As South Africa observes Child Protection Week which takes place annually from the 1st until the 7th of June, SADTU would like to urge teachers to make everyday a child protection day for their learners. Children are the future of our country. They rely on adults to keep them safe, healthy and happy. Yet all too often adults abuse the trust that children place in them and, in many cases, forget that children are vulnerable members of society who require protection from harm.

Our children are facing challenges of safety on daily basis in their homes, communities and schools. Other challenges facing children include the lack of sufficient nutrition; lack of proper education; being orphaned due to HIV/AIDS; physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

As SADTU we would like to reiterate the old saying - “It takes a village to raise a child”. This means that respecting the rights of children and protecting them is the responsibility of everybody - communities, the elderly, churches, parents and teachers.

If all these sectors of the community could rally around the safety of the children by providing guaranteed safe environments which are free of abuse and negligence, children will grow into good citizens. Despite government, civil society efforts and our constitution which stipulates clearly the rights of children, many are still vulnerable to abuse.

We urge teachers to continue to teach children about their rights in schools and abide by the law.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat