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South Africa: Child Law

(May 2, 2008) 41 of 2007, which includes provisions on “partial care of children, early childhood development, prevention and early intervention, foster care, child and youth care centers, protection of children, children in alternative care, and creates new offences relating to children.” (Children's Amendment Act, 513:30884 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA (Mar. 18, 2008), available at http://www.info.gov.za/gazette/acts/2007/a41-07.pdf (official source).) UNICEF country representative Macharia Kamau called the law, which amends the Children's Act of 2005, “a comprehensive piece of legislation that is line with provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Although the Act has received positive reviews, there is some concern about its implementation. Kamau expressed particular concern regarding funding for the programs that the Act envisages. She blamed the current ineffectiveness of programs designed to deliver services to children on “poor inter-sectoral cooperation and inefficiencies” and urged the appropriate ministries to cooperate more with one another. (UNICEF Heralds New Children's Protection Laws in South Africa, AFP, Apr. 10, 2008, Open Source Center No. AFP20080411543006.)