Wednesday, 10 June 2015

All children deserve equal protection, regardless of cultural context

The judge who said that child protection professionals should make allowances for immigrants who slap their children, is wrong on moral grounds. All children deserve the same level of protection, wherever they or their parents come from.

But the judge is also wrong on practical grounds. In day-to-day practice there is no way of making the kinds of distinctions she calls for. Attempting to do so would cloud and confuse decision-making to the detriment of all children.

The more we – judges, social workers, medics, police officers, politicians, journalists, members of the public - can all share a similar concept of child abuse and neglect the more likely we are to work effectively together to reduce it and to protect children from it. Moral relativism just opens the door to confusion and indecision.