Marian Jacobs, Director
  This year as we reflect on the first decade of South Africa’s democracy, there is no doubt that significant progress has been made in laying down a legislative framework that acknowledges children’s rights as a priority. Much has also been achieved in the development and implementation of policies, programmes and activities upholding the rights and targeting the needs of children. Yet these remain a priority and concerted action from all duty-bearers is needed – from policy-makers in the bastions of power, to caregivers at home.

The Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town is one duty-bearer that has an important role to play. By combining academic endeavour with societal responsibility, the Institute aims to bring evidence to bear on policies and actions to realise children’s rights. By characterising the major policy challenges confronting our children, the Institute pays special attention to children in poverty and those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Through research, analysis, commentary and consultation, we focus on all phases of the policy cycle – from problem identification to the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions. The evidence generated is made available to all relevant players. Our advocacy strategies include education, technical assistance, and various forms of communication.

Of paramount importance is the involvement of those interested in, and affected by, our work. Among these, children are highly valued as participants in our processes. We also promote engagement with the outputs of the Institute by making products available in a variety of formats, such as verbal presentations, electronic products and printed publications.

Every South African has the constitutional responsibility to heed to the call for ‘children first’, and this newsletter provides one channel through which the Children’s Institute contributes to advancing the rights of our children.

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Children's Institute

© 2004 Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town