United Nations orders Australia not to ban smacking after an expert claims that Australia is “way behind” the rest of world on the issue
- Australia has been directed by the United Nations to stop corporal punishment.
- The laws regarding smacking in Australia vary between territories and states.
- UN stated that corporal punishment is still legal as a’reasonable discipline’
- This decision is made after Professor Daryl Higgins submitted research for the UN
If Australia adopted a United Nations push for corporal punishment to be outlawed, Australian parents could face criminal penalties for smacking their children.
Australia has been directed by the United Nations Committee Against Torture to prohibit corporal punishment. This should be in addition to the ban at the school gate.
The committee’s recent conclusions noted that corporal punishment is still legal under the so-called “reasonable chastisement” label in Australia’s home. This applies to day care, alternative care settings, private schools, detention centres, and public and private schools in some states and territories.
It stated that the committee urged Australia’s state party to prohibit corporal punishment in any setting.
The United Nations Committee Against Torture instructed Australia to ban corporal punishment – smacking – from all care and education settings.
It should also increase awareness and educate campaigns in order to promote positive and other forms of discipline.
After Professor Daryl Higgins’ research, UN leaders are pushing for an end to corporal punishment.
He As part of his work with The Australian Child Maltreatment Study, he found that around 60% of young adults between 16-24 experienced corporal punishment at least four times in their childhood.
Prof Higgins explained that this doubled their likelihood of experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.
The UN reached its decision after receiving research from Australian Catholic University Institute of Child Protection Studies director Professor Daryl Higgins (above)
He said, “Often it’s because of ignorance of social norms… (and) the opportunities to learn new, different and – I have got to say – way, way better, and more effective parenting practices.”
“Why are we encouraging and making available to parents (corporal punishment as a parenting tool) when the data clearly shows it is not?”
Prof Higgins explained that Australia needs to pay attention to the UN’s message if it is to keep its head up in the international community.
He stated that the country is far behind other countries when it comes to prohibiting corporal punishment. He pointed out that 63 jurisdictions have already banned it.
He stated that there were no concerns in any of the countries about policing.
Australia has many different laws about corporal punishment. The laws in Australia differ from one another in terms of education and care settings. Smacking is still legal in Queensland schools.
Prof Higgins stated that while many jurisdictions in Australia have outlawed corporal punishment at schools, Queensland was not one of them.
Prof Higgins stated that while it might be considered unacceptable by education authorities, it wasn’t illegal.
“Even though we have different state and territorial policies on corporal punishment in schools, it is still a concern.
“There is a distinction between laws and practices.”
Prof Higgins explained that there was no difference in the laws and practices of detention centres, childcare facilities, or other settings.
Professor Patrick Keyzer, Australian Catholic University’s dean of law, prepared the submission for the UN. He has challenged the Australian government not to follow the direction of the committee.