Professor Ann Skelton comments on a UN decision that SA's children need their own commissioner

Posted on November 08, 2016


On 12 October 2016, in the comments pages of the Mail & Guardian, Prof Ann Skelton, Director of the Centre for Child Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria (UP), commented on a United Nations decision that South Africa's children need their own commissioner. Prof Skelton is a member of the Alternative Reporting Coalition on Children's Rights (ARC-CRSA).

One of the most important overarching recommendations was that South Africa should improve its governance on children's rights by elevating it above any one department. Although the UN committee recognised the effort the Department has made to establish an inter-sectoral committee tasked with coordination and monitoring, it expressed doubts about the ability of one department to coordinate the activities of all the relevant government sectors. This reflected a position that had motivated the ARC-CRSA when they called for the coordination and monitoring function to be returned to the presidency. They will continue to make this call.

Professor Skelton is well known in South Africa and internationally as a lawyer for children's rights. She has been instrumental in law reform in South Africa as chair of the committee that drafted the Child Justice Act (2008) at the South African Law Reform Commission, and was a member of the committee that drafted the Children's Act (2005). In mid-July 2016, Professor Skelton was elected to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for the term 2017 to 2021, after having been nominated as a candidate by the South African government. She also holds the UNESCO Chair in Education Law in Africa and in 2012 she was awarded a World's Children's Prize for her 25 years of successfully fighting legal battles for the rights of children affected by the justice system. She is still active in this field.

Click on the link povided for the full article titled SA's children need their own commissioner, says UN, as it appeared in the Mail & Guardian of 12 October 2016.



- Author Elzet Hurter

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