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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Child protection

Child protection 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 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.

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. 

Over the last decade, there has been increasing debate around how to most effectively use research evidence to inform policy processes. A two-year study led by Young Lives set out to identify challenges and opportunities for translating research into policy and practice in the area of child poverty and child protection. On the basis of two case studies – one focusing on orphanhood and vulnerability in Ethiopia and the other on children’s work in Andhra Pradesh, India – the team developed a consultative approach involving a mixed group of stakeholders in each country. The groups identified several barriers to using research to improve policy and practice for children. These included lack of interaction between stakeholder groups, problems with who sets research agendas, lack of resources for supporting research uptake, and researchers’ lack of awareness of policy contexts. Part of strengthening the links between research, policy and practice is supporting the inclusion of children’s perspectives and participation in this process.

This policy brief focuses on unaccompanied foreign migrant children and it highlights key policy gaps which lie in the area of access to the care and protection system; denial of education due to lack of documentation; arrest and detention on account of immigration status and the inaccessibility of documents that can legalise the unaccompanied foreign migrant children’s stay in South Africa. Unaccompanied foreign migrant children must be treated as children in need of care and protection and be afforded the benefits that come with that status.

Link: Policy brief

The high rate of rape and other forms of sexual violence in South Africa has sparked concern and outrage, leading to law reform, parliamentary debates, marches and campaigns. It has also led to a range of policy interventions intended to reduce the number of people who fall victim to these crimes. This policy brief summarises available information about the nature and extent of sexual violence in South Africa. It also describes some efforts to address the problem. However, it does not focus extensively on child sexual abuse – this being a topic in its own right.

Link: Policy brief

South Africa’s response to domestic violence is of relatively recent origin, with 1993 marking both the introduction of the first legal remedy to address domestic violence, and the recognition of marital rape as a crime. This first attempt to deal with domestic violence through legislation, namely the Prevention of Family Violence Act, was further developed and strengthened through the Domestic Violence Act of 1998 (DVA), which is widely considered one of the more progressive examples of such legislation internationally. This policy brief describes the extent and nature of domestic violence in South Africa and considers aspects of the implementation of the DVA, the state’s most prominent intervention in the problem of domestic violence.

Link: Publication

This issue brief is part of a series published by the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA), designed to provide information on women’s rights and gender equality issues in the context of HIV. This brief describes the links between violence against women and HIV, with a focus on what is needed to better address these linkages, meet women’s prevention, treatment and care needs, and uphold the rights of women and girls. 

Link: Publication

Despite consensus that children are an especially vulnerable group, an adequate response to their multiple and complex needs is currently lacking in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAR). There is a need for a more comprehensive and systematic response in which referral mechanisms and case management play a crucial role; they are essential in ensuring that vulnerable children are identified, their needs correctly assessed and that they receive cross-sectoral support.

This policy brief recommends a number of ways to improve current efforts to expand referral mechanisms and case management in the region. These include achieving national policy consensus and creating accountability, establishing mandates and protocols for all actors, developing a monitoring and evaluation framework and mobilising resources.

Link: Policy Brief

Despite broad consensus that children are an especially vulnerable group, an adequate response to their multiple and complex needs is currently lacking in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAR). This policy brief recommends a number of ways to improve current efforts to expand referral mechanisms and case management in the region. These include achieving national policy consensus and creating accountability, establishing mandates and protocols for all actors, developing a monitoring and evaluation framework and mobilising resources.  See more HERE

 Useful factsheet with definitions of what constitutes cyber bullying and sexting, and what the possible legal consequences are. 

Link: Publication

“Voices against Violence” is a co-educational curriculum developed by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and UN Women, with inputs from young people. Designed for various age groups ranging from 5 to 25 years, it provides young people with tools and expertise to understand the root causes of violence in their communities, to educate and involve their peers and communities to prevent such violence, and to learn about where to access support if violence is experienced. 

Link: Publication

These fact sheets on Children's Protection and Cultural Rights -composed of 8 sections- have been developed to help child protection stakeholders promote, preserve and strengthen the positive aspects of customary practices and values and change harmful ones. The priority areas of focus of the fact sheets in this series are: 1. Children’s cultural rights & protection rights; 2. Role players with the power to develop custom; 3. Positive African customary practices that protect children; 4. Some practical guidelines on how to promote positive customary practices; 5. Harmful customary practices; 6. Changing harmful customary practices; 7. Ideas for future change; and 8. Harmful un-African practices.

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.

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

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.

"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.

This is a report outlining the outcomes of the Children's Bill Costing Project. The project was commissioned by the Department of Social Development in late 2004. Such a process is mandated by the Public Finance Management Act. It is a comprehensive report on the process of costing and the amount of expenditure incurred by government in this particular law-making process.

This fact sheet discusses the child justice system in South Africa – children in conflict with the law prepared by Lorenzo Wakefield  from Consortium on Crime and Violence Prevention.

Link: Publication

Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married before their 18th birthday. More than one in three (about 250 million) entered into union before age 15. Boys are also married as children, but girls are disproportionately affected. In Niger, for instance, 77 per cent of women aged 20 to 49 were married before age 18 in contrast to 5 per cent of men in the same age group. Even in countries where child marriage is less common, the same gender differences are found. In the Republic of Moldova, for example, 15 per cent of women aged 20 to 49 were married before age 18 compared to 2 per cent of men. Furthermore, girls are often married to considerably older men. 

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.

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: 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. 

Discussion document for public comment on the National Liquor Policy. Note issues around minimum age for purchasing alcohol, distance from schools and the need for education around liquor consumption as issues affecting the wellbeing of children.

Attached are some resolutions pertaining to children and their rights recently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and, thus, applicable to all member states. These resolutions are a great source for programme design, policy development and advocacy.

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. 

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 was based on a recent Constitutional Court judgement that saw the decriminalisation of consensual sexual acts between teenagers. Lizette Schoombie an expert in child rights issues wrote this expert opinion piece for PAN: Children in order to highlight the importance of the judgement and also to explain the consequences of it.

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.

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.

This paper focuses briefly on the historical background of the process that preceded the enactment of the Act and highlights some of the developments which improved the situation of children in conflict with the law before the Act. It also gives an indication of the extent of child offending before 1 April 2010 and summarises the aims and other important provisions of the Act. It includes an overview of published documents that relate to the implementation of the Act and provides insight into some implementation-related challenges and achievements.

Legislation "to provide for the establishment of a Drug Advisory Board; the establishment of programmes for the prevention and treatment of drug dependency; the establishment of treatment centres and hostels; the registration of institutions as treatment centres and hostels; the committal of certain persons to and their detention, treatment and training in such treatment centres or registered treatment centres; and incidental matters."

Legislation providing "for the issuing of protection orders with regard to domestic violence; and for matters connected therewith"

Legislation "to provide for the establishment of a South African Council for Social Service Professions and to define its powers and functions; for the registration of social workers, student social workers, social auxiliary workers and persons practicing other professions in respect of which professional boards have been established; for control over the professions regulated under this Act; and for incidental matters."

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 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.

This report makes the case for ending violence against children across the world, stressing that violence occurs everywhere. It is an output of Know Violence in Childhood – an independent global learning initiative. The project, like the VAC Study, included a series of regional meetings in Central and South-East Asia, the Pacific and Latin America, which brought together a diverse, multidisciplinary group of researchers and experts, practitioners and policy makers to address the issue of violence against children. By examining existing data and commissioning new research, the Initiative has synthesized knowledge on the causes and consequences of childhood violence, and identified evidence-based strategies to prevent childhood violence.

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. 

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.

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: Report

Children and adolescents living in relative poverty – regardless of overall material conditions – tend to experience more interpersonal violence, family turmoil, and environmental hazards that increase risk of injury, engage in more health compromising behaviours (e.g., physical inactivity, poor nutrition, smoking), report lower subjective well-being, and exhibit more social skills deficits and emotional and behavioural problems.

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.

This new, flagship report looks at the situation of children living in poverty in countries around the world, shining a light on the drivers of child poverty and exploring why it persists, even in some of the wealthiest places. We also hear from children in poverty themselves: our best guides to understanding the urgency of this challenge.

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 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



First State of the World's Fathers Report which aims to provide a global view of the state of men’s contributions to parenting and caregiving. Download videos, the executive summary and full report. 

Link: Publication

'Knowing How To Protect: Using Research Evidence To Prevent Harm To Children' outlines some ways forward to improve evidence use in child protection. The sad reality is that abuse and neglect of children is not in decline. Much has been written about the need to rethink services and ensure that limited resources achieve the best possible outcomes for our most vulnerable children and families. This report argues that the perceived tension between using evidence to inform practice and professional judgement is misplaced and outdated. It advocates for a move toward ‘Structured Professional Judgement’, in which professional decision-making is supported by research-based standardised tools.

Together for Girls launches Safe magazine. Issue I highlights the heroes ending sexual violence and Issue II features a list of 50 global heroes who have taken action to end violence against children.

Link: Publication

The report aims to inform and accelerate pan-African, regional and national efforts to prevent and respond to the violence perpetrated against children. Its continent-wide focus on the experiences of African children is unique, as is its analysis of the interaction and effect of African beliefs, behaviours and attitudes on violence committed against children. The report also aims to recognise and highlight progress achieved to date not only in the evolving understanding of the problem, but also in relation to improved actions for prevention and response.

Parliament will be making amendments to the Sexual Offences Act (2007), these amendments are based on decisions by the Constitutional Court regarding de-criminalising consenting sexual activity between adolescents of similar age and addressing the current automatic placement of the names of children convicted of sexual offences on the National Register for Sex Offenders. The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has called for written submissions from the public on these issues by mid-day 03 February 2015. The Children’s Institute (UCT) and the Community Law Centre (UWC) hosted a workshop with civil society partners from the children’s and women’s sector on 22 and 23 January 2015 in order to provide space for information sharing and deliberation among organisations that are interested in making submissions, but felt that they required an opportunity to engage in the bill and related issues in greater depth first. Please find the brief summary of the workshop, including the key points on which they have agreed attached. In addition, an infographic is attached which attemps to demonstrate the existing provisions of the Act and provisions of the Amendment Bill regarding consensual sexual activity between adolescents.


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

This Advocacy Calendar highlights key international days with a strong emphasis on days established through UN's General Assembly's Resolution and key national days for 2015 as established by the Government of South Africa.

This fact sheet discusses unaccompanied foreign migrant children in South Africa prepared by  Prof. Ann Skelton and Karabo Ngidi from the Centre for Child Law.

Link: Publication

The South African Child Gauge is published annually by the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, to monitor progress towards realising children’s rights. This issue focuses attention on the prevention of violence against children.

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 Department of Justice and Constitutional Development followed an outcry by requesting the SALRC to include in its programme an investigation into the practice of ukuthwala. The SALRC carried the mandate by developing a discussion paper on the practice of ukuthwala with the aim of developing customary law to promote the spirit, purport and objects of the Bill of Rights as provided for in section 39 of the Constitution. The purpose of the paper is to: review the legislative framework currently regulating customary marriages; and, where necessary, to identify alternative policy and legislative measures for improving the extent to which that framework reflects South Africa's international human rights obligations. Ukuthwala usually involves the union of a young girl with a much older man. Comment is sought by 31 October 2014.

Link: Publication

Ukuthwala is a form of abduction that involves kidnapping a girl or a young woman by a man and his friends or peers with the intention of compelling the girl or young woman’s family to endorse marriage negotiations. In ancient Africa, particularly among the Nguni, Ukuthwala was a condoned albeit abnormal path to marriage targeted at certain girls or women of marriageable age. But it did not involve raping or having consensual sex with the girl until marriage requirements had been concluded. Ukuthwala steals childhood. It causes an abrupt end to a girl’s childhood and the carefree existence that all children are entitled to. Suddenly the little girl is a wife with a husband and in most instances, children and in-laws to serve or look after.

Link: Publication

The UNICEF report “Hidden in Plain Sight” draws on data from 190 countries, documenting violence in places where children should be safe: their communities, schools and homes. It details the lasting, often inter-generational effects of violence, finding that exposed children are more likely to become unemployed, live in poverty and be violent towards others. The authors note that the data is derived only from individuals who were able and willing to respond, and therefore represent minimum estimates.

Link: Publication

The Roadmap specifically calls on governments to “assess the impact of relevant policies on the worst forms of child labour, taking into account gender and age, put in place preventive and time-bound measures and make adequate financial resources available to fight the worst forms of child labour, including through international cooperation”. It also calls on social partners to take “immediate and effective measures within their own competence to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency, including through policies and programmes that address child labour”.

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

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

"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

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

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.

Link: Publication
CJCP-UNICEF publication

Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) in partnership with UNICEF conducted a study exploring young people's perceptions and experiences of online safety, the associated risks, and their preferred strategies for negotiating theses risks. Amongst other recommendations, the publication advocates for policy responses that are driven by evidence-led approaches, and notes that considerable attention should be placed on generating a body of evidence for effective strategies and approaches within South Africa.

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 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 General Household Survey for 2012 showed that 15.8% of all children reported having experienced corporal punishment in school during that year. That amounts to 2.2 million children being hit in South African schools within one year. The Centre for Child Law published a report titled, Promoting effective enforcement of the prohibition against corporal  punishment in South African schools. This report considers the prevalence of corporal punishment in schools, and depicts the forms that it takes through numerous documented examples. Official ambivalence and weak regulatory systems are identified as part of the country-wide problem. Improvements in some provinces are highlighted, and these are linked to deliberate programmatic responses, giving rise to hopes that corporal punishment, if effectively tackled, can ultimately be eradicated. 

The United Nations Convention on Children’s Rights and the subsequent African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child together with the Bill of Children’s Rights and numerous other policies and regulations in many African countries have set the precedent for children’s rights to be respected and implemented across the African Continent. However, little is known about the actual advancement of children’s rights within Sub-Saharan Africa; hence, the purpose of this study was to explore the advancement of children’s rights within an African context.

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 report, Sexual Violence by Educators in South African Schools: Gaps in Accountability, is based on interviews conducted in Gauteng Province, South Africa with government officials, nongovernmental organisations, teachers, school administrators, magistrates, police officers, representatives of civil society organisations, and others. This report examines the problems that have contributed to the government’s inability to hold abusive educators responsible for their actions and to protect and provide access to justice for the learners they have abused.

A practical handbook to empower learners, their families and communities in managing sexual abuse in schools.

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

Crime presents a fundamental challenge in South Africa. Particularly disturbing is the prevalence of violence committed by and against young people. The main purpose of this article is to look at how South Africa should deal with the issue of youth violence. It argues that while structural violence constitutes a significant contextual cause of the phenomenon, a more proximate and specific cause lies in young people’s exposure to direct violence in their schools, homes and communities. This article thus examines the potential merits of restorative justice as a response to the problem of youth violence, focusing particularly on the 2009 Child Justice Act.

Link: Publication

This research sought to investigate the nature, causes and effects of school violence in four South African high schools.The study found that bullying, vandalism, gangsterism, indiscipline, intolerance, and corporal punishment were prevalent in schools. Furthermore, the study found that school violence had the following effects on learners: loss of concentration; poor academic performance; bunking of classes; and depression. The implications of these findings are discussed in detail.

This study analyzes the subjective theories regarding school violence held by six school officials of the city of Coquimbo (Chile). The study's main objective is to identify and interpret the various subjective theories regarding school violence held by the school. The study focuses on six members of the academic advisory board from six different schools, three municipal (public) schools and three subsidized private schools in the region of Coquimbo (Chile). Because the role of the administrative team is becoming increasingly important in the proper functioning of educational institutions, characteristics of school officials such as their leadership skills, negotiation skills, or abilities solve conflicts, have a direct impact on the success or failure of any educational program.

Link: Publication

A report on the status of the CRC in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.

Link: Publication

This paper reports on a study that was conducted in six provinces of South Africa namely Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. The aims of the study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of school stakeholders of school violence and the nature of violence that takes place in South African schools. The findings suggest that Gangsterism is of serious concern in South African schools and is one of the external factors that exacerbate violence in schools. This is true in all provinces studied and particularly in the Western Cape and Limpopo.

Link: Publication
ODI Report

This report by Plan and ODI examines the continuing and deepening impact of the economic crisis on girls and young women worldwide. Long standing economic trends, entrenched gender inequality and austerity budgets have all left girls and their families bearing the brunt of fewer resources and reduced access to services.

Link: Publication

This study explores young people’s use of social media, the dangers faced online, and the ways in which young people negotiate their own safety online. It was conducted through focus groups in 93 schools across SA in tandem with the 2012 National School Violence Study.

As mobile – and mobile internet – penetration increases, UNICEF in South Africa is paying attention to the vulnerability of children to abuse and exploitation in the online sphere. “The study is the first of its kind in South Africa,” says Mr Patrick Burton, Executive Director of the CJCP. “It explores how children deal with the dangers they encounter online, and the strategies that they develop to mitigate these risks, rather than just focusing on the dangers themselves.”

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 report highlights the main achievements and developments of the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour in 2012. As 2012 marked the twentieth anniversary of IPEC, the report also reflects on IPEC’s evolution, achievements and impact and considers the role the Programme should adopt to continue and intensify the fight against child labour in the coming years.

Link: Report
Progress against child labour

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

Its focus is on the presentation of the new round of child labour estimates for 2012, to identify the trends from 2000 to 2012, and to set out some pointers on the way forward the international target of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016.

Link: Article

The study reported here aims to advance research methods by demonstrating the utility of observational rating scale to measure neighborhood physical and social characteristics. In a related vein, the study clearly points to the need for additional, focused research on neighborhood effects on child safety. The need to identify or develop the best possible indicators of child well-being, especially at small areas of geography is one of the more pressing challenges for indicators research.

Link: Article

Most governments have an impressive record in their formal accession to the relevant international child rights treaties. But the extent of their commitment to children varies widely and the gap between promises and reality remains wide. In response The African Child Policy Forum, developed an approach to measure government performance in realising children’s rights and ensuring their wellbeing.

Link: Article

The study aims to explore the relationship between exposure to community violence, hope, and child well-being.

Homicide rates for South African children were estimated at double the global average in 2000. This article presents a secondary data analysis of the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System (NIMSS), with full coverage in four major metropolitan cities. The data collected confirm previous observations that fatal violence among children is a public health concern, but, given the high rates of homicide among South African adults and other competing public health problems, it is difficult to motivate for action to address the issue of violence against children. Nonetheless, there are sufficient indications that efforts to reduce childhood violence are urgently needed.

Essential services for young children are foregrounded in this year’s issue of the South African Child Gauge. This annual review of South Africa’s children, now in its eighth year, was published in collaboration with UNICEF South Africa and Ilifa Labantwana.

The 2013 issue highlights the importance of investing early to ensure the optimum development of young children, and defines an essential package of care and support services for young children and their families. In particular, essays explore key service areas including nutrition, maternal and child health, caregiver support, parenting programmes, early learning opportunities and early schooling. The book is accompanied by a policy brief and pull-out poster. 

The policy brief,Stepping up to the challenge:Prioritising essential services for young children, draws on the latest research findings, presented in the 2013 South African Child Gauge, and identifies critical next steps to enhance the delivery of essential services for young children. 

Link: Publication

Spanking remains a common, if controversial, childrearing practice in the United States. In this article, the author pairs mounting research indicating that spanking is both ineffective and harmful with professional and human rights opinions disavowing the practice.

Link: Publication

This paper presents a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies of negative effects of spanking. It shows that spanking had a small but non-trivial negative effect on cognitive performance and the effects of spanking were largely trivial for other behavior problems. It goes on further to show that spanking has not only few benefits, but also fewer negative consequences than often assumed.

While the link between parenting and delinquency is well established, there is less consensus among scholars with regards to the processes that account for this link. The current study had two objectives. The first was to disentangle the effects of African American parents’ use of corporal punishment and verbal abuse on the conduct problems of their preteen children. The second was to investigate the mechanisms that explain this relationship, such as having low self-control or a hostile view of relationships, whereby these harsh parenting practices increase a youth’s involvement in problem behavior.

Link: Report
Children in Prison In South Africa

This report is an update to the situational analysis of children in prison in South Africa prepared by the Community Law Centre in 1997. The Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 (Child Justice Act), promulgated in 2010, introduced a markedly different child justice regime than that which was previously regulated by the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 and the common law. This development, along with various others which have emerged since 1997, has changed the way in which South Africa’s courts and correctional system deal with children in conflict with the law. Accordingly, an updated analysis on children in prison became necessary.

The Child Justice Alliance has published a report on the second year of implementation of the Child Justice Act (CJA). In terms of the CJA, the Ministers responsible for the Act must submit an annual implementation report. A report was duly submitted in June 2011. The Child Justice Alliance submitted a parallel report highlighting some of the key implementation challenges. Some of these have since been addressed, but a number of critical issues remain outstanding. - See more at:

Link: Book Details
Book: Child Protection in Development

Every day millions of children in developing countries face adversities of many kinds, yet there is a shortage of sound evidence concerning their plight and an urgent need to identify the most appropriate and effective policy responses from among the multiple approaches that exist. This collection of journal papers aims to engage with researchers and debates in the field so as to understand better some of the numerous risks confronted by children in developing countries

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.

This CAI paper explores the dangers of child labour in the context of extractive industries and provides an overview of the international legal framework. Child labour remains too much a part of multinational business supply chains, and this paper argues for entrenching legally binding prohibitions regarding businesses and their duty of due diligence regarding child labour.

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

Link: Publication

Economic growth has the potential to free children from the worst forms of exploitation and violence, strengthen the reach and effectiveness of child protection services, and increase opportunities for human capital formation later in life. Economic growth could, in turn, be enhanced by improvements in child protection, as gaps in children’s education, nutrition, health and psychosocial development resulting from child protection deficits severely diminish individuals’ later productive capacities as adults, - See more at:

Within the framework of the two International Labour Organisation (ILO) fundamental conventions on child labour and the recently adopted instruments on decent work for domestic workers, this new report sets the scene for a better understanding of child labour in domestic work. It outlines why involvement of children in domestic work should be a global concern and presents the basic concepts in this area as well as the required responses. It looks into child domestic work as a social development priority, a human rights concern and a gender equality challenge.

 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.

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

This new report is the first in a series to be published annually by the International Labour Organisation's (ILO’s) International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour.

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

Youth violence: Sources and solutions in South Africa

 Reviews the evidence for risk and protective factors that influence the likelihood of young people acting aggressively. Views the problem from a multitude of perspectives, including the current situation in which South African youth are growing up, perspectives from developmental psychology, the influences of race, class and gender, and of the media. The book then reviews the evidence for effective interventions in the contexts of young people’s lives – their homes, their schools, their leisure activities, their interactions with gangs, in the criminal justice system, in cities and neighborhoods, and with sexual offenders.Suggestions are made for keeping an evidence-based perspective while adapting interventions for developing world contexts, such as South Africa.

This report is an update to the situational analysis of children in prison in South Africa prepared by the Community Law Centre in 1997. The Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 (Child Justice Act), promulgated on 1 April 2010, introduced a markedly different child justice regime than that which was previously regulated by the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 and the common law. This development, along with various others which have emerged since 1997 (e.g. child justice jurisprudence and government’s renewed focus on children in conflict with the law), has changed the way in which South Africa’s courts and correctional system deal with children in conflict with the law. Accordingly, an updated analysis on children in prison became necessary.

"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.

The present report, submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/229, provides an overview of the status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It contains a list of signatories, ratifications or accessions to the Convention and the Optional Protocol thereto, information on the work of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and reporting on the ongoing efforts of Governments towards the ratification and implementation of the Convention. The report also presents an overview of the progress made by the entities of the United Nations system towards implementation of the Convention and describes relevant activities by non-governmental organizations.

The present third annual report of this kind reviews key developments and initiatives undertaken at the global, regional and national levels.  The report provides an overview of results achieved and progress promoted in the area of the protection of children from violence, identifying efforts required to sustain and scale up achievements made, and informing a strategic future agenda.

In this report, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing analyses the ruling paradigm of housing policies that focus on housing finance as the main means of promoting homeownership. The report assesses the impact of prevalent housing finance policies on the right to adequate housing of those living in poverty. The Special Rapporteur concludes that the full realization of the right to adequate housing, without discrimination, cannot be promoted solely by financial mechanisms and requires broader and more holistic housing policies and State interventions. She calls for a paradigm shift from housing policies based on the financialization of housing to a human rights-based approach to housing policies.

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 is a report tracking the implementation process of certain aspects of the Child Justice Act. It focuses on 3 main themes and highlights the impact and effects that certain of the theme - related challenges have had on the overall implementation of the Act. The three themes are:

(1) Diversion (including the accreditation process, the continuing decrease in the number of diversions, the impact thereof and other diversion-related challenges),

(2) The sentencing of children to compulsory residence in Child and Youth Care Centres (including the availability of facilities, the challenges being experienced in the handing over of reform school and schools of industry facilities to the Department of Social Development and related issues), and

(3) One Stop Child Justice Centres (including the implementation of the Act at these Centres).

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.

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 KidsRights Index is the annual global index which ranks how countries adhere to and are equipped to improve children’s rights. The KidsRights Index is an initiative of the KidsRights Foundation, in cooperation with Erasmus University Rotterdam: Erasmus School of Economics and the International Institute of Social Studies. It comprises a ranking for all UN member states that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and for which sufficient data is available, a total of 165 countries. The KidsRights Index exists of 5 domains:1. Right to Life, 2. Right to Health 3. Right to Education 4. Right to Protection, and, 5. Enabling Environment for Child Rights. Also available at the above link are a report, infographic and news coverage.

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 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.

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 or Facebook at ISCI 2015.

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

Please contact [email protected] if you would like to receive these.

Pic from LSE/UNICEF & EU Kids Online conference

 What research should be conducted to understand how children’s rights are being enhanced or undermined in the digital age, especially on a global basis? What data gathering and analytical tools do researchers need, and how can these best be provided for different countries? The London School of Economics (LSE), UNICEF and EU Kids Online convened a global symposium to address such questions. Drawing on the participants’ expertise from many countries, the meeting sought to identify best practices that could contribute to a global child rights online research toolkit. The meeting aimed to support and encourage research for informing policies, programmes and services to ensure the rights of children in the digital age. All conference documentation and the final guidelines are available at the link above. 

On 14th August 2015, the Child Allowance Webinar Series will commence with a webinar dedicated to South Africa’s Child Support Grant. The webinar is supported by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (the IPC-IG/UNDP) and UNICEF and hosted by The purpose of the Child Allowance Webinar Series is to present a variety of child allowance experiences including that of South Africa and Uruguay. Each country will have a dedicated webinar.

The webinar on Friday will showcase the experience of South Africa’s Child Support Grant. Alejandro Grinspun from UNICEF South Africa will moderate the event, which will be open to questions and comments from the audience – both during the webinar and in the weeks thereafter, as part of the platform’s online community. For further details about the platform and this specific CSG webinar, you should visit: and


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.

Child protection challenges and opportunities: The need for evidence-informed strategies in South Africa was presented by Mr.  Gordon Phaneuf, Chief Executive Officer, Child Welfare League of Canada  on 25 September 2014 at the Human Science Research Council (HSRC). The seminar explored key challenges confronting child protection practice, policy analysis, program development, and research.  The need for evidence-informed strategies was discussed with a concentrated focus on recent initiatives in South Africa. 

Link: Publication

A full report  presented to the 12th Annual Conference of the South African Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (SAPSAC). So what about Ukuthwala? In its most basic description it is the practice of kidnapping girls for marriage. Forced marriage is illegal. Forced marriage also falls under the purpose of exploitation in the definition of human trafficking. By international law, and in accordance with the parameters for human trafficking set out by the UN; like forced marriage in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, the practice of ukuthwala as it is being used to today to perpetrate these crimes today in South Africa is most certainly classifiable as human trafficking.



 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.

On the 16 May 2014 PAN: Children invited Mastoera Sadan from the Presidency to discuss the development of child related policy through a 20-year lens, elaborating on how far we have come and commenting on the future of child policy in South Africa. Ms. Sadan was involved in the development of the Twenty Year Review. The Review reflects on how South Africa has progressed since the dawn of democracy in 1994, the challenges it still faces and how these can best be addressed. It provides an evaluation of the policies instituted by government since the advent of democracy. While highlighting achievements, it also addresses shortcomings and looks at initiatives and operational plans for the future.


A series of articles captioning presentations made at the Carnegie III Conference, Capetown. Speakers include Sibongile Zenzile, Raymond Auerbach, Dunstan Mlambo, David Sanders, John Perlman, Crick Lund, Zetu Matebeni, Rick de Satge and Ingrid Woolard. The Carnegie Conference, in brief, has the following purpose: "To focus attention on understanding the lived experiences of inequality and the causes and dimensions of persistent inequality, and will consider policies and actions that are aimed at significantly reducing inequality and poverty in both the short- and long-term. This is a challenge that involves all South Africans, organised in many different ways. Taking seriously the President’s call for a ‘national dialogue’ about the future, and acknowledging the mandate of tertiary institutions to engage in socially responsive research, the purpose of the conference is to provide a platform for sharing and debate amongst academic researchers, government and practitioners. The conference will seek to move towards new ways of considering poverty and inequality, focusing less on describing the problems, and more on practical strategies to overcome them. This requires shifts in thinking, which the conference hopes to stimulate by combining a focus on academic and applied research with a set of demonstrations from the NGO, Business and Trade Union world." For Further Information, please see the Carnegie III online platform:

In November 2010, CDE hosted a Round Table to examine some of the key issues surrounding this proposal. These included: Would a wage subsidy raise employment levels. If so, by how much, and at what cost? Would this be an appropriate response to the unemployment crisis? And would it be sustainable? The issues involved are complex, and sometimes quite technical. The workshop sought to address them as systematically as possible by addressing, first, the central importance of employment growth in shaping South Africa’s long-term developmental prospects. Next, it dealt with the international experience of wage subsidies. It then analysed the effect of South Africa’s existing labour market policies on employment levels. Finally, it examined the results of a number of attempts to model the impact of wage subsidies on the South African labour market and to estimate the costs and benefits of such a policy. While some issues of policy design were discussed, the main focus of the Round Table was the feasibility, desirability and possible impact of the proposed wage subsidy. This report summarises the presentations and discussions, followed by concluding comments.

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.

When do minimum ages protect or limit children’s rights? What is meant by capacity and free and informed consent? How can greater rights recognition rather than age thresholds better protect children from abuse? And why on earth is children’s access to justice limited simply because of their age? These are some of the questions CRIN addresses in its new discussion paper Age is Arbitrary: setting minimum ages (see link to discussion paper above), which examines a series of contentious children’s rights issues using general principles and rights-based criteria, and exposing how minimum ages can be inconsistent, discriminatory and arbitrary.With this discussion document CRIN wants to encourage new debate on setting minimum ages.

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

Comparative data suggests that South Africans ‘are one of the highest users of mobile technology and mobile social networking on the continent. Children lead the way in the daily use of information and communication technologies (ICTs. This publication from CJCP discusses online risks and dangers children are exposed to. In addition the article notes the absence of evidence based interventions to mitigate these risks.

Link: publication

Internet, cellular and cyber technologies have opened up a wealth of opportunities for learning, exploration, and social and public engagement by children and young people. However, such benefits are not without their dangers, and much has been made of the extant and potential hazards of such technologies. This advocacy initiative gives context to cyberbullying and notes how cyber bullying and cyber aggression presents a challenge to policymakers.

Child Online Protection (COP) aims to tackle cybersecurity holistically, addressing legal, technical, organizational and procedural issues as well as capacity building and international cooperation. 

The legal, technical and institutional challenges posed by the issue of cybersecurity are global and far-reaching and can only be addressed through a coherent strategy taking into account the role of different stakeholders and existing initiatives, within a framework of an international collaborative network. 

COP has GUIDELINES for Policy Makers. These Guidelines have been prepared in the context of the Child Online Protection (COP) Initiative in order to establish the foundations for a safe and secure cyberworld for future generations. They are meant to act as a blue-print which can be adapted and used in a way which is consistent with national or local customs and laws.


Children and young people in all parts of the world now access the internet using a broad range of devices. Several of these devices are highly portable and it is therefore no longer practical to rely solely on a parent or teacher being able to support or supervise a child's or a young person's internet usage at all times.

In this online publication,John Carr advocates that children going online should be safer and better. He mentions that steps should be taken to protect children from illegal content and finds the need for provision of educational and awareness iniatives for them to help them understand safe online behaviour.

John Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on online child protection. He has worked as a Senior Adviser to the ITU Child Online Protection initiative for several years, has been an adviser to the European Union and also been engaged professionally to advise several of the world's largest and well known high tech companies on children's and young people's use of new technologies. 

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

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 [email protected]  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.

On Wednesday the 26th September 2012, the Secretary-General of the United National launched "Education First", the details of which PAN: Children has captured at the following link: /node/9090. President Jacob Zuma was among the world leaders to make an address at the event. This is a link to his remarks at the launch.

Link: Publication

In this issue, the first feature is on South Africa’s reporting obligations in terms of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child before the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child – with a focus on the Child Justice System. The second feature, Christina Nomdo, Blanche Rezant, Loraine Townsend, and Samantha Waterhouse provide an overview of RAPCAN’s Child Witness Project which advocates for a child rights based approach in the criminal justice system for child victims of sexual abuse. The feature provides, among others, a justification for the project and the aims of the project.The third feature, which concludes this edition, is by Anna D. Tomasi, Advocacy Officer for the Defence for Children International, elaborating on the call for a global study of children deprived of liberty.

PAN:Children literature reviews provide a short digest of evidence related to a specific child rights issue and this discussion of the relevant literature presents a useful summary of current debates. This literature note focuses on the key factors that influence adolescents towards alcohol and drug abuse.

Child protection 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 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).

The child justice system in South Africa-children in conflict with the law is one in a series of topical guides developed for PAN: Children that provide key information on the current state of affairs in South Africa related to the topic and highlight practical guidance, lessons learnt and case studies (both national and international) that will be helpful in policy development dialogue and knowledge sharing.This topical guide is accompanied by a fact sheet and a policy brief.

Unaccompanied Foreign Migrant Children 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 the topic and highlight practical guidance, lessons learnt and case studies (both national and international) that will be helpful in policy development dialogue and knowledge sharing. This topical guide is accompanied by a fact sheet and a policy brief.