Research report - National Child Labour Action Programme for South Africa (1).doc

Conceptualising and implementing a public awareness

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Conceptualising and implementing a public awareness campaign on child labour, including trafficking. Investigating appropriate mechanisms and processes for monitoring child trafficking at a community level. Building illegal immigrant reception centres’ capacity to attend to the needs and rights of victims. Developing regional and bi-lateral agreements aimed at preventing trafficking and to protect the rights and dignity of trafficked persons. 5.3 Commercial sexual exploitation of children Sexual exploitation of children includes prostitution and exploiting children for purposes of pornography. The measures aimed at addressing these crimes against children include the Sexual Offences Act, a provision of the Child Care Act and the Films and Publication Act – all three of which are currently under review. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of children (CSEC) is defined as one of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in the relevant ILO Convention. It was suggested during consultation with various South African stakeholders that CSEC of children, as with the involvement of children in other illegal activities, should not be referred to as a form of child labour, but as a crime committed against children. This does not change the fact that children involved in CSEC need protection and assistance. There is an area of overlap between CSEC and trafficking in children and this section should therefore be read together with 5.2. CSEC of children is a matter that requires priority attention, especially in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and recent reports such as those of the International Organisation on Migration suggesting that trafficking of children and adults for sex is on the increase in South Africa and the region more broadly. The government has engaged in some activity in the area of CSEC and other illegal activities. There has been a range of activities on the legal front, especially by the South African Law Reform Commission. The National Prosecuting Authority is the lead institution that has been assigned the responsibility to coordinate work in government on CSEC. Child prostitution is dealt with in the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) Report on Sexual Offences and the accompanying draft Bill on Sexual Offences – see 3.4. The thrust of the report’s recommendations is to decriminalise the child who is being prostituted, viewing the child as a victim while all other role-players involved in child prostitution, including perpetrators and complicit parents, are criminalized. This is a major departure from the current Sexual Offences Act, in terms of which children who are prostituted CSEC can be arrested for prostitution. Other important recommendations of the report are that living off or benefiting from the earnings of child prostitution should be penalised and sex tourism should be criminalized.
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