02 March 2006

Respecting Children: New resource speaks out against physical punishment

The Churches Network for Non-Violence (CNNV) is launching a new resource to support the Church's teaching that physical punishment is wrong and that children should be treated with respect, love and non-violence.

Launched this Friday, Respecting Children explores the rights and needs of 21st Century children, considers the difference between punishment and discipline, addresses alternatives to smacking and discusses practical ways of creating non-violent environments. The handbook is designed for use through local churches and is flexible so it can be adapted to suit the needs and concerns of local church leaders, carers, children's organisations, educators and anyone else who might come to use it.

Although it discusses positive parenting, this isn't a 'parenting pack'. It can be used in a variety of ways for workshops, talks, house- groups or private study and it emphasises a positive approach to discipline which is about adults teaching children by example. One of the key aims of the CNNV in publishing this pack is to encourage people to campaign actively and to contribute towards ending legalised violence against children.

Steve Pearce, Children's Secretary for the Methodist Church, says: 'If we don't reflect on the effect that our adult way of life is having on children, we are neglecting our responsibility to that generation. We need to think about children more, and this is a rich resource to help us do that thinking and achieve a more respectful world. Respecting Children will help many groups take their thinking and action further'.

Peter Newell, co-ordinator of the Children Are Unbeatable! Alliance bringing together more than 400 organisations including the Methodist Church, said: "Christians and members of other faiths are at the heart of the broad and fast- growing campaign for children's human right to equal protection from assault. This welcome new resource shows that children are people with human rights to physical integrity and human dignity just like the rest of us."

Press are invited to attend the launch of the resource on Friday 3 March at United Reformed Church House, 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT at 11am. For more information, contact Doug Swanney on 020 7467 3791 or swanneyd@methodistchurch.org.uk.

Respecting Children is available at a price of £7 from: CNNV Co-ordinator, 6 Sylvia Avenue, Hatch End, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 4QE. A CD of the handbook is also available for £3. Please make cheques payable to Churches Network for Non-Violence (CNNV).

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