[Documents/Docheader.htm]

Europe-wide ban on corporal punishment of children

Doc. 10199
4 June 2004

Report
Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee
Rapporteur: Mrs Helena Bargholtz, Sweden, Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group


Summary

Striking a human being is banned in European society. Children are human beings. Yet hitting and deliberately humiliating children remains a common practice approved in a majority of member states. The social and legal acceptance of corporal punishment of children must be ended.

The Parliamentary Assembly invites member states to enact legislation prohibiting the corporal punishment of children, particularly within the family.

It notes the success the Council of Europe has had in abolishing the death penalty in Europe and the Assembly calls on its member states to make Europe, as soon as possible, a corporal punishment-free zone for children.

I.          Draft recommendation

1.         The Parliamentary Assembly notes that, according to the European Committee of Social Rights, in order to comply with the European Social Charter and the Revised Social Charter, states must ban all forms of corporal punishment and any other forms of degrading punishment or treatment of children.  Five member states fail to meet these requirements because they have not effectively prohibited all forms of corporal punishment.  Collective complaints have been lodged against five other member states on the same grounds.

2.         The Assembly also notes that the European Court of Human Rights has found in successive judgments that corporal punishment violates children's rights under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.  These decisions applied initially to corporal punishment in young offenders' institutions, then in schools, including private schools, and most recently within the family home.  Moreover, both the European Commission of Human Rights and the Court have emphasised that banning all corporal punishment does not breach the right to private or family life or religious freedom.

3.         All member states have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which requires them to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence while in the care of adults.  The Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors compliance with the Convention, has consistently interpreted the latter as requiring states both to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment of children and to educate and inform the public on the subject.

4.         The Assembly welcomes the global initiative to end all corporal punishment of children and wishes to add its support to that already given by UNICEF, UNESCO, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children (ENOC)  and numerous national and international human rights institutions and non-governmental organisations across Europe.

5.         The Assembly considers that any corporal punishment of children is in breach of their fundamental right to human dignity and physical integrity.  The fact that such corporal punishment is still lawful in certain member states violates their equally fundamental right to the same legal protection as adults.  Striking a human being is prohibited in European society and children are human beings.  The social and legal acceptance of corporal punishment of children must be ended.

6.         The Assembly is concerned to note that, so far, only a minority of the 45 member states have formally prohibited corporal punishment in the family and in all other settings. While they have all banned corporal punishment in schools, including private schools and other educational institutions, this does not necessarily extend to residential and all other forms of child care.  Nor are such bans systematically and universally respected.

7.         The Assembly therefore invites the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers to launch a co-ordinated and concerted campaign in all the member states for the total abolition of corporal punishment of children.  The Assembly notes the success of the Council of Europe in abolishing the death penalty and the Assembly now calls on it to make Europe, as soon as possible, a corporal punishment-free zone for children.

8.         It invites the Committee of Ministers and the other Council of Europe bodies concerned, as a matter of urgency, to establish strategies, including technical assistance, for achieving this objective in conjunction with member states, with a particular emphasis on:

i.          making children, those who live and work with them and the general public aware of the total ban on corporal punishment and other forms of humiliating, inhuman and degrading treatment of children;

ii.          ensuring general awareness of children's fundamental rights, in particular their right to human dignity and physical integrity;

iii.         encouraging positive, non-violent forms of child-rearing, education and conflict resolution among future and existing parents, other carers and the public at large;

iv.         offering children and young persons the opportunity to express their views and be involved in planning and implementing activities to eradicate corporal punishment;

v.          making sure that parents, particularly those experiencing child-rearing difficulties, are offered the necessary advice and support;

vi.         offering children confidential advice, counselling and legal representation so that they can respond to violence against them;

vii.        offering effective and appropriate protection to children who are particularly vulnerable to harmful and humiliating punishment, such as disabled children and children in institutions or detention facilities;

viii.        ensuring that corporal punishment and other harmful and humiliating forms of discipline inflicted on children are included in the definition of domestic or family violence and that strategies to combat the violent punishment of children form an integral part of strategies against domestic or family violence.

9.         Finally, the Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to recommend that the member states:

i.          enact appropriate legislation prohibiting the corporal punishment of children, particularly within the family;

ii.          monitor the effectiveness of abolition through regular research into children's experience of violence at home, in the school and elsewhere, the effectiveness of child protection services and parents’ experience of and attitudes to violence against children;

iii.         ensure that relevant judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and conclusions of the European Committee of Social Rights are fully applied.

II.         Explanatory memorandum by Mrs Bargholtz[1]

Introduction

1.         Hitting people is wrong. Hitting people breaches their fundamental rights to respect for their physical integrity and human dignity. Children are small people who share these human rights with adults. Yet hitting and deliberately humiliating children remains a common practice, socially and legally approved, in a majority of member states of the Council of Europe. This Parliamentary Assembly recommendation promotes action to achieve as quickly as possible a Europe-wide ban on all corporal punishment and all other degrading punishment or treatment of children. Its first and urgent purpose is to uphold children’s human rights.

2.         The European Committee of Social Rights states that conformity with the European Social Charter requires prohibition of all corporal punishment and all other degrading forms of punishment or treatment. Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights have progressively condemned corporal punishment including in the family. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, while in the care of parents and others. The Committee of Ministers has called for law reform and other actions to end the use of corporal punishment in a series of recommendations, the earliest in 1985.

3.         Despite the clearly established human rights standards requiring action, only a minority of the 45 member states of the Council of Europe have explicitly prohibited all corporal punishment including in the family.

4.         Ending corporal punishment is a key to improving children’s status and an essential strategy for preventing all other forms of violence and exploitation. In many member states there has been no research into violence against children in the family; where there have been studies they reveal very high prevalence of corporal punishment, including severe assaults causing injuries.

5.         The process of eliminating corporal punishment requires explicit legislation linked to awareness-raising of children’s rights to protection and promotion of positive, non-violent forms of discipline.

The importance of the issue

6.         The persisting legal and social acceptance of corporal punishment is now recognised as a breach of children’s human rights. Available research suggests that where corporal punishment has not been clearly challenged by law reform and public education, it remains extremely common (see paragraph 9). Across Europe, the fundamental rights of millions of children are being systematically breached on a gigantic scale. All corporal punishment breaches children’s rights to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity. Corporal punishment frequently results in physical injury, disability and in some cases death; research suggests it may also cause psychological damage to children; its use is associated with the development of violent attitudes and actions, in childhood and later life. It is extraordinary that children, whose developmental state makes them particularly vulnerable to physical and psychological injury should have less legal protection from assault in a majority of member states than adults have.

7.         Traditional attitudes to slaves, servants and women were also reflected, only a century or two ago, in the legal “rights” of their masters and husbands to beat them.[2] There is no more symbolic demonstration of the persisting low status of children in many European societies than the widespread belief that corporal punishment is legitimate. The implication that children’s physical integrity and human dignity can be invaded with impunity makes other forms of violence against children, including sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking, more likely. Ending legalised violence against children – corporal punishment – is a key strategy for the prevention of all other forms of violence.

The scale of the problem

8.         The only way of discovering the extent of violence against children within the family is through detailed interview studies with parents and children. Retrospective studies, interviewing adults about their childhood, can also provide information but will not reveal what happens in early childhood. Opinion polling can test attitudes to the use of corporal punishment. Measuring progress towards the elimination of corporal punishment requires regular research studies with representative groups of parents and children.

9.         In many member states there has been no research on violence against children in the family. Studies from a limited number of states suggest that corporal punishment, including severe corporal punishment, is extremely common unless its use has been systematically challenged. For example:

Croatia: a sample of 1000 university students were surveyed in 1997/98 on their childhood experiences of physical and sexual abuse; 93% reported corporal punishment; 27% reported assaults causing injury.[3]. Croatia explicitly prohibited corporal punishment in 1999.

Greece: in a national cohort of 8,158 children aged seven, one in three was spanked at least once a week and one in six daily (1993).[4]

Poland: a nationwide survey of adults in 2001 found that 80% had experienced corporal punishment.[5]

Romania: of a sample of 423 children aged 11 – 13, 75% had been subject to corporal punishment, with 5% reporting they needed medical treatment following it.[6] In another study 84% of a sample of children stated they had been subjected to corporal punishment by their parents, including 20% who had been beaten with objects and 15% who were afraid to go home because of the beatings.[7]

Slovakia:  Attitudinal research among a sample of adults in 2002 found 75.3% believing that parents should be allowed to use “occasional slaps”; 41.7% believing that occasional beating with an implement is acceptable, and 22.9% believing that repeated beating is acceptable.[8]

UK: A large-scale interview study in the 1990s found that overall 91% of the children had been hit; only 25% of babies aged under one had never been smacked by their mothers, and 14% of one year olds had been smacked with “moderate severity”. In two-parent families where both parents were interviewed, one fifth of the children had been hit with an implement and over one third had experienced a punishment rated as “severe” (punishment which was intended to, had the potential to or actually did cause physical and/or psychological injury or harm to the child).[9]

The European Social Charter of the Council of Europe

10.       The European Committee of Social Rights, monitoring member states’ compliance with the European Social Charter and Revised Social Charter, stated in 2001 that: “Article 17 requires a prohibition in legislation against any form of violence against children, whether at school, in other institutions, in their home or elsewhere. It furthermore considers that any other form of degrading punishment or treatment of children must be prohibited in legislation and combined with adequate sanctions in penal or civil law.[10]

11.       The Committee has for some years been enquiring about legislation and practice to protect children from ill-treatment under Articles 7 and 17 of the Charters. In its 2001 statement, the Committee notes that the Committee on the Rights of the Child, monitoring States’ compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, consistently recommends that states should prohibit all corporal punishment, including in the family, in line with the Convention (see paragraph 20). The European Committee of Social Rights also notes the 1998 landmark judgment of the European Court of Human Rights which found that the beating of a young English boy by his stepfather amounted to degrading punishment in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Court unanimously found that the UK Government was responsible because its domestic law, allowing “reasonable chastisement”, failed to provide adequate protection (see paragraph 16).

12.       The European Committee of Social Rights also observes that corporal punishment has been explicitly prohibited by law in several member states (see paragraph 25 below) and that recommendations of the Committee of Ministers have condemned corporal punishment and other degrading treatment as a means of “education” or discipline (see paragraph 23).

13.       Emphasising the inequality of legal protection available to children as compared with adults in many countries, the Committee states: “The Committee does not find it acceptable that a society which prohibits any form of physical violence between adults would accept that adults subject children to physical violence. The Committee does not consider that there can be any educational value in corporal punishment of children that cannot be otherwise achieved.”

14.       Moreover, in a field where the available statistics show a constant increase in the number of cases of ill-treatment of children reported to the police and prosecutors, it is evident that additional measures to come to terms with this problem are necessary. To prohibit any form of corporal punishment of children, is an important measure for the education of the population in this respect in that it gives a clear message about what society considers to be acceptable. It is a measure that avoids discussions and concerns as to where the borderline would be between what might be acceptable corporal punishment and what is not.

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

15.       Successive decisions of the European Commission on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights have found that corporal punishment of children breaches the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: first in the 1970s as a sentence of the courts for juvenile offenders; then in schools, including private schools; and most recently within the family home.[11] Decisions and judgments have emphasised the state’s duty to protect children and their human rights wherever they are. Other decisions have confirmed that banning all corporal punishment in the home is a legitimate interference and does not breach parents’ or others’ rights to respect for family life or religious freedom.

16.       In September 1998, the European Court unanimously found that corporal punishment of a young English boy by his stepfather had breached article 3. Prosecution of the stepfather in a UK court had failed on the grounds that the punishment was “reasonable chastisement”. The Court found that the UK was responsible because the domestic law allowing “reasonable chastisement” failed to provide children with adequate protection, including “effective deterrence”. The Court ordered the UK to pay £10,000 compensation to the boy, who had been repeatedly hit with a garden cane.

17.       The judgment cites articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, including article 19 which requires states to protect children from “all forms of physical or mental violence” while in the care of parents and others (see paragraph 19).

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

18.       The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. By 2001 this Convention had been ratified by 191 States – including all member-states of the Council of Europe. It is the most ratified international human rights treaty and this gives its detailed principles and standards a particular authority in international law.

19.       The UNCRC is the first treaty to address directly protection of children from violence. Article 19 of the Convention requires states to take “all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s) legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child...”.

20.       The Committee on the Rights of the Child is the monitoring body for the UNCRC and started to examine reports from States Parties to the Convention in 1993. From early on, it showed particular concern over persisting legal and social acceptance of corporal punishment of children, in their homes, schools, other institutions and penal systems.

21.       The Committee has consistently stated that corporal punishment of children, within the family and in any other setting, is not compatible with the Convention and has recommended prohibition of all corporal punishment and education campaigns to encourage positive, non-violent child-rearing and education to more than 130 States in all continents, including industrialised and developing countries.[12]

The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers recommendations condemning corporal punishment

22.       The Committee of Ministers first condemned corporal punishment of children in a recommendation to member states on violence in the family adopted in 1985. The recommendation notes in its preamble that “the defence of the family involves the protection of all its members against any form of violence, which all too often occurs among them”. Violence affects “in particular children on the one side and women on the other, though in differing ways” and “children are entitled to special protection by society against any form of discrimination or oppression and against any abuse of authority in the family and other institutions”. The recommendation proposes that member states should “review their legislation on the power to punish children in order to limit or indeed prohibit corporal punishment, even if violation of such a prohibition does not necessarily entail a criminal penalty”. The explanatory memorandum to the recommendation describes corporal punishment as “an evil which must at least be discouraged as a first step towards outright prohibition. It is the very assumption that corporal punishment of children is legitimate that opens the way to all kinds of excesses and makes the traces and symptoms of such punishment acceptable to third parties.”[13]

23.       In a 1990 recommendation to member states on “Social measures concerning violence within the family”, the Committee notes that “trends towards the democratisation of the family, implying respect for members of the family as individuals with equal rights and equal opportunities, can help to discourage violence”. Under “Measures for children”, the recommendation states: “The general condemnation of corporal punishment and other forms of degrading treatment as a means of education, and of the need for violence-free education, should be emphasised.”[14]

24.       In 1993, in a recommendation on “The medico-social aspects of child abuse” the Committee of Ministers, noting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, urges member states “to emphasise the rights of all children and young people to freedom from abuse and the need to change patterns of upbringing and behaviour which threaten this” and “to minimise levels of violence within society and the resort to violence in child-rearing practices”.[15]

The progress of law reform prohibiting all corporal punishment

25.       The human rights standards established by the Council of Europe mechanisms and by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child require abolition of all corporal punishment and other degrading treatment or punishment. By March 2004, it appears that at least 12 member states have legislation which clearly prohibits all corporal punishment of children, including in the family: Austria (1989), Bulgaria (2000), Croatia (1999), Cyprus (1994), Denmark (1997), Finland (1983), Germany (2000), Iceland (2003), Latvia (1998), Norway (1987), Sweden (1979), Ukraine (2002). In at least another nine states, the penal law prohibits assault and there is no defence in legislation for assaulting children in the name of discipline – but in practice the law is not interpreted as prohibiting all parental corporal punishment.

26.       These are the essential legal steps for prohibiting all corporal punishment:

a.                  Ensuring there are no existing defences, in statute or common law, that justify corporal punishment by parents or others;

b.                  Ensuring that the criminal law on assault applies equally to punitive assaults on children;

c.                  Enacting an explicit prohibition of all corporal punishment and of all other degrading or humiliating treatment or punishment of children, normally in civil law;

d.                  Providing guidance on appropriate enforcement of these laws which focuses on protection and promotion of the human rights of children in general and on the best interests of affected children in particular.

27.       Corporal punishment in schools and in penal systems for young offenders has been prohibited throughout Europe, although enforcement is not uniformly effective. Many states have also prohibited corporal punishment in residential institutions. All states have legislation prohibiting severe assaults by parents and other carers, but in many there are defences for parents who use less severe forms of corporal punishment, and where parental corporal punishment remains lawful, this will extend to foster-carers and some other informal carers, unless there is legislation explicitly prohibiting it.

The process of eliminating corporal punishment

28.       The process of law reform to end parental corporal punishment in Europe started almost 50 years ago in 1957 in Sweden, when the criminal law provision excusing parents who caused minor injuries through physical punishment was removed. In 1966 Sweden removed a provision allowing “reprimands” from its parenthood code. Sweden went on to become the first country in the world to explicitly prohibit all corporal punishment in its family law in 1979, when a provision was added to the Parenthood and Guardianship Code which now reads: Children are entitled to care, security and a good upbringing. Children are to be treated with respect for their person and individuality and may not be subjected to corporal punishment or any other humiliating treatment”.

29.       Explicit law reform prohibiting all corporal punishment and other degrading punishment or treatment sends a vital message to children, parents and the public. The purpose of this law is primarily educational: to send a clear message that hitting children is as unacceptable and unlawful as hitting adults. Prosecuting parent is very seldom in the interests of their children and there is no likelihood of prosecutions of parents for minor assaults, any more than there is between adults. On the other hand, removing any existing defences or justifications for instance will make prosecution easier in those few cases in which it is necessary to protect children.

30.       There is ample evidence now from some member states that it is possible to change attitudes and practice within families and to very substantially reduce violence against children within the family if law reform is linked to sustained awareness-raising and public education.[16]

31.       First, the law needs to be well-publicised and clearly and positively interpreted by politicians, community leaders and the judiciary as prohibiting all corporal punishment and other degrading punishment or treatment of children. There needs to be ongoing awareness-raising of children’s rights to protection and public and parent education to promote positive, non-violent forms of child-rearing and discipline. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states which have ratified it (all member states of the Council of Europe) to “make the principles and provisions of the Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike” (article 42).

32.       In all states there are health and welfare programmes which target future and new parents. Promotion of understanding of the law and children’s rights to protection can be built into these, together with information on child development and the dangers of corporal punishment. Those working with young children in day care can practice and promote positive discipline. In various member states, non-governmental organisations have developed public education campaigns against corporal punishment which governments can learn from, support and extend. The media can play a crucial role in supporting awareness-raising and public education, through news items, documentaries, educational programmes and specialist parenting magazines.

33.       These are some of the key educational components in working to eliminate corporal punishment:

  • Ensuring comprehensive awareness-raising of the prohibition of all corporal punishment and other inhuman or degrading treatment of children among children and all who live and work with them and among the general public;

  • Ensuring comprehensive awareness-raising of children’s human rights, including the right to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity;

  • Promoting positive, non-violent forms of child-rearing, conflict resolution and education to future parents, parents and other carers and to the general public;

  • Ensuring that children and young people have the opportunity to express their views and participate in planning and in actions to eliminate corporal punishment;

  • Ensuring that advice and appropriate support is available for all parents and in particular for those who are finding child-rearing stressful;

  • Ensuring that children have access to confidential advice and counselling as well as advocacy to challenge violence against them;

  • Ensuring effective and appropriate forms of protection for children who may be particularly vulnerable to harmful and humiliating punishment – for example disabled children and children in institutions and in prison;

  • Ensuring that corporal punishment and all other harmful and humiliating forms of discipline of children come within the definition of domestic or family violence and that strategies to eliminate punitive violence against children are built into strategies challenging domestic or family violence;

  • Monitoring the effectiveness of abolition by regular research into children’s experience of violence in their homes, schools and other activities, and of child protection services and of parents’ experience of and attitudes to violence against children.


Reporting committee: Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee

Reference to committee: Doc. 9716, Ref No. 2816 of 31 March 2003

Draft recommendation unanimously adopted on 1st June 2004

Members of the committee: MM. Glesener(Chair), Surjan (1st Vice-Chair), Mrs McCafferty (2nd Vice-Chair), Mr Maštálka (3rd Vice-Chair), Mrs Ahlqvist, MM. Arnau, Arzilli, Mrs Azevedo, Mrs Bargholtz, Mrs Belohorská, MM. Berzinš, Bojovic, Mrs Bolognesi, MM. Braghis, Brunhart, Buzatu (alternate :Ionescu), Yüksel Çavusoglu, Chernyshenko, Christodoulides, Mrs Cliveti, MM. Colombier, Cox (alternate : Mr Vis), Daban Alsina, Mrs D’Amato (alternate : Mr Falzon), MM. Dees, Donabauer, Dragassakis, Evin, Flynn, Geveaux, Giertych, Glukhovskiy, Gregory (alternate : Mrs Ormonde), MM. Gülçiçek, Irfan Gündüz, Gusenbauer, Hegyi, Herrera, Hladiy, Høie, Mrs Hurskainen, MM. Jacquat, Klympush, Baroness Knight of Collingtree (alternate : Mr Hancock), MM. Kocharyan, Letica, Mrs Lotz, MM. Makhachev, Markowski, Mrs Milicevic, Mrs Milotinova, MM. Mladenov, Monfils, Mrs Oskina, MM. Ouzkı, Padilla, Padobnik, Popa, Poty, Poulsen, Provera (alternate : Tirelli), Pysarenko, Mrs Radulovic-Šcepanovic, MM. Rauber, Riester, Rigoni, Rizzi, Mrs Roseira, Mrs Saks, MM. Schmied (alternate : Dupraz), Seyidov, Mrs Shakhtakhtinskaya, MM. Skarphédinsson, Stathakis, Sysas, Mrs Tevdoradze, Mrs Topalli, Mrs Vermot-Mangold, Mrs Wegener, MM Van Winsen, Zernovski, ZZ…

NB: The names of those members present at the meeting appear in bold.

Secretariat of the Committee: Mr Mezei, Ms Nollinger Ms Meunier, Ms Karanjac, Mr Chahbazian


[1] The Rapporteur is most grateful to Mr Peter Newell, Joint Co-ordinator for the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, for having helped to draft this explanatory memorandum.

[2] See, for example, discussion on husbands’ rights to beat their wives “not in violent or cruel manner”, in Blackstone’s Commentaries, page 445.

[3] Pecnik, N. (2003), “Intergenerational transmission of child abuse” (in Croatian) (Slap: Jastrebarsko).

[4] Agathonos-Georgopoulou, H. (1997), ‘Child Maltreatment in Greece: A Review of Research’, “Child Abuse Review”, vol.6, pp.257-271.

[5] Fluderska, G. et al (2001), “The Problem of Child Abuse in Poland: Attitudes and Experiences” (Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation).

[6] Alexandrescu, G. et al. (2000), “Child abuse and neglect “(Save the Children Romania).

[7] Romanian Government, Save the Children & UNICEF (2000), “National Study on sexual abuse of children” (Save the ChildrenRomania).

[8] The prevalence of violence in Slovakia, Bratislava, in progress.

[9] Gavin Nobes and others, “Physical punishment of children in two-parent families”, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 2(2), 1997, pp. 271 – 281; also summary presented as a poster by Dr Marjorie Smith at the Fifth European Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect), Oslo, May 1995.

[10] European Committee of Social Rights, General observations regarding articles 7 paragraph 10 and 17, Conclusions XV-2, Vol. 1, General Introduction, p. 26.

[11] European Court of Human Rights, Tyrer v. UK, 1978; Campbell and Cosans v. UK, 1982; Costello-Roberts v. UK, 1993; A v. UK, 1998. All judgments of the Court are available at http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/hudoc/

[12] Committee on the Rights of the Child : documents of the Committee including its concluding observations on States Parties’ reports under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, are available at http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/6/crc/. The website of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children includes the text of all the Committee’s recommendations relating to corporal punishment, analysed by session and by state : www.endcorporalpunishment.org

[13] Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, Recommendation on “Violence in the family”: Recommendation No. R (85) 4 ; all recommendations are available at http://www.coe.int/t/E/Committee_of_Ministers/Home/Documents/

[14] Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, Recommendation on “Social measures concerning violence within the family” : Recommendation No. R (90) 2.

[15] Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, Recommendation on “The medico-social aspects of child abuse” : Recommendation No. R (93) 2.

[16] The effects of reforms in Sweden have been particularly well-documented. See “Ending CorporalPunishment: Swedish experience of efforts to prevent all forms of violence against children – and the results”, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden, 2001; Joan E Durrant, “A Generation Without Smacking: The impact of Sweden’s ban on physical punishment”, Save the Children UK, 2000. Also in Germany when explicit prohibition was implemented in 2000, there is research showing significant changes in awareness and attitudes over a short period : Professor Kai D. Bussmann.