Smacking in Britain – level 3

29-07-2015 15:00

A United Nations report has recommended that Britain should pass laws to ban parents from smacking their children at home. The directions were issued by the UN Human Rights Committee as it published an assessment of legal and cultural issues in the UK.

Eighteen experts who make up the body found that the UK should take practical and legal steps to put an end to corporal punishment, meaning it believes smacking at home to be a form corporal punishment. The report also says Britain should encourage campaigns which back non-violent forms of discipline.

Parents are not explicitly banned from striking their children. The law currently allows for reasonable chastisement to control a child’s behaviour, but parents can be prosecuted if their actions result in injuries such as bruises, cuts or scratches.

On the current policy, a government spokeswoman said, “their policy on smacking is clear. They do not condone violence towards children. At the same time, they don’t wish to criminalise parents for issuing a mild smack.”

The review was made up of international experts who monitor the implementation of civil and political rights. It’s the first review of Britain since 2008.

Difficult words: ban (to prohibit), assessment (judgement), issue (problem), corporal (relating to the human body), chastisement (punishment), condone (to nnnnnnnnaccept).



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