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Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)



WHEREAS the Constitution establishes a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights and seeks to improve the quality of life of all citizens and to free the potential of each person;


AND WHEREAS every child has the rights set out in section 28 of the Constitution;


AND WHEREAS the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil those rights;


AND WHEREAS protection of children’s rights leads to a corresponding improvement in the lives of other sections of the community because it is neither desirable nor possible to protect children’s rights in isolation from their families and communities;


AND WHEREAS the United Nations has in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed that children are entitled to special care and assistance;


AND WHEREAS the need to extend particular care to the child has been stated in the Geneva Declaration on the Rights of the Child, in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child, in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies and international organisations concerned with the welfare of children;


AND WHEREAS it is necessary to effect changes to existing laws relating to children in order to afford them the necessary protection and assistance so that they can fully assume their responsibilities within the community as well as that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.


BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:—