oa South African Medical Journal - Using a child rights approach to strengthen prevention of violence against children : CME

Volume 106, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Violence against children is widespread in South Africa. Much of it remains hidden, and social services are thinly stretched. This article therefore focuses on children's rights to protection and considers the implications for healthcare practice. Children's rights can be considered both a 'language of critique' and a 'language of possibility' - encouraging us to evaluate current practice from a child-centred perspective and to re-imagine ways in which we deliver healthcare services. The article outlines the nature, extent and long-term effects of violence against children, introduces a framework for conceptualising violence prevention, and considers ways in which health professionals can better respond to cases of abuse and neglect, and prevent violence against children from taking place.

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