Many nations have laws that ban parents from spanking their children. Despite much political discussion, Switzerland does not. This week, the government of the canton of Jura voted against introducing such a law, reported Le Matin this week.
More than 60 nations have made smacking children illegal after Sweden led the way by banning it in 1979. Bans then quickly spread to Norway and Finland. In the 1980s and 90s, more European countries outlawed the practice. In 2000, the trend moved beyond Europe when Israel introduced a ban on smacking. Since then a number of Asian, African and Latin American nations have followed.
The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children lists 63 nations that have made smacking children illegal in any setting, including at home. Corporal punishment in schools is now illegal in a total of 135 countries.
According to the global initiative to end corporal punishment more than 300 studies over 50 years involving hundreds and thousands of children show associations between corporal punishment and a wide range of negative outcomes, while no studies have found evidence of any benefits.
This week the canton of Jura was poised to be the first canton in Switzerland to ban the practice. However, with 38 votes against and only 20 in favour a ban in the canton remained elusive.
In the end a majority were persuaded that any decision on corporal punishment should be decided at the federal level. The canton has neither the jurisdiction or ability to implement the law required to satisfy the motion, said the canton’s government.