Rolling out the Thuthuzelas
The focus now is on replicating the model of the Thuthuzela Care Centre across the country, and beyond. To take this initiative further, UNICEF supported a national sexual offences consultation which developed governance mechanisms and plans to manage sexual offences in South Africa and to roll out the Thuthuzela Care Centre model.
A key achievement towards reducing violence against women and children was the production of a compendium of case studies on violence prevention programmes, and mapping and assessment of violence prevention models in South Africa. The findings of the reports were used as a basis for launching a public engagement campaign that addresses domestic violence and child abuse. The campaign is expected to reach 164,000 commuters at taxi ranks in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces, as well as rural communities in five municipalities in the Eastern Cape.
To assist countries to share knowledge about gender based violence, and to introduce the Thuthuzela Care Centre model to other developing countries, UNICEF facilitated a number of meetings during the year. The first was a high-level exchange between the governments of South Africa and Ethiopia.
Recognising the importance of treatment of sexual offenders as a prevention measure, UNICEF supported the tenth conference of the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders. UNICEF also supported a meeting of prosecutors from 23 African countries where they discussed their role in the matter. At the meeting, five countries were identified for introducing the Thuthuzela Care Centre model.
A key aspect of UNICEF’s future work in preventing the exploitation and abuse of children will be on supporting recent child protection legislation. In 2009 probation officers and childcare workers will be trained to meet the challenges of implementing the new Child Justice Bill, and the National Framework for the Prevention and Management of Child Abuse and Neglect will be reviewed to align it to the new Children’s Act.