November 20, 2016 – On the National Day of the Child, CASW Impatiently Awaits Federal Government’s Action to End Violence against Children

Ottawa, ON – November 20, 2016 – With the current federal government first year now elapsed, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) impatiently awaits delivery of the promise made to Repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Colloquially referred to as the “Spanking Law,” Section 43 grants parents and care givers the legal right to spank or strike children under certain conditions.

In December 2015, the liberal government pledged to implement all 94 of the Truth and Reconciliation Report’s Recommendations, explicitly noting that this included the intent to repeal Section 43 as called for in the Report. 

“CASW’s concern is two-fold: first, it is troubling that the federal government seems to be floundering in following through on their promise to uphold the TRC Recommendations,” stated CASW President Jan Christianson-Wood. “Second, and most simply put, Section 43 implies that it is acceptable to use violence against children.”

As a longtime member of the Repeal 43 Committee – a coalition dedicated to the repeal of this unjust and damaging law – CASW has advocated for this change for many years alongside many other national organizations that value the dignity and worth of all people.

“CASW is here to remind the federal government of their promises and hold them to account,” added Christianson-Wood.  “It’s time to uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all citizens and commit to all 94 Recommendations of the TRC.”  Furthermore, in delaying action on Section 43, the federal government not only willfully ignores TRC Recommendations, but also calls by children’s and human right’s activists alike.

“Social workers across Canada have certainly not forgotten about the federal government’s promise to repeal this contemptible law, and will not rest until Canadian children are protected from violence and discrimination” concluded Christianson-Wood.


For information contact:
Fred Phelps
CASW Executive Director