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CHAPTER 5:06

Children’s Act

Acts 22/1971, 39/1973 (ss. 43 and 52), 43/1973 (s. 4), 18/1974, 44/1974 (s. 4), 26/1979, 15/1981 (s. 66), 29/1981 (s. 59), 15/1982 (s. 3), 11/1986 (s. 29), 24/1987 (s. 8), 2/1989 (s. 7), 20/1994(s. 3), 14/1995; 9/1997 (s. 10) , 22/2001 (s. 4), 23/2001, 14/2002 (s. 4); R.G.N. 327/1977; S.I. 689/1979.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

PRELIMINARY Section

  1. Short title.

PART IA

CHILD WELFARECOUNCIL

2A.   Establishment of Child Welfare Council.

2B.   Functions of Council.

2C.   Validity of decisions and acts of Council.

PART II

CHILDREN’SCOURTS

  1. Establishment of children’s courts.
  2. Officers of children’s courts.
  3. Procedure in children’s courts.
  4. Certain provisions of Cap. 7:10 to apply to children’s courts.

PART III

PREVENTIONOFNEGLECT, ILL-TREATMENT AND EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS

  1. Ill-treatment or neglect of children and young persons.
  2. Corruption of children and young persons.
  3. Medical examination and treatment of children and young persons.
  4. Begging and public entertainment.

10A. Restriction on employment of children and young persons 11.  Safeguarding of child audiences at public entertainments.

  1. Power to bind over person having custody of young girl, child or young person to exercise proper care.
  2. Conducing to commission of offence by child or young person.

PART IV

REMOVAL OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS TO MOTHERCARE

  1. Removal of children and young persons to place of safety.
  2. Court or magistrate may authorize removal of child or young person to place of safety.
  3. Authority to detain child or young person in place of safety.
  4. Duty to bring child or young person before children’s court.
  5. Alleged child in need of care may be brought before children’s court.
  6. Children’s court to hold inquiry in respect of child or young person brought before it.
  7. Powers of children’s court.
  8. Adjournment of inquiry.
  9. Summoning of parent or guardian of child or young person.
  10. Determination of certified institution or training institute to which child or young person shall be sent.
  11. Children’s court may review orders.
  12. Period of retention and further supervision of child or young person.
  13. Person attaining age of eighteen years during inquiry in children’s court.
  14. Review by High Court of certain orders and discharge of certain orders by various other orders.

PART V

PLACESOFSAFETY, REMAND HOMES, INSTITUTIONS AND TRAINING INSTITUTES

  1. Places of safety and remand homes.
  2. Minister may establish training institutes and institutions. 30. [Repealed]
  3. Registration of institutions.
  4. Liability for maintenance of child or young person received in terms of this Act.
  5. Pupil of certified institution or training institute may be released on licence.
  6. Licence may be varied.
  7. Reports on pupils.
  8. Leave of absence from certified institution or training institute.
  9. Discharge from effect of various orders made.
  10. Transfer of pupil, child or young person.
  11. Admission of children and young persons from foreign states to certified institutions.
  12. Reception in training institutes of juveniles from foreign states.
  13. Transfer of certain persons to institutions outside Zimbabwe.
  14. Absconding pupils and other persons.
  15. Unlawful removal of juveniles.
  16. Imprisonment of absconding pupils.
  17. Inspection of children and young persons.
  18. Probation officers.
  19. Transfer of certain parental powers.
  20. Unlawful removal of pupil, child or young person from Zimbabwe.

PART VI

CONTRIBUTION ORDERS

  1. Making of contribution order.
  2. Provisional contribution order.
  3. Effect of direction to make payments and of contribution order.
  4. Provisions of contribution order as to payments.
  5. Variation or rescission of direction to make payments and of contribution order.
  6. Appeal against contribution order or direction.
  7. Change of place of residence of respondent.
  8. Service of process.

PART VII

ADOPTION OFCHILDREN

  1. Jurisdiction and procedure in relation to adoption order.
  2. Power to make adoption order.
  3. Restriction on making adoption order.
  4. Consent to adoption given by minor mother of illegitimate child.
  5. Matters with respect to which court to be satisfied.
  6. Register of applicants for adoption.
  7. Terms and conditions of order.
  8. Effect of adoption order.
  9. Power to make interim order.
  10. Power to make subsequent order in respect of minor already subject to an order.
  11. Rescission of adoption order.
  12. No consideration in connection with adoption permitted.
  13. Concealment of identity of adopted child.
  14. Adopted Children Register.
  15. Change of name of adopted persons.
  16. Effect of adoption on marriage.
  17. Publication of advertisements of adoption.
  18. Accessibility of records relating to adoption.

PART VIIA

FOREIGN ADOPTIONS

75A. Application of Part.

75B. Designated countries.

75C. Recognition of adoptions in designated countries.

75D. Recognition of adoptions in non-designated countries.

75E. Registration of birth of person adopted in foreign country.

75F. Effect of recognition of foreign adoption.

75G. Part does not limit recognition of foreign adoptions under other laws.

PART VIIB

CHILD WELFAREFUND

75H. Establishment of Fund

75I.   Object of Fund

75J. Application of Fund

75K. Estimates of expenditure

75L. Limits on expenditure from Fund

75M. Accounts and audit of Fund

75N. Holding of Fund

PART VIII

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Consent to surgical or other treatment.
  2. Evidence of husband or wife of accused person.
  3. Sale of liquor, tobacco and drugs to children prohibited.
  4. Seizure and confiscation of liquor, tobacco and drugs in possession of children.
  5. Provision as to gambling, gaming or automatic machines.
  6. Magistrate may order parent to produce his child before children’s court.
  7. Estimation of age.
  8. Liability of step-parent to maintain his step-child.
  9. Detention of juvenile.
  10. [Repealed].
  11. Financial support from public funds to certain institutions.
  12. Notice of certain proceedings to be given to High Court.
  13. [Repealed].

SCHEDULES

First Schedule: Specified Offences.

Second Schedule : [Repealed]

AN ACT to provide for the establishment of children’s courts; to make provision for the protection, welfare and supervision of children and juveniles; to provide for the establishment, recognition and registration of certain institutions and institutes for the reception and custody of children and juveniles and for the treatment of children and juveniles after their reception in such institutions and institutes; to require the contribution by certain persons towards the maintenance of children and juveniles; to provide for the adoption of minors; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 27th October, 1972.]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

                       1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Children’s Act [Chapter 5:06].

[Section amended by section 2 of Act 23 of 2001]

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“adopted child” means a person adopted in terms of Part VII;

“adopter” means a person who has adopted a person in terms of Part VII;

“adoption order” means an order of adoption made in terms of Part VII;

“attendance centre” means a building or place which a child or young person has to attend on the order of a children’s court to receive guidance and to undergo treatment in order that he may be rehabilitated and disciplined;

“certified institution” means a training institute or an institution established and maintained in terms of subsection (1) of section twenty-nine and, if the context so requires, includes the persons responsible for managing such institution;

[Definition substituted by section 3 of Act 23 of 2001]

“child” means a person under the age of sixteen years and includes an infant;

“child in need of care” means a child or young person—

  • who is destitute or has been abandoned; or
  • both of whose parents are dead or cannot be traced and who has no legal guardian; or
  • whose legal guardian or parents do not exercise proper control and care over him; or
  • whose legal guardian or parents are unfit to have or exercise control over him; or
  • who is in the custody of a person who has been convicted of committing upon or in connection with that child or young person any offence specified in the First Schedule; or
  • who cannot be controlled by his parents or guardian; or
  • who is a habitual truant; or
  • who frequents the company of any immoral or vicious person or is otherwise living in circumstances calculated to cause or conduce to his seduction, corruption or prostitution; or
  • who begs or, being a child, engages in street trading contrary to this Act or any other enactment; or
  • who is being maintained in circumstances which are detrimental to his welfare or interests; or
  • who is found in possession, without reasonable excuse, of any drug to which the Dangerous Drugs Act [Chapter 15:02] applies or of any specified drug as defined in the Drugs and Allied Substances Control Act [Chapter 15:03]; or
  • who suffers from a mental or physical disability and requires treatment, training or facilities which his parents or guardian are unable to provide; or
  • whose parent or guardian has given him up to another person in settlement of a dispute in accordance with custom; or
  • whose parent or guardian makes him perform work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with his education or to be harmful to his health or to his physical or mental development; or
  • whose parent or guardian has denied him proper health care; or
  • whose parent or guardian has unlawfully removed him from lawful custody;

[Definition amended by section 3 of Act 23 of 2001, by insertion of paragraphs (m) to (p).]

“clerk of a children’s court” means any official carrying out the duties of such clerk on the instruction of the officer presiding over the children’s court;

“contribution order” means an order made in terms of Part VI for the periodical payment of sums of money towards the maintenance of a child, young person or pupil;

“Council” means the Child Welfare Council established in terms of section two A;

[Definition inserted by section 3 of Act 23 of 2001]

“designated country" means a country declared to be a designated country in terms of section seventy-five B;

[Definition inserted by section 3 of Act 23 of 2001

“Director” means the person for the time being holding the office of Director of Social Affairs, Youth and Rehabilitation or lawfully acting in the capacity thereof;

“earnings”, in relation to a responsible person, means any money payable to that person—

(a) by way of salary, wages, remuneration or allowances and includes any fees, bonus, commission, overtime pay or other emoluments payable in addition thereto; or (b) by way of a pension and includes—

  • an annuity, gratuity, commutation of pension or other like allowance or refund of pension contributions, including interest payable thereon, whether the same is payable in respect of past services or otherwise; and
  • periodical payments in respect of or by way of compensation for the loss, abolition or relinquishment, howsoever arising, or any diminution in the emoluments of any office or employment;

“education officer” means a person or class of persons involved in the education of a child or young person who is designated as an education officer for the purpose of this Act by the Minister after consulting the

Minister responsible for education;

[Definition inserted by section 3 of Act 23 of 2001.]

“employer”, in relation to a responsible person, means a person, including the State, by whom earnings are payable or are likely to become payable to the responsible person;

"Fund" means the Child Welfare Fund established by section seventy-five H;

[Definition amended by section 3 of Act 23 of 2001]

“guardian”, in relation to a child or young person, means the legal guardian, and includes any person who has the custody, charge or care of the child or young person, either permanently or temporarily;

“hazardous labour”, in relation to a child or young person, means any work—

  • which is likely to jeopardise or interfere with the education of that child or young person;
  • involving contact with any hazardous substance, article or process, including ionising radiation; (c) involving underground mining;
  • that exposes a child or young person to electronically-powered hand-tools, cutting or grinding blades
  • that exposes a child or young person to extreme heat, cold, noise or whole body vibration;
  • that is night shift work;

[Definition amended by section 3 of Act 23 of 2001]

"health officer" means a health practitioner who is registered in terms of the Medical Dental and Allied Professions Act [Chapter 27:08] and is designated as a health officer for purposes of this Act by the Minister after consulting the Minister responsible for health;

[Definition inserted by section 3 of Act 23 of 2001.]

“infant” means a person under the age of seven years;

“institution” means a creche or other institution maintained and controlled by a person for the reception, maintenance and supervision of children or young persons but does not include—

  • a building for the accommodation of school children which forms part of a private school registered in terms of the Education Act [Chapter 25:04]; or
  • a certified institution; and, if the context so requires, any reference to an institution shall be deemed to include a reference to the management of that institution;

“legal guardian” means a tutor testamentary, tutor dative or assumed tutor to whom letters of confirmation have been granted in terms of the law relating to the administration of estates and includes a husband of a girl who is under eighteen years of age;

“local authority” means—

  • a municipal council or town council; or
  • any rural council, district council or other authority which is designated by the Minister, by notice in a statutory instrument, to be a local authority for the purposes of this Act;

“maintain”, in relation to a child or young person, includes to undertake the custody or care of that child or young person;

“maintenance”, in relation to a child or young person, includes the custody or care of that child or young person;

“management” means a person or persons who have the management and control of a certified institution, training institute or institution;

“Minister” means the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“minor” means a person under the age of eighteen years;

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