Protocol for the Management and Reporting of Sexual Abuse and Harassment in Schools
The reporting of sexual abuse and harassment perpetrated against learners, educators and school staff has to be managed effectively and efficiently by the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The sexual abuse and harassment of learners, specifically, contravenes international instruments that prohibit the use of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment towards children (Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 19481, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 19662, the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 19893, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 19864 and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child of 19905). Sexual abuse and harassment breaches learner’s fundamental rights to protection from all forms of abuse and respect for their human dignity as stipulated in section 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996)6. Notwithstanding the efforts of the South African government and the progress made in creating a legislative framework, acts of sexual abuse and harassment in schools continues to affect learners, educators and school staff. It is a well-known fact that these offences have dire consequences for victims and their families.
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