Child murders: SA's preventable tragedy

22 Sep 2017 - 11:00
Child Murders

Cape Town - Child murders have dominated news in the Western Cape over the past few months. These brutal killings of defenceless young children have understandably caused much outrage and civil society organisations have called for decisive action by the provincial government, in particular for a commission of inquiry to stem the tide of these killings.

However, is a commission of inquiry an appropriate response to these horrific deaths when we know enough about this problem to take action now?

Our evidence base on child murders has grown considerably over the past few years. The first national study into child murders in South Africa shows that the killing of a child is not an isolated event. This study found that every three days, a child is killed due to abuse and neglect. We also know that the child murder rate for South Africa is more than double the global average.

As a direct result of the gaps identified by the national homicide study, the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, in partnership with the Division of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at UCT and the Department of Forensic Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, established a Child Death Review (CDR) project at two sites - Salt River Mortuary in the Western Cape and Phoenix Mortuary (Durban North) in KwaZulu-Natal.

Article excerpt courtesy of IOL

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