We the children and young people from all nine provinces of South Africa have, in this 5th’ NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN`S PARLIAMENT on “Claiming our Rights to Safety and Protection”, through much discussion and debate learned many things about the conditions and circumstances of children and young people in our country.
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;
Commission 1: Forced Child Marriage
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
Ambassadors List 2015
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