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
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.