EPIC Welcomes Ban on Slapping Children

Immediate Release: 11th December 2015

EPIC welcomes the Government’s ban on slapping children which effectively came into force at midnight. The new law removes the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ where a person uses corporal punishment against a child.

Speaking today, Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan stated:

“We welcome this move by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. This is a step in the right direction in ensuring the protection of all children and embedding values in Irish society that any form of violence against children is unacceptable.

By removing this defence, it further promotes a cultural shift in Irish society to ensure that children are equally protected and respected. Responsibility lies with all of us in upholding this.

However, there is strong evidence of the need for supports to be accessible and available to parents especially those who are most vulnerable. This is apparent by the 40,000 child protection and welfare referrals made annually to Tusla.”      

EPIC calls on the Government to promote parenting supports and develop an awareness-raising campaign to foster positive discipline strategies.

Ends

  1. A parenting support document is available on the statutory body website responsible for child protection and welfare, Tusla (The Child and Family Agency) http://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven
  2. The Committee on the Rights of the Child is due to examine Ireland’s obligations to children under the Convention on the Rights of the Child in January 2016.

For all media enquiries, or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jennifer Gargan, Director of EPIC                    

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