Smacking your child outlawed in Spain

Reuters, December 20, 2007 at 7:00 PM EST:

MADRID — Spanish parents will be banned from smacking their children, congress voted on Thursday.

Until now parents have been allowed to "reasonably and moderately correct" their children, but deputies deleted that clause and rewrote Spain’s civil code to make clear a child’s physical and psychological integrity should be respected.

Spain’s Socialist government, which pushed through the change, has often been accused by the conservative Popular Party opposition of undermining traditional values and the family with policies such as legalizing gay marriage.

Popular Party deputies, who voted against the change, said the measure would leave parents powerless, but Socialists said the law shut the door to any chance of misunderstanding.

Around 16 European countries have already banned smacking at school and in the home. In October the British government rejected the banning of corporal punishment at home as long as parents did not leave bruises, grazes or swelling.

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