The 42 Countries That Have Banned Corporal Punishment

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Nov. 20, 2014 – As the world celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Child Rights Convention, less than 10 percent of children around the globe are protected by laws banning corporal punishment.

But that’s almost double the amount of children protected from last year with Argentina and Brazil among four of the countries enacting laws in 2014 to protect minors from violence in the home and school.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child defines corporal punishment as “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however slight,” and it calls physical punishment “invariably degrading.”

Sweden was the world’s first country to ban corporal punishment in 1979 while San Marino became the most recent when its parliament passed a bill in June this year.

A full list of countries that have enacted laws prohibiting violence against children in the home and school is below, courtesy of the Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment. Most recent first:

San Marino (2014)

Argentina (2014)

Bolivia (2014)

Brazil (2014)

Malta (2014)

Cabo Verde (2013)

Honduras (2013)

TFYR Macedonia (2013)

South Sudan (2011)

Albania (2010)

Congo, Republic of (2010)

Kenya (2010)

Tunisia (2010)

Poland (2010)

Liechtenstein (2008)

Luxembourg (2008)

Republic of Moldova (2008)

Costa Rica (2008)

Togo (2007)

Spain (2007)

Venezuela (2007)

Uruguay (2007)

Portugal (2007)

New Zealand (2007)

Netherlands (2007)

Greece (2006)

Hungary (2005)

Romania (2004)

Ukraine (2004)

Iceland (2003)

Turkmenistan (2002)

Germany (2000)

Israel (2000)

Bulgaria (2000)

Croatia (1999)

Latvia (1998)

Denmark (1997)

Cyprus (1994)

Austria (1989)

Norway (1987)

Finland (1983)

Sweden (1979)

Related Stories: Ireland Becomes 47th Country to Ban Corporal Punishment

The 51 Countries That Have Banned Corporal Punishment 

  • Rahul Iyer

    Funny how few outside of Europe, if any, are on the list. There are just a few in Asia, few in Africa, and none in North America.

  • Genine Hopkins

    As a victim of domestic violence as a child, it took me years to understand why I chose partners who were equally abusive. It also created an anger that simmered deep within me for almost two decades. I swore never to raise my hand to my own children and succeeded at this; they are now in their 20s and never lived with fear of a parent.

    This is incredibly important to our global society, to end children’s designation as chattel of the parents. While child rearing is private, beating is not. It permeates their adult life. It perpetuates violence. I am glad to see so many countries moving toward this goal.

  • onah oko

    Nigeria is not listed here. So bad!

    • jj

      neither is Canada…sad