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France Set To Ban Parents From Smacking Children


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France Set To Ban Parents From Smacking Children

Featured Image Credit: PA

MPs in France have voted overwhelmingly to ban parents from smacking their children.

Although the ban is specific, it's considered a symbolic move by MPs to ensure that parental authority is carried out without violence.

It comes following a report published this year by Childhood Foundation showing that although the behaviour is condemned by the UN, roughly 85 percent of mums and dads in France still strike their kids as a form punishment.

According to France24, the bill on 'corporal punishment or humiliation' was tellingly voted 51-1 after a late-night debate, and it will now pass to the Senate, France's upper house of parliament.

Out of the vote, France's civil code will be changed to outline that parents must not use 'physical, verbal or psychological violence, nor to corporal punishment or humiliation' when disciplining their children.

Despite the change in law there is no current punishment for smacking a child. Credit: PA
Despite the change in law there is no current punishment for smacking a child. Credit: PA

That said, there are still some hoops to get through before the country sees a significant change. After all, there's currently not punishment set in place for breaking the ban, leading many to question the effectiveness and suggesting that it won't do much to urge parents to stop.

Either way, it's a significant step for a move that has previously been thwarted by conservatives in the country. It wasn't until a number of MPs, including France's gender equality minister, Marlene Schiappa, put forward the ban that parents were allowed to use corporal punishment under rights granted under Napoleon in the early 1800s.

However, Schiappa said that it's wrong to use shouting, slapping or twisting children's ears, stating: "No violence is educational."

Meanwhile, Maud Petit - an MP from the centrist Democratic Movement party and another backer of the ban - stated: "Education through violence can only create more violence in society.

"It also leads to failure at school, illness, suicide, anti-social behaviour and delinquence."


Although a few on the far-right and conservatives have criticised the move, many are in support of it, describing it as a way to educate society and rid of an outdated era.

France24 reported that Gilles Lazimi, a doctor specialising in children's rights, said: "At what point does a smack become an act of violence?

"We ask ourselves this all the time when it comes to children, even though the line is very clear when it's for adults.

"A 'little' smack would be seen as a violent act if it were between adults. It has to be the same for a child. This shouldn't be tolerated."

Topics: Children, Kids, Parents, France, Ban

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