A united call to end the physical punishment of children was the focus of a recent event in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which included the showcase of a brand new animated film, highlighting the damage made by corporal punishment and the human rights commitments that call for the prohibition of corporal punishment of children.
The event was organised by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Commissioner for Children and Young People, and attended by Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales and Anna Henry, Director of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.
Julie Morgan AM was able to speak about her current experience of supporting legislation in the Welsh Assembly to ban the physical punishment of children in Wales.
Anna Henry, Director of the Global Initiative, gave an overview of global progress towards the full prohibition of corporal punishment, and called for urgent action to highlight the damaging effect of violence against children.
The animated film launched at the event was produced by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Commissioner for Children and Young People, supported by the Global Initiative, and aims to communicate the need to protect children from violence in simple terms.
Les Allamby, Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission who opened the event, said:
“Most adults wouldn’t dream of raising their hands to strike another grown up. It is not OK for an adult who has caring responsibility for an older person to hit or smack that person. Why is it OK then for an adult with caring responsibility for a child to hit or smack them? ... We need to bring Northern Ireland law in line with human rights standards and to end the corporal punishment of children.”