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TUC 2018 Smacking children should be banned, Congress hears

SMACKING should be banned outright, trade unionists resolved yesterday.

The Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) put forward a motion to TUC Congress calling for the prohibition of corporal punishment “in all settings.”

Hitting children is banned in schools, but parents and carers can legally smack children lightly in the home if it is “reasonable punishment.”

Legislation aimed at banning the smacking of children is currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament while the Welsh government is also moving towards an outright ban.

In its motion, the AEP calls on the British government to “acknowledge that physical punishment can have negative long-term effects on a child’s development” and is ineffective as a method of discipline.

It also called for the “reasonable punishment” defence to be removed from the Children Act 2004, which critics say goes against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Scottish government and MSPs from all political parties have backed the introduction of a new Bill at Holyrood to outlaw smacking.

A consultation in Wales earlier this year found that 81 per cent of parents think it is never acceptable to smack a child.

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