Firearms play a significant role in the perpetration of violence and crime in South Africa and young people are particularly affected.
How we are helping
The project aims to strengthen the capacity of young people in four provinces to influence attitudes to community safety and contribute to the development of policies and laws aimed at reducing gun violence.
About the project
It is estimated that 23 people are shot and killed every day in South Africa. Young people are particularly affected by gun violence, with the highest homicide rates found in the 15–29 years age group. Adopted by the South African Parliament in 2000, the Firearms Control Act (FCA) is the principal Act governing firearms control in the country and has led to a reduction in the number of people shot and killed. The Act is under review and the Amendment Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament in 2020-21
This project aims to strengthen the capacity of young people from six communities across four provinces in South Africa so they can influence attitudes towards gun violence and community safety in their communities, and contribute to the development of policies and laws aimed at reducing gun violence; including advocating for the FCA Amendment Bill that’s under review in parliament to be enacted.
This will be achieved by:
- Developing and implementing a training programme for youth facilitators so they can develop and implement safety initiatives in their communities; this will include the establishment of Gun Free Zones in schools and other public spaces
- Facilitating dialogues in target communities to raise young people’s awareness about the risks posed by guns and gun violence and mobilise support towards community safety initiatives
- Youth’s perspectives on the Amendment Bill will be sought and their input on the bill documented and submitted to Parliament
- Youth will be supported to do oral presentations at public hearings in Parliament on the Amendment Bill and to follow up on the implementation of amended legislation
- Producing policy briefs focussed on firearms control related matters ranging from global good practice to an analysis of South Africa gun-related crime patterns
- Creating a communications strategy that will encompass a social media campaign and local media liaisons
Gun Free SA is a member of the C19 Peoples Coalition, an emerging civil society collective seeking to ensure that South Africa’s response to the Covid-19 crisis is rooted in social justice and democratic principles, and recognises our duty to prioritise those who are most vulnerable, who face the pandemic with hunger, weakened immune systems and poor access to housing, health care, and social safety nets.
Gun Free SA is a founding and active member of the International Action Network on Small Arms, a global movement against gun violence that links hundreds of organisations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.
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