he Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) collaborated with the Department of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees, Bienvenu Shelter and Jesuit Refugee Service to present a workshop on child protection. It was held on 4 April at the Cathedral. The workshop focussed on vulnerable, unaccompanied, separated, migrant children and youth.28
Pastoral Care head of department Sr Maria de Lurdes, mscs, welcomed all the participants and the department’s episcopal vicar, Fr Ivaldo Bettin cs invited attendees to join him in saying a prayer for children.
The assistant secretary of the SACBC, Fr Patrick Rakeketsi CSS, said the topic of child protection and promotion of care of children was very important to the apostolate and evangelisation of the bishops’ conference, not only to the Pope but bishops all over the world. Thus there are policies in place which are adopted by every diocese.
Nicole Breen from Joburg Child Welfare gave the gathering an overview on international and national law.
The Children’s Act is the primary piece of legislation governing the rights of children provided for in the Constitution and creates a child protection system, she explained.