Norway: Ok to hit children

It's proper to hit children, says former head of the Somali Youth in Lillehammer, Mohammed Osman Yusuf.

Yusuf was beaten and whipped when he was a child.  He thinks that beating children is absolutely essential so they will understand what they shouldn't do.  He says that many immigrants think it will be almost impossible to raise children the first time they hear when they come to Norway that they're not allowed to hit the children.

There are quite many countries where beating children is part of the upbringing.  When people then come to Norway and it's not allowed to raise children, they feel that the toolbox is empty, says Yusuf.

He thinks that children deserve birching for example when they use naughty language.  Yusuf thinks children aren't injured by being beaten.  He himself thinks he wasn't injured by it.

A new study shows that immigrant children are beaten twice as often as children of Norwegian parents.  The Children Ombudsman, Reidar Hjermann, says the problem is extensive.

Violence in upbringing is a pattern and becomes a natural part of children's upbringing, says Hjermann, who thinks that society hasn't been capable enough of teaching immigrants about children's upbringing.

Lawyer and Liberal Party politician Abid Q. Rajas explains violence in children's upbringing as such: It happens not because the paretns are evil, but that they truly believe that this is the best way to bring up children.  He thinks it's absolutely wrong to hit children, but is glad that the attitude is now being brought up.

I am convinced at this is more the rule than the exception, says Rajas, who thinks that we as a society must take up an open debate about this and not hit back so hard that it will shut the door which has been opened.  He is glad that somebody dared to say what they think about this.

The government is currently adjusting the law to ban all smacking of children.  In 1995 the supreme court said that giving one's children light smacks for upbringing wasn't criminal.  But according to Dagsavisen, the government is now changing the law to ban all smacking.

Bashe Musse, head of the Somali network, reacted with shock and disbelief when he heard of Yusuf's statements about children's upbringing.

"I am very disappointed and shocked.  It's great that there's freedom of speech in Norway, but here somebody who's guided children and youth legitimizes abuse of children.  This is something that's completely unacceptable, says Musse to VG Nett.

It must be crystal clear that children have the same legal protection as adults in Norway.  And parents should know that they don't have a right to punish.  As much as you can smack an adult, you can smack a child, says state secretary Astri Aas-Hansen of the Justice Ministry.

According to her the government will bring up a law proposal to change the criminal law before year's end.  The new law will specify that Norway has international obligations related to the legal protection of children and children's welfare and make the law clearer.  It will no longer be possible to interpret the law to allow for children being slapped, says Aas-Hansen.

Bashe Musse of the Somali network thinks that he's supported by a majority of Somalis in Norway when he says that he supports the government's proposal 100%.

I think that it absolutely should be illegal to hit children.  If somebody abuses their own children it's a crime that must be revealed and punished.  Nobody is allowed to hit their own children.  We have through a process in the Somali community that doesn't compromise when it comes to child abuse.

Musse says that he agrees with the Children's Ombudsman, but thinks that many who come to Norway can have problems understanding the Norwegian upbringing methods.  It's about information which should go out to the immigrant parents.

The parent's rights to punish their children was revoked in 1972.

Sources: NRK, VG (Norwegian)

See also: Norway: Somali author criticizes Somali community

1 comment:

mark said...

hi, i'm a norwegian from oslo.
in norway specially at the east side of norway ( oslo etc) has for 10 years experienced a big change in the society in general. the muslims, like bosnians, pakistanis, tamils, and somalians are basically taking over the streets and the nights. u can't be safe anymore, it's almost a must that every week the news has to report a rape, murder and and insanity break down in the subway killing people with a kitchen knife. this was ofcourse done by these followers of peace. i dunno, it's true, no matter race and religion, there's always good and bad people in that group, but how come in norway ( in europe in general, look at denmark, france and netherlands) why has the crime rate gone up so much in just 10 years and the criminals are the peace followers? norway was a really quite and peacefull place, crime rate was low. the peacefollowers in norway ( europe in general)ARE having problems in integrating them selfs in to the western society, in norway, the don't wanna speak our language, how can u do busniss with non arabic speaking, when in norway we only speak norwegian? how come they don't eat pork, and talk bad about our european food, but on the weekend nights u c them drinking alcohol, then later take advantage of a non peace following woman, if enough rage, rape is quite common. how can they fornicate someone who eats pork, but don't want to eat our food, follow how the society system? this is not somalia or pakistani where you can do what you wanter under the peacefollowing rules. i really hope that the norwegians, and europeans will realize that they haven't contributed much to our lifestyle and that indeed there must be changes.