Reilly moves to ban parents from slapping their children

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
The move will effectively ban corporal punishment against children
The move will effectively ban corporal punishment against children

Minister James Reilly is proposing the abolition of "reasonable chastisement" from common law, reports suggest.

Reilly is proposing a law which effectively forbids parents from slapping their children, and hopes to put it to the Cabinet in the coming fortnight. 

The minister has in the past voiced his opinion corporal punishment in the home should be outlawed. Ireland is one of the only EU countries that has not yet banned such practice.

In May, the Council of Europe released a statement condemning corporal punishment against children after Ireland was found to be in violation of a European charter which forbids the practice. 

In a statement, the Council of Europe said: "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."

"The Council of Europe has been working to see corporal punishment of children outlawed in each of its 47 member countries, and positive parenting programmes set up by governments to encourage parents to make the family violence-free."

Mr Reilly subsequently instructed his staff to draft regulations providing for the explicit prohibition of corporal punishment for children. 

He is seeking the Cabinet to approve the move, possibly as early as next week.