Child advocacy organisation Save the Children is calling on restaurants to review their child safeguarding policies, in the wake of the recent “Dros Rape” case, that has shocked the country.
Last week, a seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 20-year-old man in a bathroom of the Dros restaurant in Pretoria. A video of the suspect found in the bathroom naked and covered in blood has gone viral and sparked public outrage.
Rape accused Nicholas Ninow was denied bail after a second court appearance. Ninow has not pleaded and will remain in police custody. Critics say a charge of attempted murder should be added to Ninow’s charges, considering it is the rape of a minor. The matter has since been postponed to November 1.
Over the past few months, there has been an increase in the rape of minors and children, raising concerns of child safety across the country. The recent case has now brought restaurants into the spot light, questioning whether eating establishments have policies that are designed to protect children.
Save the Children is an international organisation which aims to give children a good start in life, as well as the opportunity to learn and be protected from violence or any other damage. Communications Manager for Save the Children South Africa, Sibusiso Khasa, says the organisation primarily focuses on prevention measures, to minimise the risk of children being vulnerable to predators.
“We are calling on all restaurants to review and initiate child safeguarding policies and implement them accurately. They (restaurants) need to conduct risk assessment to look for any loop holes. (Ask) are there any incidents that can leave children vulnerable,’’ says Khasa.
If restaurants already have plans in place, Khasa highlighted that these regulations should be reviewed, and that staff should be capable and aware. He said that child minders need to understand their responsibilities.
‘’Coming up with policies and rules won’t be enough, we need to make sure the rules are implemented.‘’ said Khasa.
Khasa also said that policies differ from restaurant to restaurant, but that Save Our Children has ‘’experts who will offer their assistance with regard to drafting regulations and training staff”.
For more information or for assistance, Save Our Children can be contacted through the website at : www.savethechildren.org.za
VOC: Tauhierah Salie