South Africa May Outlaw Spanking at Home

Corporal punishment by parents would be deemed a form of assault

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If the Children’s Rights Project has its way, it will soon be illegal to spank your child in South Africa. The non-govermental organization, which is based at the University of the Western Cape, is working with South Africa’s government to draft a bill that, if passed, would outlaw corporal punishment in the home. This is the second bid by the Children’s Rights Project to get spanking prohibited. An initial attempt failed in 2007 following opposition by cultural, religious and civil society groups.

“If a husband beats a wife it’s a crime, but if a parents hits a child who is helpless, it’s not illegal,” Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini told the Sunday Times. Under the draft law, parents would be charged with assault if, at home, they used a flat hand on a child’s bottom or enacted other forms of corporal punishment.

(MORE: Why Spanking Doesn’t Work)

Critics oppose the law on the grounds that any move to ban spanking in the home could have the effect of turning “law-abiding, diligent parents into criminals overnight.” Focus On The Family, a global Christian group, opposes the proposal, but noted to The Times that for most children, “the removal of pleasures or privileges is actually more painful than a spanking.”

If South Africa did pass this law, it would join countries including Finland, Germany, Kenya, Poland, Sweden and Uruguay that ban corporal punishment in the home. Corporal punishment has been outlawed at South African school since 2006.

MORE: Q&A: The (Unconventional) Secrets of Happy Families

MORE: Should Teachers Be Allowed to Spank Students?

5 comments
Nkosi
Nkosi

Thanks God I don't have a child and I don't think I will ever want it if the government is like this. Telling us how to raise our kids, I think it must focus on effective things that seriously affect the country like crime

ReinhardtHuber
ReinhardtHuber

This is good, no one has a right to hit on another person, it is wrong! The world is slowly breaking free from it's conservative ways. Well done! Parents who hit or spank other people who happen to be their child should be locked up for a long time.

ragtag056
ragtag056

My wife is from Botswana and now lives in the USA... To this day, her dad would beat her with the horse whip if he saw her in a bikini...with her husband!!! I spent the summer there last year and those kids wait on the elders hand and foot...wash their hands, before they are served and then wash the dishes...WITHOUT BEING TOLD...ONCE...  I was like... WOW... Look at this...HONOR...OF A KLINGON!!!!  I can't wait to get me some of that....

It wasn't as much honor as it was fear of the ShamboK!!!

dbrunover1
dbrunover1

This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of, kids are already turning into useless pieces of crap because their parents cant properly discipline them. 

truther
truther

@dbrunover1 this is all from the un ..people MUST WAKE UP the new world order isnt a conspiracy theary its so so real. dont be willingly ignorant. Are children behaving better now or worse. and why . Will children behave better with this hmm TRUTH AND TIME  are the best of friend i tell you . we shall see....check ou t[ infowars dot com].  e mail me  at truthorpolliticallycorrect@yahoo