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Saturday, February 25, 2017
Campaign for new clause in Children's Bill
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¬†The new clause to the Children Bill on equal protection from assault for children, comes to a vote in the House of Lords today. Caritas-social action, the official voice of the Catholic Church on social justice and care, have been campaigning for a change in the law on assault, and is calling on peers to take a positive stand for equal protection reform. The "equal protection" new clause (amendment no.106) gives children the same protection as adults from being hit by removing the defence of lawful punishment in relation to a charge of common assault. It does so while preserving parents' necessary rights to use "reasonable force" to protect and restrain. Bishop Christopher Budd, vice-chair of trustees of Caritas ≠ social action said: "The amendment needs to be passed on Monday to avoid the double standard that protects all adults from all forms of assault while confirming that children are the only group whom adults can justifiably hit or hurt as a form of punishment. This surely cannot be acceptable. I would urge peers to vote for equal protection for children." Sarah Lindsell, Director of Caritas - social action said: "Removing the archaic defence of 'reasonable chastisement' sends out an explicit message that violence has no place in caring and loving parenting. We, as Christians, have a particular responsibility to speak out for weaker and more vulnerable groups, and for people who are subjected to violence. Caritas ≠ social action is committed to playing its part in promoting and mobilising resources and support which helps parents develop non-violent ways of discipline." As an agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference in England and Wales, Caritas ≠social action has been actively supporting the Children are Unbeatable! Campaign. This commitment is grounded in the hundreds of years of experience of caring for children by its members agencies and involves lobbying government, working with all the main children's charities and all the churches involved in the national campaign, including the Methodist Church, Church of England and United Reformed Church. Source: CCS
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