FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2023
Protecting kids from violence in the home is a human rights issueChildren 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.