Government intends banning corporal punishment 'in all sectors of life', including the home environment, reports Pam Saxby for Legalbrief Policy Watch.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said yesterday children 'must be protected from violent behaviour' and parents encouraged to find alternative forms of discipline. The Minister said proposed new legislation would raise awareness of the nature of abuse and the negative impact of corporal punishment on childhood development. 'We also need to help parents find more positive alternative forms of discipline,' she added. The statement followed a conference on corporal punishment hosted by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Referring to SA's obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, sections 12 and 28 of the Constitution and section 7 of the 2005 Children's Act, Dlamini said that the rights of children 'must be considered in full' and that children 'must be protected from violent behaviour in all sectors of life'. In her view, 'when those in positions of authority use (violence) ... children understand this as saying (that) violence is permissible when trying to persuade others to act in a certain way'. She noted that section 12 of the Constitution guarantees the right of all people - including children - to freedom from all forms of violence, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment/punishment.
Full Legalbrief Policy Watch report Minister's statement
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