Parents given say in smacking law review

Artykuły

John Ives

Friday June 15, 2007

Parents are to be invited to share their views on smacking as part of a review of changes to the law introduced to crack down on violence against children.

Measures in the Children Act 2004 removed the defence of "reasonable punishment" in cases involving offences such as actual bodily harm and child cruelty.

However, it stopped short of banning all smacking by parents, to the disappointment of leading children's charities.

The review launched today will seek parents' views on physical punishment through an opinion survey to be carried out this summer, the Department for Education and Skills said.

Parents' organisations and professionals working with children and families also will be consulted on the practical impact of the changes.

The children's minister, Beverley Hughes, said: "The law is clear - violence against a child is illegal.

"We have no reason to believe that the current law needs to be changed. However, in 2004 we made a proper commitment to examine the practical consequences of the changes to the legislation and this consultation is fulfilling that commitment.

"We also said we would be separately seeking parents' views on physical punishment and this will done through a parental survey."

Children's charities welcomed the reopening of the debate over smacking.

Colette Marshall, UK director of Save the Children, said: "Hitting children, like hitting anyone else, is unacceptable. Save the Children welcomes the opportunity for the UK government to meet its obligations under the UN convention on the rights of the child by modernising this law.

"Children are vulnerable and are currently treated unequally. They must have the same protection from assault as adults."

Phillip Noyes, NSPCC director of public policy, said: "The NSPCC will be including the views and experiences of children and young people themselves in the evidence we provide to the review, and regret that the review is not also seeking their views as well as those of parents.

"The UK is currently falling behind the rest of Europe in the protection it gives to children from physical punishment. The UK needs to satisfy its human rights obligations and give children, the most vulnerable of our citizens, equal protection from assault."

Findings of the review will be presented to parliament in the autumn.

actual bodily harm – rzeczywiste uszkodzenie ciała

assault.- atak, napaść

commitment - zobowiązanie

crack down (on)- wprowadzać rygory

evidence - dowody

fall behind – pozostawać w tyle, nie dotrzymywać kroku

impact – wpływ, efekt

launch- zaczynać, przeprowadzać

measures – środki, przepisy

opportunity – szansa, okazja, możliwość

provide – zapewniać, dostarczać

smacking- klaps, uderzenie

unacceptable – nie do zaakceptowania

vulnerable - bezbronny

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