Smacking ban 'works in Sweden'

21st April 2000 at 01:00
SCEPTICISM about parents observing any ban on physical punishment of their children is challenged this week with a claim that in Sweden, where such punishment has been outlawed for 20 years, only a small minority of children report having had even a harsh slap.

The charity Save the Children has issued a report on the Swedish experience in the hope of persuading MSPs to take a firmer line following the end today (Friday) of consultation on punishment of children. Jim Wallace, the Justice Minister, indicated when lauching the consultation in February that the Executive was against imposing a ban on parents.

A Generation without Smacking says that only 11 per cent of Swedes now support a return to even the mildest form of corporal punishment compared with 35 per cent in 1965.

Susan Elsley, assistant director of Save the Children Scotland, said: "Children should have the same protection from assault as adults, as a basic, fundamental human right." The charity believes that the Swedish experience can pave the way.

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