Alberta’s United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney claims the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child is part of a “coordinated agenda” quietly working to undermine the authority of parents to hit children.
Who else does deserves to be hit under Mr. Kenney’s rules of conduct? Wives? Apprentices? Prisoners? Slaves? Animals? At one point in Canada it was OK to hit all these classes of people, but no more. Times have changed.
The UN declaration is aimed at shielding the last remaining victim of violence in our society, our children. And Kenney thinks this is wrong.
For the record, Article 19 of the UN Convention states that participating countries “shall take all appropriate …measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence.” This includes parental hitting of children. Canada ratified the Convention 28 years ago, but sadly, is still not in compliance with it. The Canadian criminal code still has Section 43, which still permits the legal assault of children in Canada.
The UN Declaration is not a plot; it is aimed at the protection for children, which includes child spanking, a euphemism for assault.
I recent years the conversation was about the hitting of women. In 1965, in an interview in Playboy magazine, actor Sean Connery said, “An open-handed slap is justified – if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it.”
In 2007, in an interview with Barbara Walters speaking about hitting women he said, . “I haven’t changed my opinion… sometimes women just won’t leave things alone… Then, I think it’s absolutely right.”
No man today would make such statement. In Canada we agree that it is never okay for an adult to hit another adult. In earlier times Canadian law permitted physical punishment of slaves, apprentices, prisoners, dogs, wives and children.
Today we can only hit children.
It is now 2019, and we talk about being anti-violent. But we still legally assault children, our most vulnerable citizens. Does that make any sense at all?
We urge the federal government to repeal S43 and free our children of this violence.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kenney needs to give his head a shake.