Corporal punishment: Ban this violence

WHY is Ireland invariably found guilty of not signing charters which confer social rights on individuals?

In the latest example of this country’s reluctance to sign on the dotted line, the European Social Rights Committee accuses the Republic of violating yet another European agreement by not banning all forms of corporal punishment, including parents smacking their children at home.

Ireland is one of the few EU countries where corporal punishment in the home has not yet been outlawed in a clear, binding, and precise manner under domestic legislation or case law laid down in 2009.

The Council of Europe said that “violence against children, including corporal punishment, is a major abuse of their human rights, and equal protection under the law must be guaranteed to them”.

Now, six years later, Children’s Minister James Reilly says his officials have started talks with the Department of Justice and Equality on removing the defence of “reasonable chastisement”.

If it’s a question of differentiating between a gentle tap and downright abuse, a total ban is the answer.

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