Respecting Children: New resource speaks out against physical punishment

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

Launched this Friday, Respecting Children explores the rights andneeds of 21st Century children, considers the difference betweenpunishment and discipline, addresses alternatives to smacking anddiscusses practical ways of creating non-violent environments. Thehandbook is designed for use through local churches and is flexibleso it can be adapted to suit the needs and concerns of local churchleaders, carers, children's organisations, educators and anyoneelse who might come to use it.

Although it discusses positive parenting, this isn't a 'parentingpack'. It can be used in a variety of ways for workshops, talks,house- groups or private study and it emphasises a positiveapproach to discipline which is about adults teaching children byexample. One of the key aims of the CNNV in publishing this pack isto encourage people to campaign actively and to contribute towardsending 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 ishaving on children, we are neglecting our responsibility to thatgeneration. We need to think about children more, and this is arich resource to help us do that thinking and achieve a morerespectful world. Respecting Children will help many groups taketheir thinking and action further'.

Peter Newell, co-ordinator of the Children Are Unbeatable! Alliancebringing together more than 400 organisations including theMethodist Church, said: "Christians and members of other faiths areat the heart of the broad and fast- growing campaign for children'shuman right to equal protection from assault. This welcome newresource shows that children are people with human rights tophysical integrity and human dignity just like the rest ofus."

Press are invited to attend the launch of the resource on Friday 3March at United Reformed Church House, 86 Tavistock Place, LondonWC1H 9RT at 11am. For more information, contact Doug Swanney on 0207467 3791 or swanneyd@methodistchurch.org.uk.

Respecting Children is available at a price of £7 from: CNNVCo-ordinator, 6 Sylvia Avenue, Hatch End, Pinner, Middlesex HA54QE. A CD of the handbook is also available for £3. Please makecheques payable to Churches Network for Non-Violence (CNNV).