We read in the media this week that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council. It caused me to think about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
As a country we are not in compliance with that Convention. It seems to me that our government should rectify this if we want to sit on the UN Security Council. We would do that by removing the law on our books which specifically permits the legal assault of our children.
Let’s take a look at why we need to protect our children from violence by taking this action.
We need to Repeal S43
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
The focus for this initiative has been on foreign policy.
But there is another issue that the Liberal Government could easily address.
On December 13, 1991, Canada formally ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention, which is a comprehensive statement on children’ rights, covers every aspect of a child’s life.
Corinne’s Quest: End Physical Punishment of Childrenis a campaign with a mission to end the legalized assault (spanking, smacking, slapping, hitting) of children in our homes. Accomplishing this would mean simply repealing S43 of the Criminal Code of Canada which is the section which permits and defines when and how parents can hit their children. (to learn more about S43 and Corinne’s Quest, simply press here.)
The presence of S43 in our Criminal Code is in direct conflict with the Un Convention. It seems to us, at Corinne’s Quest that our government should repeal S43 and come into line with the United Nations.
Wanting a seat on the UN Security Council while openly flaunting a basic right as set out in the UN Convention does not make sense.There are, of course, other good reasons why the government should Repeal S43 and protect our children from assault in the home.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission which the Government has promised to implement recognizes the problems with this section. Their Call the Action #6 asks for the Repeal of S43.
Section 43 is an archaic law which came into our Criminal Code in 1892 and reflects a 19th century belief that corporal punishment is an appropriate and necessary way to correct children. Most parents who continue to use corporal punishment are simply following a practice approved by Canadian law and custom since 1892. It is a national embarrassment that this law is still on the books.
It is important to repeal it because some parents see it as a justification to continue to hit children as a means of discipline. Other violence-prone people believe it offers legal permission to do so and protection from the law when they do.
It is the last remaining section that condones violence. It is the last section in the Criminal Code which shields a perpetrator of violence from criminal prosecution in the courts.
In the past, various Canadian laws have condoned violence against:
• Dogs, and
Today, children are the only ones left on that list.
November 20 is National Child Day. Our Canadian Government can celebrate on behalf of all our children by simply repealing S43 of the criminal code of Canada.
Violence against children should be prohibited by the law,
not defined by it.