Pretoria University Law Press (PULP)

PULP is an open-access publisher based at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

Justice for child victims and witnesses of crimes
Edited by The Centre for Child Law
ISBN: 978-0-9814124-3-6
Pages: 59
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

Child victims and witnesses of crime are amongst the most vulnerable people in the justice system. The United Nations issued guidelines for their protection in 2005. This publication sets out the guidelines in the South African context. Does South African law reflect these guidelines? What are the challenges to be faced in order to bring South African law and practice in line with these international standards? Answers to these questions are provided in this up-to-date analysis of the current state of the law.

This publication is a useful guide for students of law, as well as for practitioners who work with children in the courts. Launched during the internationally recognised “16 days of activism to end violence against women and children”, the publication is designed to be of assistance in the everyday working life of presiding officers, prosecutors, defence lawyers, social workers, intermediaries and other professionals.

Visit the Centre for Child Law website:

About the editor:

The Centre for Child Law  was established in 1998 and is based in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. The Director of the Centre is Prof Ann Skelton.

Table of Contents


  1. Background to the UN Guidelines on Justice for Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime
  2. Child victims and witness in the South African context: An overview
    2.1 Statistics on child victims and witnesses
    2.2 Problems experienced by child victims and witnesses
    2.3 Protections for child victims and witnesses
  3. The guiding principles and definitions
    3.1 Principles
    3.2 Definitions
  4. The rights of child victims and witnesses of crime
    4.1 Introduction
    4.2 The right to be treated with dignity and compassion
    4.2.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.2.2 South African law and policy
    4.2.3 Challenges
    4.3 The right to be protected from discrimination
    4.3.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.3.2 South African law and policy
    4.3.3 Challenges
    4.4 The right to be informed
    4.4.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.4.2 South African law and policy
    4.4.3 Challenges
    4.5 The right to be heard and to express views and concerns
    4.5.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.5.2 South African law and policy
    4.5.3 Challenges
    4.6 The right to effective assistance
    4.6.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.6.2 South African law and policy
    4.6.3 Challenges
    4.7 The right to privacy
    4.7.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.7.2 South African law and policy
    4.7.3 Challenges
    4.8 The right to be protected from hardship during the justice process
    4.8.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.8.2 South African law and policy
    4.8.3 Challenges
    4.9 The right to safety
    4.9.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.9.2 South African law and policy
    4.9.3 Challenges
    4.10 The right to reparation
    4.10.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.10.2 South African law and policy
    4.10.3 Challenges
    4.11 The right to special preventive measures
    4.11.1 The UN Guidelines
    4.11.2 South African law and policy
    4.11.3 Challenges
  5. Implementation, co-operation and monitoring
    5.1.1 The UN Guidelines
    5.1.2 South African law and policy
    5.1.3 Challenges


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