NEWS

ANALYSIS: Stop Beating Children

The law is clear. No corporal punishment. It means no wacking, slapping, pinching or any form of physical contact that will cause harm or pain to the victims. Wikipedia defines
27 Jan 2015 10:48
ANALYSIS: Stop Beating Children

The law is clear. No corporal punishment.

It means no wacking, slapping, pinching or any form of physical contact that will cause harm or pain to the victims.

Wikipedia defines corporal punishment as a form of physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behaviour deemed unacceptable.

There should be no debate. We are not in the middle of a national referendum to gauge public opinion.

The ban on corporal punishment was made law by a decree in 2010. It has been reinforced by the 2013 Constitution.

Under the Bill of Rights, section 41, children are to be “protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, any form of violence, inhumane treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labour.” It also requires that children be not detained, except as a measure of last resort. When detained, they are to be held only for such period of time as is necessary. They are to be separate from adults, and in conditions that take account of the child’s sex and age. Finally, the best interests of a child are the primary consideration in every matter concerning the child.

People need to wake up and follow the law. It is a crime to beat a child. Offenders can be liable under Penal Code if violence is classified as assault.

It was widely practiced in Fiji in homes and schools. It was regarded as the norm. Some parents still practise it today and we are seeing evidence of it.

A Fijian survey commissioned by the Save The Children Fund some years ago showed there was a prevalence of violence in homes and schools.

The research revealed, however, that most adults thought that counselling was a more valuable form of discipline. The survey involved 536 children, aged between 10 to 17 years in the western, northern and central divisions schools and 101 adults.

Research also reveals that violence breeds violence. Children who grow up in a culture of violence are more likely to become violent later in life.

Government campaigns have focused on zero-tolerance on violence.

The message is clear: Stop the violence.

Feedback:nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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