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n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Protecting South Africa's children : what difference will the new Children's Bill make? : main article
The rights of children have become paramount as a result of many international initiatives to highlight the plight of children across the world.
South Africa has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and has constitutional obligations towards children in South Africa.
The Children's Bill is a new piece of legislation aimed at giving effect to constitutional rights for children. The first part of the Bill has already been passed as law.
The context for children in South Africa points to some improvements, yet the context of abuse, exploitation and maltreatment remain the same.
Child welfare services are fragmented and uncoordinated, and the financial resources needed to render appropriate services are lacking.
The Children's Bill provides a legislative framework addressing most aspects related to the care and protection of children.
One of the key focus areas of the Bill is the realisation of child rights in the areas of family care, protection from abuse and neglect, social services, and legal representation in civil matters.
The Bill prioritises children in budgetary decisions, and ensures integrated and co-ordinated service delivery to children.
It regulates adoption more stringently, and promotes equal opportunity and protection for children with disability.
The Bill has a few limitations, the most notable one being that appropriate mechanisms and measures for its proper implementation have not been taken into account.
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