Barnardos: Smacking children leaves them "hurt, sad and upset"

Barnardos: Smacking children leaves them "hurt, sad and upset"

SMACKING children leaves them feeling “hurt, sad and upset", Barnardos Ireland has said.

The children’s charity made the comments after it emerged that the Irish Government will be forced to readdress laws on smacking children, following a complaint from a British charity.

The EU found that Ireland’s existing domestic laws were in breach of the European Social Charter following the complaint from the Association for the Protection of All Children (APPROACH).

On the back of this, Minister for Children Dr James Reilly has proposed a total ban on corporal punishment for children – a move that has seen mixed reactions.

Barnardos – a children’s charity – has called for immediate action on the existing regulations.

“There is a distinction between a slap and more severe forms of punishment but whatever the level of hitting all are a breach of children’s rights – including their right to physical integrity,” said Barnardos’ Head of Advocacy June Tinsley. “It results in the child feeling hurt, sad and upset.”

Current rules state that a parent can defend smacking their children in court – though since 1982 there has been a complete ban on corporal punishment in the classroom.

The issue is set to be debated by the Dáil.