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PRIVATE MEMBERS LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL AND SPECIAL PETITIONS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
27 August 2003
CAMERER'S DRAFT BILL TO AMEND THE CHILD CARE ACT: DELIBERATIONS
Chairperson: Mr A Ainslie (ANC) (Acting)
Documents handed out:
Letter from the Minister of Social Development Commenting on the Child Care Amendment Bill (Re Trafficking in Children) (Appendix 1)
Letter from the Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Justice Commenting on the Child Care Amendment Bill: Re Trafficking in Children (Appendix 2)
Ms Camerer's Memorandum to Amend the Child Care Act (Appendix 3)
Explanatory Memorandum on the Legislative Proposal (Appendix 4)
Draft Bill to Amend the Child Care Act, 1983 (Appendix 5)
The Committee dealt with comments received from the Minister of Social Development and the Chair of Justice Portfolio Committee on Camerer's Draft Bill to Amend the Child Care Act. It was decided that this matter should be held in abeyance until the Justice Portfolio Committee has dealt with the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill as they intend to place child trafficking provisions in that Bill.
The Committee Chairperson was unable to attend the meeting and the Committee unanimously nominated Mr A Ainslie (ANC) as acting chairperson.
Letter from the Minister of Social Development Commenting on the Child Care Amendment Bill (Re Trafficking in Children)
The Chair read the letter from the Minister of Social Development, Dr Z Skweyiya. He said that the Minister and his department fully support the proposal made by Ms Camerer to amend the provisions of the Child Care Act, so as to include a provision dealing with trafficking in children.
Letter from the Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Justice Commenting on the Child Care Amendment Bill: Re Trafficking in Children
The Chair read the letter from the Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Justice, Adv J De Lange. In his letter Adv De Lange requests the Private Members Committee to withdraw the proposal from its agenda since this matter would be dealt with under the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill, which is presently before the Justice Committee.
Mr M Da Camara (DA) said that since the Justice Portfolio Committee is dealing with a Bill, which might affect this proposed amendment then it would be better to flag the matter. He further proposed that Ms Camerer should be invited and told of this development since it is important to get her views on the matter.
Mr S Mshudulu (ANC) agreed. He also noted that it would be important for the Committee to invite a Justice Portfolio Committee representative to brief them on the provisions for dealing with this matter in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill.
The Chair noted that Ms Camerer, who is also a member of the Justice Committee, would be advised about the next meeting so that she could attend and express her views thus giving the Committee direction. The Justice Portfolio Committee could also be invited to provide a briefing on the relevant provisions in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill.
The meeting was adjourned.
TO: Mr E Kgopa (Secretary: Portfolio Committee on Justice)
FROM: Dr Z Skweyiya (Minister: Department of Social Development)
19 June 2003
CHILD CARE AMENDMENT DILL (RE TRAFFICKING IN CHILDREN)
A letter from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Private Members Legislative Proposals and Special Petitions has reference.
The amendment proposals to the Child Care Act to legislate the trafficking in Children is supported by my Department and me.
As South Africa does not currently have legislation that specifically prohibits the traffic in persons, it is of the utmost importance that legislation to protect children, especially girl children against trafficking be supported, approved and implemented in South Africa.
TO: Mr P Hendrikse (Chair: Standing Committee on Private Members' Legislative Proposals)
FROM: Adv J De Lange (Chair: Portfolio Committee on Justice)
18 August 2003
CHILD CARE AMENDMENT BILL RE TRAFFICKING IN CHILDREN
Your letter dated 5 May 2003 refers. The contents thereof have been noted
Kindly note that the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill is presently before the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development (the Committee). Public hearings in respect of this legislation will be held towards the latter part of September 2003. It appears that the matters being dealt with in the Private Members Bill proposed by Mrs Sheila Camerer, MP is part of the substance of the Bill before us. In fact, she has given me a copy of the Bill. which I have asked the Committee Secretary to circulate as part of the documentation dealing with the Bill. It would seem to me under the circumstances, that the Private Members' Bill should be withdrawn and made part of the issues being dealt with during the deliberations of the Committee in respect of the Sexual Offences Bill.
If any aspect hereof requires clarification or elucidation please do not hesitate to contact me whenever you may find it convenient to do so.
Thanking you in anticipation. I await your response soonest.
Cc: 1. Ms Sheila Camerer, M.P
2. Members of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development.
LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL ON TRAFFICKING IN CHILDREN: MEMORANDUM IN TERMS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY RULE 234(1)
1.. The object of this legislative proposal is to make the trafficking in children a specific criminal offence.
2.. Trafficking in human beings for sexual or other exploitation is an abhorrent modern-day form of slavery. There is ample evidence that this phenomenon is one of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity. Those trafficked are mostly women and children.
3.. Research conducted by the United Nations, Molo Songololo and others indicates that trafficking in children for sexual and other purposes is on the increase in South Africa. Furthermore, the country is increasingly becoming an established destination and transit point for international trafficking in children. Evidence is that the trade in children is often linked to illegal trade in drugs and weapons.
4.. Children in South African have the constitutionally guaranteed right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation, and Parliament has the obligation, rooted in the Constitution, to adopt legislative measures to protect that right. Existing legislation does not provide children with adequate protection against the evil of trafficking, and in fact does not specifically prohibit trafficking.
5.. The South African Law Commission has recently looked at the problem of trafficking, and in its Discussion Paper 103 on the Review of the Child Care Act Project the Commission recommends that a provision prohibiting the trafficking of children be included in a new comprehensive children's statute. However, since considerable time will no doubt elapse before such a statute is enacted by Parliament, and since effective and expeditious measures are urgently needed to combat trafficking, it is proposed that in the meantime the Child Care Act, 1983, be amended to provide the necessary protection to children.
6.. Particulars of the proposed legislation are set out in the attached draft bill. The proposals should be read with the existing provisions of the Child Care Act, 1983, in particular section 50A, which deals with the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
7.. The proposed legislation will have no financial implications for the state.
EXPLANATORY NOTES ON THE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL ON TRAFFICKING IN CHILDREN
MEMORANDUM IN TERMS OF NA RULE 234(1)
Shocking reports that young girls can be bought for as little as R800,00, should serve as a wake-up call for the South African public.
According to SAPS statistics, it is estimated that there are over 28 000 child prostitutes in South Africa. The SAPS dealt with 38 000 cases of child prostitution in 1998 while 500 of Cape Town's 2 000 street sex workers are believed to be children.
There are warnings that child trafficking has become the third-largest profit-making criminal enterprise after drugs and gunrunning, earning billions of dollars every year. South Africa's 17 million children make up 44% of the population, and more than 60% of these live in poverty. Poverty among black children is very high and it is estimated that, despite child labour being illegal, more than 400 000 children work in South Africa, half of them under the age of 14. These children are extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
The object of this legislative proposal is to make trafficking in children a specific criminal offense. In terms of our Constitution South African children have the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation and the Government has the obligation to protect those rights. It is submitted that existing legislation is inadequate to afford that protection.
It is suggested that the Child Care Act be amended at this stage. Because of the long delay with a new Sexual Offenses Act the growing problem of trafficking in children can be addressed through this amendment. The South African Law Commission had recommended that the new draft Sexual Offenses Bill include provisions outlawing such trafficking in women and children but this has apparently not been included in the draft legislation. It is unclear when the Sexual Offenses Bill will come to Parliament.
In order to effectively combat trafficking a specific crime must be created, which currently does not exist in our law. SAPS spokespeople have recently made this point on several occasions. There is no specific legislation dedicated to trafficking, although South Africa is a signatory to international instruments outlawing trafficking in women and children. The Private Members' Legislation should include a clear definition of trafficking.
The proposed legislation will have no financial implications for the State.
SHEILA CAMERER, MP
GENERAL EXPLANATORY NOTE:
[ __________ ] Words underlined with a solid line indicate insertions in existing enactments
To amend the Child Care Act, 1983, so as to criminalise the trafficking in children; and to provide for incidental matters.
BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:-
Amendment of section 1 of Act 74 of 1983
1. Section 1 of the Child Care Act, 1983, is hereby amended-
(a) by the insertion, after the definition of "district" of the following definition:
"'exploitation' includes prostitution, pornography, forced labour or services, slavery and servitude." and
(b) by the insertion, after the definition of "this Act" of the following definition:
"'traffickinq' means any act involving the recruitment, procurement. capture, removal, transportation, harbouring sale, disposal or receipt of a child for the purposes of exploitation, including commercial sexual exploitation,."
Insertion of section 5IA in Act 74 of 1983
2. The following section is hereby inserted in the Child Care Act, 1983, after section 51:
"Trafficking in children
51A. (1) Any person who participates or is involved in the trafficking in children shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
(2) Any person who has any knowledge or information of the occurrence of trafficking in children and who, within a reasonable time of gaining such knowledge or information, fails to report such occurrence at a police station, shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment".
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