Asserting that corporal punishment in schools represents state sanctioned assault on children, human rights advocate, Mary Francis, has welcomed moves to stop the practice.
“I welcome the cabinet conclusion to abolish corporal punishment in schools. I think that decision was a long time in coming because we have had serious assaults on children over the past years,” Francis, who is the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, told St Lucia Times.
She declared that the planned abolition of corporal punishment on May 1, 2020 is a step in the right direction, especially in relation to state sanctioned violence.
The outspoken Attorney at Law expressed the hope that members of the public would appreciate that beating children does not enhance their dignity.
“There are those who think beating children will help them learn and behave better, but research has proved otherwise,” Francis observed.
“We have allowed our cultural practices to impede us in terms of bringing changes to improve human rights and the dignity of the human person,” she asserted.
She noted that some people believe capital punishment will decrease crime and murder and are therefore opposed to the abolition of judicial executions.
However Francis explained that as a country, Saint Lucia has to be ‘forward looking’ and take its place as a member of the international human rights community.