Mr. Speaker, the Special Joint Committee of the Commons and Senate on Custody and Access recommended that the Divorce Act be changed to become more child centred and to affirm the fact that both parents have an important role to play in the lives of their children, even after divorce.
According to a 1996 study in the U.S., children in fatherless homes account for the following: 63% of youth suicides, 83% of children with behaviour disorders, 71% of high school dropouts, 85% of youths sitting in jails, and 80% of rapists.
The list goes on. It is clear that children are the real victims of divorce. I support the recommendations of the special joint committee, in particular the requirement for mandatory parenting education prior to the granting of a divorce.
Children do have rights. We as legislators have a duty to protect those rights.