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Celebrating 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Pledge by South Africa

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Ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 16 June 1995

Ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict on 24 September 2009

Acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children child prostitution and child pornography on 30 June 2003


  1. To ensure that within the next decade, every 10-year-old will be able to read for meaning, the entire nation will need to be mobilised behind a massive reading campaign. ECD has been moved from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education. Early reading is the basic foundation that determines a child’s educational progress, through school, through higher education and into the workplace.  It is through initiatives like the National Reading Coalition that South Africa will be able to coordinate this national effort.  All foundation and intermediate phase teachers are to be trained to teach reading in English and the African languages, and a cohort of experienced coaches are being trained and deployed to provide high quality on-site support to teachers. South Africa will be implementing the Early Grade Reading Programme, which consists of an integrated package of lesson plans, additional reading materials and professional support to Foundation Phase teachers.
  2. The coordination of disability initiatives has been moved to the centre of government, i.e. issues related to persons with disability now form part of a new Ministry in The Presidency and the Presidential Working Group on Disability has been revived.    One of the goals of the South African government is to increase the number of schools that effectively implement the inclusive education policy and that have access to centres offering specialist services. Furthermore, South Africa was one of the first countries to sign the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Protocol will be submitted to Parliament this year for ratification.
  3. As part of the broader efforts to strengthen the basic education system by empowering school leadership teams, the capabilities of teachers will be improved and a more consistent measurement of progress for grades three, six and nine will be ensured. This is why subjects like coding and data analytics are been introduced at a primary school level.
  4. To continue to strengthen children’s participation, this year the country will host its 9th Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament from 26-27 September 2019 under the theme “Celebrating 30 Years of the UNCRC by Holding Authorities Accountable to Children”.  
  5. During the week leading up to the parliamentary procedures, children will be engaged on the alignment of the first South African Children’s Manifesto, 2019 – 2023 National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) and the South African Child Participation Framework to the CRC.
  6. Representatives from the Children’s Parliament will subsequently be taken to the National Legislature in Cape Town in November 2019 in order to address relevant Portfolio Committees on their Outcomes from the Children’s Parliament in September.

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