Sunday, May 19, 2024

British Government Rejects Call to Ban Smacking In England

The British government has rejected calls to ban physical punishment of children in England, saying they are already protected in law.

In Wales, Scotland and Jersey any type of corporal punishment, including smacking, hitting, slapping, and shaking is illegal.

The government says parents should be trusted to discipline their children.

A Department for Education spokesperson said the government does not condone any violence towards children and has clear laws in place to prevent it.

The children’s charities are calling for an end to the legal defense of reasonable chastisement that allows parents or careers to hit their children.

In England and Northern Ireland, it is legal for a career or parent to discipline their child physically if it is a reasonable punishment.

However, any punishment over what is considered reasonable is illegal.

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The Children Act 2004 says it is unlawful to assault a child causing actual or grievous bodily harm or with child cruelty.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) chief executive, Peter Wanless said it is wrong and illegal to hit an adult in the country, but equal protection is not given to a child.

He said the wellbeing of children should be put first and bring an end to this legal anomaly.

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