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Act not good for children - Mandela Fund

By unknown | Jul 06, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF) has expressed concern regarding the amended Children's Act.

Sibongile Mkhabela, pictured, chief executive of the NMCF, said the act does not appear to be consistent with one of its objectives.

"In terms of the law a 'child' means a person under the age of 18. For the government to burden 12-year-olds with momentous decisions such as medical treatment, surgical operation and HIV-testing without parental consent is not right," she said.

"Parental involvement has been unwittingly disregarded by the act when it comes to HIV-testing. At 12, the maturity level of a child is at its weakest point to cope with the result of their HIV-status."

Mkhabela said: "It is in this spirit that we believe the responsibilities being placed on 12-year-olds will simply deny them the greater right to aspire to be children until 18 years of age."

The Amended Children's Act came into effect this week.

It grants children from the age of 12 the right to access medical services such as HIV-treatment and contra-ception without parental consent.


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