Cape Town – Civil society organisations are calling on parents and guardians of children to be more vigilant and protective of their young charges.
In the past few weeks social media has been abuzz with constant reports of missing and abducted children.
Molo Songololo director Patric Solomons said the recent attempted abduction of a little girl in broad daylight in Joburg has put everyone on high alert. “Social media platforms are flooded with myths and false information, and have re-posted content from years back about child abductions and syndicates operating under our noses.
“However, this is not to say that abductions are not happening. Low arrests, charging and prosecution rates fuel criminal behaviour in this regard and encourage offenders to act with impunity,” said Solomons.
“Parents and guardians need to act in conjunction with the communities to ensure the safety of their children.
“They need to make sure their children know and understand the risks and dangers they might be exposed to, as well as discuss and implement safety measures for their children and family at home and in public.”
Provincial Children’s Commissioner Christina Nomdo urged families and communities to work together to better protect young children and women.
“The responsibility of parenting is a very difficult duty to perform without support. Parents need whole communities who will help them to keep a watchful eye on our children to keep them safe from harm.
“When a child goes missing, we must raise the alarm immediately with everyone in the community.
“Communities are an important part of the childcare and protection system. Communities know what risks there are in the environment of the child. We must also seek help from government partners in childcare and protection immediately. Social workers and the police are our first port of call in the government child protection system,” Nomdo said.
Police are currently searching for a 16-year-old girl. Siphesihle Maluleka went missing on September 12 and her missing-persons profile has been circulated on social media in efforts to find her.