Bill bans corporal punishment
By David Spett The Mercury, May 30, 2007

South Africa

The National Council of Provinces passed a Bill on Tuesday that includes a ban on the corporal punishment of children, and abolishes the defence of reasonable chastisement.

The move was welcomed by children's rights activists, who have lobbied for the tightening of the corporal punishment provision in the Children's Amendment Bill.

"The Bill is trying to provide children with the same protection that adults have against violence," said Sam Waterhouse, Advocacy Manager of Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

The amendment will now go back to the National Assembly for approval, before the Bill can be signed into law.

Lucy Jamieson, of the Children's Institute of the University of Cape Town, said the amendment ensured that parents no longer had a defence if they beat their children.

Besides banning violence against children by parents and at care centres and shelters, the Bill mandates that violators be sent to "an early intervention service", such as a parenting programme.

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