France must prohibit all corporal punishment of children to comply with human rights ruling

France is in violation of the Revised European Social Charter due to its lack of prohibition of all corporal punishment of children, the European Committee on Social Rights has ruled.

In a decision released on 4 March 2015, the Committee noted that there is no express and comprehensive prohibition on all forms of corporal punishment of children in French legislation. It recalled that, when examining France’s implementation of the Charter, it has three times found that France is in violation of article 17 of the Charter because of the lack of prohibition of corporal punishment.

The unanimous decision states:

“The European Committee of Social Rights notes that there is now a wide consensus at both the European and international level among human rights bodies that the corporal punishment of children should be expressly and comprehensively prohibited in law”.

In the decision, the Committee recalls its consistent interpretation of the Charter as regards corporal punishment of children, laid down most recently in its 2006 decision on a complaint against Portugal, that to comply with Article 17, states’ domestic law must prohibit and penalize all forms of violence against children and that the relevant provisions must be sufficiently clear, binding and precise to preclude the courts from refusing to apply them to violence against children.

Details of the legality of corporal punishment of children in France are available here.

Full details of the decision and other documents relating to the complaint are available here.