Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Vote: Should parents have the right to smack their children?

On Thursday, 11 November, 2004, Rebel backbench MPs lost a bid for an all-out ban on smacking in England and Wales. The Commons vote which proposed to change the Children Bill to include an outright ban was defeated by 424 votes to 75.

Today the NSPCC is launching a campaign asking retailers to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to parents smacking their children. The children's charity is calling on shops to do more to prevent parents from losing control of their children and then hitting them. Head of child protection awareness at the NSPCC, Chris Cloke, said: "We know that shopping, like parenting in general, can be very, very stressful and therefore if the shop assistant can say can we support you in some way, can we help you with your shopping, can we look after your child, that would be helpful towards the parents. And we believe that parents will benefit from this, that children will benefit from that and we also believe it makes good economic sense for the shops too."

According to a survey commissioned by the Children are Unbeatable! Alliance, most people would support closing a legal loophole that allows parents to smack their children.

CHILDREN 1ST one of Scotland's leading childcare charities say: “It is consistently being stated that parents are opposed to a ban on the physical punishment of children, yet rigorous and methodologically sound Mori polls have actually found that parents overwhelmingly supported anti-smacking legislation, if there would be no prosecution for trivial offences.” A 1998 Mori poll found 73% of adults would support a ban, given that assurance.

In 2004 the BBC held the following vote on their News Website: Should parents have the right to smack their children?

Of the 10117 Votes Cast: 86% voted YES with the remainder voting NO.

Following this drive by the NSPCC to stop smacking in shops, I would like to repeat the BBC's question:

Q. Should parents have the right to smack their children?

Click: HERE to view the results.

(The results are archived by the British Library)

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