INDEPENDENT NEWS

Parliament Must Move To Protect Children - McClay

Published: Mon 14 Aug 2000 10:52 AM
"Time For Parliament To Move For The Protection Of Children"
"The most dynamic influential act New Zealand society could take about child abuse and family violence right now is for Section 59 of the Crimes Act to be deleted from the statute books" said Roger McClay, Commissioner for Children, in Kati Kati tonight.
Mr McClay told the New Zealand National Party members in the region that they needed to raise this and other child rights issues with their Members of Parliament.
"Its time" said Mr McClay, "to have a Member of Parliament go into bat, absolutely for our children. Its time for a brave MP of compassion to move for Section 59 of the Crimes Act (which provides an excuse for violence against our children) to be dealt a blow!"
Mr McClay told his audience that those who pleaded that their customs, history, religion, culture and/or financial plight were sufficient to legitimise the physical punishment of the children should give those so called rights away, in the interests of saving the lives of children whose caregivers were unable to distinguish between "reasonable force" and assault and battery of babies.
Recent child deaths, and public debate and outrage, has provided Parliament with its greatest opportunity yet to stand up for children and their rights" said Mr McClay.
Details of speech available - contact Office of the Commissioner for Children

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