We acknowledge the much work that our government has done through legislations to protect children as well as increasing access to services. However we believe that more still needs to be done and we Children, Government, Civil Society and Private Sector all have a role to play in shaping our country for the better.
Through much debate, discussions and resolutions our resolutions for this 2015 parliament are as follows;
We realise that forced child marriages is still an issue for the many children that leads to high rate of school dropout, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS as result a child’s life will be changed from that of a full functional member in society to that of poverty, child underdevelopment and child death. Forced child marriages deprive children of a childhood that is loving, nurturing and supportive in their lives because they assume the role of mother, wife and prisoner at an early age. Children forced into child marriages are likely to be physically abused, emotionally abused and sexually abused.
- We recommend that communities should unite against forced child marriages in order to protect the rights of young girls
- We strongly urge that all children that have been forced into child marriages be removed in those circumstances by the department of Social Development, Safety and Security and the Police.
- We acknowledge that some cultural beliefs are used to suppress children as helpless victims in the matter, thus we advice that any child who has been forced into child marriages be removed immediately, and those responsible for the infringement of the child life be arrested and convicted harshly.
Commission 2: Corporal Punishment
Corporal punishment has lead to a high rate of homeless children; it has also led to a high rate of child mortality. In schools it is one of the main causes of poor academic performance and learner dropout,. Corporal punishment has a great influence in drugs and alcohol abuse among children and youth.
- We recommend that parents and teachers need to find a better way to provide discipline because we believe that as children; we continuously need to be encouraged and mentored properly.
- We strongly believe that children need to show respect to elders regardless of whether it is your parent or not
- We acknowledge the ethos, “It takes a village to raise a child” which is a strong message that still needs to be taught in our communities to raise children that know who they are in homes, communities and the country.
- We realise that corporal punishment is harmful to children, therefore we would like to urge teachers that they are parents too and they need to exercise care, love and nurturing when disciplining us as children.
Commission 3: Safety in Schools
The lack of proper security in schools is a serious issue for us, this is because the increase of gang violence has made our schools war zones and thus learners are exposed to more violence,
- We realise that gang members find our schools more accessible because they easily hide their criminal activities in schools through children who have joined gangs.
- We acknowledge that discrimination of students coming from poor backgrounds, low academic performance can also lead to more violence in schools
- We realise that children that lack discipline tend to be bullies and end up vandalizing our schools, libraries because of the pain they feel of not being able to fit in and sometimes being made to feel like they are stupid in the classrooms
- We realise that corruption in school management also leads to schools not getting proper learning facilities from the state and this increases gang violence because children stop caring about school and learning when they see what corrupt teachers do.
- We believe that teachers, members of the community can help end gang violence when they work together,
- We strongly recommend that at least 1-2 police officers, a community care worker, a nurse and emergency services can be present in the schools to assist learners and teachers in making the school environment a safe places of learning,
- We acknowledge that the Learner Representative Council is important in helping manage the school and working together with learners to make schools safe.
Commission 4: Access to Rights and Services
It has been now 21 years since the liberation of the country; however, the rights that we have as children are still not accessible by all children of the country.
- We request that the food that is being provided for in schools, by the feeding scheme, should meet the nutrition requirements and be something that is edible.
- Love is a birth right that we need to access on a daily basis from our parents and teachers.
- We appreciate the rights and services that we able to access and pledge we shall be responsible for them.
- We recommend that the state should also take into consideration the children living with disabilities when building child-friendly facilities within our communities.
Commission 5: HIV/AIDS amongst children and youth
We as children have realised that even today people lack knowledge about HIV/AIDS. We still find people that are HIV/AIDS positive and believe that it is the end of the world for them and therefore, make sure that they spread the virus before they ‘die’. Children who are HIV positive are less likely to perform well at school due to the discrimination and lack of knowledge from both other learners and their teachers; furthermore resorting to alcohol and substance abuse as a way of comforting themselves.
- We recommend that every school should have a child-friendly clinic where they would be able to test for HIV/AIDS without being discriminated.
- Campaigns such as ‘It Begins with You’ should be initiated to educate more people about the disease and to help ensure that the society can accept and live freely with people who are HIV/AIDS positive.
- We urge the state to increase the production of the HIV/AIDS treatment and also educate the pregnant mothers about the mother to child infection.
Child speaker of parliament
Hon. Jean Claude
Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
Ms. Sibongile Mkhabela
Speaker of the legislature
Hon. Motlagomang Qabathe
Minister of Social Development
Hon. Bathabile Dlamini
- Duduetsang Tlhomelang 14 Years Northern Cape
- Laelo Matlho 10 Years Limpopo
- Karabo Masilo 13 Years North West
- Nolitha Mpati 14 Years Eastern Cape
- Madeline Kallis 15 Years Mpumalanga
- Aviwe Jemane 17 Years Western Cape
- Thapelo Mbatha 15 Years Kwa – Zulu Natal
- Khutso Moleleki 14 Years Frees State
- Morongwa Ramushobane 16 Years Gauteng