Scholarly Submissions

The Issue of Fetal Rights in Canada

By Colleen Dorsay Wintermans, student, Cape Breton University, November 25, 2005

The purpose of this paper to explore the issue of fetal rights in Canada. I do so from the perspective of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. My position is that contrary to the spirit of the UN Convention, ratified by Canada in 1991, there is no legal protection for the unborn child in Canada. Even though there is a direct link between the care of the fetus and the health of the child, recent decisions rendered by Canadian courts do not adequately protect the health and well being of the unborn child.  Clearly, the relationship between the pregnant mother and her unborn child is unique and unlike any other human relationship (Borg, 2005). Read More ..

The Issue of Corporal Punishment

By Stacey McDonald, student, Cape Breton University, November 25th, 2005

The purpose of this paper is to examine the question of whether the practice of corporal punishment in law should be made illegal in Canada. The question is this: in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, should Canada take steps to make the physical punishment of children even light spanking against the law. Corporal punishment is described in Katherine Covell & R. Brian Howes book, The Challenge of Childrens Rights for Canada as any form of physical behavior used to discipline a child that is not severe enough to be classified as abuse(70). Corporal punishment, or spanking, is problematic because people have different versions of light spanking; there is no universal code or form of light spanking. Read More ..

The Issue of the Childs Right to Self-Determination

By Justin McNeil, student, Cape Breton University, November 25, 2005

The issue of child self-determinism has always been a central one in the struggle for childrens rights. For virtually every other civil rights movement, it has been the discriminated themselves who have provided the drive towards liberation, and the ability to self-determine was assumed to be present. The Childrens rights movement is fundamentally different, however, in that children, almost by definition, require somebody else to see to their needs until they are ready to assume control of their own lives. Thus, the concept of granting children the freedom to make their own choices must be tempered by the understanding that a childs cognitive capacities are fundamentally different from those of an adult. Read More ..