Violence Myopia and Parental Rights

It’s damning praise to say that the United Nations cares about stopping violence against children. It doesn’t. It cares about stopping selective, politically correct violence against children. As evidence, consider its latest attempt to do something for the children:

Canada should repeal the law that allows parents to spank and physically discipline their children, United Nations special envoy Stephen Lewis told an appreciative crowd at a world forum on child welfare Monday.

In a wide-ranging speech on violence against children, Lewis condemned Canada for violating its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by condoning corporal punishment under section 43 of the Criminal Code.

Lewis argued that under the guise of terms like “reasonable” force, children are subjected to “gratuitous, offensive, and damaging violence.”

That’s quaint. Not what it’s trying to accomplish, for I’m not okay with physical discipline. But it is amusing how sanctimonious the U.N. can be when it gets bothered about something. Quoting anything related to the rights of children is a nice touch. But what about the rights of male children to be free from preventive medically unnecessary genital cutting? Is that not violence against children? Remember, I’ve already addressed the disparity in the U.N.’s view on the circumcision of males and females.

This quote by UNICEF Canada president Nigel Fisher is particularly instructive, given that Mr. Lewis is the United Nations special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa, and the U.N. believes that circumcision is a solution for HIV in Africa:

But Fisher said UNICEF’s position is that there is no level of acceptable physical violence against children. “It’s a slippery slope and therefore we believe that there should be no violence at all, and that includes physical punishment at home.

The thing is we’ve go [sic] to help parents think through how to help children understand cause and effect and the consequences of bad behavior,” he said. “And I think physical punishment is a kind of lazy way out. ‘I’m bigger than you. I can shout louder than you and I’m stronger than you. Therefore, unless you do what I tell you, I’ll whack you.’ I can’t see that that’s actually helping a child understand values and consequences.”

Consider the text I’ve placed in bold. Might that apply to the use of circumcision as a tool to prevent HIV infection? Cause and effect? Consequences of “bad” behavior? Everyone at the United Nations should feel good about themselves. They’ll make the world a safer place so that children won’t get a whack on the butt. But a scalpel to the penis? Yeah, that’ll still be safe.