Once again, we have reached the national Child Protection Week. Even, though GCF works with child protection every day, we support this week as a great reminder to the world around us that this is important. Children being victims of neglect, all sorts of abuse, violence and exploitation is real! It happens all the time, in every environment where children are.
The annual campaign started in 1997 intending to mobilise all sectors of society to guarantee the care and protection of all children. Still, 24 years later, South Africa has a long way to go. The supportive systems do not always support, and the ongoing pandemic has, again and again, cast light on the lives many children are forced to live. The severity of abuse, inequalities when it comes to education and hunger, are just a few examples it includes. Things GCF has known for a long time has been realised outside the child protection sphere.
We have worked with vulnerable children for the past 29 years and have much experience of what happens when they fall in between the cracks, when they are ignored and neglected. When their unbearable situations should have been reported long ago. The world can be a dangerous place for children.
But, there is hope and you can be a part of it! Be a change-maker, be that listening ear, believe the stories shared with you in confidence. Make children’s unnoticed voices heard and act in their best interest. Be a safe haven that can be trusted. Make sure you are a part of children’s right to feel safe at all times.
Together we can do more for the protection of all children!
Do not hesitate to contact your local police station or child welfare office if you suspect that a child is being abused, neglected or experiences anything else that puts him or her at risk.
Childline South Africa on 08000 55 555 (New number is 116 – we will do a special post about it!)
Lifeline South Arica on 0861 322 322
Written by: Anna-Karin Öhrnstedt