Smacking around the world
SMACKING children is banned by law in 43 countries worldwide. Sweden was the first country to ban parents hitting children in 1979. It first recognised children’s human rights in the 1920s and prohibited smacking in schools in 1966. Other countries which have banned smacking include Germany, New Zealand, Kenya, Greece, Brazil, Finland and Spain.
There are currently no bans on smacking in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Instead parents are allowed to use “reasonable chastisement”, which is a defence in law. Experts currently warn there is a fine line between this and assault and that smacking should always be a last resort.