ACDP statement on the horrifying levels of violence against children in South Africa and their exposure to it
Speech by ACDP MP, Marie Sukers

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

ACDP condemns horrifying levels of violence against children and exposure to it

Mar 5, 2024

The ACDP notes with growing concern the conduct of several political parties, including the Minister of Police, who have used the disappearance of 6-year-old Joshlin Smith from Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape, as a public relations opportunity. Honourable Chairperson, we need to do better as political leaders!

The disappearance of four other children in the Western Cape highlights the concerns expressed during the public hearings on the Children’s Amendment Bill by child activists in the children’s sector. It is undeniable that we face a crisis in our country when it comes to violence against children, and their exposure to violent crime. South Africa is one of the most dangerous places for women and children, and we have very few safety nets for children who are forced to grow up in abject poverty.

During Children’s Week in 2021, child activist Robyn Wolfson-Vorster, through the ACDP’s Parliamentary Constituency Office, addressed communities about the impact of violence on children. The statistics then and now paint a horrifying picture, and should leave every citizen with the awareness that “your child, is my child”.

The only positive thing to come from Saldanha Bay, given the political circus that has unfolded there over the last week, is the upscaling of resources to find little Joshlin and the spotlight that fell on what the child sector has been shouting from the rooftops now for more than three years.

The pandemic of violence and abuse in South Africa has put children at risk of all kinds of danger and politically, very little has been done to address this crisis.

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