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SALGA calls for the safety, well-being, care and protection of children as well as an end to growing violence against Women

Posted: 01 June 2017

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Recently during the SALGA National Women’s Commission Summit in Johannesburg, women from all walks of life pledged to fight against violence meted on women and children. This was in response to the alarming and escalating attacks on women and children reported in all quarters of South Africa.

At the end of the Summit the SALGA Women’s Commission then declared against;
· Patriarchy finding expression and imposing its suppressive, exploitative and oppressive measures through poverty; institutionalised mistrust around women leadership; political,
· Private sector and media traditions; poor institutional funding; restriction to land access and polarisation of masculinity from femininity;
· Gender-based violence (GBV) in all its forms, verbal and physical, and in all spaces, private and public and HIV and AIDS.

On Sunday, 28 May 2017, Government led by the Department of Social Development - the custodians of the Children's Act, launched Child Protection Week under the theme “Let Us All Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward”.

This annual campaign seeks to raise awareness and educate society about the rights and responsibilities of Children. While the campaign will end on 4 June 2017, it is in our hands to ensure that all children are protected every day.

The Child Protection Week campaign was first initiated in 1997, led by the Minister of Social Development; however it is incumbent on all South Africans to play a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them. National Child Protection Week is marked annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and to mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Child Protection Week allows government to shine a spotlight on children’s issues; highlight successes and identify what still needs to be done.

Despite the country’s progressive child protection laws, policies and programmes preventing and addressing violence against children neglect and exploitation, many children still remain vulnerable. Recent cases of child abuse and murder, have shone the spotlight on the plight of many children in the country.

Director for the SALGA Community Development Directorate Ms Mirriam Lehlokoa said society has a duty to do more to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society do not suffer abuse.
“It is in our hands to stop the cycle of neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation of children. By working together we can create safer and healthier communities so that our children can thrive.” said Lehlokoa in a statement.

SALGA will continue to work with a range of stakeholders to ensure the safety, well-being, care and protection of children through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach and also encourage member Municipalities to continuously embrace the rights of children in their jurisdiction as they perform their functions.

As organised local government, our role is crucial in continuing to strengthen member Municipalities to be active participants and contribute to policies, programmes and delivery of services to children as provided for in the legislative instruments of children’s rights.

Government has made a call to all South Africans to support the Child Protection Week by wearing a green ribbon.

South Africans are encouraged to report child abuse at the 24 hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre on 0800 428 428 or *120*7867#

 
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