“The distinct nature of children, their initial dependent and developmental state, their unique human potential as well as their vulnerability, all demand the need for more, rather than less, legal and other protection from all forms of violence." UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2006) General Comment 8, para 21.
NICCY believes that children and young people should have the same protection as adults from all forms of violence, including physical punishment. NICCY has called for:
- Legal reform to ensure that children have Equal Protection from all forms of violence including physical punishment; and
- Improved support for parents and families, including through effective positive parenting support.
Positive parenting supports parents and carers to raise children and manage challenging behaviour in ways that do not use physical violence. Here are some sources of information and support for parents and carers:
- The Department of Health’s Top Tips Positive Parenting Guides can be found here
- And the guide for younger children is here
- Parenting NI provide a range of information and support for parents and carers and can be contacted online and on the Freephone number:08088010722 and at www.parentingni.org
There is a wide range of published evidence which documents that physical punishment is not effective and negatively impacts on children’s health and well-being, including the research reports highlighted below:
- A review of the evidence on the physical punishment of children
- Risks of Harm from Spanking Confirmed by Analysis of Five Decades of Research
- Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies and new meta-analyses
More detailed information about our work on achieving Equal Protection for children from all forms of assault, including physical punishment can be found here.