6 facts for child protection week
Young children and teenagers are often vulnerable and require special protection from the law - which is why the Child Protection Week campaign was started in 1997. The aim of the campaign is to make sure that children are protected and cared for at all times. Here are 6 facts for Child Protection Week.
You’re a child if you’re under 18
According to the law, you are still considered a minor (child) if you’re under the age of 18 years. This means that you are seen as a person who still needs assistance from a parent or guardian.
You should not be neglected
You have a right to be given a name, taken care for by a family and to be given necessities like food, shelter, and clothes.
You should not be abused
Regardless of your age, nobody has the right to harm you in any way. That is known as abuse and it is illegal.
You should not be exploited
Even though you can get employed at the age of 15, your employers are not allowed to exploit you, like making you work long hours in unhealthy conditions. If you’re made to work before you turn 15, that’s considered child labour and it is illegal.
Age of consent
The official age of consent in South Africa is 16 years old. However, the South African constitution also states that a 12-year-old child can consent to have sex with someone who is also a minor, who is a 14-year-old for example. But, they cannot consent to have sex with someone who is 16-years or older because it’s statutory rape.
Know the Bill of Rights
It is in your best interest to know the South African Bill of Rights so that you can know your rights as a young person like the right to access adequate health care, education, food and water, and so forth.
Being a minor doesn’t mean that you don’t have any rights because you always need an adult's assistance. You do have rights that should be respected and protected at all times.
If you feel like your rights are being violated, here are places you can contact:
Childline - 0800 055 555
Child Safety (SAPS) - 0860 010 111
Child Welfare - 0861 424 453
Do you have any questions that you’d like to ask me? You can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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