The Children’s Amendment Bill [B18-2020] has begun its journey in Parliament
On 31 August 2020, the Minister of Social Development tabled the Children’s Amendment Bill [B18 – 2020]. in Parliament. You can find copies of the bill and monitor its progress on this webpage: Children's Amendment Bill [B18 – 2020].
The Bill is now with the Portfolio Committee on Social Development which will discuss the amendments and decide whether to pass them as they are or whether to recommend alternative amendments. The committee’s decisions will be affected by the input that they receive from the public via written and oral submissions.
In mid-October, the Portfolio Committee published a notice calling for written submissions from the public and requests for oral presentations. The closing date for submissions was 27 November 2020. Over 1300 organisations and individuals made written submissions. You can read some of them here: Submissions
Public hearings are provisionally scheduled to take place in February and March 2021.
The public hearings will be in Cape Town at Parliament, or virtually on a zoom platform. If you indicated on your written submission that you would like to make a verbal presentation, the committee secretary will get back to you in early 2021 with a reply on whether you have been allocated a slot.
When the public hearings are held, each presenter will be given between 10 to 15 minutes to present. The Chairperson is very strict with time therefore ensure you keep to your time limit and focus on your most important areas of support or opposition. After a batch of presentations, the members of parliament will ask questions and presenters will have an opportunity to reply.
Expert commentary on the Children’s Amendment Bill
The CI and partners have prepared a commentary on the proposed amendments in the bill and some sub-groups are running dedicated campaigns to advocate for changes. For more information per topic area, please see below:
- Extending jurisdiction to hear guardianship matters to the children’s court (s24 & 45)
- Parental responsibilities and rights of unmarried fathers (s21, 24 & 45)
- Children’s right to privacy in court proceedings (s74 and proposed s6A)
- Partial care and early childhood development (Chapters 5& 6)
- Promoting positive parenting (s1, 12, 18, 44, 110 and 114)
- Supporting family members caring for orphaned and abandoned children [s1, s24, s45, s 150(1) (a), s159 & s186]
- Alternative care and aftercare support [Chapters 11, 12 & 13]
- Temporary safe care [s151, 152 and 167]
- Adoption [Chapters 15 & 16]
Resources for children and youth
We have put together a set of resources to help children and young people understand the parliamentary process and raise support for their issues in the run-up to public hearings on the Children's Amendment Bill in 2020/21.
Please see the section dedicated to children and youth Children and Youth.
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