Slovenia prohibits all corporal punishment of children

Originally posted 7 November 2016. Updated 10 November 2016 to reflect Government confirmation that prohibition applies in all settings, including all alternative care and day care settings.

On 25 October 2016, the Slovenian National Assembly passed Law No. 542-08/16-9/2.6 Amending and Supplementing the Law on Prevention of Family Violence (ZPND-A). The new law prohibits violence in the family and includes corporal punishment of children in the definition of violence (article 3). Article 4 explicitly prohibits corporal punishment of children, inserting a new article 3a into the existing law, which states (unofficial translation):

(1) Corporal punishment of children is prohibited.

(2) Corporal punishment of children is any physical, cruel or degrading punishment of children or any other act with the intention to punish children, containing elements of physical, psychological or sexual violence or neglect as an educational method.

The new law, which enters into force on the fifteenth day following its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, also requires funds to be allocated from the national budget for training in the field of violence, particularly violence against children, and to finance positive parenting programmes (article 14).

Prior to this reform, corporal punishment was lawful in the home, alternative care and some day care settings. The Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs has confirmed that while the law relates specifically to family violence, article 3a which prohibits corporal punishment of children is general in its application to all settings, and so prohibition is absolute, including in all alternative care and day care settings.

This reform makes Slovenia the 51st state worldwide to fully prohibit all corporal punishment of children; it is the 30th Council of Europe member state and the 21st European Union state to do so.

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