Policy Advocacy – Submissions on Bills

Submissions to parliament, government departments and other domestic organisations intended to advance child rights and child law.

Submissions on the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill [B 2B – 2022], 2024

Our substantive submissions focus on the following aspects: 

  1. Expansion of the definition of ‘corporal punishment’ to include psychological harms;
  2. All children must be admitted, but where ‘required documents’ are unavailable a copy of the proof of birth, clinic card or affidavit will suffice in line with the Phakamisa judgement and Circular 1 of 2020;
  3. Admission of children in all possible care arrangements;
  4. Admission of children in child-headed households and referrals to social workers;
  5. Removal of the 12-month maximum imprisonment period, as this would be ultra vires and runs contrary to the existing criminal law system, regarding assault and the imposition of appropriate sanctions; and
  6. There must be procedures adopted to facilitate child participation for child victims and witnesses when such children testimony in cases where non-teaching/auxiliary staff is involved in a disciplinary inquiry.

Submissions on the White Paper on Citizenship, Immigration and Refugee protection: Towards a complete overhaul of the migration system in South Africa, 2024

CCL, along with other child rights organisations, have long been calling on the Department of Home Affairs (the Department/DHA) to improve the current laws relating to birth registration, immigration status, and citizenship for children (mainly through the adoption of functional regulations).

We have engaged in research, litigation and advocacy on children’s rights to identity, birth registration and citizenship. Our submissions are informed by our findings on these, including the need to comply with court orders and international obligations on children’s rights.

Submissions on the Climate Change Bill [B 9B-2022], 2024

The Centre for Child Law submitted its comments on the second draft of the Climate Change Bill. While CCL supports the Second Draft Bill, we are concerned that in its current form, it falls short of adequately incorporating meaningful participation of children at the local government level as proposed in our first submission of comments on the First Draft Bill.

This concern is noticeable due to the increased vulnerability of children to the negative effects of climate change.

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill, 2020

To amend the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, so as to—

  • extend the ambit of the offence of incest;
    introduce a new offence of sexual intimidation;
    further regulate the inclusion of particulars of persons in the National Register for Sex Offenders;
  • make provision for certain particulars of persons who have been convicted of sexual offences to be made publicly available;
  • extend the list of persons who are to be protected in terms of Chapter 6 of the Act;
  • further regulate the removal of particulars of persons from the National Register for Sex Offenders; and
  • further regulate the reporting duty of persons who are aware that sexual offences have been committed against children, and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The Child Justice Amendment Bill, 2018

To amend the Child Justice Act, 2008, so as to amend a definition; to further regulate the minimum age of criminal capacity; to further regulate the provisions relating to the decision to prosecute a child who is 12 years or older but under the age of 14 years; to further regulate the proof of criminal capacity; to further regulate the assessment report by the probation officer; to further regulate the factors to be considered by a prosecutor when diverting a matter before a preliminary inquiry; to further regulate the factors to be considered by an inquiry magistrate when diverting a matter at a preliminary inquiry; to further regulate the orders that may be made at the preliminary inquiry; to amend wording in order to facilitate the interpretation of a phrase; and to further regulate the factors to be considered by a judicial officer when diverting a matter in a child justice court; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Should services rendered by educators & support staff in basic education – including early childhood development – are essential services, 2018

The Centre for Child Law (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. The Centre contributes towards the establishment and promotion of the best interests of children in South African law, policy and practice through litigation, advocacy, research and education. The Centre welcomes the Essential Services Committee’s (the ESC) inquiry on whether educators’ right to strike can constitutionally be limited by way of declaring services rendered in basic education and ECD as essential services.

Regulations on the Registration of Births and Deaths, 2018

Since March 2011, LHR has operated a Statelessness Project that focuses on legal identity for all persons in the Republic. The Centre for Child Law contributes, within its means, to establish and promote the best interests of children in South Africa and to use the law as an instrument to advance such interests.

The Social Assistance Amendment Bill, 2018

To amend the Social Assistance Act, 2004, so as to insert new definitions; to provide for additional payments linked to social grants; to provide for payment of benefits to a child-headed household; to provide for social relief of distress in the event of a disaster; to repeal the internal reconsideration process; to provide for an Independent Tribunal to consider appeals against decisions of the Agency; to provide for the establishment of the Inspectorate as a government component; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Traditional Courts Bill, 2017

To provide a uniform legislative framework for the structure and functioning of traditional courts, in line with constitutional imperatives and values; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill, 2017

The CCL makes the following submissions to the Education Laws Amendment Bill in order to ensure that the proposed amendments are in line with the principles, rights and obligations set out in the Constitution as well as rulings made by the Constitutional Court.

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