Children's Rights and Responsibilities

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Let's strive to make child protection a year-long effort

Each year, government and organisations around the country gear up to mark National Child Protection Week with campaigns and programmes designed to raise awareness about children's rights, their safety and security.

It is a week aimed at mobilising all sectors of South African society to care for and protect children. But with abuse statistics on the rise, child protection should be an ongoing effort.

Child Protection Week is a great start as we move into June. Celebrated annually as Youth Month; in June we take the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of the youth of the past and take stock of the struggles, challenges and achievements of young people of today.

Young people need to understand that they can and should hold their guardians accountable for safeguarding their rights, but to do so they need to have the faith that adults will listen to them, believe them and pursue justice for them in a way that protects their dignity and interests.

As adults we need to acknowledge that we have a responsibility to protect children from harm and we should encourage them to speak out.

To this end, we are investing a great deal in changing the perceptions towards the protection of children.

Children's Rights and Responsibilities

National Children's Rights Committee, South Africa.

Children have the right to be taken seriously ... and the responsibility to listen to others

Children have the right to quality medical care ... and the responsibility to take care of themselves

Children have the right to a good education ... and the responsibility to study and respect their teachers

Children have the right to be loved and protected from harm ... and the responsibility to show love and caring to others

Children have the right to special care for special needs ... and the responsibility to be the best people they can be

Children have the right to be proud of their heritage and beliefs ... and the responsibility to respect the origins and beliefs of others

Children have the right to a safe and comfortable home ... and the responsibility to share in keeping it neat and clean

Children have the right to make mistakes ... and the responsibility to learn from those mistakes

Children have the right to be adequately fed ... and the responsibility not to waste food


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