Child abuse in South Africa: rights and wrongs

Type Journal Article - Child Abuse Review
Title Child abuse in South Africa: rights and wrongs
Volume 17
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 79-93
In a country in which human rights feature prominently in our discourse
about who we are, as well as in the South African constitutional and
legal framework, so many wrongs continue to be done to children.
One category of wrongs is abuse, but it is not the only one. Poverty,
patriarchy and gender violence, as well as the socialised obedience,
dependency and silence of women and children, create conditions in
which abuse can occur, often with few consequences. South Africa has
extremely high rates of both physical and sexual abuse of children.
Progressive, rights-based legislation exists to protect children, but
it is not adequately supported or resourced by services to fulfil their
provisions. Child abuse and neglect will not be significantly reduced in
South Africa, without simultaneous improvements in the social and
economic conditions in which very large numbers of children live.

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