Department of Social Development 2022/06/12 - 22:00
Last Friday, statistics released by the police showed an increase in murders of children under the ages of 17, standing at 306, during the first three months of this year, which is an increase of 37.2% from the same time last year.These figures came at the time when the country was marking Child Protection Week.These statistics of child killings are a direct mirror reflection of the state of gender-based violence and femicide affecting our society. The police report also shows that the 331attempted murders were committed against children, a decrease of 6.8% from the same time last year, and 1937 cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was reported, which was an increase of 12.7% from last year.While the issue of violence against children is not a South African phenomenon it varies from country to country. In a bid to assist countries to deal with this scourge the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other international Non-Governmental Organisations have developed an evidence-based seven strategy called INSPIRE for everyone committed to preventing and responding to violence against children. The strategy seeks to unite multi-sectoral efforts to raise awareness, encourage deeper engagement and treat harmful consequences when it does occur.The strategy is anchored in recognition of the Convention on the Rights of the Child those children have the right to be free from all forms of violence. It is also a tool to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 16.2 which calls for the ending of all forms of violence against children. Furthermore, it will be useful in realising goals 22.214.171.124.10 and 16 that target poverty, health, education, gender, and equality.But above, all while the government continues to implement laws, it is time for society to come on board and prevent violence against children.
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