Japan to ban parents from physically punishing kids

Tokyo (IANS) The Japanese government on Tuesday approved a plan to revise the child abuse prevention law and institute changes to legally prohibit parents and guardians from physically punishing children.

The revised bill and related legislation will be deliberated upon during the ongoing parliamentary session with the aim to be enacted in April 2020, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It is the responsibility of all adults to protect the lives of children. We are going to powerfully and swiftly work to take steps to prevent child abuse,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a cabinet meeting before endorsing the bill.

The draft bill also requires full-time, in-house lawyers and doctors to be based at child welfare centres so that information and professional expertise can be easily shared.

In addition, the revisions also require schools, education boards and child welfare centres to adhere to confidentiality requirements.

This is aimed at better safeguarding abused children and ensuring that abusive parents and guardians cannot coerce institutions into providing potentially damaging information or make decisions that could further put an at-risk child in danger.

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