The UK is lagging behind more than a third of other European
countries by not banning smacking, an alliance of children’s
charities claimed this week following a landmark ruling,
writes Amy Taylor.
The Council of Europe, a political organisation to defend human
rights, ruled that previous Supreme Court judgements in Italy and
Portugal prohibit all corporal punishment in these countries,
including in the home, meaning that 16 out of the 46 countries in
Europe now ban smacking.
The Children Are Unbeatable! Alliance (UK), a group of
organisations that campaign for children to have the same legal
protection against being hit as adults, argue that the latest
ruling adds to the growing human rights pressure on the UK,
including two recommendations by the United Nations Committee on
the Rights of the Child, for clear legislation to give children
equal protection under assault laws.
The UK is a party to the European Social Charter, a Council of
Europe treaty which requires any form of violence against children
to be banned in legislation, but it cannot be judged in breach of
its human rights obligations under the charter due to it not being
signed up to its complaints procedure