Graphic Ad Supports French Ban On Parents Smacking Their Kids
French senators on Tuesday passed into law an anti-smacking bill that prohibits the use of violence in the education of children, although there will be no punishment for parents who break the law.
The law adds to the Civil Code that mayors must mention in town hall weddings a text saying, "parental authority is exercised without physical or psychological violence."
The text will also appear on the front page of children's health notebooks.
It reverses parental rights to discipline children using corporal punishment granted under Napoleon in the early 1800s.
According to charity Foundation For Childhood (Fondation Pour l'Enfanc), 85 percent of French parents have resorted to the use of violence in education, and 75 percent of child abuse is the result of such punishments. The study showed that 50 percent of parents hit their child before they turn two.
During the debate, the foundation ran a graphic ad that shocked French viewers. The ad showed, in slow-motion, the physical impact of a slap to a child's face.
Following the bill's passage, the government will prepare a report about parental violence and propose measures to educate parents by September 2019.
France becomes the 56th country to adopt a law totally prohibiting educational violence, which is already effective in 22 of the EU's 28 member states. Sweden, a pioneer in the field, adopted the measure in 1979.
It is not banned in Australia.