Thursday, June 27, 2019

Disabled children in South Africa are three times more likely to be sexually abused compared to abled body children.

Disabled children in South Africa are three times more likely to be sexually abused compared to abled body children.

The Children’s Act must cater to the needs of disabled children more fervently as they are often the most at risk to being abused because of their heightened vulnerability.
This is according to André Kalis, specialist in advocacy, policy and children’s matters at the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), who said children with disabilities were falling through the cracks of the South African childcare and protection system.
He said the current Children’s Act of 2005 did not enforce drastic action to combat the extreme marginalisation and exclusion that children with disabilities suffer.

“Worldwide, children with disabilities are recognised as the most vulnerable and exposed group in society. The Children’s Act, through determinations, should reflect the dire state in which these children find themselves.”
Joshua Chigome who is the spokesperson for the Department of Social Development (DSD) said that while there wasn’t yet an act governing disability, there was instead a White Paper (a government report giving information or proposals on an issue), approved by the Cabinet on December 9, 2015.
Chigome went on to say that the DSD was in partnership with the NGO sector on advocacy and access to services and policy development to have disabilities recognised.

As the population grows, their efforts will include increasing the bed spaces for children and adults with moderate and high support needs and intellectual disabilities, increasing subsidies to residential facilities for people with disabilities and expanding audits for universal access to buildings for people with disabilities.

By: Aneeqa du Plessis

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