research by the Office of the Childrens Commissioner
The Office of the Children's Commissioner has released a document on child deaths and serious injury in Sweden and New Zealand. The Office wants people to know that New Zealand's rate of child abuse is worse than Swedens to build a further platform for their campaign for the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act.Sweden was the first country to ban corporal punishment.
Along with leaders of Plunket, Barnardos and Save the Children, the Office of the Childrens Comissioner put out a document (not online but reported here) which said:
Around one child a month dies at the hands of a parent or caregiver in New Zealand. In Sweden, the average annual deaths attributable to child abuse for the past 30 years or so has been less than one every four years
So the Office of the Childrens Commissioner picked the five years where there was one child death a month on average in New Zealand - on the basis that these five years 1997-2001 - were the latest data from Sweden.
Figures show that fatal child abuse dropped significantly after 2001 in New Zealand, when in 2003 there were only two deaths due to child abuse.
Swedish Professor Staffan Janson from Karlstad University has written several reports on child abuse and has confirmed that every year seven children are killed at the hands of their parents in Sweden. New Zealand's Childrens Commissioner's figures include those that were killed by people other than their parents as well.
Far too many toddlers are killed by their parents in this country. Thats something we have to address, as with at least four deaths this year, its not good enough.