Children - At what age can I? PDF Print E-mail

The law considers the age of a child as an important factor in various situations. The Legal guide to age thresholds for children and young people (April 2011) outlines (among other things) the ages at which a child can act independently from his/her parents or guardians and also sets out various legal rules relevant to the particular ages of children.

Topics covered include:

  • At what age can children make decisions and act on their own without assistance from their parents?
  • What are the age thresholds for children to access social grants or housing subsidies?
  • At what age can a child sign a legal contract, be prosecuted for a crime, smoke or be detained in prison?

 

Click here to download: Legal Guide to Age Thresholds for Children

 

This Guide (April 2011 - Edition 5) is a product of the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town.

 

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Latest News

10 July 2018

Press Statement: Centre for Child Law responds to the article on IOL titled "Abused, Orphaned Children go Hungry after R7M 'disappears'" dated 8 July 2018

The Centre is gravely concerned about the conditions reported on in the IOL article dated 8 July 2018 regarding the treatment of the children housed at Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC).

This is not the first CYCC to have sub-standard care, the Centre has in the past intervened on behalf of children who were in CYCCs with similar or worse problems and it is disheartening to see children who are already traumatised by the situations that led to them being removed from their parental or family environment, being failed by those tasked to protect them.

For more see the press statement:

Press Statement

 

9 July 2018

Press Statement: Child Marriage

The Centre notes with concern the report from the Commission for Gender Equality ("CGE") given at Parliament on Wednesday, stating that approximately 91 000 children of school-going-age are married.

The Centre is extremely concerned about the increasing incidence of child marriage in the country and the impact that this has on children and children's rights. Child marriage denies the rights of children and subjects them to a multitude of abuses.

The married child is often prevented from returning to school due to the commonly held view that schooling interferes with the child's duty as a "wife". Further, child marriage is likely to cause life-long trauma to children; particularly as children are removed from their family and peers and as stated by the CGE, required to "perform a wife's duties".

For more see the press statement:

Press Statement

Centre for Child Law