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France Just Made Spanking Illegal

TODAY | Jan. 6, 2017

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TODAY Jan. 6, 2017

Parents in France are no longer able to spank their children now that the French parliament decided to make spanking illegal. The decision was made to eliminate all forms of “cruel punishment” towards kids. Research shows that spanking has negative impacts on some children both mentally and emotionally. In lieu of spanking, psychologists recommend parents to try positive reinforcement like time outs and having conversations with their child. 

Parents throughout France now need to think twice before spanking children who misbehave, as it could land them in hot water with the law. According to a new law that was recently passed, parents will be required to spare the rod and turn to other measures of discipline — like positive reinforcement — instead.

On December 22, the French parliament successfully voted to enact the “Equality and Citizenship” bill, which places a country-wide ban on all forms of corporal punishment, including harmful physical treatment like caning, flogging, or, a more common form of punishment — spanking.

Child abuse was already illegal in the country, but this new law, which makes spanking a civil rather than criminal offense, was created to eradicate all forms of "degrading, cruel and humiliating" treatment of kids by their parents.

"Ending cruel, degrading or humiliating treatment is an indispensable component of a comprehensive national strategy for the prevention and elimination of violence against children. It lays the foundation for a culture of respect for children's rights; safeguards children’s dignity and physical integrity; and encourages positive discipline and education of children through non-violent means,” Marta Santos Pais, a special secretary representative of the United Nations who specializes in child protection, said in a statement supporting the new law.

This story originally appeared on TODAY.com. Read more here. 

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