Case of Joslin Smith shows children are an easy target in South Africa; Action Society commends progress made by police

“Action Society wants to remind South Africans that there is a war being waged on the children in our country, and the case of six-year-old Joslin Smith should serve as a sober reminder of how easy it is for a child to go missing without a trace. We commend the dedication from the police and the progress they have made in the case, and hope that Joslin is found safe and sound,” said Head of Action Society’s Action Centre in the Western Cape, Kaylynn Palm, after the Western Cape police released a statement, confirming that they are questioning four persons of interest.

According to Missing Children South Africa, more than 1300 cases of kidnapping are reported to the police in South Africa every month. It is clear from the statistics that there is an urgent need for this to be addressed countrywide.

We welcome the amount of resources the police have allocated toward finding Joslin. However, it should not distract us from the sad reality that not all cases get the same amount of attention, and this often results in the child being found dead, mostly due to the lack of urgency or due diligence from the police.

Nonetheless, we commend the SAPS for taking the four persons of interest in for questioning (two males and two females), and that the investigation is gaining momentum. Police have indicated that they are following leads that Joslin was allegedly sold, and we hope that this investigation is solved timeously, and that the young girl is found and brought home safely.

At the same time we are urging the wider public to not spread fake news and disinformation on social media. Action Society is also encouraging parents to be extra vigilant. Sadly, statistics show that children are most often kidnapped by those who are closest to them, including family, extended family, and members of their communities. Furthermore, we as a society need to continue to adopt the attitude of ‘my child is your child’ in order to keep our children safe.

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