Your Rights and the Rights of Your Child

Parental Rights:

  1. A person may have either full or specific parental responsibilities and rights in respect of a child
  2. The parental responsibility and rights that a person may have in respect of a child, includes the responsibility and right:

(a) to care for the child
(b) to maintain contact with the child
(c) to act as guardian of the child; and
(d) to contribute to the maintenance of the child.

Rights of the Child:

The rights which a child has in terms of the Children’s act 38 of 2005, supplement the rights of children in terms of the Bill of Rights.

Best interest of the child is paramount

In all matters concerning the care, protection and well-being of a child, the standard that the child’s best interest is of paramount importance, must be applied.

Child participation

Every child that is of such an age, maturity and stage of development as to be able to participate in any matter concerning that child, has the right to participate in an appropriate way and expressed by that child must be given due consideration. In any matter concerning a child with disability/chronic illness, due consideration must be given to-

  • Provide the child with parental care, family care or special care as and when appropriate;
  • Making it possible for the child to participate in social, cultural, religious and educational activities, recognising the special needs that the child may have;
  • Providing the child with conditions that ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate active participation in the community and
  • Providing the child and the child’s caregiver with the necessary support services.

Education and a Special Needs child:

Every child has the right to education in terms of the children rights as stipulated in the Bill of Rights. This fundamental right to basic education is further developed in the Constitution in Section 9 (2), which commits the state to the achievement of equality, and Section 9 (3), (4) and (5), which commits the state to non- discrimination. The clause is particularly important for protecting all leaners, whether disabled or not. (Education White Paper 6).


It is in the best interest of every child to receive an education and the best interests of the child are of paramount importance.