Child protection

Ubuntu and the debate over child protection

Ubuntu and the debate over child protection

by Robyn Wolfson Vorster Recent public comment days for the Children’s Amendment Bills brought a stark reminder that many sectors of government still believe that ubuntu is the panacea for all of our orphans’ ills. Ubuntu, by definition, is about our humanity to others. In the context of child protection, it is epitomised by community-based care and the principle...

The great adoption process power struggle

The great adoption process power struggle

by Robyn Wolfson Vorster Since the advent of the Children’s Act in 2005, adopting a child in South Africa has become a bit like a Mission impossible adventure set in the Big Brother house: it is the ultimate ‘against the odds’ undertaking but also characterised by invasive scrutiny, and weeks and months that pass where absolutely nothing happens. Thanks...

Lies, Damned Lies and statistics: Unravelling SA’s child trafficking condundrum

Lies, Damned Lies and statistics: Unravelling SA’s child trafficking condundrum

by Robyn Wolfson Vorster In modern society there are few things as truly evil as human trafficking, especially when it involves children, and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s argument for those afflicted by the scourge is compelling. But his supposed solution has once again been called into question along with the statistical basis for the plan. It begs the...

Abandoned children, South Africa’s dirty little secret

Abandoned children, South Africa’s dirty little secret

by Robyn Wolfson Vorster Around 3,500 children are abandoned in South Africa annually. News of yet another child found dead or left in a precarious position elicits strong public condemnation and emotion. Public consensus on the issue of child abandonment generally provokes a knee-jerk response to blame and demonise mothers. But despite our deeply felt beliefs, research has indicated...

Cry, the Beloved Children

Cry, the Beloved Children

By Robyn Wolfson Vorster Child Protection Week has come and gone.  If you failed to notice, you’re not alone. Given other pressing issues like fire-pools, football and financial rewards, it wasn’t highlighted very well. These days government seems to be too busy defending itself to also be defending our vulnerable children.   In the context of the $10million alleged...