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HRC probes Child Protection Register

Johannesburg - The SA Human Rights Commission is probing claims that the government had not implemented the National Child Protection Register (CPR).

“In August 2012, the commission received a complaint from the Democratic Alliance alleging non compliance by departmental stakeholders with the CPR,” spokesman Isaac Mangena said in a statement on Monday.

File picture. Credit: Flickr.com

“The complainant alleges... the failure to properly implement the CPR in terms of populating and updating the register... .”

The CPR was established in 2005. It requires that people “deemed unsuitable to work with or have contact with children” have their names added to the list to ensure children are protected.

Mangena said Section 120(4) of the Children's Act states that when a person is convicted in criminal proceedings of murder, attempted murder, rape, indecent assault, or assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm with regard to a child, the person should be found unsuitable to work with children.

“The allegation is that the CPR is not an accurate reflection of all the convictions happening through the criminal courts where offenders need to be recorded as being unsuitable to work with or have contact with children.”

Mangena said the commission would put the allegations to departments of women, children and people with disabilities; justice and constitutional development, and social development as part of its investigations.

The commission had sent questions to the various departments needed for the investigation. Social development had indicated that a response was underway.

“Although the commission has yet to receive any responses from departments, it is imperative that persons convicted are prohibited from caring and working with children,” Mangena said. - Sapa

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