Forthcoming legislation could make it illegal for parents to smack their kids.
Legislation that would make it a crime for parents to hit their children is again on the table, despite widespread opposition from political parties and other organisations. The legislation caused an outcry in 2007 when it was first proposed, but this hasn’t slowed down the Department of Social Development which is targeting amendments to the Children’s Act, according to News24.
The intended changes to the law would be made by 2014/15, but opposition parties are suggesting that amendments governing corporal punishment by parents are misdirected.
The ACDP insists that the lawmakers are confusing discipline with abuse, and that amendments are not going to help a generation which includes ‘7-year-old boys who rape girls’.
The Democratic Alliance says that should be for parents to decide how to discipline their kids, and even children’s protection organisations who welcome possible changes say that the law would be almost impossible to enforce.
All agree that the focus should be on increasing the numbers of social workers dealing with child protection issues and providing a register for the protection of children.
Big Brother is watching...
Laws which govern smacking seem to suggest a ‘Big Brother’ scenario of cameras in private homes, and, while many parents choose not to use corporal punishment, there are also many parents who insist that it is their right to smack their children.
Whether you’re on the side of those who say ‘I was smacked as a child and it helped me to grow up’, or of those who suggest that any violent contact, even a smack on the bum, is abuse, there will certainly be heated debate as government decides how to legislate what seems to be an increasingly out-of-control generation.
Do you think anti-smacking laws will produce a better generation of kids?
By: Scott Dunlop