JUNE 6, 2007

B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth is officially endorsing the Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond joins over 250 organizations and experts already supporting a campaign against physical punishment.

The Joint Statement is a project of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and a coalition of Canadian child and family serving organizations. The campaign is aimed at increasing public awareness about the harmful effects of physical punishment on children and youth. It also promotes the use of positive discipline as an effective alternative.

The Joint Statement urges the federal government to amend the Criminal Code to give children and youth the same legal protection against physical assault as is available to adults under Canadian law.

The Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights is the most recent voice in Canada to call for the repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code, which permits parents and caregivers to use physical punishment to discipline children.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has said clearly that Section 43 contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a document that Canada has ratified.

Supporting parents and caregivers in managing personal and family stress is one important way to promote the use of positive discipline. Organizations, parents and caregivers are urged to share the message that physical punishment is unacceptable.