Building a Europe for and with children

2009:  the UN target date for global abolition

Flash news - progress in Europe towards a total ban  ...

Hot off the Press – 11 March 2009: Moldova prohibits all corporal punishment of children

Moldova has prohibited corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the family home. They have amended their Family Code to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment by parents and others with parental authority.

The new Article 53 of the code covers "the right of the child to be protected" and states in paragraph 4 that the child "has the right to be protected against abuses, including corporal punishment by parents or persons who replace them". Article 62 concerns parents' rights and states in paragraph 2 that "methods to educate children, chosen by parents, will exclude abusive behaviour, insults and ill-treatments of all types, discrimination, psychological and physical violence, corporal punishment ...".

Moldova now joins the 18 other Council of Europe member states with a total ban on corporal punishment to make a total of nineteen. 

New publication from the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.  Prohibiting corporal punishment of children: A guide to legal reform and other measures is a new guide to legal reform to support states in prohibiting all corporal punishment of children. It details the legislative measures states should take to meet their obligations to prohibit corporal punishment under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. See also new section on the Global Initiative website dedicated to legal reform.

December 2007: Spain joined the 17 other Council of Europe member states which have totally abolished corporal punishment of children, raising the number of countries to do so to 18. Spain enacted legislation which prohibits all corporal punishment of children, including by parents. Civil Code provisions which recognised the right of parents to punish or correct children in the name of discipline were amended and children now have the same protection from assault from adults. The Spanish "right to punish" was repealed and replaced by an obligation on those with parental responsibility, in exercising that responsibility, to respect the physical and psychological integrity of their children.

2007: In Complaint No. 34/2006/World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) v Portugal, The European Committee of Social Rights concluded that Portugal was in violation of Article 17 or the revised Charter for "failure to prohibit and penalise in all forms of violence against children ..." . Since the ECSR decision, Portugal has modified its penal code to reflect full prohibition, thus joining the 16 other member states which protect their children from the humiliation of corporal punishment.  
February 2008: The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers has taken note of Portugal's compliance with Article 17 of the revised Social Charter: See press release. See
CM Resolution Res/ChS (2008)4 on Complaint No. 34/2006 by the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) against Portugal. 

Corporal punishment of children is prohibited in all settings (home, schools, penal systems, alternative care) in 19 out of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Moldova Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine.

Detailed information is found on the online appendices to Eliminating corporal punishment of children – A human rights imperative for Europe’s children. These are updated with the assistance of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children. Between updates, major changes are reported here.