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France Bans Spanking Of Children, Other Forms Of Corporal Punishment

Update Date: Jan 06, 2017 11:54 AM EST

A total of 51 countries have banned the spanking of children. Now, France has joined them as a new law has been passed that prohibit the practice. The law, dubbed as the Equality and Citizenship Bill, was officially passed on Dec. 22, 2016, which promotes ending of violence against children including corporal punishment.

"The adoption of this new legislation marks a very important commitment towards the protection from violence of more than 14 million children living in France," Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), said in a press release.

"Ending cruel, degrading or humiliating treatment is an indispensable component of a comprehensive national strategy for the prevention and elimination of violence against children. It lays the foundation for a culture of respect for children's rights; safeguards children's dignity and physical integrity; and encourages positive discipline and education of children through non-violent means," she added.

The decision of the French parliament follows a reprimand by the Council of Europe in 2015 hinting about France's lack of a specific law which prohibits corporal punishment in clear and binding way. This includes spankings and slaps, Breitbart reports.

The move leaves Britain as one of the only four countries in Europe where spanking or smacking remains a legal means to discipline children, Telegraph reports. However, smacking or spanking children is a form of punishment in France, where it's called "la fessée". In fact, about 70 percent of adults are against a total ban and 85 percent report they smack their children.

What Other Countries Prohibit Spanking?

More than three decades ago, Sweden was the first country to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment and humiliating treatment of children. Finland followed by 1983.

Today, a total of 52 countries have already outlaw spanking kids and imposing punishments against children. Other countries that prohibit corporal punishment include Iceland, Israel, Sweden, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, San Marino, Honduras, Albania, Uruguay, Poland, Greece, Austria, Israel, and Kenya, among others.

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