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UN tells Ireland to ban smacking children

They say that the State should focus on promoting non-violent forms of discipline.

Image: Wooden Spoon via Shutterstock

THE UN HAS told Ireland to ban smacking children.

The international body’s Human Rights Committee yesterday released a hard-hitting, eight-page document of “concluding observations” which also criticise Ireland’s handling of the symphysiotomy controversy and lack of progress investigating the institutional abuse of women and children in mother-and-baby homes as well as abortion.

In their recommendations on children, the UNHRC says:

“The State party should take appropriate steps, including the adoption of suitable legislation, to put an end to corporal punishment in all settings.

It should encourage non-violent forms of discipline as alternatives to corporal punishment, and conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness about its harmful effects.

The recommendations have been welcomed by the Children’s Rights Alliance, who have long called for an outright ban on smacking.

“The UN Human Rights Committee has called on Ireland to ban hitting children in all settings,” said Tanya Ward of the Children’s Rights Alliance.

“A ban would change attitudes and reduce abuse levels overall. It’s about time that we took action to protect children from all forms of violence. The Committee also called on the Government to encourage non-violent forms of discipline and to conduct information campaigns to raise awareness about its harmful effects.

“Once again, the committee has criticised the lack of access to secular education in Ireland for children of minority faith or non-faith families. They recommend that the Government legislate against discrimination in access to schools on the grounds of religion or belief and increase the number of diverse schools and curriculum.”

Read: UN: Ireland must take action to decriminalise abortion

Read: UN tells Ireland to open an investigation into symphysiotomy

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