Jamaica all set to ban Corporal punishment: PM Holness

16 honourees recieved awards during St James parish independence celebrations
16 honourees recieved awards during St James parish independence celebrations

Jamaica to ban corporal punishment after Prime Minister gave a hint to ban it as there has been a case reported in Jamaica where a 4-year-old child died after being beaten by his stepfather. Corporal punishment has also been condemned by the authorities. Jamaica’s PM Andrew Holness in the parliament said that his administration is all set to go against the traditional model of punishing the children.

PM Holness, while telling the legislators that violence against children would not be tolerated in future, said that in the same way they had addressed and condemned other forms of violence in the house. PM Holness urged the other legislators that they would unequivocally, loudly, and firmly condemn violence against children.

PM Holness said that physical abuse had been one of the main and old forms of child abuse that has been reported to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and the National Children’s Registry. Each year, approximately 25 to 30 per cent of reports that have been received were regarding the children who suffered some form of physical violence.

A case was reported of Nashaun Brown died allegedly by the hands of his stepfather Shaun Bennett. Nashaun had complained that he was not feeling well, due to which he was eating slowly when Bennett became angry and beat him with a stick to death. Nashaun became unresponsive shortly after and was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Opposition Leader Mark Golding while agreeing, said that banning corporal punishment would be a symbolic step towards tackling the problem. Golding said that this was a trend worldwide.

Golding said that Jamaica had been a deeply Christian country, embracing the biblical admonition that parents should not spare the rod and spoil the child, which is still considered to be a sound precept in many homes.

Golding, at the same time, while giving feedback of the baning said, “Many of us have grown up where some minor forms of punishment of a physical nature may have been imparted without any obvious lasting damage – I don’t know whether banning it in the form of criminalising it so that parents face criminal sanctions if they slap their child if that would be well accepted across the nation – I don’t know.”