Should parents be banned from smacking their children?

Smacking is illegal in Germany, Spain and Holland, but parents in England are currently allowed to show 'reasonable chastisement' towards their children if they have misbehaved

 

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Children's commissioners in Britain have reportedly lobbied the United Nations to make it illegal for parents to smack their own children.

In England mums and dads are currently allowed to show 'reasonable chastisement' towards their kids if they have misbehaved, but if they cause bruises or cuts they can face prosecution.

A report looking into this issue, as well as criminal age of responsibility and the voting age, will be discussed at a hearing in Geneva this week, according to the Sunday Times.

UN committee members are expected to question a delegation from the UK on the way Britain has respected the rights of children over the past eight years.

The Sunday Times has reported that Britain’s commissioners, Anne Longfield representing youngsters in England, Tam Baillie, Scotland, Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland and Sally Holland, Wales, have suggested more than 100 ways in which the nation can improve.

Regarding children being smacked, the report says: 'The UK and devolved governments should ensure that children have equal protection from violence under the law.

'All corporal punishment in the family and in all other institutions and forms of alternative care should be prohibited, including through the repeal of legal defences.'

The practice of smacking is criminalised in dozens of countries including Germany, Spain, Holland and Sweden and there have been growing calls for Britain to ban the act also.

But, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has said that she thinks ministers should not tell parents how to raise their children.

She said previously: “I don't want to criminalise parents if that's the decision that they take to discipline their child.”

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The issue of smacking is not the only one to be scrutinised in the report.

The commissioners are said to also want to see the criminal age of responsibility to be increased from current age of 10 and for the voting age to be lowered from 18 to 16.

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Guest Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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