Whilst I would be the first to concede that the application of human rights legislation has produced some bizarre and outrageous outcomes, the demand by Parliaments joint committee on human rights to ban physical punishments in child jails is one of the more sane dictates to emerge from the libertarian lobby.
Prior to the committee’s views, restraining techniques such as an upward punch on a childs nose with a flat hand and a “push” to a child’s stomach were sanctioned for use within young children’s institutions. Two children under the age of 16 have died where restraint techniques were used.
Clearly these methods are nothing more than state inflicted physical punishment, and these techniques have no place in a modern society, let alone environments where children are housed. As the Committee Chair Andrew Dismore has said, restraint should only ever be used to prevent injury or escape.
Perhaps what is more disturbing is the terminology used to describe the physical punishment policy –“distraction techniques”, two words I would only expect to hear when American politicians try to defend the regimes in Guantanamo Bay detention camps.
Says it all really!