In 1998 the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law (Justice for Children and Youth) launched a constitutional challenge to the criminal defence to assault given to parents and teachers to permit their use of corporal punishment on children. In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the constitutionality of the section but limited its application. JFCY continues to advocate for public education and legislative reform to eliminate the use of physical punishment on children.
Section 43 Factum – our legal arguments at the Supreme Court
Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Attorney General of Canada – decision of the Supreme Court of Canada
Additional Resources and Research
The Canadian government submitted it’s 5th/6th report to the UN Committee in 2019 on how it is fulfilling it’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is one of the civil society reports submitted for the review regarding the need to repeal section 43 of the Criminal Code (Canada) which permits the use of physical punishment on children.
On September 4, 2003, we joined a list of over 70 Canadian organizations endorsing a principled statement against the use of physical punishment on children and calling for legislative reform. The statement also summarizes the latest social science research on the effects of corporal punishment on children. Click here for this Statement.
Majority of Canadians Support Repeal
A Decima poll conducted on behalf of Toronto Public Health found that a majority of Canadians surveyed supported the repeal of section 43 of the Criminal Code. You can view the results of this poll at www.toronto.ca/health/ssl_backgrounder.htm
Repeal 43 Committee
An organization which advocates for the repeal of section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada. This site contains useful information about the issue in Canada and globally. www.repeal43.org
Global Initiative to End the Physical Punishment of Children
Launched in April 2001, the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children aims to speed the end of corporal punishment of children across the world. www.endcorporalpunishment.org