Child Protection Week is being observed in the country from 30 May to 6 June to raise awareness around children’s rights. The theme for 2021 is ‘Let us all protect children during Covid-19 and beyond’ particularly as young children remain the biggest targets for grooming and human trafficking. The police define child grooming as befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child (and sometimes their family) to lower their defences for the purpose of sexual abuse.
A 2018 UN report on drugs and crime titled Global Report on Trafficking in Persons revealed that children made up almost a third of all human trafficking victims globally. It is society’s collective responsible to protect children, especially in poorer communities.
Children between 11 and 17 are the most vulnerable to being groomed. According to the police, the majority of the cases start on the internet where child groomers first try to gain a child’s or their guardian’s trust.
Whether you are a parent or guardian, it is important to monitor children’s behaviour, especially around their usage of technology. Children are trafficked for numerous reasons such child labour, sexual exploitation, commercial sex work, and physical and mental abuse.
The Roodepoort Child Welfare in Discovery provides services for the care and protection of children. These include social work and social intervention services. The NGO provides a safe environment for children that have been hurt, abused, abandoned or orphaned. This extends to:
• attending to Children’s Court enquiries
• providing counselling to caregivers and children
• providing adoption services
• placing children in places of safety and monitoring them
• placing children in foster care and monitoring them
• providing various skills development programmes i.e. basic reading and writing skills, food gardens, foster parent training etc.
• providing community development programmes
• supplying children with back to school packs
• engaging in various awareness projects such as Child Protection Week, Anti Rape, Anti Drug, Mandela Day, Youth Day, Arbor Day
You can make donations to the Roodepoort Child Welfare. Contact them on 011 271 8700.