Children: Rights & Responsibilities
What happens when children have a number of guaranteed rights that they cannot hope to exercise because adults fail in their responsibilities towards them? Answer: A social conundrum which has resulted in a criminal justice system populated by children, either as victims or perpetrators. Do we rely on the criminal justice system to address the underlying societal factors giving rise to the large number of children appearing in South African courts? Yes – but is that the solution? Advocate Turner contemplates these tough questions and their answers in an unsettlingly informative talk illustrating the challenges faced by young people in this country and the failure of society in upholding the rights of children.
Nicola Turner is Senior State Advocate in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Grahamstown, who has specialised in the prosecution of child rape cases for the past 25 years.