Child protection

Circles of Care

Isibindi and Safe Parks

Ending violence against children





This page contains links to all news features, including media releases related to child protection and are filed according to date:

An exciting and inspiring visit to Isibindi Zizameleni Safe Park
1 July 2019 - Laughter, joy, courage and excitement fill the air at the Isibindi Zizameleni Safe Park as a UNICEF team is welcomed with song by children on the eve of the Global Child and Youth Care Conference.

UK celebrity Mark Wright visits Saldanha Safe Park
21 June 2019 - With a moving song in the local language of isiXhosa sung by children and child and youth care workers, UK television celebrity and UNICEF supporter, Mark Wright is welcomed to the Safe Park in Middlepos on the outskirts of Saldanha.

UNICEF supports calls to end all violence against children
Pretoria, 5 April 2019 - UNICEF South Africa welcomes the decision by the Gauteng MEC for Social Development Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to close the Carletonville nursery school where allegations of serious abuse have surfaced against young children.

UNICEF engages religious and traditional leaders on child rights
12-13 March 2019 - For the ongoing violence against children to be stop and for their rights and their welfare to be secured, UNICEF believes that all sectors of society need to be involved.

Ending violence against children – The role of men
January 2019 - It has become increasingly evident to UNICEF and our many other partners that for violence against children to be lessened and, ultimately, ended, there needs to be active involvement by men as well.

UNICEF in Parliament – Ensuring that children remain a priority in the State budget
23 November 2018 - A few days after the commemoration of World Children’s Day, UNICEF was invited to address the Appropriations Committee of Parliament.

Half of world’s teens experience peer violence in and around school – UNICEF
NEW YORK, 6 September 2018 – Half of students aged 13 to 15 worldwide – around 150 million – report having experienced peer-to-peer violence in and around school, according to a new report released by UNICEF today.

We commit to ending violence against children
3 September 2018: UNICEF and the Media Monitoring Agency (MMA) this week hosted a Master Class for editors and journalists to create awareness about the We Commit initiative currently being rolled out in South Africa.

UNICEF salutes the legacy of Albertina Sisulu
25 August 2018 - “We all understand that without the love, care and protection that children deserve from us in our homes, communities and in schools, we will not build a resilient nation.”

UNICEF believes in the power of dance
12 July 2018 - “This is my Safe Park and I feel safe,” is the enthusiastic shout of children as they energetically dance to the sounds of popular South African music at the Soweto Safe Park.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lilly Singh visits South Africa to meet students affected by violence in school
JOHANNESBURG/NEW YORK, 24 JULY 2018 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Lilly Singh, travelled to South Africa this week to meet children who are speaking out on classroom violence and bullying, as part of UNICEF’s work to end violence in schools.

UNICEF staff members join 100 Men March against gender violence
Pretoria, 10 July 2018 - Amidst singing and chanting of “down with gender violence”, UNICEF staff joined the Hundred Men March through the centre of Pretoria in order to highlight the role of men in ending violence against women and children.

Child Protection Week 2018
June 2018 - Child Protection Week (CPW) in South Africa is an important fixture on the UNICEF calendar and has been commemorated since 1997. In a week-long series of programmes, campaigns and events, awareness is raised on the need to protect children.

Child Protection Week: UNICEF calls for an end to violence against children
Pretoria, 28 May 2018: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) views Child Protection Week is a key opportunity to shine a spotlight on children’s issues, highlight successes and identify what still needs to be done.

UNICEF South Africa Ambassador Gavin Rajah strengthens his commitment to end violence against children
21 March 2018 - As the country commemorated Human Rights Day, UNICEF South Africa Ambassador Gavin Rajah used the high-profile platform of AFI Cape Town Fashion Week to intensify his support of UNICEF’s national campaign to end violence against children.

UNICEF South Africa launches Influential Women Circle with Special Advocate Carol Bouwer
Cape Town, 21 March 2018 – Yesterday evening, on the eve of Human Rights Day, UNICEF launched the Influential Women Circle with its Special Advocate, media celebrity and entrepreneur, Mrs. Carol Bouwer.

Canadian Deputy Minister visits Soweto Safe Park
5 March 2018 - “I feel safe here and nobody can bully me” asserts nine-year old Talent as he addresses Canada’s Assistant Deputy Minister of Global Issues and Development, Diane Jacovella at the Freedom Park Safe Park on the outskirts of Soweto.

UNICEF South Africa Ambassador Gavin Rajah visits Safe Park
12 February 2018 - In many impoverished areas of South Africa, too many children do not have a secure, conducive space after school. The Isibindi Safe Parks are managed by the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW).

South African Government and UNICEF Promote Community-based Care, Parenting and MenCare at Swedish’ Global Solutions Summit to End Violence against Children
Pretoria, 19 February 2018 – South Africa is sending a delegation to the Global Solutions Summit to End Violence against Children. The Summit is being hosted by the Government of Sweden.

UNICEF address at 16 Days of Activism Imbizo
7 December 2017: From the 25 November to 10 December, South Africa, along with much of the global community, commemorates the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign.

South Africa joins the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
15 December 2017: South Africa, through the Minister of Social Development on behalf of Cabinet, has formalized its membership to the Global Partnership to End Violence thus becoming the 13th ‘Pathfinder country’ to join this important initiative.

The Toy Movement: Helping brighten the lives of children
Johannesburg, 13 December 2017 - Safe Parks, some of which UNICEF support, continues to make a meaningful difference to the lives of children throughout South Africa by providing care and support in various forms.

Violent discipline, sexual abuse and homicides stalk millions of children worldwide – UNICEF
Pretoria, South Africa, 1 November 2017 – Staggering numbers of children – some as young as 12 months old – are experiencing violence, often by those entrusted to take care of them, UNICEF says in a new report released today.

UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Solange Tuyishime, visits programmes for children in South Africa
25 August 2017 – The Safe Park at Freedom Park in Soweto was quiet upon arrival of the delegation from UNICEF and the Canadian High Commission waiting for the children to come from school.

Putting children at the centre of development and protection
7 July 2017 - In light of its core mandate recognizing the right of every child to be loved, cared for and protected, UNICEF, the Department of Social Development and other partners supported a national gathering of child and youth care practitioners.

Launching Child Protection Week
24 May 2017 - Despite a child-friendly justice and protection system, South Africa continues to experience high levels of violence against children.

UNICEF Condemns Brutal Murders of Girls and Women, Calls for Violence-free Communities
Pretoria, 22 May 2017 – Alarmed by recent reports of women and girls – some as young as two years-old – being brutally raped, mutilated and killed, UNICEF is calling on government, civil society and community members to accelerate ongoing actions...

UNICEF partners with Ster-Kinekor to combat bullying
24 February 2017 - UNICEF and Ster-Kinekor, one of South Africa’s largest cinema chains, are joining forces to combat bullying by showcasing a 30 second anti-bullying public service announcement in ongoing efforts to campaign against violent behaviour...

New film featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham highlights urgent need to end violence against children
5 December 2016 – A powerful new film featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham was released today to illustrate the brutal reality that physical and psychological abuse can mark children forever.

Safe Parks: Providing sanctuary and support
August 2016 - It is a sad reality that children in many parts of the world face daily threats to their safety.

A brighter future beckons through Isibindi
March 2016 - As one leaves the city of East London on South Africa’s southern coast, the winding gravel road is a reminder of the large swathes of South Africa that are still rural and in which the challenges of rural poverty are real.

Isibindi: Guiding tomorrows leaders
March 2017 - “I am an example of the success of this programme” asserts 19-year old Vuyo Gqotholo, as he sits in the shade provided by one of the former shipping containers that make up this Safe Park on the outskirts of King Williams Town.

The best gift
March 2016 - The road to the town of Alice in the Eastern Cape takes one through lush, rolling hills before plateauing as the iconic University of Fort Hare approaches, the alma mater of numerous African statesmen including Nelson Mandela.

Isibindi: Making a real difference
24 February 2016 - The lush greenery in the Eastern Cape of South Africa is a welcome sign that the long-delayed rains have finally arrived.

Safe Parks: Making a positive difference
18 February 2016 - A neat gravel road on the outskirts of East London leads to Ncefa Village where a recently-established Safe Park provides a sanctuary for children and youth from five neighbouring villages.

Isibindi - Caring for the most vulnerable
18 November 2015 - Every day in South Africa, hundreds of trained Isibindi Child and Youth Care workers serve the most vulnerable children and families in their communities. The name “Isibindi” means courage in IsiZulu.

UNICEF and 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children
25 November 2015 - South Africa will along with the rest of the world observe 16 Days of activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children from November 25th to the 10th of December. The theme this year is epitomised through Count me in.

UNICEF SA joins youth on fight against violence
20 September 2015 - The level of crime and violence in many parts of South Africa remains high and continues to affect the children in these communities.

Addressing violence against women and children
15 – 16 September 2015 - UNICEF South Africa, in partnership with the UN Population Fund, UKAid and Save the Children held a symposium in Cape Town on how to address violence against women and children.

UNICEF and UNFPA tackle Gender Based Violence
16 September 2015 - UNICEF and UNFPA on behalf of the Gender Based Violence Area of Responsibility along with an advisory board launched the Revised Guidelines for Integrating Gender Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action this week.

Video: UNICEF South Africa's Child Protection programme
7 June 2015 - Many families in South Africa face severe challenges in protecting and caring for their children. Watch this interview by SABC with Patrizia Benvenuti, UNICEF South Africa's Chief of Child Protection.

Nearly one in four adolescent girls experience physical violence
10 October 2014 – Ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF is issuing a new compilation of data revealing the magnitude of violence against adolescent girls and the alarming attitudes that perpetuate such abuse.

New global data expose acute prevalence of violence against children: UNICEF
4 September 2014 – The largest-ever compilation of data on violence against children shows the staggering extent of physical, sexual and emotional abuse -- and reveals the attitudes that perpetuate and justify violence, keeping it ‘hidden in plain sight’.

UNICEF South Africa along with the South African Government have joined hands in making the invisible, visible
22 July 2014 - UNICEF South Africa along with the South African Department of Social Development and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Gavin Rajah launched the End Violence Against Children Campaign today.

The gift of fatherhood
June 2014 - More than half of the children growing up in South Africa do so without a father present in the home. A confluence of history, poverty and harmful ideas about manhood has led to more and more men becoming absent in the lives of their children

Guiding vulnerable children towards a brighter future
April 2014 - As she writes down her name, the young girl’s brows furrow in concentration. Her hand is trembling slightly as she puts pen to paper, but the hint of a smile is playing on her lips.

On Universal Children’s Day, put hidden violence and abuse in the spotlight, says UNICEF
20 November 2013 – As the world marks Universal Children’s Day, UNICEF is urging a much stronger light be shone on the millions of children in every country and at every level of society who are victims of violence and abuse that continue to go unnoticed.

UNICEF concerned over harmful initiation practices
10 July 2013 - UNICEF expressed concern today over the reported deaths of several children as a result of harmful practices, including unsafe male circumcision, during recent initiation ceremonies.

See the child before the disability, UNICEF says
30 May 2013 – Children with disabilities and their communities would both benefit if society focused on what those children can achieve, rather than what they cannot do, according to UNICEF’s annual State of the World’s Children’s report released globally

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom spends a day with South African children
2 December 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom met with children and young people near Cape Town today to learn more about their lives and to spread the word about what they have to say.

UNICEF Ambassador Sir Alex Ferguson and Man Utd starlet Ben Amos take time out of South African tour to call for end to abuse of orphans and vulnerable children
18 July 2012: UNICEF Ambassador and Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson took time out to learn about the impact of violence and abuse on the country’s orphans and to call on communities to play an active role in protecting vulnerable children.

Understanding child poverty requires us to look at both challenges and progress
23 May 2012 – In the lead up to Child Protection Week, from 27 May to 3 June 2012, recent media coverage has highlighted the harsh realities facing children who live in poverty in South Africa.

Children have a right to be protected from corporal punishment
2 February 2012 -- UNICEF calls attention to international and national legislation protecting children from all forms of violence, abuse and maltreatment.

Expanding the circle of protection
8 August 2011 - Perhaps you’ve heard of the ‘model’ of community-based childcare, known as Isibindi? It was developed by the National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers in response to the impact of AIDS and poverty on South Africa’s children.

Child Care Work - Speaking to SELINAH NTUKA
Selinah Ntuka, has been a social care worker with ISIBINDI Kathorus in Katlehong, Johannesburg, since June 2006. She is a mother of two and takes care of her 11-year old niece. She spoke to us about her work and how she found her calling.

Support to a vulnerable child yearning for a mother’s love
A seven-year-old girl carries her little brother on her back, pretending to be just like Mommy; a young boy flies his home-made kite and a few elders sit on the sidewalk enjoying the breezy, hot open space near the Middelpos informal settlement...

Conference shines a light on potential hazards for street children during 2010
The large digital countdown clocks are visible at all the airports, the excitement is palpable, advertising on the theme of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is predominant and plans to accommodate an estimated 2.7 million spectators...

Gift’s Wish: Children dream of a nice meal, a safe home and a family in Musina
Gift Dube* is a bright, articulate and friendly boy. He loves playing football with his friends and going to school, where his favourite subjects are English and geography. But Gift’s is not the life of a typical youngster.

Impact on children: care and support for orphans and vulnerable children
The number of orphans in South Africa is growing. A UNAIDS estimate sets the total at two million, half of whom have lost their mother, father or both parents to AIDS. Read more...

South Africa’s One-Stop Child Justice Centres
Lester is one of 38 000 youths arrested for various crimes in the Western Cape each year. Read more...

A holistic plan of action helps turn the tide of hopelessness for children
A devoted team of nurses, doctors, social workers and community volunteers at nearby Prince Mshiyeni Hospital are digging deep to try and turn the tide of hopelessness especially for the area’s children. Read more...

Jabu's long walk to comfort
A Comfort Center that provides integrated services to victims of sexual abuse, a one-stop shop is what development organizations like UNICEF and other service providers in the public sector have been dreaming about. Read more...





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