After two years of uncertainty, restrained movement, and limitations on how objectives towards the realisation of children’s rights are implemented. CCL entered 2022 with a return to some normalcy and renewed zeal to make a difference. Continued collaboration to have a meaningful impact on changing the lives of children remains central to our work and this report reflects the manner in which we strive to achieve our strategic objectives: through intentional collaborations with organisations across the spectrum.


Annual Report 2021

2021 marked the continued uncertainty created by the Covid-10 pandemic. Despite this, it became clear that we need to buckle up and regain ground in the work of protecting and promoting children’s rights. The protection of the rights of the most vulnerable members of our society needs to be intensified during challenging times as they are the first to lose out. The CCL’s work in 2021 focused on the rights of children access birth certificates, the rights of children with disabilities to access education; access to justice for child victims and witnesses of sexual offences; access to justice for children in conflict with the law, the rights of children in the care and protection system.

Annual Report 2020

The year 2020 started as any ordinary year, with excitement and hope for the new year that lies ahead. However, it was not long before the  world was turned upside-down due to the Covid-19 virus. Initially, we all thought that the Covid-19 virus was a passing event and that soon we would be “back to normal”. This was not to be the case as soon we were in hard lock-down- unable to do our work as business as usual and uncertain as to when we would be able to return to the “normal”. We had to learn to adapt as we now had to work from home, not being able to see clients, not able to brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other every day- as is practice here at CCL.

Annual Report 2019

Walking in your own shoes. At the end of 2018 the Centre for Child Law turned 20 years old and this was a seminal moment as it also marked the handover of the directorship to Ms Karabo Ozah by her predecessor and mentor Prof Ann Skelton.

Annual Report 2018

Imagining children constitutionally. This idea has guided the Centre for Child Law’s work for the past 20 years. Strategic litigation, advocacy, research and other activities have been carried out with the conviction that children are bearers of human rights and freedoms that must be affirmed and realised. In addition to describing the work carried out by the Centre in 2018, this Annual Report also reflects on a conference that was held to celebrate 20 years of the Centre’s existence. The conference was held under the rubric ‘imagining children constitutionally’ – borrowed of course from the iconic words of Sachs J in the Centre’s first Constitutional Court case of S v M [2007] ZACC 18. The conference was attended by colleagues, partners and friends that have – at one time or another – worked with the Centre or Centre personnel to advance the rights of children through litigation, advocacy and research. The conference was an opportunity to reflect on the successes for children in different areas of the law, by the Centre and partner organisations and colleagues.

Annual Report 2017

This Annual report describes the Centre’s continued efforts to ensure that children’s rights are protected and upheld. The following excerpt from the Director’s message explains some of what the Centre had to address: “Barriers. Barriers to education, to health care, to care and protection, Barriers to justice. This much we knew about the problems facing children with disabilities and their caregivers. The Centre has been working with disability rights advocates and organisations to determine which of the myriad challenges facing the sector might best be resolved through impact litigation, advocacy and lobbying by the Centre, as part of the collective efforts.”

Annual Report 2016

2016 was a year of taking the rights of children in South Africa to the international and regional stage. During 2015 and 2016 the Centre for Child Law played a leading role in the Alternate Report Coalition – Child Rights South Africa (ARC-CRSA), a coalition of civil society organisations. ARC-CRSA made written and oral submissions to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the child in 2015, and to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2016. These committees oversee the implementation of the international and regional instruments. This Annual Report gives a description of this experience and more of the Centre’s work.