Centre for Child Law PDF Print E-mail

Annual report 2013 front cover 1The 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.

                              Download Annual Report 2014

Making room: Facilitating the testimony of child witnesses and victims

making room jpegThis report comes almost five  years after the Constitutional Court emphasised the need for special arrangements to be made for child witnesses and victims that testify in court. 

The report considers data eminating from multiple sources which assist in determining whether the state has complied with the Constitutional Court order to improve court services for child witnesses and victims. A number of sources are considered, including the 2009 report submitted by the Department to the Court, a 2012 survey report commissioned by the Centre, a 2014 Presentation: Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional services provided by the Department of Justice.

A number of concerns are raised including the fact that the method of collecting and recording of information by the Department is inconsistent; lack of accommodation resulting in some courts not having separate waiting rooms for children; lack of job security for intermediaries; lack of toys to keep children busy; lack if refreshments for children.

Download the publication
Summary of the Constitutional Court               judgment

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

AB and Another v Minister of Social Development, 
North Gauteng High Court, case no 40658/13 
(12 August 2015)
The North Gauteng High court dealt with the 
Constitutionality of section 294 of the Children's 
Act. The section requires a genetic link to be 
present in surrogacy agreements.
Mubake and Others v the Minister of Home Affairs
and Others, North Gauteng High Court, case no
72342/2012 (09 July 2015)
Separated asylum seeker children should be considered
dependents of the relatives caring for them, in the asylum
applications and permits of the relatives. 

Upcoming Cases and Events



To be confirmed

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Latest News



The Child Rights International Network (CRIN) is developing a series of case studies, which aim to encourage children's rights advocates around the world to use strategic litigation when appropriate. This is done to show how strategic litigation can be used as an effective advocacy tool to challenge children's rights violations.

The CRIN case studies illustrate how strategic litigation works in practice by asking the people involved about their experience. CRIN hopes to depict the human side of strategic litigation by revealing how, why and by whom violations were taken to court.

The Centre for Child Law's cases that dealt with: the decriminalisation of teenagers who engage in consensual sexual activities and the unconstitutionality of automatic placement of children convicted of sexual offences on the National Sex Offenders Register, are part of the CRIN case studies. The case study details the approach taken in the two cases to ensure changes in the law for the protection of children's rights; it also explains the work carried out after judgments were received to ensure that the judgments were implemented.

See below for more information:
Link to CRIN country case studies
Link to CRIN's Centre for Child Law case study

Centre for Child Law