Does Australia protect children?

This is not a happy blog-post. South Australia just became the second last state to comprehensively ban the corporal punishment of children in schools – all schools. Do we say bravo to this, in the 21st century? Queensland, meanwhile, is the last state to allow religious schools to hit children.

Some context: beating children is illegal in the schools of over 130 countries, and illegal in the homes of 56 countries, where it is recognized as domestic violence. It’s fair to ask why Australia is such a laggard, why we hold on to this entitlement to smack the most vulnerable.

The world evolves, but Australia clings onto punishment. Retribution. Authoritarianism. Politically, we remain embedded in the past. Unreconciled, exploitative, hoarding. How we treat our children, they will treat the world.

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