(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the time has come for Parliament to debate on the issue of putting corporal punishment to an end both in public institutions and within homes.
Holness, who was addressing the House of Representatives a short while ago, cited a UNICEF report which stated a “frightening” number of children in Jamaica are dying violently and are regularly subjected to violence and violent discipline in their home, schools and communities.
The report also noted that eight in 10 children in the two to 14 years age group experienced violence as a form of discipline.
The prime minister argued that without changing the means by which children are disciplined and how conflicts are resolved, Jamaica cannot be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of good health and well being.
“I must reiterate the commitment that I gave in this House to ban corporal punishment in all government institutions,” Holness said, adding that by declaring corporal punishment at an end it will be a forward leading step against violence generally.
“I think that’s where we should go… With such a report and a commitment to the SDGS I don’t see how we can maintain this aspect of our culture and claim that we want to advance as a modern civilized society,” Holness argued, noting that the two are incoherent and inconsistent.