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Comment Sought on Children’s Amendment Bill

November 2, 2018

Department of Social Development

A draft bill designed to further promote and protect the child’s right to physical and psychological integrity has been published for comment.

The social development department published the Draft Children’s Amendment Bill in Government Gazette 42005.

The draft bill seeks to amend the Children’s Act, 2005, to

• further promote and protect the child’s right to physical and psychological integrity;
• further regulate the position of unmarried fathers;
• extend the children’s court jurisdiction to hear applications for guardianship;
• provide for matters relating to the provision and funding of early childhood development programmes;
• strengthen provisions relating to the National Child Protection Register;
• regulate the care of abandoned or orphaned children by family members;
• further regulate the initiation of care and protection proceedings;
• further regulate the medical testing of children for foster care and adoption purposes;
• clarify procedures for children in alternative care;
• further regulate matters relating to adoption and inter-country adoption;
• expedite the hearing of child abduction matters and to provide for legal representation of children;
• adjust the criteria relating to surrogate motherhood and to provide for related matters;
• align the Act with the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, and the Jurisdiction of Regional Courts Amendment Act, 2008;
• align the Act with court judgments;
• supplement provisions relating to children with disabilities;
• empower the Minister to make additional regulations;
• remove certain inconsistencies; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

Written comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.