The Portfolio Committee on Social Development has condemned the reported increase in cases of children being used as pawns during separation or divorce between their parents.
The committee heard that from a number of fathers during public hearings on the Children’s Amendment Bill on Tuesday.
Many fathers told the committee that they have been subjected to this tendency which they said has impacted on their ability to care for their children.
The participants highlighted that the unwarranted exclusion of fathers from their children denies both fathers and children an opportunity to have healthy and close relationships.
“There was a great deal of hope that the amendments to Sections 21 and 22 of the Children’s Act will provide a solution to this challenge and entrench equal parental rights for both parents. Moreover, fathers who expressed views on the Bill underscored the importance of the direct involvement of both parents in the development of a child.”
The participants also raised concern over the perceived unfair bias of the judiciary (family advocates) in the country against fathers.