Legal Aid South Africa Collaboration PDF Print E-mail

During 2007 and 2010, the Centre for Child Law entered into an agreement with the Legal Aid South Africa (previously "Legal Aid Board") in terms of which the Centre provided assistance to Legal Aid SA practitioners on matters relating to children. The Centre sent out a weekly newsletter on child law matters, as listed below. While these newsletters have not been updated since 2010, they may provide a useful starting point for practitioners.

Child Law Matters

    • ISSUE 4

International Child Abductions

    • ISSUE 6

Imprisonment of Young Offenders

    • ISSUE 7

Parental Rights and Responsibilities Overview

 

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Latest News

18 June 2018

Centre for Child Law Brief - "Violence in schools - Public Anger Misdirected"

The Centre's Director, Prof. Ann Skelton, reflects on news about school violence that dominated the week running up to Youth Day 2018. Early in the week, a video surfaced showing what purported to be two girls assaulting a teacher. The video went viral on social media, with the image being viewed again and again. There was a public outcry, radio station callers complained that kids are out of control, they have too many rights, we are too soft on the youth, we must get tougher, bring back corporal punishment, put cameras in every classroom.

As it turns out, the victim of the violence was not a teacher after all. The Limpopo Department of Education spokesperson confirmed that the two learners doing the assaulting as well as their victim were all learners at a school in Limpopo province, and the assault took place outside the victim's home, and not on school premises as previously assumed. Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe said that the Department viewed this conduct in a serious light as it had brought the school into disrepute. He added that the Department vehemently condemns violence among learners and violence against teachers by leaners'.

But what about violence by teachers against learners? In the same week, Radio 702 reported on the death of a girl in Limpopo, following an incident on 28 May 2018 in which the Principal of the school she attended, banged the girl's head against a windowpane in the staffroom, causing a head injury. The girl died on 9 June 2018. While the link between the assault and her death has not be proved, assault is assault and should have attracted an arrest. The Principal has not been arrested. Following that story, there was no public outcry, limited media coverage, no calls from journalists to the Centre for Child Law. There were no angry statements from SADTU, no vehement condemnation of violence by teachers against pupils from the Department of Education. A telling silence.

Read the brief for more:

Violence in Schools

15 June 2018

Centre for Human Rights & Centre for Child Law call on the Government of South to "Leave No Child Behind"

On 16 June 2018, Africa commemorates the Day of the African Child 2018 under the theme "Leave No Child Behind for Africa's Development". This year's theme aims to target children who are not benefitting from Africa's growth and development. African countries are challenged to ensure that children are at the centre and not left behind in the drive towards sustainable economic development. This day is commemorated in memory of the Soweto student uprising, that began on June 16 1976, when students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages.

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) and the Centre for Child Law (CCL), both based at the University of Pretoria, encourage South Africa to use this opportunity to reflect on whether it is rising to the challenge to leave no child behind. South Africa's child rights legal framework is one of the most progressive and respected in Africa and the world. It is developed and improved with the aim of viewing each child in South Africa as an individual with rights accrued to him or her as a human being.

However, despite the advances that have been taken to improve the situation of children in South Africa, a lot remains to be done to ensure that children are at centre stage and participate in the drive towards sustainable economic development. Recent events highlight the need to do more to ensure that children in South Africa are beneficiaries of constitutionally promised rights and freedoms.

The Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Child Law highlight a number of rights violations and barriers that need to be addressed by the Government of South Africa, they deal with: children's right to protest; placing children with disabilities high on the political agenda; and the eradication of pit latrine toilets in rural schools. 

For more see a joint press statement:

CCL & CHR Joint Press Statement

Centre for Child Law