Tue, 13 Apr 2021

  • Christina Nomdo has released a report into engagements and achievements for 2020, which focuses on child monitors and governance strategies.
  • In an interview with News24, Nomdo said her office would focus more on "child participation" and will have a mission which says, "little voices must count".
  • Child lobby groups have criticised her for not being proactive and having a solid plan to deal with violence against children.

It's been nearly 10 months since Christina Nomdo started her position as children's commissioner in the Western Cape.

Despite the establishment of her office, she has not presented a concrete plan to deal with the scourge of violence against children.

On Wednesday, Nomdo released a report into engagements and achievements for 2020. It focuses on child monitors and governance strategies.

Nomdo told News24:

I have said I would like to be strategic in the work I do. And children's rights is made from several areas, like child protection rights fall under the Department of Social Development's job, child provisioning rights for any services provided to children and that's the whole of government's job, but child participation, it is under-modelled in our country.

Nomdo said her office would focus more on "child participation" and will have a mission driven by "little voices must count".

READ | First Western Cape Children's Commissioner shares her vision for the future

In recent weeks, there has been a spate of child killings in the Western Cape.

Last week alone, 10 people were shot in Mitchells Plain in two separate incidents.

In the first incident, two teenagers died when a group of five youths were shot in a drive-by shooting in Beacon Valley on Thursday.

Two days later, five men were shot. Four were killed.

The function of the Children's Commissioner's office is monitoring, investigating, researching, educating, lobbying, advising and reporting on matters pertaining to children in the province.

When asked whether safety should be a greater focus, Nomdo said: "Yes, in a child's rights approach the duty bearers of children's rights are actually adults, so it's adults' role to keep children alive. It's [primarily] their parents' job and government's job so that their rights are realised."

READ ALSO | Mitchells Plain residents give Bheki Cele a frosty welcome: 'The government is five days late'

But child lobby groups in the province are not impressed.

Molo Songololo founder Patric Solomons said while the organisation is "aware" the commissioner has had to establish her office during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is concerned "that many organisations and community members are unaware of this commissioner, and the fact that there is no five-year plan".

Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siya Monakali said they had hoped to see proper strategies to combat violence against children.

Monakali said:

We are aware it's a collaborative effort. We would have hoped to see more strategic objectives to ensure that issues like child violence is dealt with. The Western Cape is leading the pack of violence against children.

The Delft coordinator for child human rights group One Billion Rising South Africa, Farida Ryklief, noted the organisation's "disappointment" that its officials "have not seen her or heard from her since she has taken office and she has not been proactive on the ground".

Source: News24

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