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ERIC Number: ED448901
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
Pages: 69
Abstractor: N/A
Rights of the Child in South Africa: Violence against Girls in South Africa.
Benninger-Budel, Carin
This report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child contains observations of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) concerning the application of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child by the nation of South Africa. Noting that the Convention is the only "mainstream" human rights instrument that explicitly states the rights apply equally to female and male children, the report first provides observations and recommendations concerning violence against girls in South Africa. General observations in this area indicate that despite Government efforts at the legislative, policy, and awareness levels, there remain, both in law and practice, discrimination against girls and conflict between the constitution and religious and customary laws which perpetuate harmful practices against girls. This section then examines: violence against girls in the family, including early marriages, bride prices, genital mutilation, and virginity testing; violence against women in the community, specifically rape, and trafficking and prostitution; and violence perpetrated by the state, noting emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of children in residential facilities such as prisons. The remainder of the report examines application of the U.N. Convention. The introduction for this section notes the new constitution and several human rights treaties signed by South Africa. The section then notes the discrepancies among these treaties and between common law and customary rulings with regard to the definition of the child. Constitutional and legislative provisions are then noted in the areas of: child protection against all forms of discrimination; best interests of the child; right to participation; freedom from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment; deprivation of liberty; sexual exploitation and abuse; child labor; refugees and asylum seeker children; and children in conflict with the law. The concluding section notes that while the government of South Africa has adopted several measures and introduced a number of amendments to fit domestic legislation to the U.N. Convention, there are still many gaps and contradictions at the legislative level, and several problems have arisen from the economic and social conditions of the country. Specific recommendations are offered. (HTH)
OMCT, P.O. Box 21-8, rue du Vieux-Billard, CH 1211, Geneva 8, CIC, Switzerland. Tel: 4122-809-49-39; Fax: 4122-809-49-29; Web site:; e-mail:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), Geneva (Switzerland).
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Equal Access; United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A