oa Article 40 - Between the Cracks : how the State fails to provide for and protect children with a debilitating form of conduct disorder

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-4382



The Children's Act ("the Act") creates an all-encompassing legislative framework that aims for compliance with South Africa's constitutional and international obligations. The Act places particular emphasis on the rights of children with disabilities. In practice, however, children with mental health disabilities seem to remain in a limbo situation when it comes to real provision being made for services to them. A prime example of such a failure of services has recently come to light with the identification of a number of children suffering from a debilitating form of conduct disorder and the realisation that appropriate care facilities for such children simply do not exist. The Centre for Child Law ("CCL") has brought applications on behalf of two children in this regard (hereafter referred to by their initials "A" and "G") and has managed to identify up to twenty others in Gauteng alone currently suffering due to the State's failure to provide appropriate facilities and services for the protection, care, education and treatment of children afflicted with this condition. Children diagnosed with conduct disorder often end up in the criminal justice system where their criminal capacity is at issue. Details of the A and G applications can be found in the accompanying case study note.

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