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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

What's next for child rights in South Africa?

2012 has seen the emergence of a considerable focus on issues surrounding poverty and inequality. Indeed, this is a topic with many dimensions, which can be approached from a multitude of perspectives. In a developing country, this will always be one of the key areas that needs to be addressed. Within the last ten months, this issue has been exposed and illuminated on a variety of vibrant fora, but it seems that in many ways we have merely scratched the surface of an unbelievably layered and systemic hardship to which millions of children are subjected.

The month of October marks an interesting part of the year, where on the one hand, there are many initiatives still to be undertaken and much still to be accomplished. It is also the time where many organisations have their 2013 planning processes considerably underway. There are thus significant winds of change in the child rights climate these days. There are many existing mandates that must be carried forward, but it is important to consider new areas of focus. Examples include devising mechanisms through which the National Development Plan can best be executed, taking forward opportunities arising from the South African Cabinet's decision to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, developments in the social grants system, calls to implement the SA Nutrition Roadmap, implications of the impending Traditional Courts Bill and many others.

Planning is of integral importance. Lasting change takes time to implement and crises need to be averted in advance. It is vital that all roleplayers position themselves strategically to ensure that they can respond timeously to the needs of vulnerable children. Thus the question: What's next?