Every day at SOS Children’s Villages we hear horrific stories of children subjected to neglect, trafficking, bullying and different forms of abuse.
SOS Children’s Villages on this Child Protection Week and in support of the Department of Social Development, says “Let us protect children to move South Africa forward.”
Studies show that 1 in 5 boys and girls reported having experienced some form of sexual abuse in their lifetimes. More than a third of respondents reported having been hit, beaten, kicked or physically hurt by an adult who was supposed to be taking care of them. Girls reported higher rates of emotional abuse than boys.
Unfortunately, most of the atrocities are perpetrated by people entrusted with the safety of these children. It has now escalated to children not being safe in the presence of other children because often, children who have experienced violence pass it on to other children.
Children need families and communities who have courage to take steps to protect them and address all forms of violations of their rights. We also need to familiarise ourselves with Children’s rights covered in Chapter 2, Section 28 (1 d & e) of the Constitution of South Africa of 1996 which states that every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.
SOS Children’s Villages does not tolerate any form of child abuse, exploitation, neglect or violation of a child’s privacy and rights. We are committed to creating and maintaining a caring and protective environment for every child we reach through our programmes.
We work in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.
Our Child Protection Policy focuses on four key action areas: awareness, prevention,reporting and responding.We place special emphasis on awareness and prevention to safeguard children and improve the quality of the care they receive.