Children from time to time invites experts in the child rights field to write Opinion Pieces on specific topics to stimulate debate.This opinion piece looks, in particular, at government funding for social welfare services as reflected in the budgets tabled in the legislatures in February-March 2014. Most of this funding is found in the budget votes of the nine provincial departments of social development (DSD), while the funding for social assistance, including the various social grants, is found in the budget vote of national DSD. This opinion piece was written for PAN: Children by Debbie Budlender an independent social policy researcher.

PAN: Children from time to time invites experts in the child rights sector to write Opinion Pieces on specific topics to stimulate debate. This piece highlights the benefits and challenges for the inclusion of children with disabilities in Early Childhood Development (ECD). It was written by Sue Philpott from the Disability Research Action Team (DART).

PAN: Children opinion piece titled ‘Good but not good enough: Limitations of the child support grant’ written by Dr. Wanga Zembe from the Southern African Social Policy Research Institute (SASPRI)and the Medical Research Council (MRC)  published on February 2015. The piece looks at the limitations of the Child Support Grant (CSG) with a focus on issues relating to barriers to access, adequacy and the social context in which the grant is implemented.

 

PAN: Children from time to time invites experts in the child rights sector to write Opinion Pieces on specific topics to stimulate debate. This piece discusses the role of performing arts in furthering the rights of children in South Africa. It was written by Lulama Masimini, Gauteng Co-ordinator of ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People).

PAN: Children from time to time invites experts in the child rights sector to write Opinion Pieces on specific topics to stimulate debate. This piece discusses the implications of placing a child on the sex offender register. It was written by Dr. Shaheda Omar the Director of the Teddy Bear Clinic for abused children. 

This article reviews the Maintenance Act no 99 of 1998. Successes and challenges are discussed.

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 need for kinship grants is written by Professor Ann Skelton, Centre for Child Law, University of Pretoria.