A call for the end to physical punishment of children in Australia

4 August 2013

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Australia has issued a position statement calling for an end to physical punishment of children and advocating both legal reform and parent support and education.  The call was based on the increasing volume of research evidence that conclusively demonstrates the risks associated with the use of physical punishment and on children’s rights to protection from violence.  Physical punishment is legal in all states in Australia.   The release has been accompanied by a great deal of media interest both in Australia and as far away as the UK. As was the case in New Zealand, opinions are divided on the issue.  The Royal College of Physicians has taken an important step in opening up the public debate in Australia and it is to be hoped that in time Australia will join the growing list of countries that have reformed their law so that physical punishment of children is legally prohibited.