In November 2020, the Scalabrini Centre submitted written comments on the Children’s Amendment Bill. These comments were based on Scalabrini’s extensive experience in the area of refugee and migrant rights, and specifically the rights of unaccompanied or separated migrant children (USMC).
The written comments welcomed the inclusion of unaccompanied and separated foreign children in the amendments, but noted some concerns too. Namely, the Scalabrini Centre outlined its concerns about implementation. It also sought to point out that, where other departments would be equally responsible for implementation (or where the actions of another Department impact on the implementation of such amendments), regulations must be published so as to ensure that the best interests of the child are respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled.
Our written comments also noted that, although the financial implications of the Bill were provided, no clear commitment was made in terms of financing the amendments. This is of particularly concern given the recent experience between the national Department and Provincial Departments in respect of the implementation of the NAWONGO judgment in all provinces as per the National Directive to that effect. Despite this directive, the implementation has not taken place across all provinces. Our written comments noted concern that, without a clear undertaking from the National Department of Social Development, the costing provided in the Bill would not be equitably implemented. The written comments then look at a clause-by-clause analysis of the Amendment Bill.
To read the full written submission, click on the button below.