Beatings should be forbidden

Macron wants to ban beatings for children - rights want to prevent the law

Paris - In France, corporal punishment of children by their parents is to be banned in the future: The National Assembly voted on Friday night in first reading for a legislative proposal by the Liberals allied with President Emmanuel Macron. France is thus implementing European requirements several years late.

According to the proposal, a sentence is to be included in the civil code that will be read out by the registrar at weddings. According to this, the "authority of the parents should be exercised without physical or psychological violence". According to the government, slaps on the buttocks and slaps in the face will be taboo in the future.

"You don't educate by fear," said Health Minister Agnes Buzyn. Parental violence has "catastrophic effects on the development of the child".

"Parents fooled"

For the bill, which is also supported by parts of the opposition, 51 MPs voted, there was one vote against and three abstentions. Conservatives and right-wing populists, on the other hand, spoke out in favor of violence by parents against their children. They complain of undue interference in family life. Parents were being fooled, it was said. The draft now goes to the Senate, which is dominated by conservatives, but the National Assembly has the final say.

In 2015, the Council of Europe warned France to implement the European Social Charter, which requires member states to ban all violence against children. A first law was overturned by the Constitutional Council in January 2017 due to formal deficiencies. The draft law does not provide for sanctions against violent parents. Health Minister Buzyn emphasized that the amendment was not "only symbolic". Because she breaks with the view, which is also widespread among judges, that parents have a "right to a beating".

In Austria violence against children for "educational purposes" has been banned since 1989. Fines and prison sentences can also be pronounced for it. (APA, November 30, 2018)