“We want to help reduce the numbers of African children being referred into the Child Protection system and ending up in care due to allegations of ‘significant harm’, sometimes as a result of their parents’ cultural and religious practices,” said Debbie Ariyo, Executive Director of Africans Unite Against Child Abuse.
According to the manual, titled “Child Protection for African Parents in the UK”, African parents are more likely to view discipline and corporal chastisement as important parental tools than their British counterparts.â€¨Many are also unaware of the duty the British state has to remove a child from a family and place it in state care if it is deemed the home environment is harmful to the child’s development.
Many parents disagree with state intervention in family life, but as a signatory to the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the British state is required to ensure “special protection” for child development.
Unfortunately, immigrants have little or no extended family in the UK, and so often unwittingly commit crimes of neglect by leaving children at home. Good intentions, the report makes clear, do not excuse parents from a law required to protect children from neglect, as well as physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
While AFRUCA are clear that parents should be able to pass on their cultural identity to their children, a wealth of evidence suggests discipline and obedience-led parenting is counterproductive measures. â€¨The guide, available free on the AFRUCA website, also provides an outline of child development from birth through puberty, and guidelines for monitoring internet use.