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South Africa: UN Commends SA's Efforts to Protect Vulnerable Children
Source: SA - the Good News via SAnews.gov
Source Date: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Jul 18, 2013

“The South African Children’s Act gives effect to constitutional rights through the provision of a range of services, including early childhood development (ECD) programmes,” Girma highlighted.
Government has identified ECD as a key focus area in its effort to improve the quality of basic education and care for children. More than 836,000 children currently benefit from ECD services in South Africa. By the end of 2012, there were more than 19,500 ECD centres across the country.
Girma also applauded government for extending antiretroviral treatment to 1.8 million adults so they can live to see their children grow, as well as providing antiretroviral treatment to 150,000 children who need it – up from 4,200 children in 2004.
The child support grant, which now reaches more than 11 million poor children, was also commended.
Girma added that ECD centres can be used effectively as “nodes of care and support” not only for vulnerable children, but also for their caregivers and communities.
“ECD services can serve as a nucleus for a wide range of community-based HIV and Aids prevention, care and support interventions.”
The conference is investigating ways to strengthen families and community based responses as a support system for OVCY; providing a platform for peer sharing and learning about best practices for enhancing the availability of high quality, timely data for policy and programmatic decision making, and addressing factors that render children vulnerable and exploring effective approaches to building resilience.
The conference, which ends today, is held as part of the commemoration of the National Child Protection Week (CPW) that began on 27 May 2013.
CPW is commemorated in the country annually to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Children's Act of 2005. The campaign, which began in 1997, also aims to mobilise all sectors of society and communities in the effort of ensuring care and protection for children.
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