Children protected from all corporal punishment in Estonia

Another European state has joined the list of those where corporal punishment of children is prohibited in all settings, including the home. The Estonian Parliament has enacted the Child Welfare Act 2014, which prohibits corporal punishment in article 24 (unofficial translation):

“(1) It is prohibited to neglect a child, to mentally, emotionally, physically or sexually abuse a child, including to humiliate, frighten or physically punish a child, and also to punish a child in any other way that endangers the mental, emotional or physical health of a child.

(4) The use of physical force is only permissible for the purpose of this Act to restrict the movement or movements of a child to the extent that is proportionate and necessary to avert the danger either threatening the child or coming from the child. It is not permitted to use physical force for the purpose of punishment.”

The new Act comes into force on 1 January 2016.

With this latest reform, there are now 43 states worldwide prohibiting all corporal punishment, including in the home – 27 of them in Europe.

For further information, see the states prohibiting page, and the detailed country report on Estonia.