What the Children Said: A consultation with children on the Draft Child Justice Bill. (1998-9)

As South Africa moves through the process of transition, the laws that regulate the way in which children are processed through the juvenile justice system has come under systematic and comprehensive review.

Little effort has thus far been made to incorporate the views of children as they experience the various stages of the legal process. Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which South Africa ratified in 1995, requires that States assure the child the right to express its views in all matters that affect it. In an effort to bring these voices into the discourse of law reform, children of different ages and from broadly different circumstances were provided with the opportunity to express how they themselves experience the criminal justice system. This publication is the result of extensive consultations with children, the words are theirs and the voices are clear.