Since Sunday 28 May, #ChildProtectionWeek has trended across South Africa on Twitter. Community members in Langa welcomed the initiative as a stand against the recent spate of tragedies across the country. Refusing to be silenced or weakened, many have expressed open support and victims’ families have found a sense of comfort in their neighbours’ outcry.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (WCDSD) presents a call to action, for South Africans to show support for victims today and to prevent tragedies of tomorrow. The campaign further aims to strengthen the enforcement behind children’s rights violations in the region. Conny Nxumalo, a representative from the WCDSD, strongly stated that “child protection is everybody’s business” while attending a campaign event in Langa, Cape Flats.
In addition to the individual cases which were brought to light by local media, the campaign also targets awareness surrounding human trafficking. By raising awareness and offering preventative measures which both children and parents can take, the campaign presents a glimmer of hope among current statistics. It is hoped that an all-inclusive and consistent programme can assist in rooting out triggers of violence and deviant behaviour.
Minister of Home Affairs, Hlengiwe Mkhize, extended her acknowledgement, understanding and compassion to the plight of children trafficked into the country as well:
“The big thing we’re also looking at is the vulnerability of children who have been abducted and brought through our borders.” – Hlengiwe Mkhize
Mkhize’s sentiments show sincere empathy to the reality that the problem affects more than just South Africans, and that all communities need to work together. Only one of a number of campaigns, Child Protection Week certainly shows that our communities will not sit idly by as our children face danger. The active gathering and sharing of information is worthy of commendation, and we encourage you to share other stories of similar projects with us as well.