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UN Committee Out Of Touch

UN Committee Out Of Touch

Monday 6 Oct 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

The UN call for the smacking of children to be outlawed in New Zealand shows just how out of touch with New Zealand society the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child actually is, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"This Committee sits in Geneva and writes reports on how countries should address their problems, but offers no realistic suggestions on how to implement these changes," Dr Newman said.

"For example, the report advocates banning `all corporal punishment against children', in order to lower our child abuse rate. Child abuse is already illegal, but abusers disregard the law - banning smacking will simply stop responsible parents disciplining their children, while the abusers continue to harm their children.

"We receive report after report - based on an idealism that is unrealistic in the real world - which criticise our handling of these issues, ignore the steps we have taken and offer no helpful solutions.

"It is time this Committee stepped out of its ivory tower. If the UN wants to tell us what to do, then it should at least come to New Zealand and see things firsthand - perhaps then it might come up with something practical," Dr Newman said.


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