The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, will today host a virtual meeting aimed at giving children a voice in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across South Africa, causing major disruptions in family life, concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children have significantly increased, with many of them currently out of school for an extended period of time,” the Department of Social Development said.
To give children a voice in this unprecedented time, Zulu will host a virtual meeting with child ambassadors, who represent all nine provinces.
“This will give children an opportunity to share their lived experience on issues affecting their lives, such as home/online schooling, living under lockdown and measures that government and civil society organisations can put in place to ensure their protection,” Zulu said.
The virtual meeting between the Minister and child ambassadors is held in celebration of International Children’s Day on 1 June every year to draw attention to children’s rights, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The CRC was amongst the first international instruments that South Africa ratified after its readmission to the international community post-1994.
The celebration of International Children’s Day takes place in the context of the annual Child Protection Week campaign, which Zulu officially launched in Rustenburg, North West, on 31 May, under the theme: ‘Let us all protect children during COVID-19 and beyond’.
“This year’s campaign seeks to create greater awareness of the risks that children face in these uncertain times by engaging families and communities to take a stand against any form of child abuse, neglect and exploitation,” the Minister said.