UNISA Short Course in fundamentals aspects of children’s rights

UNISA Short Course in fundamentals aspects of children’s rights

Programme fundamentals aspects of children’s rights (76961)Purpose

In relation to the background sketched above this SLP seeks to:

  • Inculcate a culture of rights based practice amongst professional and non-professional persons, bodies and entities that have a direct or indirect working relationship with children.
  • Establish a programme which caters for MIT knowledge generation and application in the field of children rights, which draws from various disciplines to ground its theory. This seeks to satisfy the South African approach to national and millennium development goals.
  • To upskill and provide access to education for those who otherwise would not be able to access tertiary education

Target group

Social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers, youth development workers, educators and teachers, psychologists, social workers, social service professionals, criminologists, police officers, nurses, paralegals, correctional offices, members of the allied health professions, mental health practitioners, academics, home affairs officials, international organization for migration, NGO personnel, probation officers, students and graduate professionals.
 Admission requirements

In order to be admitted to the short learning programme a potential student must hold:

  1. A National Senior Certificate or its equivalent; or
  2. Qualify according to the process of Recognition of Prior Learning in accordance with Unisa policy guidelines

Where a student wishes to gain entry via the RPL process he/she must contact the administrator indicated below for information on the RPL process and the requirements in this regard.

The short learning programme is 12 months in duration. 3 compulsory modules are offered in the first semester (or registration intake) and 2 elective modules in the second semester (or registration intake).

Language medium

 Registration periods

Semester 1: Application and registration closes on the 27th of February 2017
Semester 2: Application and registration opens on the 5th of June 2017 and closes on the 14th of July 2017
 Tuition method

Learning is exclusively online supported by workshops where appropriate
 Kind of assessment

Formative and summative assessment
 Fundamentals of South African law (PRFAC11)Syllabus/Content Topics

  • Introduction to South African law
  • Sources of law: how to find and use them
  • Various fields of law
  • The Constitution
  • Courts and how they operate
  • Different legal disputes
  • Legal actors
  • Working with legal problems

Children’s rights in the South African and international context (PRFAC12)Syllabus/Content Topics

Children’s rights in the international and domestic law framework
a)The Convention on the Rights of the Child
b)Optional protocols to the CRC
1.Optional Protocol on the rights of the child in armed conflict
2.Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
c)The African Union and children’s rights
1.The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights
2.African Youth Charter
d) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
e)South African Constitutional Law and the rights of the child
1.Exploring section 28 of the South African Constitution
2.Exploring the impact of section 28 of the Constitution through case law
 Children and status issues (PRFAC13)Syllabus/Content Topics

. The concept of a child’s status in private law
2. Factors influencing a child’s status
3. Infans
3.1 Legal capacity
3.2 Capacity to act
3.3 Capacity to litigate
4. Minors
4.1 Legal capacity
4.2 Capacity to act
4.2.1 Agreements in respect of which a minor has full capacity to act
4.2.2 Agreements in respect of which a minor has limited capacity to act The legal implications of agreements binding on a minor The legal implications of agreements not binding on a minor
4.2.3 Agreements in respect of which a minor has no capacity to act
5. Selected aspects relating to children and their status
6. Delictual liability
7 An overview of a child’s status in criminal related matters
7.1 Criminal capacity of infans and minors in terms of the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008
7.2 The impact of a child’s status in sexual offences and related matters in terms of the the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007
8. Status-related case law
 Commercial sexual exploitation of children: child pornography (PRFAC14)Syllabus/Content Topics

  • Defining child pornography terminology
  • Contextualizing the ‘industry’ of child pornography
  • Offender typology
  • Victim typology consequence and impact
  • The law, the child and pornography
  • Reporting standards and best practices for cases of child pornography

Aspects of criminal law relating to children (PRFAC15)Syllabus/Content Topics

  • Sexual offences against children
  • Termination of pregnancy
  • Legislation related to drugs and alcohol
  • Domestic violence
  • Trafficking in children
  • Assault

Child justice in South African criminal procedure (PRFAC16)Syllabus/Content Topics

Child justice and Criminal procedure specific to the rights of child offenders in the following themes:

  • The theories of restorative justice
  • Ubuntu and child justice
  • Pre-trial procedure
  • Trial Procedure
  • Sentencing
  • Post-trial procedure
  • Diversion

Policing and children’s rights in South Africa (PRFAC17)Syllabus/Content Topics

  • Define the various forms of ‘child abuse’

 Contextualise crimes committed against children
 Legislative mandate of the police to protect children
 Role and responsibilities of the police to protect children

  • The role of the police in child protection
  • The investigation of crimes committed against children
  • Interviewing the child victim
  • Protection and care: The rights of the child victim

 Children in conflict with the law

  • Child offenders and their rights

Selected aspects of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (PRFAC18)Syllabus/Content Topics

This module is intended to introduce students to the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. It is introductory in nature and uses the text of legislation and relevant case law as content. The content will reflect the following themes:
Theme 1: Introduction

  • Introduction
  • General principles

Theme 2: Parental responsibilities and rights

  • Parental responsibilities and rights
  • Termination or suspension of parental responsibilities and rights
  • Co-exercise of parental responsibilities and rights
  • Parenting plans
  • Artificial fertilisation
  • Surrogacy
  • Adoption and inter-country adoption

Theme 3: Child protection

  • Child protection system
  • Child protection register
  • Protective measures relating to health of children
    • Consent to medical treatment and operations
    • HIV-testing
    • Access to contraceptives
  • Child labour and exploitation of children
  • Child trafficking

Theme 4: Children in need of care and protection

  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Identification of children in need of care and protection
  • Removal of children to temporary safe care with and without court orders
  • Children’s court proceedings, with particular reference to legal representation of and participation by children.

Theme 5: Dealing with children in need of care and protection

  • Orders that can be made by the children’s court
  • Foster care
  • Child and youth care centres
  • Drop-in centres
  • Partial care
  • Child-headed households
  • Contribution orders

Children’s rights and customary law (PRFAC19)Syllabus/Content Topics

  • The Constitutional recognition of African Customary Law
  • Parental rights under African Customary Law

-Children born in marriage
– Children born outside marriage

  • Custody and guardianship
  • Adoption
  • Impact or effect of fundamental rights and legislation with focus on the best interest of the child

3.Children and divorce in African customary Law
4.Effects of Customary Law of succession and inheritance on children
5.Specific customs affecting children and the Law

  • Ukuthwala
  • The rite of passage
    • Male Circumcision
  • Virginity testing

Children’s rights and aspects of medical law (PRFAC20)Syllabus/Content Topics

•The relevant provisions of the Constitution pertaining to the medical treatment of children taking into account the best interest of the child.
•The concept of informed consent.
•The Children’s Act and informed consent to medical treatment and/or surgical operations on a child.
•The Children’s Act and consent provisions regarding:
– HIV tests on children,
– provision of contraceptives to children
– circumcision and virginity testing
– termination of pregnancy
•Provisions regarding substituted consent pertaining to medical treatment and/or surgical operations on children = including applicable provisions pertaining to emergency situations where it is not possible to obtain consent).
•Obligations on health care workers when treating a child patient (confidentiality, respect the right of the child to take decisions and participate in decisions regarding his/her healthcare and other obligations as contained in the Children’s Act and the National Health Act).
– Customary practices in the medical – legal system.
– The Child friendly healthcare initiative (UNICEF) creating a child friendly environment for children at a healthcare facility.
– EACH charter.
 Children’s rights and education law (PRFAC21)Syllabus/Content Topics

In study unit 1, education law is defined and placed within the South African legal context. In study unit two, students will be introduced to the articles in the Constitution that impacts on education law as well as the legislative framework that regulates education in South Africa. Study unit 3 will discuss case law that impacted on children’s rights and education in South Africa.
 Selected aspects of child welfare (PRFAC22)Syllabus/Content Topics

1. Development of social welfare in South Africa.
2. The role of social workers in the South African social welfare system.
3. Regulation of social welfare in South Africa.
4. Access to social assistance benefits.
4.1 Kinship care and access to social assistance benefits
4.2 Informal kinship care and access to social assistance benefits.
 Course leader

Professor MG Karels
College of Law
Tel: 0124298350
Email: karelmg@unisa.ac.za
 Programme administrator(s)

Mrs CE Rosin
Department of Criminal and Procedural Law
Tel: 0124298397
Email: Rosince@unisa.ac.za