Smacking a child is illegal in numerous countries - but not the UK [Photo: Rex]
Despite repeated talk about a “smacking ban”, no such thing exists in the UK.
The debate may soon be halted, though, as four children’s commissioners are currently arguing to make smacking a youngster illegal once and for all. A UN inquiry will hear evidence from UK officials during a two-day meeting that ends today.
The commissioners are calling for all “corporal punishment in the family and in all other institutions and forms of alternative care should be prohibition,” reports The Sunday Times.
Currently, Britain is one of the few countries in the world not to have completely banned smacking – it’s illegal in numerous other countries in Europe including Germany, Spain and Holland – but it’s still an acceptable punishment for a parent to dole out here in the UK.
There are some loose rules, though. The smack administered has to amount to “reasonable punishment”, says Law and Child and parents aren’t allowed to hit their child so hard that they leave a mark on the child.
And parents are within their right to allow a babysitter, nanny or grandparent to also use reasonable punishment on their child if they see fit.
But does smacking a child even improve their behaviour? A study conducted in 2014 revealed that it doesn’t. The results found that in about three quarters of incidents, the naughty child misbehaved just 10 minutes after being smacked.
Smacking a child may be a quick fix and stun them into good behaviour for a few minutes, but some experts argue that it doesn’t send the right message.
What do you think? Should smacking a child be illegal? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.