CHILD ABDUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA

Child abduction is a serious issue in South Africa and has been a growing concern in recent years. The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (‘the Childrens Act) was introduced to help protect children from various forms of abuse, including child abduction. In this article, we will discuss the prevalence of child abduction in South Africa, the Children’s Act, and how it aims to protect children from abduction.

Child abduction is the act of taking a child without the consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian. It is a serious crime that can have long-lasting effects on the child and their family. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), there were 1,070 reported cases of child abduction in 2020. The SAPS also noted that the actual number of cases could be much higher, as many cases go unreported.

The Children’s Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation that aims to protect children from various forms of abuse, including child abduction. The Act recognizes that every child has the right to be protected from harm, neglect, abuse, or degradation, and sets out various measures to ensure that children are protected from such harm.

Under the Children’s Act, child abduction is defined as the taking, detention, or retention of a child by a person without the consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian. The Act makes it clear that child abduction is a criminal offense and that any person found guilty of such an offense can face imprisonment for up to ten years.

The Act also sets out various measures to prevent child abduction. For example, it requires that every child must have a birth certificate and that the details of the child’s parents or legal guardian must be included on the certificate. This helps to prevent cases where a child is taken without the consent of their parent or legal guardian.

The Act also sets out measures to help parents and legal guardians prevent child abduction. For example, it allows parents to apply for a court order to prevent a child from being removed from the country without their consent. The Act also allows parents to apply for a court order to locate and recover a child who has been taken without their consent.

In addition to these measures, the Act also establishes the Children’s Court, which has jurisdiction over all matters relating to children. The Children’s Court has the power to hear cases of child abduction and to make orders to protect the child’s best interests.

Despite the measures set out in the Children’s Act, child abduction remains a serious issue in South Africa. It is important that parents and legal guardians take steps to protect their children from abduction and to report any cases of abduction to the authorities.

Should you require any assistance with any issues involving Children or any other family law enforcement please feel free to contact our offices on 011 897 1900, 076 777 1920 or info@tuckers.co.za.

Article contributed by Lauren Thomaz of Tuckers Attorneys.