The 16 Days of Activism has seen a resurgence of the child advocacy I remember from the beginning of my career 18 years ago. The Johannesburg Child Advocacy Forum has made great strides in highlighting children's issues, developing partnerships and developing services that are central to child protection and advocacy. We have engaged with the Department of Health and Social Development Gauteng in the Children's Rights Committee as well as Unaccompanied Minor's Forum. We are heading the children's sector response to the re-establishment of the Gauteng Family Child and Sexual Offenses Unit of the SAPS as well as assisting with the City of Johannesburg's response to children living and working on the street. A less successful attempt to engage government has been our challenge to the Gauteng Department of Education and it's response to child protection issues. We were featured in an article in The Star challenging their lack of protocol and training and the management of specific cases. we even escalated it to the MEC's office via the info e-mail, to date no response. There is also a looming challenge with the Department of Home Affairs and a misguided policy, no actually and impossible and illogical policy, related to birth registration of abandoned babies and how this is hampering their placement and causing attachment problems in children. I will be following up on these issues, watch this space in the next week.
We have also developed a good relationship with a "child-friendly" journalist at the Star. Please see our input into a disturbing phenomena:Headline on the front page of The Star (Thursday Dec 2-2010)
Girl, 6, in porn shock: Stepmother allegedly made her watch, then take part.