South Africa’s new travel requirements for children welcomed by child advocacy groups

Published on : Monday, July 6, 2015

South AfricaThe majority of child advocacy groups have welcomed the new travel requirements regarding travelling with children, saying the laws were in the best interest of the child and will go a long way in preventing child abduction and human trafficking.



This emerged after advocacy groups, including UNICEF, Molo Songololo, ChildlineSA, Save the Children and World Vision among others, met with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in Johannesburg on Thursday (July 2).



Addressing the media after the meeting, Gigaba said the meeting concentrated on the requirements for travelling with children through South Africa’s ports of entry.



The requirements, which took effect on 1 June, mean parents travelling internationally with children must provide an unabridged birth certificate – which includes the details of the child’s father as well as the mother – for all travelling children.



When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel.



The Minister said the meeting was held to broaden consultation with stakeholders on the recent immigration law amendments.



“Good enforcement with support of stakeholders will promote the implementation of South Africa’s Children’s Act.



Gigaba said protecting children’s rights as the Children’s Act (2005) affirms, would lead to 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.



“Checks and balances that reduce the probability of South Africa becoming a trafficking haven will cost South Africa less than attempting to cure a prevalent trafficking social ill.

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