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Respect children’s rights: Think before you share!

Several videos of a teacher repeatedly beating children at a creche in Carltonville has been circulating in the news as well as social media. We understand that as parents, we want to share this picture and story to as many people in our social networks as possible in order to bring awareness around the abuse that children face in hands of their caregivers. However, MMA would like to encourage you not to share these pictures, especially those in which the faces of the children are not blurred out. Here’s why

  • While it is definitely in the public interest for South Africans to know about the incident, our question becomes: Is it in the best interest of the children to have their faces splashed all over social media?  Given the nature of the incident, we argue that identifying the children could lead to potential harm, including secondary emotional trauma and potential victimisation.
  • According to the Bill of Rights talks about the right to human dignity and respect. By sharing these pictures, you comprise these children’s rights.
  • Sharing the video with the faces of children not blurred out, something that reveals the children’s identities, grossly violates the Criminal procedure Act which was recently ruled by the Supreme Court to read, “No person shall publish in any manner whatever any information which reveals or may reveal the identity of an accused under the age of 18 years or of a victim or of a witness at criminal proceedings who is under the age of 18 years.”
  • Seeing as the children are victims of abuse and is are potential witnesses at criminal proceedings, sharing the videos which show the faces of the children subjects the children to potential harm such as victimisation and/or retribution.

It is important to note that as the public, we have to wait for the relevant authorities to investigate the matter and follow appropriate recourse.

 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on info@mma.org.za or call us on 011 788 1278.