Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has drawn strong support from the organization which has been its strongest critic for not repealing Section 43 of the Criminal Code.
In his statement marking National Child Day on Sunday, Nov. 20, Trudeau said in part, “Each child deserves to be raised in an environment that is free of violence, discrimination and exploitation …”
He went on to note that he and his wife Sophie urge all Canadians to speak to children of all ages about their rights. He said that though the UN introduced a Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, there is still a lot of work to do to because world-wide, millions of children are being denied basic human rights.
Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest, the leading organization formed to push for repeal of s.43, has sent the Prime Minister a letter thanking him for re-stating the government’s commitment to the right of children to benefit from a violence-free up-bringing. The government last year committed to implementing all of the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action including number six, which calls for repeal of s.43.
This section not only condones violence against children, Lynn said, it also offers legal protections to those who commit the assault. “Violence against children needs to be prohibited by law, not defined by it.
“In the past Canada has had laws on the books which permitted hitting slaves, servants, sailors, apprentices, prisoners, wives, dogs and children,” said Lynn. “Today, children are the only ones left on that list.
“This government has signaled its support in this area on a number of occasions. It is now time for them to take action,” said Lynn. “Canadian parents are ready for this change.
“it’s an easy fix. Simply introduce a bill which repeals section 43. The government did that last week with Section 159 dealing with with anal intercourse which they admitted also violated basic civil rights.”
Hitting kids as a means of discipline is not a trivial matter,” said Lynn. “The research is clear; it doesn’t work, and it can cause long-term harm to children, not least of which is teaching them that force and violence are legitimate ways of controlling others.”
She noted that while Canada signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, the UN has had to remind Canada several times that we are out of compliance because of s.43. World-wide, there are now 51 countries which have abolished laws which permit assaulting children. Canada is not on that list.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s National Child Day statement
Social Media Posting on the Prime Minister’s Statement National Child Day
I see that Prime Minister Trudeau has posted a statement on National Child Day. Good for him for recognizing this often forgotten day. Among other comments he says that children deserve “to be raised in an environment that is free of violence.
He also notes that “the world has made significant progress in advancing children’s rights since the introduction of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
I am so pleased to see this statement because we know that in order to raise children free of violence the government needs to Repeal s43 of the criminal code which specifically permits the hitting of children.
We also know that Canada is a signatory to the UN Convention but because of the presence of s43 in our Criminal Code we are not currently in compliance with the Convention.
And taking a look from another perspective, the 6th Call to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission asks for Repeal.
So, let’s do it.
What a terrific way to respect our nation’s children.