Centre for Child Law PDF Print E-mail

Annual report 2013 front cover 1The Centre for Child Law is based in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria.

The official launch of the Centre was held in October 1998. The Director of the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria is Prof Ann Skelton.

The Centre contributes towards establishing and promoting the best interests of children in our community through education, research, advocacy and litigation.

Download Annual Report 2013

Promoting Effective Enforcement of the Prohibition Against Corporal Punishment in South African Schools

Front page South Africa can boast that it was the second country on the African continent (after Namibia) to ban corporal punishment when it passed the South African Schools Act in 1996. Almost two decades later, as the South Africa government prepares to present reports to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a grave truth must be admitted. 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. Practice simply does not reflect the law’s promise. 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. In the conclusion to this report, Faranaaz Veriava prescribes a platform for action by government, the South African Human Rights Commission and other civil society role players. It is time for action.

Download the report

Children at the centre: A guide to the registration of Child and Youth Care Centres

Despite the fact thCYCC Manual Web pic1at the Children's Act 38 of 2005 has been in operation for nearly three years, many child care facilities (including facilities previously referred to as children's homes) have not registered as child and youth care centres as prescribed by the Act.

The Centre saw the need to provide some assistance in the registration process and therefore put together a practical manual on registration of Child and Youth Care Centres.

The aim of this manual is to provide practical guidance to child care facilities through clarifying the registration requirements and procedures to be followed and through addressing the 'frequently asked questions'. 

"[A]ll the facilities recognised the importance of registration but were, without exception, crippled by the lack of information on the registration requirements and procedures..."

Download the manual


Latest Judgments

Constitutional Court rules on constitutionality of placing child offenders on sex offender register
J v National Director of Public Prosecutions and Another CCT 114/13
Constitutional Court rules on remedy in tender dispute involving children
AllPay Consolidated Investments Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Others v Chief Executive Officer of the South African Social Security Agency and Others (No 2) CCT 48/13

Upcoming Cases and Events


Deadline to confirm participation 05 May 2014 (only South African universities)

Search the Centre for Child Law

Latest News


Mud to bricks: A review of school infrastructure spending and delivery

In 2011 an out of court settlement was reached in which the government undertook to spend R8.2 billion over three years to refurbish 'mud schools' in the Eastern Cape. The case was hailed as a victory, but then the real work had to start.

The Centre for Child Law commissioned this study to track school infrastructure spending and delivery. The report makes the concerning finding that the national Department of Basic Education has woefully underspent the School Infrastructure backlog grant for two years running. The ASIDI target for the number of schools to be built in 2011/12 and 2012/13 was 49, however only 10 had been completed by the end of the first year.

The report predicts that at the current delivery rate, a realistic timeframe for the eradication of schools with inappropriate structures is probably 2023/24. The report makes recommendations which if followed, could shorten the delay significantly.

Download the publication

Centre for Child Law