Protecting Kids from violence in the home is a human rights issue.

Corinne’s Quest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 25, 2023

Protecting kids from violence in the home is a human rights issueHeaderChildren have the same human right as adults in Canada, says Kathy Lynn, one of Canada’s leading proponents for repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code, the spanking law.

“This is not debatable. It’s not sometimes. it’s not except in certain situations. It’s not when an adult decides otherwise. Children have human rights, and being safe from violence from adults – whether parents, teachers or anyone else – is fundamental.”

The current debate about repeal of Section 43, with bills now on the order papers in both the House of Commons and the Senate, has spawned a wide array of arguments and opinions on the subject.

The UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Canada endorsed in 1991, is crystal-clear on this subject. Nobody, including parents, is entitled to hit or harm a child.

“Parents do not have rights. They have responsibilities,” said Lynn. It is their duty to provide for their children as they grow into adulthood, and that responsibility does not confer on them the legal right to inflict violence on them.

In the modern era most progressive parents understand this, but not all. Some parents argue that spanking works. They confuse fear of another beating with deciding to change behaviour. The research clearly demonstrates that children brought up in a violent household often resort to violence in adulthood to solve their conflicts with other people.

“Repealing Section 43 is only a beginning. Providing parents with insights and skills to deal humanely and effectively with children’s misbehaviours is an equally Important next step.

Kathy Lynn is chairs of Corinne’s Quest, a Canadian organization dedicated to repeal of Section 43.

 

Lametti simply needs to repeal 43

Lametti simply needs to repeal S. 43

 “Isn’t it lovely that all the politicians are against hitting kids, according to an article on today’s (Jan. 24) Globe & Mail.  Problem is, they’ve been saying that for 30 years and I see no moves to repeal Section 43.”

There are now bills in both houses, Stan Kucher’s bill in the Senate and the house bill sponsored by MP Peter Julian, says Kathy Lynn, who chairs Corinne’s Quest, the main national group dedicated to repeal the law that allows hitting kids.

There have been private members bills in the House and the Senate for 30 years now, and I have worked in support of each and every one of them, she said.  But no government has moved toward repeal.

“I am heartened by the comments from justice minister Lametti’s staff, who have indicated the government is seeking the right opportunity to repeal Section 43.

“I have told justice minister Lametti time and again that his task is simple. Just repeal the bill. That’s all that’s required,” said Lynn.

“The bill as written does not protect children.  It defines how adults can hit them, and it offers a defense in law for those who do. It’s scandalous. We don’t need a law that instructs us how we can legally hit our children.”

She said MP Julian’s bill is simple in its elegance.  It simply says, ‘Section 43 of the criminal code is repealed’.  That’s all we need.

Corrine’s Quest is named to honour Corinne Robertshaw, a former government lawyer who dedicated her life to repeal of Section 43.

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Bill to protect Canadian children’s rights tabled in the House of Commons

Corinne’s Quest

Suite 1805, 719 Princess Street • New Westminster BC Canada V3M 6T9 • 1-604-258-9074 • www.corinnesquest.ca

News Release

For Immediate Release May 19, 2022

Bill to protect Canadian children’s rights tabled in the House of Commons

Canada’s premier organization which advocates for an end to legalized hitting of children is delighted that the federal New Democratic Party has tabled a bill to ban the practice.

“Today is a great day for the rights of Canada’s children,” said Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest, a national organization dedicated to repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code.

“Section 43 protects parents and others who hit children in the name of discipline. More than 63 countries worldwide have banned the practise, and Canada is not among them.

“We recently heard from the federal Minister of Justice that the Liberal government is seeking the best way to remove the section from the law. We recommend they move quickly to implement Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action Number 6, which calls for repeal of this section.”

“Many Canadians believe s.43 protects children from harm. In fact, it does nothing of the sort. It justifies use of force and provides a defense for those who do.

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What the criminal code says

Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada
Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable

under the circumstances.R.S.C., 1985, c .C-4 CQ’s position

Violence against children should be against the law, not defined by it.

Decades ago in Canada, it wasn’t a criminal assault to physically beat

slaves, servants, apprentices, prisoners, dogs,

wives, and

children.
In today’s Canada, only children are still on that list.

“We know that public sentiment in largely in favour of repeal and most MPs support us as well, but the government has failed to act.”

  • The UN and most of the world’s governments are in favour of repeal.
  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report calls for repeal.
  • Most provinces now have laws or policy on the books banning the strap.
  • Research overwhelmingly warns of harms to children, including physical injury but also teaching children that violence is an inappropriate means for dealing with problems.
  • Section 43 denies children their basic civil rights.
  • Child-serving organizations and professionals including doctors and lawyers have voiced their support for repeal.

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For information on Corinne’s Quest, see their website at corinnesquest.ca

For more information you may contact: Kathy Lynn, chair, at 604-258-9074

NDP Bill to prohibit corporal punishment against children in Canada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAY 19, 2022

 

NDP BILL TO PROHIBIT CORPORAL PUNISHMENT åAGAINST CHILDREN IN CANADA

 

OTTAWA  – Today, NDP House Leader Peter Julian, MP (New Westminster-Burnaby) tabled Bill C-273, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Corinne’s Quest and the protection of children), to repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children in Canada. Every single child in Canada should have the care and opportunities that they need to succeed and thrive – without exception.

 

Bill C-273 is seconded by NDP MP Lori Idlout (Nunavut), and would amend the Criminal Code to end all physical punishment of Canada’s children. Corinne’s Quest was formed in 2014 in honour of Corinne Robertshaw, a lawyer who dedicated her life to seeking to repeal Section 43.

 

It is still legal in Canada for parents and legal representatives to physically assault their children under certain circumstances.  Parents can use « reasonable force » for purposes of correction. Teachers can also use « reasonable force » depending of the context. It is the judge that has the last word in deciding whether or not the use of force is acceptable.

 

Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest which is dedicated to the repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code believes it is finally time to give Canada’s children the same protection against assault which is enjoyed by all its citizens. “Violence against children should be against the law, not defined by it,” stated Lynn.

 

“Corinne’s Quest continues to advocate on behalf of children. A special thanks to Kathy and John Lynn who are constituents of mine in New Westminster—Burnaby, who are really shepherding the push to ban physical punishment of children and repeal section 43. I hope that all members of Parliament will support this important legislation”, said MP Julian.

 

Physical punishment on children have severe consequences. Sweden was the first country to ban it in 1979. Today, 63 countries have banned physical punishment of children, and Canada still lags behind.

 

The NDP is committed to taking meaningful action in the fight to protect children and their right from being harmed by their parents and legal representatives. Bill C-273 will ensure that our children are safer under the law of Canada. New Democrats call on the Liberal government to adopt the clear measures in this bill and put an immediate end to the corporal punishment of all children in Canada.

 

 

 

Webinar worth watching

The Canadian Coalition for the rights of children and youth, a group of academics who have extensive material to back up the concept that physical punishment does harm and fails as a means of discipline. They recently had a webinar and that can be seen at  https://rightsofchildren.ca/resources/ (it’s the first one webinar) or here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Xss8AoZpPSEr. It was presented by Joan Durrant & Valerie Michaelson, and titled  Canada’s Children Deserve Protection from Violence: A Call to Action.

Child Mental Health Issues Can Begin Over the Knees of their Parents

Corinne’s Quest 

Suite 1805, 719 Princess Street • New Westminster BC Canada V3M 6T9 • 1-604-258-9074 • www.corinnesquest.ca

News Release

For Immediate Release

Nov. 20, 2019

Child Mental Health Issues Can Begin 

Over the Knees of Their Parents

Today, Nov. 20, is National Child Day. It’s the day in 1989 we signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a pledge which we still do not honour. 

The UN has repeatedly warned us that Canada remains in violation of this pledge because of Section 43 of our criminal code which still permits and condones assaults on the nation’s children.

Many children today are anxious. They require increased mental health resources to cope with heightened anxiety levels, and part of the problem is domestic violence. 

When children are continually struck and spanked as a form of discipline, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behaviour.  According to a meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking by experts at The University of Texas and the University of Michigan, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties can be attributed to continued spanking.

“it’s to our nation’s shame that we still have this law on the books,” said Kathy Lynn. “Today, 58 countries now have laws which specifically ban physical punishment of children in any way for any reason. I regret to say Canada’s name is not on that list.”

Lynn is the chair of a Corinne’s Quest, a national organization dedicated to protecting childrens’ right to be free from violence in any form. They call for repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code, also known as ‘the spanking law’.

In 2016 Prime Minister Trudeau made a statement strongly supporting National Child Day and made specific reference to protecting the personal security of children. “Since that date CQ has met with the Minister of Justice and have spoken to MPs and Senators and their staff including the PMO to urge them to follow up on the Prime Minister’s statement, to no avail,” said Lynn.

“We know that public sentiment in largely in favour of repeal and most MPs support us as well, but the government has failed to act.”

• The UN and most of the world’s governments are in favour of repeal.

• The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report calls for repeal.

• Most provinces now have laws or policy on the books banning the strap.

• Research overwhelmingly warns of harms to children, including physical injury but also teaching children that violence is a means for dealing with problems.

• Section 43 denies children their basic civil rights.

• Child-serving organizations and professionals including doctors and lawyers have voiced their support for repeal.

What the criminal code says

Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada

Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances. R.S.C., 1985, c .C-4

CQ’s position

Violence against children should be against the law, not defined by it. 

Decades ago in Canada, it wasn’t a criminal assault to physically beat 

slaves, 

servants, 

apprentices, 

prisoners, 

dogs, 

wives, and 

children. 

In today’s Canada, only children are still on that list.  

CQ’s request is simple:  Repeal Section 43 of the criminal code.

There is no need for replacement legislation, or a re-write of the existing law, or new conditions placed on Section 43. Senator Murray Sinclair has an appropriate draft law for this purpose. Existing laws dealing with the various levels of assault are sufficient, and existing laws also deal effectively with self-defence or protecting a child from harm, or breaking up a schoolyard fight.

This new parliamentary session provides an ideal opportunity for all parties to come together to jointly support a bill to repeal s.43.

  • 30 –

For information on Corinne’s Quest, see their website at corinnesquest.ca

For more information you may contact:

Kathy Lynn, chair, at 604-258-9074

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is there for the protection of children

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.

Well! 

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.

What is the connection between the United Nations and Physical Punishment?

What is the connection between the United Nations and Physical Punishment?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The focus for this initiative has been on foreign policy.

But there is another issue that the Liberal Government could easily address.

On December 13, 1991, Canada formally ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention, which is a comprehensive statement on children’ rights, covers every aspect of a child’s life.

Corinne’s Quest: End Physical Punishment of Childrenis a campaign with a mission to end the legalized assault (spanking, smacking, slapping, hitting) of children in our homes. Accomplishing this would mean simply repealing S43 of the Criminal Code of Canada which is the section which permits and defines when and how parents can hit their children. (to learn more about S43 and Corinne’s Quest, simply press here.)

The presence of S43 in our Criminal Code is in direct conflict with the Un Convention. It seems to us, at Corinne’s Quest that our government should repeal S43 and come into line with the United Nations.

Wanting a seat on the UN Security Council while openly flaunting a basic right as set out in the UN Convention does not make sense.

There are, of course, other good reasons why the government should Repeal S43 and protect our children from assault in the home.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission which the Government has promised to implement recognizes the problems with this section. Their Call the Action #6 asks for the Repeal of S43.

Section 43 is an archaic law which came into our Criminal Code in 1892 and reflects a 19th century belief that corporal punishment is an appropriate and necessary way to correct children. Most parents who continue to use corporal punishment are simply following a practice approved by Canadian law and custom since 1892. It is a national embarrassment that this law is still on the books.

It is important to repeal it because some parents see it as a justification to continue to hit children as a means of discipline. Other violence-prone people believe it offers legal permission to do so and protection from the law when they do.

It is the last remaining section that condones violence. It is the last section in the Criminal Code which shields a perpetrator of violence from criminal prosecution in the courts.

In the past, various Canadian laws have condoned violence against:

Slaves

Servants

Sailors

Prisoners

Apprentices

Wives

Dogs, and

Children.

Today, children are the only ones left on that list.

November 20 is National Child Day. Our Canadian Government can celebrate on behalf of all our children by simply repealing S43 of the criminal code of Canada.

Violence against children should be prohibited by the law not defined by it.

Minster of Justice has missed the boat in dealing with family violence

Minister of Justice has missed the boat

in dealing with family violence 

Canada’s Minister of Justice has totally missed the point with her attempt to forestall domestic violence in Canadian families, according to a leading advocate for children’s safety.

“Where does the Justice Minister think young men suddenly get the idea to beat the hell out of their wives and girlfriends?” asks Kathy Lynn, chair of Corrine’s Quest, a campaign devoted to repealing Section 43, Canada’s spanking law.

“The idea of using violence to solve conflicts is first learned across a parent’s knee, when parents resort to spanking kids to change their behaviour”, she said.

She says Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s approach is to use further punishment through police, the courts, even the bail system, to change behaviours. That’s much too late. In his role as Minister of Youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must understand that young Canadians do not suddenly start believing that assault is the answer to frustration, disobedience or differences of opinion. They learn it when they are still kids.

“Using a bigger stick to solve violence problems has never worked,” said Lynn.  “It’s a comforting idea, it gives the impressing you are seriously doing something about the problem, but in fact you are making it worse by invoking the force of governments and the courts.

“We need to be working on the root causes, and the Minister’s reforms don’t do that. Little Johnny gets hit regularly and legally at home by his parents, so he learns that violence is an appropriate response to anger. He continues this behaviour into adulthood with his girlfriend. But suddenly it’s illegal. Makes no sense whatsoever.

Section 43 of the Criminal Code permits parents to strike children aged 2 to twelve “for correction”, and also offers parents a defence in law if they are charged with assault.

Lynn said Senate bill s.206, presented by Senator Murray Sinclair who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, offers a ready-to-go solution to the problem of repealing s.43.  The TRC’s sixth Call to Action also called for repeal.

For more information you can go to the article:Domestic Violence Starts Over the Knees of Parents