The SAMRA/ICC/ESOMAR Code of Conduct recommends that 12 is the cut-point for defining a child and thus also for obtaining parental/guardian consent, if no legislation specifies otherwise in the country where the research is done. South African legislation defines a child in many ways, ranging from 12 to 18:
- Age of majority – 18 (this was 21 until 2007)
- Voting age – 18
- Drinking age – 18
- Sexual consent age – 16
- Children under 12 are presumed by the law to be incapable of consenting
Thus, determining when parental/guardian consent is required for research is not clear-cut across all contexts in South Africa.
Download the SAMRA guideline here: SAMRA Guideline for Research with Children in South Africa