Corporal punishment challenged in court

2018-12-06 06:02

Corporal punishment in the home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Peace Centre, Sonke Gender Justice, Centre for Child Law, South African Council of Churches and the Department of Social Development, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22 years old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children.

“The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

The Constitutional Court case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa, and highlights the importance of using positive discipline. Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, Wessel van den Berg, children’s rights and positive parenting unit manager at Sonke Gender Justice, highlights that fathers also play an important role in changing parenting practices by stepping out of the stereotypical role of being the disciplinarian.

The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home.

Corporal punishment at home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Peace Centre, Sonke Gender Justice, Centre for Child Law, South African Council of Churches and the Department of Social Development, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year.

The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22-years-old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children.

“The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

The Constitutional Court case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa, and highlights the importance of using positive discipline. Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, Wessel van den Berg, children’s rights and positive parenting unit manager at Sonke Gender Justice, highlights that fathers also play an important role in changing parenting practices by stepping out of the stereotypical role of being the disciplinarian.

The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home, according to the statement.

Corporal punishment at home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Peace Centre, Sonke Gender Justice, Centre for Child Law, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22-years-old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.“Corporal punishmentwhich people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

The Constitutional Court case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa, and highlights the importance of using positive discipline. Naidoo says there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, fathers also play an important role in changing parenting practices.

The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home, according to the statement.

Corporal punishment at home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Peace Centre, Sonke Gender Justice, Centre for Child Law, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22 years old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

The Constitutional Court case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa, and highlights the importance of using positive discipline.

Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, fathers also play an important role in changing parenting practices by stepping out of the stereotypical role of being the disciplinarian.

The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home, according to the statement.

Corporal punishment in the home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Peace Centre, Sonke Gender Justice, Centre for Child Law, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22-year- old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, says Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

This case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa, and highlights the importance of using positive discipline. Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home, according to the statement.

Corporal punishment at home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Peace Centre, Sonke Gender Justice, Centre for Child Law, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22 years old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

This case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa, and highlights the importance of using positive d
iscipline.

Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, fathers also play an important role in changing parenting practices by stepping out of the stereotypical role of being the disciplinarian.

The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home, according to the statement.

Corporal punishment at home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Peace Centre, Centre for Child Law among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22-years-old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

The Constitutional Court case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa, and highlights the importance of using positive discipline. Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, Wessel van den Berg, children’s rights and positive parenting unit manager at Sonke Gender Justice, highlights that fathers also play an important role.

The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home, according to the statement.

Corporal punishment at home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute,Centre for Child Law, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22-years- old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

This case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa, and highlights the importance of using positive discipline. Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, Wessel van den Berg, children’s rights and positive parenting unit manager at Sonke Gender Justice, highlights that fathers also play an important role in changing parenting practices by stepping out of the stereotypical role of being the disciplinarian.The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home, according to the statement.

Corporal punishment at home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Centre for Child Law, South African Council of Churches, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Constitutional Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22-years- old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

This case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa.

Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, Wessel van den Berg, children’s rights and positive parenting unit manager at Sonke Gender Justice, highlights that fathers also play an important role in changing parenting practices by stepping out of the stereotypical role of being the disciplinarian.The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment in the home, according to the statement.

Corporal punishment in the home is under the spotlight, as the Constitutional Court began considering the constitutionality of the act in a case on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the respondents and interested parties – which include the Children’s Institute, Peace Centre, Sonke Gender Justice, Centre for Child Law, among others – the Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

“At present, the common law defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ practically allows parents to hit their children with the justification of corporal punishment being a form of discipline. The central question before the Con Court is whether this practice should continue to be allowed or whether it needs to be prohibited since it violates children’s rights,” the statement reads.

The case is an appeal to a judgment by the South Gauteng High Court which struck down the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in October last year. The High Court found that a defence that allows parents to physically discipline their children violates children’s rights.

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, adds: “Corporal punishment is one of the key drivers of the high levels of violence against children in South Africa. Recent findings from the Birth to Twenty Plus study – which followed more than 2000 children in Soweto from birth to 22-years- old – shows that 50% of younger children have experienced violence in the home, most often through physical punishment by parents. In adolescence, the proportion of children who have experienced violence in the home increases to 83%.”

Research evidence shows that even mild forms of corporal punishment can lead to a number of negative outcomes for children, explains Carol Bower of the Peace Centre.

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

This case is an opportunity to reflect on child discipline, believes Divya Naidoo, child protection programme manager at Save the Children South Africa.

Naidoo explains that there are fundamental differences between positive discipline and corporal punishment­: “Discipline does not mean punishment. Corporal punishment may result in immediate compliance, but does not lead to self-discipline and, in fact, often results in repeated misbehaviour. Positive discipline, on the other hand, is about guiding and teaching a child to develop understanding, self-discipline and long-term changes in behaviour.”

While caregiving and disciplining children is still primarily the role of mothers and female relatives, Wessel van den Berg, children’s rights and positive parenting unit manager at Sonke Gender Justice, highlights that fathers also play an important role in changing parenting practices by stepping out of the stereotypical role of being the disciplinarian.

The Constitutional Court is expected to take several months to deliver its judgment on corporal punishment at home.

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