Children Webmag received this message from the Children Are Unbeatable! Alliance and are publishing it so that any readers who wish to support the motion can contact their MPS.
The Government is committed to reviewing section 58 of the Children Act 2004 – the legal defence that allows parents and others to continue to justify common assault of children as "reasonable punishment" – in 2007 (two years on from its January 2005 commencement).
The Alliance is pressing for this review to be rooted in equality and human rights considerations. We believe it should be completed without delay and this Parliament should consider reforming the law at the earliest opportunity.
Supporters of the Alliance in the House of Commons have tabled an Early Day Motion setting out this position (primary sponsor Greg Pope MP):
Early Day Motion 606
REVIEW OF REASONABLE PUNISHMENT
That this House notes that in January 2007 the Government intends to review section 58 of the Children Act 2004, which maintains the `reasonable punishment’ defence in relation to common assault of children; further notes that since the last Parliament voted on this provision, the bodies responsible for monitoring implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Social Charter have confirmed unequivocally that conformity with these treaties requires that children have the same legal protection as adults under the law on assault; believes that the primary focus of any review of this provision should be meeting these equality and human rights obligations; and further believes that any review should be completed without delay and that this Parliament should reconsider this provision at the earliest opportunity.
PLEASE ASK MPS WITH WHOM YOU WORK TO SIGN THIS EDM.
PLEASE ALSO ASK STAFF, MEMBERS AND/OR SUPPORTERS TO WRITE TO THEIR MPS.
To email your MP, click here http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hciolists/alms.cfm
Write to your MP at:
[first and surname] MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
KEY MESSAGES FOR YOUR EMAIL/LETTER
- Please sign Early Day Motion 606 "Review of reasonable punishment".
- The current law (section 58 of the Children Act 2004) is unjust and unsafe.
- Section 58 does not satisfy human rights obligations under important international treaties.
- Section 58 undermines the promotion of positive, non-violent discipline.
- Section 58 sends a dangerous message about the acceptability of violence against children.
- The only credible way to clarify the law is to give children equal protection from assault.
- The law should send the clear message that hitting children is as unacceptable as hitting anyone else.
- The proposed review of section 58 by the Government should be completed without delay.
- The primary focus of this review should be equality and human rights.
- Parliament should consider reforming the law at the earliest opportunity.
CHECK WHICH MPS HAVE SIGNED EDM 606…
Click here http://edmi.parliament.uk/edmi/
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information or advice.
Children Are Unbeatable! Alliance
94 White Lion Street
London N1 9PF
Tel: 0207 713 0569