Prohibiting corporal punishment: achieving equal protection for children in EU member states. Progress report 2013

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Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children

Hitting people is wrong – and children are people too. Corporal punishment of children breaches their fundamental rights to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity. Its legality breaches their right to equal protection under the law. Urgent action is needed in every region of the world to respect fully the rights of all children – the smallest and most fragile of people. This regional report reviews progress towards prohibition of corporal punishment of children in all European Union member states in the context of follow-up to the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children. Today in the EU, more than half the child population are completely protected in law from punitive violence. In the last two decades, as membership of the EU has grown so too has the number of member states enacting laws to prohibit corporal punishment of children, including in their family homes. But there is still work to do. Eleven member states have still to achieve the necessary full law reform. Not all of these are yet committed to doing so. With details and illustrations of progress to date, information on relevant European and international human rights law, campaigns, research and growing support for prohibition including among religious leaders, as well as individual country reports, this report aims to be a key resource for all those entrusted with protecting children in Europe from this most common and deep rooted form of violence.

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