A meeting between representatives from the South African government and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRoC) in Geneva, Switzerland, on 19 and 20 September will provide an opportunity to address pressing issues on the wellbeing of children in South Africa.
On Monday to Tuesday, 19-20 September 2016, a delegation of the South African Government will meet with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRoC) in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss South Africa’s progress in realising children’s rights.
The dialogue should engage with questions on progress on education, health, social security, violence and child protection, among others. These are some of the critical issues facing South African children – almost two-thirds (63%) of children in the country live below the upper bound poverty line, and are subject to inequalities in access to quality services and opportunities.
The Geneva meeting will be of particular interest to the Alternate Report Coalition-Children’s Rights South Africa (ARC-CRSA), an alliance driven by eleven leading organisations on children’s rights in the country (See below for list of lead organisations). The ARC-CRSA has compiled one of South Africa’s alternate reports that was presented to the UNCRoC in 2016. These alternate reports serve as civil society’s response to the Country Reports that governments are expected to submit every five years under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The ARC-CRSA’s report recognises progress in areas such as provision of the child support grant, measures taken to increase access to education and early childhood development services and the drop in child mortality rates since 2006. But the report also raised serious concern in areas such as child protection and violence, birth registration, child poverty and inequality, social grants, the foster care system, failures in the education system, and health care priorities.
The ARC-CRSA hopes that, at the dialogue on 19 and 20 September, the South African Government will be asked to account for ever weakening political leadership and governance structures for realising children’s rights, to address the reasons behind persistent failures in budget allocations and/or spending to realise children’s rights, and the deepening social and economic inequality. These result in children in South Africa having very different lived experiences depending on the circumstances of their birth – the children with the greatest vulnerabilities experience greater exclusion and discrimination.
The dialogue between the UNCRoC and the South African government delegation will be livestreamed at www.treatybodywebcast.org. Follow the conversation @ARC_CRSA and using #childrightsSA on twitter.
For more information on the reporting process, please see below. For the South African Government and ARC-CRSA reports, visit http://dullahomarinstitute.org.za/women-and-democracy/south-africas-reporting-on-childrens-rights-to-the-un.
Media are invited to attend a media briefing at the Double Tree by Hilton (Upper Eastside Hotel)
Address: 31 Brickfield Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7935 on Monday 19 September 2016 at 11am. If you are planning to attend please RSVP to Morgan Morris on Morgan.email@example.com or 079 522 1142.
|Name and position||Organisation||Expertise||Contact|
|Prof Ann Skelton, Director||Centre for Child Law, University of Pretoria||All areas
082 443 2702
|Stefanie Röhrs, Senior researcher||Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town||All areas||Stefanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
021 650 5391
|Samantha Waterhouse, Project head||Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape||All email@example.com
084 522 9646
|Mandivavarira Mudarikwa, Attorney||Legal Resources Centre||All firstname.lastname@example.org
Will be in Geneva but available for comment via messages on +27 83 205 0351
|Carol Bower, Independent||Violence and child protection||Crlbwr4@gmail.com
061 414 6889
|Wessel van den Berg, Child Rights and Positive Parenting portfolio manager||Sonke Gender Justice||Violence email@example.com
082 686 7425
|Prof Haroon Saloojee, Director||Community Paediatrics, Wits||Health, ECD, disability||Haroon.firstname.lastname@example.org
082 863 4274
|Lisa Draga, attorney||Equal Education Law Centre||Educationemail@example.com
072 650 0214
|Liesl Müller||Lawyers for Human Rights||Statelessness, birth registration and refugee firstname.lastname@example.org
083 703 2496
|Name and position||Organisation||Contact|
|Morgan Morris, Communications officer||Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town||Morgan.email@example.com
079 522 1142
|Lynne Barry Mansfield||Centre for Child Law, University of Pretoriafirstname.lastname@example.org
061 408 3459
|Jacob Nthoiwa, Communications officer||Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Capeemail@example.com
074 331 1632
|Carol Mohlala||Lawyers for Human Rights||Carol@lhr.org.za
061 906 0353
|Claire Martens||Legal Resources Centrefirstname.lastname@example.org
011 838 6601
|Karen Robertson, Communications manager||Sonke Gender Justiceemail@example.com
076 944 9873
About the Alternate Report Coalition – Children’s Rights South AFrica
ARC-CRSA led a process of drafting alternate reports that included 52 authors representing 42 institutions and organisations. The ARC-CRSA is led by the following eleven organisations:
The value of state reporting on international treaty obligations
South Africa finally submitted its report on progress in implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child early in 2014 – 12 years late. Once the government report was submitted, civil society organisations could prepare and submit ‘alternate’ reports to the Committee.
Overview of the reporting process
The Committee drafts ‘Concluding Observations’ (recommendations) to the government.
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