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Section 28: Children’s Rights

A child is anyone who is under the age of 18. Every child has the right:

  • To a name and a nationality from the day they are born
  • To proper care by parents or a family member, or by someone else if the child has to be taken away from the family
  • To enough food, shelter, basic health care and social services
  • To be protected from being mistreated, neglected or abused
  • Not to be forced to work or given work which is not suitable for a child
  • To have a lawyer paid for by the government, if the child has to appear in court
  • Not to be used in wars
  • To be protected during times of war

Whenever a decision is made about a child, the most important thing that must be thought about is what would be in the best interests of the child.

(See: Child Abuse and Neglect)

(See: Social Grants for Children Below the Age of 18 Years)

Children’s rights if they are detained – A child may only be detained if it is absolutely necessary, and it must be for the shortest possible time. A child has the right to be kept separately from other detained people who are over 18 and must be treated and kept in conditions that take into account the child’s age. A detained child also has all the rights of any other detained person.

(See: Section 35: Arrested, Detained and Accused Persons)