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Jamaica is not ready for anti-beating law, says Education Minister

Published:Wednesday | February 11, 2015 | 1:33 PM
Ronald Thwaites - File

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites says Jamaica is not ready to enact legislation to outlaw corporal punishment.

The United Nations has called for the Jamaican Government to pass a law to ban the activity.

Jamaican lawyer, Bert Samuels has come out in support, saying corporal punishment is a heritage of Jamaica’s slavery past.

Thwaites says corporal punishment should be generally discouraged but a total ban is not necessary at this time.

He says there are instances where children in schools need to be disciplined by appropriate force.

However, Thwaites says this should only be done by senior persons such as school principals and in private.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued the call for a law after a presentation from a Jamaican delegation led by Youth Minister Lisa Hanna last month.

The committee was also responding to concerns in a report submitted by human rights group Jamaicans for Justice.

However, the Youth Minister says the issue requires what she calls significant dialogue with Jamaicans.

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