Parliament, Wednesday 20 November 2019 – Child Rights Ambassadors who gathered in Parliament today have urged Members of Parliament (MPs) to expedite the amendment to the Children’s Act to explicitly ban corporal punishment in all settings including in the home.

About 50 Child Rights Ambassadors, from across the nine provinces of South Africa, made the call during an inter-generational engagement with MPs held to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Parliament today.

In celebrating World Children’s Day today, the Ambassadors also called for government to expedite the adoption of the draft Protocol aimed at eliminating corporal punishment at school. In addition, the Ambassadors called for government to adopt and implement a coordinated, resourced and evidence based violence prevention strategy to deal with gender-based violence.

One of the Ambassadors, Prudence Maloka, called on Parliament to ensure that rural children and children with special needs are not marginalised.

National Council of Provinces Deputy Chairperson Ms Sylvia Lucas commended the Ambassadors for their inputs and committed to ensuring that Government Departments have a clear integration plan for a child-rights perspective into the national budgeting process.

Ms Lucas said adopting a child-rights perspective in budgeting would allow MPs to understand and deal with issues that caused inequality.

“I have listened very carefully to your ideas about how we can invigorate the idealism that captured the imagination of so many ordinary men, women and children to give so much to the anti-apartheid struggle in order to secure our future,” said Ms Lucas adding that as MPs they will ensure to monitor the budgets of all Government Departments against the commitments made to children by the South African Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

She also committed to help lobby government departments working with the broad front of society for free sanitary towels, “we view the call as a basic human rights call.”

Ms Lucas said the engagement provided an opportunity for honest reflection. “It is only through such an honest process of learning the lessons of the past 25 years that we can map a way forward to become the country of our dream.”

Some of the resolutions taken during the engagement include the call for government to train adequate teachers and ensure equal distribution of qualified teachers by giving special attention to schools found in rural areas; government to revise the amount allocated to the child support grant and that the new amount be above the poverty line.

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