By Sipho Ncube

  • National Child Protection Week, observed annually from May 29 until June 5, raises awareness of children’s rights outlined in South Africa’s Constitution and the Children’s Act.
  • In the lead-up to Child Protection Week, the Gauteng Department of Social Development, Tshwane Region, and stakeholders conducted awareness sessions at Seshegong Secondary School on child safety and reporting abuse.
  • Officials like Puleng Tladi from the Gauteng Department of Community Safety advised learners to report bullying promptly and highlighted the importance of seeking help from authorities to prevent future victimisation.

National Child Protection Week is commemorated annually from May 29 until June 5 to raise awareness of the rights of children, as articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005). The campaign is led by the Department of Social Development in partnership with key government departments and civil society organisations that render child protection services.

As part of the build-up to Child Protection Week, The Gauteng Department of Social Development, Tshwane Region and various stakeholders, hosted child protection awareness sessions to educate learners to always be cautious of their safety and to report any form of abuse to the relevant authorities.

The awareness event, themed “Let’s Protect Children during COVID-19 and Beyond,” was held at Seshegong Secondary School in Olievenhoutbosch, Tshwane.

Speaking to pupils at the Gauteng Department of Community Safety, official Puleng Tladi encouraged learners to report any form of bullying. She said bullying involves emotional and physical actions such as hitting, kicking, and tripping. Verbal abuse, including name-calling and teasing, often occurs at school.

“Report it immediately by talking to someone in authority and avoid being alone as this may turn a victim into a future perpetrator,” she added.

Gauteng Department of Social Development, Social Worker, Rose Madisha, shared with learners the procedure followed after a case of abuse has been reported and said, “There should be an investigation, and during that time a child, for safety measures, may be taken to a place of safety. During that time, police, Psychologists, and Social Workers will work hand in hand to ensure that the abused child is safe.” The departments were graced by the Gauteng Department of Health, Community Safety, and numerous child protection organisations.


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