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TASK GROUP ON SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN
12 June 2002
ADOPTION OF FINAL REPORT
Documents handed out:
Final Report of the Parliamentary Task Group on the Sexual Abuse of Children as of 12 June 2002 (this is a plain text version; for the properly formatted document, please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Untitled recommendations of the Committee on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Appendix)
The Committee adopted the draft report. It was noted that the parliamentary procedure relating to the ratification of international instruments needed to be improved.
Adv Masutha (ANC) referred to the previous meeting where he had objected to the special procedures applying to the publishing of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. He had felt it inappropriate to create a special procedure for the publishing of the document and had felt that it should follow the usual parliamentary channels. He had subsequently spoken to the researchers who had submitted the proposal and found that there is no standard procedure to be followed in terms of authenticating the text. In addition, there is nothing to ensure that what parliament ratified is the most authentic version. Even more shocking, he felt, was that more than one copy of the Charter exists and there is no OAU library to verify the most authentic version. To compound matters, there is no formal record of the documents that parliament had ratified. He proposed that the members of the Executive decide who among them would be responsible for the matter. He also proposed that ratified documents be published in the Government Gazette.
The Chair agreed that the matter needed to be taken up and suggested that Adv Masutha raise the issue with the Justice Committee, of which he is a member.
Mr Dithebe (ANC) considering the draft report, questioned if the name of the Public Education Department had changed.
The Chair asked for the issue to be minuted, so that in the event of it having been changed, the Report could be altered accordingly.
A motion was made to adopt the report. The motion was seconded. The Chair thanked the Committee for their participation in the long process and said that the next phase would be the process of making the Report ready for debate in the National Assembly.
Untitled recommendations of the Committee on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
-that the official text of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as any other international children's rights instrument that is or becomes binding on South Africa be published in the Government Gazette in order to create an official point of reference.
-that the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child be translated into easily accessible language and be distributed to all schools and public offices throughout the country in order to raise public awareness of children's rights and to fulfill part of South Africa's obligation under the Charter.
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