Posts Tagged corporal punishment

Ending legalised violence against children worldwide – Global Report 2009

January 22, 2010

A recent report published by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children provides information about world wide progress towards universal prohibition of all corporal (physical) punishment of children.

There are now 26 countries which have enacted laws prohibiting corporal punishment of children in all settings. New Zealand is, of course, one of these. In many other countries there are positive commitments and campaigns underway. The report provides extensive information on the status of countries world-wide.

In New Zealand it is many years since physical punishment was legal in settings other than the home (banned in 2007) but in some parts of the world children are still beaten in schools, penal institutions and alternative care settings and are the victims of outdated, inhumane and violent practices.

Introductory messages to the Report from Marta Santos Pias (Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children), Professor Yanghee Lee (Chairperson, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child) and Professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro (previously the Independent Expert who led the UN Secretary General’s Study On Violence against Children) all make it clear that respect for children’s human rights to dignity and physical integrity through the banning of corporal punishment is a critical part of protecting children from all violence.

Children’s human right to dignity, physical integrity and full protection from violence are the fundamental underpinnings of a legal ban on use of force in the correction of children. All too often this fact gets lost as New Zealanders debate parent’s perceived right to discipline their children as they see fit and the irrelevant question of whether a small smack does any harm.

Christopher Horan: Time to move past the smacking debate

August 17, 2009

Former probation officer Christopher Horan writes in today’s Otago Daily Times that people are sick of the debate and it’s time to move on, comparing the present situation to the debate around corporal punishment in schools.  We moved on, and few regret the move to more effective ways of disciplining children in schools.

I’m confident that most parents who oppose Sue Bradford’s child-discipline Act are caring and responsible parents. That’s why I’m also sure they will be uneasy in the knowledge that their view is shared by most wife beaters, sex offenders, child abusers and child killers.

These are the people who cling to a distorted sense of entitlement to control the lives of others.

Moving on would leave them behind.

Read the full article at the ODT.

Swedish MP dismayed to learn of NZ referendum

August 13, 2009

The Local, an English language publication in Sweden reports that Liberal Party MP Helena Bargholtz is dismayed to learn that New Zealand is holding a referendum to reintroduce smacking.  She says,

I am so disappointed learning from the Swedish media about the referendum in New Zealand as to whether corporal punishment should be reintroduced.

Hitting people is wrong – and children are people too. Corporal punishment of children breaches their fundamental rights to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity.

Its legality breaches their right to equal protection under the law. The rights of all children – the smallest and most fragile of people – must be fully respected.

Read the entire article at The Local.

Four studies: smacking leads to sexual coersion and risky sex

April 22, 2009

Dr Murray Straus is a Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, and a former president of the National Council on Family Relations.

In February 2008, he gave a presentation to the American Psychological Association Summit Conference on Violence and Abuse in Interpersonal Relationship entitled Corporal Punishment of Children and Sexual Behavior Problems: results from four studies.

The studies show some interesting yet frightening results about the effects of smacking children, including

  • The more smacking, the more antisocial behaviour two years later
  • Smacking is related to physical aggression, psychological aggression, and property crimes
  • Corporal punishment before age 12 significantly increases the probability of future verbal and physical sexual coersion
  • Corporal punishment as a child significantly increases the probability of risky sex (insisting on sex without a condom and approval of violence)
  • The more corporal punishment as a child, the greater the probability of risky sex as an adult

Many people who condone smacking their children say that it should only be done lovingly, but Straus’s research shows that the link between corporal punishment and masochistic sex is greatest when the parents are warm and loving.

Straus’s presentation concludes with a suggestion that birth certificates should contain a warning:

Spanking has been shown to be dangerous to your child’s health and well being.

For more information, download the presentation.

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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