Society

Countries Where Corporal Punishment in the Home is Outlawed

Although in some countries, using spanking as a form of discipline is acceptable, in many countries it is illegal.

Corporal punishment is a type of punishment which involves application or intention of physical force to bring discomfort or some level of pain towards someone with undesired behavior. Therefore, corporal punishment of children is the corporal punishment by parents or guardians towards their children. Parents or guardians who enforce corporal punishment on their children may slap them with open hands, strike them with slippers, canes, or belts, or may force them to do uncomfortable activities. In some countries, such kinds of punishments are acceptable, however, many countries have outlawed them. Below are the first five countries to have prohibited corporal punishment in the home.

Laws On Corporal Punishment By Country

Sweden

The first country to outlaw physical punishment of children in the world was Sweden in 1979. In the 1970s, almost 50% of children of Sweden went through a lot of physical punishments, leading to the creation of a committee by the Swedish Parliament to look into the rights of children. The parliamentary committee enhanced the enactment of the law to protect children from violent treatment by parents.

Finland

In 1993, Finland outlawed corporal punishment of children through reformation of the country’s children's law. Matti Savolainen was responsible for the drafting of the act that facilitated the ban through the ministry of justice which launched a public information campaign on the same.

Norway

The prohibition of the physical punishment in Norway took place in 1987 through the amendment of the Parent and Child Act. Before then, parents and legal guardians could bring up their children through the use of physical punishments, as per the Norwegian Criminal Code. The official committee of child abuse and neglect recommended, through the ministry of justice, for the ban of such punishments.

Austria

Austria, through the General Civil Code, outlawed the physical punishment of children in 1989. The law aimed at reducing the physical punishment and the change of attitudes towards such acts on children. Moreover, the legislation on the rights of children has developed since 1989, some of them confirming the prohibition of the corporal punishments.

Cyprus

Through the address of family violence, the Republic of Cyprus banned physical punishment of children in 1994. The prohibition is under the Violence in the Family Law of 1994 which made all forms of domestic violence illegal. Therefore, according to the law, corporal punishment of children is punishable since it is one form of family violence.

Other Countries Who Have Outlawed Corporal Punishment

More countries are currently enacting laws that prohibit physical punishment of children. On top of the above list of the first five countries in the category, several other nations have outlawed such forms of sanctions, France and Lithuania being the most recent after enacting the laws this year. The largest number of countries to outlaw this punishment was in 2014 when nine countries banned corporal punishments in the home. Most of the laws to address the issue are enacted depending on the magnitude of the problem in each country.

Countries Where Corporal Punishment in the Home is Outlawed

CountryYear of Ban
Sweden1979
Finland1983
Norway1987
Austria1989
Cyprus1994
Denmark1997
Latvia1998
Croatia1999
Bulgaria2000
Israel2000
Germany2000
Turkmenistan2002
Iceland2003
Ukraine2004
Romania2004
Hungary2005
Greece2006
Faroe Islands2007
Netherlands2007
New Zealand2007
Portugal 2007
Uruguay2007
Venezuela2007
Spain2007
Togo2007
Costa Rica2008
Moldova2008
Luxembourg2008
Liechtenstein2008
Poland2010
Tunisia2010
Kenya2010
Republic of the Congo2010
Albania2010
South Sudan2011
Macedonia2013
Honduras2013
Malta2014
Brazil2014
Bolivia2014
Cape Verde2014
Argentina2014
San Marino2014
Nicaragua2014
Estonia2014
Andorra2014
Benin2015
Republic of Ireland2015
Peru2015
Greenland2016
Mongolia3016
Paraguay2016
Slovenia2016
Lithuania2017
France2017

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