Wednesday, June 10, 2015

UK Judge: Immigrants Should be Allowed to Beat Children because of "Cultural Context"

Mrs Justice Pauffley, presiding over the case of an Indian man accused of assaulting his wife and son, has gone on record to defend immigrants who beat their children, citing differences in cultures.

The man, who is unnamed in reports, beat his son with a belt on the back and leg. The father claimed he had just "slapped" the child.

"Within many communities newly arrived in this country, children are slapped and hit for misbehavior in a way which at first excites the interest of child protection professionals," Justice Pauffley said in her ruling, in which the charges were thrown out.
Mrs Justice Pauffley
Before overreacting to any alleged child abuse, she added, one must account for "what is, almost certainly, a different cultural context."

Pauffley said that, taking into account the fact that the family was from India, the assault did not constitute child abuse. She did not seem to specify where "cultural context" ended and where "abuse" began.

Update: The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has released a statement on the case, stating: "Different practices are no excuse for child abuse taking place in this country and the law doesn't make that distinction. Every child deserves the right to be safe and protected from physical abuse and the courts must reflect this."

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