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Children: physical punishment, 16/10/08 [E/NI/S/W]

Baroness Walmsley asked the government “What is their response to the recent memorandum by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights which stated that “laws allowing the definition of ‘justifiable assaults’ and ‘reasonable punishments’ on children are not compliant with international human rights standards”.

Replying, Baroness Morgan, Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families, said “…the Government are absolutely clear about the fundamentals here. We believe that this boils down to an interpretation of what is seen as violence. We do not accept that, for example, mild smacking—smacking for which the defence of reasonable punishment is available—constitutes violence. We firmly believe that our law is compliant with both the UN CRC and the ECHR. In our view, the UN CRC does not require the criminalisation of mild smacking”.

For further information see the Lords Hansard text for 16 October 2008

Further Information

Lords Hansard text for 16 October 2008