Cross-posted from The Global Sociology Blog.
(Via Le Monde)
Today, the Council of Europe launched a campaign against most forms of corporal punishment, including slapping, spanking, hitting, mistreating, humiliating and any other practice that damage the dignity of a child. The campaign will consist in TV ads, the publication of a manual for parents on violence-free parenting as well as materials for parliamentarians of the Council’s 47 member countries.
Greece, Holland, Portugal and Spain have already banned all forms of corporal punishment. Most progressive groups support such bans whereas the “family values” crowd is against it, surprise surprise. After all, we all know that all social problems would be solved if parents were allowed to beat the stuffing out of their kids on a regular basis… that and prayer in schools of course. These conservative groups support an authoritarian ideology / parenting style and nothing says imposition of power in a hierarchical environment more than corporal punishment against weaker members of the group.
This campaign is part of a larger initiative to promote children’s rights and the protection of children from violence in Europe. But considering the comments to the article in Le Monde, it’s an uphill battle (for most commenters, the only way to impose limits to children and teach them to follow the rules is through physical coercion… oy). We have a long way to go to become civilized!