It’s a good thing all the world’s serious human rights issues have been resolved. With more pressing problems out of the way, the UN Human Rights Committee appears now to have the leisure time to attend to a few loose ends here and there. The committee—which includes representatives from human rights bastions such as Uganda, Algeria, and Egypt—has released a report recommending that Britain fully outlaw the smacking of children at home. The Times of London reports:
The committee demanded that all smacking be “fully outlawed in the home”, adding that the government should encourage parents to use other methods to control their children…A [British] government spokesman said: “Our policy on smacking is clear. We do not condone violence towards children. However, we do not wish to criminalise parents for issuing a mild smack.”
The UN beclowns itself on human rights issues with relative frequency—such as when, after combing the Middle East for discrimination against women, it decided to condemn Israel. But in an age of grisly human rights abuses from Syria to North Korea, it’s disconcerting that the UN Human Rights Committee feels it should devote energy to this. Yet another reason why the UN is as ineffectual as ever.