On 3 October, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child stated in its concluding observations on the UK: “The Committee is concerned at the failure of State party to explicitly prohibit all corporal punishment in the home and emphasises its view that the existence of any defence in cases of corporal punishment of children does not comply with the principles and provisions of the Convention, since it would suggest that some forms of corporal punishment are acceptable.”
The Committee, responsible for monitoring implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, called on the UK to “prohibit as a matter of priority all corporal punishment in the family, including through the repeal of all legal defences, in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland...”
This is the third time that this authoritative UN body has urged the UK to give children equal protection from assault (previous recommendations 1995 and 2002).
Speaking for the Children Are Unbeatable! Alliance, Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP said: "We must act now to satisfy our human rights obligations under United Nations and European agreements. The time is right for Parliament to end the legal approval of hitting children once and for all."