First Call coalition joins forces with Corinne’s Quest Campaign to end physical punishment of children in Canada

First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition has announced the affiliation of a new campaign focused on ending physical punishment of children.

Called Corinne’s Quest in honour of Corinne Robertshaw, a lawyer who dedicated the latter part of her life to this issue, the organization’s mission statement is “to promote the raising of children in a positive, non-violent manner and to press for repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code.”

“We are delighted to have Corinne’s Quest bring new energy and focus to our efforts to protect children’s right to safety and freedom from violence,” said Adrienne Montani First Call’s provincial coordinator. “Canada has been repeatedly criticized by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for failing to remove this section of the Criminal Code. Numerous other countries have already moved on this. It’s time for Canada to catch up.”

Kathy Lynn, a parenting speaker and lifelong advocate for ending physical punishment of children, chairs the Corinne’s Quest Steering Committee.

Lynn points out that at various times in our history, Canadian laws have sanctioned hitting slaves, apprentices, prisoners, dogs, wives and children. “Today in Canada, children are the only group left on that list. It is a breach of both their right to security and to equality to have Section 43 still providing a legal defence for the use of force to ‘correct’ children’s behavior.”

She said in addition to the repeal of Section 43, the group also intends to support education for families and parents about the many progressive and effective non-violent ways to raise their children to be responsible self-disciplined adults.

“We are honoured to have an organization of the status of First Call accept us as a campaign under their wing,” said Lynn. “We recognize the Coalition has been a long-time champion of this issue and we’re excited about working together with all the First Call partner organizations and allies across the country to improve children’s safety.”