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Extremist Pronouncements On Child Rights

Extremist Pronouncements On Child Rights

Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro takes her marching orders from
extremist pronouncements of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The Children's Commissioner Act 2003 requires her to have regard to the
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but not necessarily to swallow
everything the UN Committee says.

The Convention makes no mention at all of corporal punishment, corporal
discipline or smacking. Even so, the Committee has released its "General
Comment No. 8" dated 2 June 2006, titled, "The right of the child to
protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms
of punishment." Note that this extremist Committee says that corporal
punishment is just one "other" form of "cruel and degrading" punishment.
It gets worse. In paragraph 11 it says, "The Committee defines
"corporal" or "physical" punishment as any punishment in which physical
force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort,
however light."

First this Committee goes way outside of and beyond the Convention by
trying to prohibit corporal or physical punishment. Now it says children
should have legal protection from physical force intended to cause pain
or discomfort, however light. How light is that? Maybe so light the
child is barely aware of it. And yet this is assumed by the Committee to
be "cruel and degrading" by definition. This is extremist. It's effect
is to do away with physical force altogether.

This would be accomplished by Bradford's Bill to repeal Section 59 which
says parents are justified in using physical force as long as it is for
correction and is reasonable in the circumstances. If Section 59 ever
goes, any smacking, any force at all by way of correction, training,
discipline or punishment - however light - will be legally indefensible.
Parents' efforts to correct, train, discipline or punish children with
any physical force - however light - will be threatened at all times
with a potential criminal charge of child assault, worth as much as two
years in jail. Bradford is at pains to make this very point in her
Explanatory Note to the Bill where she says that after repeal parents
"will now be in the same position as everyone else so far as the use of
force against children is concerned. The use of force on a child may
constitute an assault under section 194(a) of the Crimes Act". With
those few words Bradford reveals her trident of radically anti-parent
purposes: to strip parents of their unique authority over their own
children; to reduce parents' position of responsibility to that of any
passing stranger; and to threaten them 24/7 with criminal assault
charges. Charming.

Ends


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