Prohibition of all corporal punishment in Luxembourg (2008)

Article 2 of the Law on Children and the Family, adopted in December 2008, states:

Within families and educative communities, physical and sexual violence, intergenerational transgressions, inhuman and degrading treatment and genital mutilation are prohibited.” (unofficial translation)

A review of the law, parliamentary debate and official statements, including the opinion of the State Council (Conseil d’Etat), confirms that the new law was intended to prohibit all corporal punishment in the home and is interpreted in this way. Further details of the passage of the law can be found here.

There is no legal defence in the Penal Code for the use of corporal punishment in “disciplining” or “correcting” children and the right of paternal punishment in the Civil Code was abolished in 1939. This means that legal provisions against assault apply to children as to adults. Article 401bis of the Penal Code punishes violence against children with imprisonment and a fine, with the exception of “light assault”, which is punishable with a fine under articles 563 and 564.

During debate on the bill, the State Council affirmed that the intention of the new law was to ensure prohibition of corporal punishment of children and referred to the Council of Europe’s recommendation on the issue (Recommendation 1666 (2004), Europe-wide ban on corporal punishment of children). The State Council was of the opinion that this was already the case under the Penal Code (Opinion of the State Council, 17 June 2008, report no. 5754/9). The Parliamentary Commission rejected this argument and decided that it was necessary to specify in the new law that corporal punishment of children within the family is prohibited.


Further information

  • Global Initiative country report for Luxembourg
  • Law on Children and the Family 2008 (French)
This is an automatic translation service. Extracts from laws, treaty body recommendations and Universal Periodic Review outcomes are unofficial translations.