Legal Reforms Worldwide

Court Findings

Family and Child Care Laws

School Laws

State Contacts

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Legal Reforms:
Corporal Punishment of Children in the Family

These 38 nations have abolished corporal punishment of children in the family:

Country
Law Enacted for Families
Sweden
1979
Finland
1983
Norway
1987
Austria
1989
Cyprus
1994
Denmark
1997
Latvia
1998
Croatia
1999
Bulgaria
2000
Israel
2000
Germany
2000
Turkmenistan
2002
Iceland
2003
Ukraine
2004
Romania
2004
Hungary
2005
Greece
2006
Netherlands
2007
New Zealand
2007
Portugal
2007
Uruguay
2007
Venezuela
2007
Spain
2007
Togo
2007
Costa Rica
2008
Republic of Moldova
2008
Luxembourg
2008
Liechtenstein
2008
Poland
2010
Tunisia
2010
Kenya
2010
Republic of Congo
2010
Albania
2010
South Sudan
2011
Honduras
2013
TFYR Macedonia
2013
Malta
2014
Brazil
2014

• The Council of Europe Committee on Social Rights has determined that court rulings in Italy (1996) prohibit all corporal punishment of children. A Supreme Court ruling prohibited corporal punishment in Nepal (2005). Neither court ruling is yet reflected in legislation.

• Belgium passed a new child protection law (2000). It is uncertain if the law calls for a complete ban on corporal punishment.

• The Swiss supreme court ruled in July 2003 that parents have a limited right to smack their children. Anything beyond an occasional smack will constitute a criminal offense the court said.

• The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in January 2004 that parents have a limited right to use physical punishment. The court ruled as follows:

-The court did not strike down Sec. 43 in the criminal code, which allows physical punishment of children by parents and teachers.
-School corporal punishment in both public and private schools is banned, immediately because the Court removed the defense. Just as in the U.S. states that now prohibit school corporal punishment, teachers in Canada will still be able to use physical force to remove a student or prevent immediate threats of harm to person or property, but they can no longer be subjected to physical punishment.
-Parents may no longer spank, slap or otherwise use any corporal punishment on children under the age of two or older than 12. Such action would now fall under assault laws.
-Parents may still strike children ages 3 through 12, but may not hit with an object, such as a paddle, belt, switch, etc.
-Parents may not hit an age 3 to 12 child on the head or face under any circumstance.

List of countries prohibiting corporal punishment in schools

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belarus
Belgium
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Chad
China
Congo, Republic of
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominican Republic
DR Congo
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Falkland Islands
Fiji
Finland
Gabon
Georgia
Germany

Greece
Greenland
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Iran, Islamic Rep. of
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Jordan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Lao PDR
Latvia
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malawi
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Micronesia, Fed. States
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Namibia
Netherlands

New Zealand
Nicaragua
Norway
Oman
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Republic of Moldova
Romania
Russian Federation
San Marino
Sao Tome & Principe
Senegal
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Sudan
Spain
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
TFYR Macedonia
Thailand
Togo
Tonga
Turkmenistan
UK
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Yemen
Zambia


Updated January 2014

Source: End All Corporal Punishment of Children

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The Center For Effective Discipline
327 Groveport Pike, Canal Winchester, Ohio, U.S.A. 43110 | Telephone: (614) 834-7946 | Fax: (614) 321-6308