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Posted: 6/24/2003 7:05:40 AM EDT
[rolleyes] [url]http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,6645193^1702,00.html[/url] Pressure to ban spanking June 24, 2003 THE British Government faced mounting pressure to legally ban parents from spanking their children as two influential committees of MPs said today that the practice conflicted with UN human rights rulings and could easily lead to greater physical abuse. The Government has already outlawed the use of corporal punishment in day care centres and schools across Britain. But parents and guardians are still permitted to use spanking as "reasonable chastisement", putting Britain out of step with several European countries where all physical punishment of children is illegal. MPss on the two parliamentary committees found that such a legal defence was too often used to excuse violent behaviour that goes far beyond a "loving smack". They suggest that the right of such a defence be repealed but acknowledged that it might be hard to win public support for new laws that could lead to parents being prosecuted for mild smacks. The Human Rights Committee said British law failed to acknowledge children's right to be free from physical assault. "The time has come for the Government to act upon ... the incompatibility of the defence of 'reasonable chastisement' with its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child," the committee said. The panel's finding was supported by the Health Committee, which said that smacking could easily escalate into greater abuse. The Health Committee was charged with examining the institutional flaws that led to the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie, who died of hypothermia and malnourishment, and with 128 separate injuries on her body. Her guardians, Marie Therese Kouao and Carl Manning, were found to have inflicted the injuries over several months and are now serving life sentences for her murder. Pressure for reform of the laws regarding children was overwhelming, said Claire Rayner, a spokeswoman for the Children are Unbeatable Alliance, a group that represents 350 organisations that want children to have the same legal protection from being hit as adults have. "The archaic law allowing 'reasonable chastisement' of children should have no place in a modern and fair society," Rayner said. "Hitting children is wrong, and the law should say so in the interests of children's rights and child protection." Physical punishment of children is illegal in several European countries, including Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Austria.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:22:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:36:10 AM EDT
It's virtually illegal in Massachusetts as well (go figure), since any police chief can charge you with assault and battery for doing so, since Commonwealth (MA, not British...) law forbids one person touching another without permission. Or so it was explained to me by a social worker at a workshop I had to attend back when I was a publik skool teechur here in MA....
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