The thematic focus of the South African Child Gauge 2017 – survive, thrive, transform – is at the heart of South Africa’s obligations under international law. The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) both protect the right to life, survival and development, alongside many other rights. The ACRWC and UNCRC are important for promoting children’s rights because they require governments to report regularly on their progress in realizing children’s rights.1 Civil society organisations can participate in the monitoring process by submitting so-called “shadow” reports that add to or challenge information provided by governments. In 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) released its concluding observations on South Africa’s most recent country report.2 The concluding observations acknowledge that South Africa has made significant progress in realising children’s rights. The Committee welcomed, for instance, the reductions in infant and child mortality and in mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, as well as improvements in the legal and policy framework to combat violence against children.3 However, the concluding observations raise numerous concerns, particularly the lack of implementation of legislation.