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Suffer the children, the least protected and most vulnerable in our society

Ml Muhammad Bham |
31 May 2023 | 11:05 CAT
3 min read

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The headlines continue to make for dim reading as another young child went missing and the gruesome discovery of the child’s dismembered body was found.

Despite fewer child murders reported in South Africa between January and March 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, this is no comfort for the parents of the number of children killed, still missing or raped and abused.

South Africa is not doing enough to protect children’s rights, which can be seen in daily experiences like children that do not have basic needs like food, healthcare and essential protection. This relates that those put in place to protect us show that we hold no value to the lives of children in this country.

To rectify this problem, we should begin with how we see children. Children have no agency to access their rights unless there is adult help in accessing their rights for them or with them, and that is a concern because if children don’t have access to fundamental rights, it is a significant problem.

Child Development and Protection Consultant Luke Lamprecht said South Africa must be a brutalised society to allow harm to the vulnerable, highlighting our inhumanity and the fact that we live in a world where people are not valued. Therefore, we have an aggressive society that brutalises its young.

This systemic problem results from no services to protect children, so the whole system is failing our children. People want to take matters into their own hands because the system doesn’t work.

One example cited is a case in court for five years regarding two small boys who were abused by a man in a sports club; that same man was then released on bail and committed seven hundred offences for which he is being convicted.

There is very little faith in the system to respond to these cases, and as a result, people want to take matters into their own hands because they think there is simply no justice.

Another aspect we should consider is what kind of society raises people who behave this way. For this, we must go back to the childhood of the perpetrators harming our children. The one thing which was found to be most curious is that most of the perpetrators who hurt children in any way or murder kids are people who are well known to these children, like parents, teachers, coaches etc., and there is a complete betrayal of their power.

As a community, we must go back and see how to create a future generation that does not brutalise children. We must investigate how we instil respect for life and dignity in young people to care for themselves and one another so that the cycle is not perpetuated.

Listen to the full interview on Sabahul Muslim with Sulaimaan Ravat here


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