Government launches project for children behind bars
By Khanyisa Tabata
22 September 2009
An initiative for South African babies and toddlers, who live with their imprisoned mothers has been introduced to ensure that they live in a friendly environment, and are later placed in alternate centres outside prison walls.
The Imbeleko Project, which is currently being rolled out in different provinces, aims to ensure every child is kept in conditions conducive for optimal development and that they are treated in a manner that takes into account the childs age and basic needs.
It is hoped that this law will make certain that children do not spend too much time with their mothers and that they are reintegrated into society at a tender age to be socialized in a proper and natural environment.
The project is the result of a visit by the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Hlengiwe Mkhize, to Durban’s Westville Correctional Centre.
South Africa is also a signatory to various international agreements on the protection of children.