Child abuse is a crime that not only violates children’s rights but also tears the fabric of South African society apart. It remains a core issue in media coverage. Sadly coverage tends to the sensational and gratuitous, and there is insufficient focus on protection and prevention.

This year we will be highlighting Child Protection Week (CPW) from the 27th of May to the 2nd of June, and instead of focusing on the sheer horror and hopelessness of the crime, we want to encourage everyone to think of positive actions that can help reduce or combat child abuse.

So in commemoration of CPW, Media Monitoring Africa, in partnership with Crime Line, Centre for Child Law, The Press Council of South Africa, SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition, Department of Social Development, Child Rights Centre, Children’s Institute, Childline, Teddy Bear Clinic, Linc/Synergos, will be running campaign: “1 Thing”.

We will be asking South Africans through traditional and social media to send their “1 Thing” that can be done to help reduce child abuse. The aim of the campaign is to collect all the solution-oriented ideas and make them public, and send them to various stakeholders, and where possible, look into seeing which of the ideas can be followed through and/or initiated.

We will also be releasing our recent research on children and the media, and also share podcasts of experts and children speaking on issues relating to child protection to put such issues on the agenda and encourage further ideas on reducing child abuse. We will also have articles written by children in mainstream media and have children on various media platforms to talk about their hopes and aspirations.

We will also have a social media campaign that will encourage more ideas to reduce child abuse.