Current evidence from across the world indicates that children have largely been spared the severe illness and mortality affecting adults as a result of Covid-19. Yet, there are growing concerns that children are bearing the brunt of this pandemic.
As South Africa marks Child Protection Week, we should focus attention on issues of child protection and safety. Children face two pandemics, sexual violence and Covid-19, and remain excluded from national conversations. We do not know what is happening to them.
The Covid-19 pandemic is having far reaching and devasting human, social and economic effects across the globe. Many countries have imposed lockdown measures, confining people to their homes to curb the spread of the virus and reduce the loss of lives. Potentially, creating the perfect storm for the surge of another pandemic – violence against women and children.
A submission was made to the Ministers of Finance; Social Development; and Women, Youth and People with Disabilities on the social grant component of the disaster relief package. The submission, signed by a coalition of socio-economic experts, economists and prominent NGOs, calls on Cabinet to “reconsider the manner in which the allocation of social relief grants will occur, bearing in mind the necessity of an urgent pro-poor response that protects children, the unemployed, and the informal sector
The Children's Institute, as part of a group of concerned academics and civil society leaders has written a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to make a call for an urgent increase to the value of the Child Support Grant by R500 for a period of six months.
Prof Shanaaz Mathews, Director of the Children’s Institute was nominated to serve on The Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People.
South African children are vulnerable to injuries, not just those that are accidental but also those inflicted intentionally. This is according to the 2019 Child Gauge report, an annual publication that explores how children in South Africa are faring.
The South African Child Gauge 2019 calls for the prioritisation of child and adolescent health in order to disrupt the intergenerational cycles of poverty and violence, and ensure that all of South Africa's children are able to thrive.
We don’t need more research, we need action. Some of what must be done is already outlined in South African laws and policies. The Children’s Act, for instance, makes violence prevention interventions mandatory.
In June, the Children's Institute, as part of a group of concerned academics and civil society leaders wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to make violence against women and violence against children in ALL it's forms a top priority for his new cabinet. The president's office sent us a lacklustre response that same month.
In Africa 14.5% of children under the age of 16 are suffering from the effects of violence – both collective and interpersonal violence – resulting in long-term trauma. In the Western Cape the prevalence is 17%, with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affecting 8% of under-16s and generalised anxiety disorder affecting 11%.
Congratulations to Natasha Hendricks, a PhD fellow based at the Children’s Institute, for being selected as a recipient of the Resources and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (RAPCAN) Legacy Doctoral scholarship in July 2019.