European court says France not doing enough to curb smacking

Half of French parents hit their children before they are two years old

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The Independent Online

A top European human rights body says France isn't doing enough to prevent smacking and other kinds of corporal punishment of children.

The Council of Europe says France is violating the European social charter because French law doesn't prohibit parents and others from corporal punishment of children in a "sufficiently clear, binding and precise manner."

The 47-member body based in eastern Strasbourg took the decision in September. It was published Wednesday, after the expiration of a four-month notification period for parties involved.

It follows a 2013 complaint by the Association for the Protection of All Children against seven countries.

Council spokeswoman Estelle Steiner said rulings will be announced in May about Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. She said Cyprus has since banned all types of corporal punishment.

Giles Lazimi, an anti-spanking campaigner, told the Guardian: "We’re supposed to be the country of the Rights of Man and we can’t even respect the rights of children. Studies have shown that 50% of French parents hit their children before the age of two. "