Something to Cry About: An Argument against Corporal Punishment of Children in Canada

Something to Cry About: An Argument against Corporal Punishment of Children in Canada

Something to Cry About: An Argument against Corporal Punishment of Children in Canada

Something to Cry About: An Argument against Corporal Punishment of Children in Canada

Synopsis

This book explores the historical, psychological, sociological and legal foundations of the corporal punishment of children, and argues why it should be abandoned.

Excerpt

The issue of child abuse sits uncomfortably in the background of our awareness, occasionally breaking through to the forefront of our attention. When we witness a child being hit or, less frequently, read sensational news stories in which children were punished to death, our discomfort sharply increases. We are outraged. But this intensity of feeling is usually temporary. And its episodic nature arguably prevents it from instigating sustained public debate on the question of children's “security of the person” rights. Without this sort of ongoing public debate, there is little motivation for the citizenry or government to rethink Canadian law and social policy on the issue of corporal punishment.

As it stands, the rights of Canada's children to security of the person are limited by what the Criminal Law of Canada considers the justified use of reasonable physical force against children by their parents, teachers and other caregivers. History makes it clear that the criminal law in this case is designed to specifically justify corporal punishment. Recent Canadian case law makes it equally clear this is its purpose. All . . .

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