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Date: 11 May 2012
Title: Report on violence against children to be released
Pretoria - The Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities is to release a review on violence against children, which will include the roles and commitments of all government departments in response to the scourge.
Minister Lulu Xingwana said the report, conducted with UNICEF, will be presented at the launch of the National Council on Gender Based Violence in August this year.
"In addition, we will intensify our advocacy work during Child Protection Week, which will be launched by the President on 27 May in Kimberley," Xingwana said, tabling her Budget Vote in Parliament on Friday.
She also announced that the department was currently reviewing the 1997 National Plan of Action for Children and consultations were underway with national departments, provinces, municipalities and various sectors.
"This year we will engage children, consult parents, communities and civil society on challenges, gaps and opportunities to scale up an integrated response to our commitments. As signatories to the UNCRC [UN Convention on the Rights of the Child], we are required to develop a National Plan of Action for children."
The department is pursuing agreements with the City of Tshwane, Ugu District, Taung and Port St John municipalities to pilot the Child Friendly cities/communities model to create safe spaces for children. In these spaces, children can live and play safely free from abuse, exploitation and other environmental hazards.
In pursuit of child survival, Xingwana said they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Health and would continue to support the interventions on maternal and child health care services.
She further committed her department to intensifying its Sanitary Dignity Campaign in partnership with the Departments of Basic Education, Health, Correctional Services and Social Development, to ensure that children are at school daily and their dignity is restored.
On the rights of people with disabilities, Xingwana said the department would ensure that both government and the private sector met the 2% target for the employment of people with disabilities by 31 March 2013. This was line with the State of the Nation Address by the President Jacob Zuma.
"The concerns of people with disabilities are a priority on government's agenda. Recently, the President, the Minister of Social Development and I, met with Disabled People South Africa. The meeting discussed mainstreaming the rights of people with disabilities into government programmes, providing job opportunities for people with disabilities and funding.
"Prior to this, I met a delegation from South African Disability Alliance to address their concerns. We will ensure that the issues raised in these meetings will find concrete expression in departmental programmes," said Xingwana.
A report on how both sectors have responded to the 2% target will be revealed as the department finalises the review of the National Disability Policy. - BuaNews