Nothing can justify violence towards children
In most of Europe today, society tolerates and even approves recurrent forms of violence against children, in particular those inflicted in the home.
No religion, economic situation or "educational" method can justify hitting, smacking, spanking, abusing, humiliating, or any other practice that violates a child's dignity. It is internationally recognised in human rights law that children have a right to protection from all forms of violence, including corporal punishment in all settings – home, school, penal systems, care institutions, wherever children are found.
One third of our member states have made corporal punishment illegal and others are committed to legal reform. But despite these positive developments, corporal punishment remains lawful in most countries. Lawfulness of corporal punishment is also contrary to the right of children to equal protection under the law.
Abolishing it calls for changes in legislation and new policies to ensure implementation and guidance for those working with children and families. It also requires awareness raising to inform the public about children's human rights.
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''Raise your hand against smacking!'' - Launch of 2008 Awareness-raising Action
At the launch of the Europe-wide initiative against corporal punishment of children in Zagreb, (Croatia), on 15 June, Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said there was ''no footnote'' in the European Convention granting human rights to adults only. ''Abolishing corporal punishment is a matter of vision and political leadership,'' she added. Jadranka Kosor, Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Family, Veterans’ Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity said: ''It is important to move from smacking to positive parenting, nurturing and love.'' (More ...)