INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greens draw up their own anti-smacking bill

Published: Mon 6 Oct 2003 12:22 AM
Greens draw up their own anti-smacking bill
The Greens are designing a bill that will stop parents physically punishing their children, in line with United Nations demands.
Green MP Sue Bradford says her bill will repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act, the provision that condones the use of physical force by parents against children.
"We want to end the situation where there is a legal defence to striking a child."
A new report from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child says it is deeply concerned New Zealand has not changed the law which allows parents to use so-called "reasonable" force against their children.
Ms Bradford said today parents have used Section 59 to get away with, not only smacking their children, but also whacking them with bits of wood and other objects.
"I can't understand why the Government is delaying doing anything about Section 59 until the next election year. The safety and welfare of our children is too important to put on hold."
Ms Bradford, Green Children's Issues Spokesperson, said it was the inalienable right of every child to be free from any form of violence or abuse.
"Parents are supposed to be protectors, not attackers, and children should feel totally safe at home. Section 59 adds to the whole culture of abuse of children that is still so rampant in New Zealand society."

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