Centre for Child Law PDF Print E-mail

The Centre for Child Law  was established in 1998 and is based in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. The Director of the Centre is Prof Ann Skelton.

The Centre contributes towards the establishment and promotion of the best interests of children in South Africa through litigation, advocacy, research and education.

The Centre is registered as a Law Clinic and through strategic impact litigation aims to set legal precedent to improve and strengthen laws pertaining to children.

University of Pretoria Faculty of Law


Latest Judgments & Reports

27 June 2018

 Naki & Others v Director-General: Department of Home Affairs. Ensuring access to birth registration for all children  
Read the judgment here 



6 February 2018 

NS & Others v Presiding Officer of the Children's Court. Children's Court jurisdiction to hear adoption matters 
Read the judgment here


Upcoming Cases and Events





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Latest News

8 August 2018

Piece by Prof. Ann Skelton - "Women in Children's Rights"

In commemoration of Women's Month the Centre's Director, Prof. Ann Skelton, wrote an op-ed for the Pretoria news on the important role that women have played in the advancement and protection of children's rights in South Africa, an excerpt from the piece below:

"South Africa's history boasts impressive women who fought for children's rights. Recent historical accounts by Thembeka Ngcukaitobi and Zubeida Jaffer have breathed new life into Charlotte Maxeke's early years when she travelled with a choir to England (1891-92) where she met suffragette Emily Pankhurst, and her graduation with a BSc from Wiberforce University in the United States in 1901. Less known is the fact that the multi-talented Maxeke was South Africa's first black probation officer, and also served simultaneously as a child welfare officer in Johannesburg from 1923. According to Jaffer, she worked with "waifs and strays and destitute children", and was credited with having "done considerable work in the alleviation of the causes of crime in the city". However, she was discharged in 1929, and according to education historian Linda Chisholm, "the relinquishing of her services [was] a sign of both cost-cutting exercises in the context of the great depression, as well as the steadily hardening segregationist programme of non-recognition of the right of Africans to be in urban areas". Maxeke, like her Western counterparts, worked on child rights issues some years before white women got the vote in 1930. Despite working on the campaign for women's suffrage with women of all races, Maxeke herself was never able to cast a ballot – not because of her gender, but because of her race. She died in 1939."

To read the rest of the op-ed please see the link below:

Original Piece (longer than op-ed)

Op-ed in the Pretoria News 



Centre for Child Law