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Smacking Children indefensible - NCWNZ

Smacking Children indefensible - NCWNZ

“The Youth Affairs Minister John Tamihere’s defence of smacking is outrageous, considering his role as advocate for children and youth,” says Beryl Anderson, the new President of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ). “Children have a right to the same protection from physical assault as adults,” she says.

NCWNZ supports the campaign to End Physical Punishment of Children (EPOCH). Internationally there is a clear linkage between changing the law to prohibit physical punishment of children, and reduction of levels of child abuse and child deaths as a result of abuse. “Our tolerance for violence needs to be reduced,” says Ms Anderson, “and violence is not an acceptable nor effective way to discipline children”.

NCWNZ has had policy since 1997 to repeal s.59 of the Crimes Act 1961, which allows parents to use so-called ‘reasonable force’ in disciplining their children. This policy is consistent with our obligations as signatories of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child. Our current law is an embarrassment to us internationally, as well as bad for our children and families. It needs to be changed.

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