Should beating be banned?

2016-10-13 11:39
Mixed views after UN committee urges SA to do away with corporal punishment at home.

Mixed views after UN committee urges SA to do away with corporal punishment at home. (File)

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Should corporal punishment at home be banned?

Last week the UN committee on the rights of the child urged the South African government to adopt laws preventing all forms of corporal punishment at home.

Most of TheWitness readers who responded to the story on Facebook dis­agreed, saying there was a need for corporal punishment at home.

The recommendation is one of many made by the committee in a report released last week.

The South African Human Rights Commission, earlier this year, tasked the Department of Social Development to urgently introduce laws that prevent corporal punishment at home.

Parents, however, indicated on Facebook that they were against the banning of corporal punishment in their homes.

Sihle Nkunzi YoDumo Duma said, “Sorry there is no government that is going to instruct me as to how I should raise my kids.”

“Spare the rod and spoil the child! Nobody can tell a parent how to discipline their child!” said Gill Ainslie.

Gregory Lawson said, “The result of no corporal punishment at schools can be seen now in the varsities.”

Chris Mortimer said, “I was ‘caned’ at school, given slaps by my mum back in the 1950s. I deserved it, I grew up to know right from wrong. Beating is wrong but a well aimed smack is not.”

Gary S.D. Leonard was in the minority, calling for corporal punishment to be banned. “The sooner the better. Children need to be protected from physical, sexual and emotional abuse — even from their parents and guardians,” he said.

Jackie Branfield, founder of child welfare organisation Bobbi Bear, said people should not be allowed to hit their children. “Beating a child can have a long damaging emotional effect on the child,” she said.

She said parents should consider using other methods to discipline their children like grounding them or confiscating their cell phones. “Hitting a child will not make them behave or cure their drug addictions, hitting them will make it worse,” Branfield said. She added that violence breeds violence and in most situations, parents beat their children because they were beaten as children and some just because they can.

Despite corporal punishment being banned at schools, it remains widespread throughout the country.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  corporal punishment

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