The Council of Europe has launched a campaign aiming to make all physical punishment of children illegal.
At present parents may smack their children as long as they do not cause reddening of the skin. This is set out in the Children Act 2004.
The Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, has recently argued that a lack of punishment of children contributed to the riots that broke out in UK last year. Mr Lammy suggested that if parents had felt able to discipline their children in this way the disturbances may have been avoided.