PLEASE HELP US PROTECT OUR MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA.
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South Africa has the dubious honour of having the highest percentage orphans of the total child population out of all 197 United Nations recognised countries. Coupled with the shamefully low number of adoptions of 1,186 adoptions in the last fiscal year, should the proposed Children's Amendment Bill be passed, we would move from from shocking to atrocious as a people charged by God and our former president Nelson Mandela to care for our most vulnerable.
Nelson Mandela - There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.
On 29 October 2018 the Dept of Social Development put forward the Children’s Amendment Bill to the Childrens Act (2005). This rushed and poorly conceived bill is filled with critical omissions and additional clauses that not only violate a number of our children’s constitutional rights but also contradicts Presidents Ramaphosa’s plan to address poverty through better education.
Please join me in objecting to this bill in the strongest possible means and request that the newly appointed Minister Lindiwe Zulu revoke this bill in its entirety. Upon reconsideration, we insist that due process be followed, with sufficient time being allowed for thorough consultation with children’s rights groups and other relevant stakeholders.
This petition will support the letter to Minister Zulu and will address the following key problem areas:
- It will become illegal for any member of a profession serving children in the adoption process to charge fees e.g. social worker, attorney, medical doctor, psychologist. This will result in adoptions falling to the already burdened social workers, currently handling 180 - 300 cases instead of the recommended 60, being pushed even further. Adoptions which require technical expertise and are not urgent by nature, will simply cease, thereby denying the over 500,000 adoptable children, including the 3,500 annually abandoned babies, from their constitutional right to family or parental care.
- The argument that by private adoption professionals charging fees “children are being sold or trafficked” is not true as government paid social workers salaries are not charged in the form of fees as with private counterparts but they are still paid via the taxes of our citizens. Following this argument that that no fees be charged by anyone dealing with children to its logical conclusion will have an obvious and absurd outcome.
- Prejudicing children being looked after in kinship by including them in the foster care system rather than the child support system thereby qualifying for less money and causing delays in payment.
- That government cannot violate your right as a citizen to freely choose whether you engage a government social worker or a private social worker to provide a loving family to an orphaned child. This bill will force you to choose an over burdened and potentially improperly trained government social worker.
- Children will lose their right to privacy in Childrens courts cases like abuse, removal of care, adoption, etc, allowing the media to publish their pictures, thereby violating both their constitutional right to privacy and protection.
- Making the already unnecessarily difficult Early Child Development (ECD) centre registration even more difficult thereby prejudicing the poorer communities that need it the most.
Thank you for your support.
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