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Media Statement: Commissioner Makwetla's visit to the Western Cape in commemoration of the National Child Protection Week

Attention: Editors and Reporters

4 JUNE 2023

The National Child Protection Week is an annual event led by the Department of Social Development (DSD) to raise awareness of the rights of children. The 2023 National Child Protection Week celebration is from the 29th of May to the 4th of June. The theme as proposed by DSD is “Let us Protect Children during COVID-19 and Beyond”.

The Commission has observed that there is a huge need to promote the rights of our children given the climate in which they currently live. Within this National Child Protection Week, an 8-month-old child died in an unregistered creche. Even though the crime statistics presented by the Minister of Police General Bheki Cele for the period 01 January to 31 March of 2023, show that the number of child murders dropped slightly, compared to the same period last year, it is still a matter of concern. This concern was also shared by the Christian Democratic Party leader Honourable Kenneth Meshoe when he said, ‘Why are children targeted and not protected’. It is thus clear that there is a need to promote, protect and monitor the rights of children to ensure that they thrive.

In commemoration of the Child Protection Week and in promotion of the South African Human Rights Commission’s (the Commission) Social Harmony National Effort (SHiNE), Commissioner Makwetla visited Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCCS), schools in the Western Cape province and hosted a dialogue to promote and monitor the rights of children.  SHiNE is the programme of the Commission aimed at promoting social cohesion, harmony, tolerance, and respect for human rights across South Africa.

On the 29th and 30th of May, Commissioner Makwetla visited Lawrence House CYCC and St. Agnes Covenant Primary School in Woodstock, and Bonnytoun CYCC in Bloemkombos where she listened to the children’s lived reality to understand their needs. Some of the concerns raised by the children were gangsterism, lack of security, lack of family support, child abuse in the homes, teenage pregnancy, poor sanitation, child prostitution, poor drainage system which leads to their homes flooding, gender based violence, racism, load-shedding and alcohol and drug abuse. It is important to also indicate that the children made recommendations to address these issues. One of them is the establishment of community forums where children can participate and engage with community members and leaders.

In line with the SHiNE theme for children ‘Children Need Role Models’, Commissioner Makwetla hosted a dialogue in the SAHRC Western Cape Office. The Commissioner sought to promote the awareness of positive role models for children and to advocate for care, protection, and mentorship for children in their respective communities. At the dialogue there were children from Zola Business School, Mfuleni, and Uxolo High School, teachers, and members of the South African Police Service. The children identified the role models within their communities, and that they could be good role models to other children.

The Commissioner committed that the Provincial Office will engage the relevant government departments on the various human rights issues raised that impact the children’s development.



Wisani Baloyi – Acting Communications Coordinator Tel: 081 016 8308 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Alucia Sekgathume Tel: 082 689 2364 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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