Children’s rights to participate in decisions that affect them are protected in international and national law. These include the right to be heard, freedom of expression, the right to access information and the right to dignity and equality. Children’s participation in decision-making is critical in ensuring the realisation of children’s other rights to education, health, safety, shelter, social security and protection. Policy-makers, planners and professionals working with children have a responsibility to listen to children and take their views seriously. That includes Parliament when it is making laws that affect children. 

The resources below are aimed at helping children and young people to understand how to navigate the parliamentary process and raise support for their issues in the run up to public hearings on the Children's Amendment Bill in 2020/21.

Remember submissions are due by 27 November 2020! – If you would like to comment follow this link

Why is it important to engage in law making?

Parliamentary Advocacy: Why is it important for children and youth to engage in law making?

Speaker 1: Lonwabo Gcali Gade is 17 years old. He is a Child Ambassador of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament and a National Child Parliamentarian. He speaks here about why it is important for children and young people to take part in the hearings.

Speaker 2: Christina Nomdo is the first Children’s Commissioner of the Western Cape. She has always been a passionate advocate for children’s participation rights and has committed to involving them in her work.  She explains how things can go wrong when adults, and MPs in particular, do not listen to children.

How do I make a submission?

Parliamentary Advocacy: How to make a submission

Mbonisi Nyathi is a law researcher at the Children’s Institute of UCT. His work is about ensuring that the law is executed the way it is supposed to be and to also help people to get the services they are entitled to.

Where can I find information about a specific bill and keep up with what’s going on?

Parliamentary Advocacy: Following the parliamentary process on PMG

Rashaad Ali is the Executive Director at Parliament Monitoring Group, PMG for short. Their work focuses on providing access to information on Parliament and Provincial Legislatures and encouraging public participation. PMG is an independent, non-partisan NGO and was established in the mid- 90’s.

How do I raise support or awareness for my issue? Advice on campaigning

Parliamentary Advocacy: Raising awareness for your issue

Ntsiki and Liyema give an inspiring presentation on "How to raise support or awareness for my issue." And give great advice on campaigning based on Equal Education’s ( vast experience:

Further information on how laws are made:

Civics Academy offers free video and audio content aiming to inform and to strengthen democratic values and responsible citizenship. As such Civics Academy covers educational content related to democracy, governance, elections, political parties, the justice system, the Constitution, economics, civil society, human rights and the environment.

We recommend that you watch:

What is the legislature?

by Civics Academy SA

What is the Legislature?

How laws are made

by Lee Padayachee is also helpful

How Laws are Made in South Africa