Corporal Punishment of Children: A Human Rights Violation

The core of this book is a detailed analysis of the status of corporal punishment of children, including Areasonable spankings by parents, under international human rights law. The analysis leads compellingly to the conclusion that such punishment is indeed a human rights violation, consonant with modern norms about right and decent treatment of juveniles.
The book further provides a comparative analysis between the domestic laws of the seventeen nations that ban all corporal punishment of children (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Israel, Italy, and Portugal) and examples of the domestic laws in the countries that still permit some physical chastisement of children (United States and Canada).
Because it is anticipated that a good number of readers will be surprised to learn that this disciplinary practice has become a human rights law violation, the book also engages in an in-depth exegesis of the psychological evidence and historical and philosophical reasons warranting prohibition of all corporal punishment of children as an imperative policy choice. The work probes as well why, once that choice is made, it is essential to use legal bans on the punishment inasmuch as they have uniquely effective pedagogical and therapeutic roles and give some permanence to humanity’s hard won understanding about protecting the young from violence.

Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.

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Susan Bitensky is Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law.

Acknowledgments; Introduction;
Chapter I, Corporal Punishment of Children Inherently Has Attributes That Are Morally Objectionable;
Chapter II, Corporal Punishment of Children Violates International Human Rights Laws;
Chapter III, Binding Domestic Laws of Countries Prohibiting All Corporal Punishment of Children;
Chapter IV, Nonbinding Domestic Laws of Countries Prohibiting All Corporal Punishment of Children: The Peculiar Situations of Italy and Portugal;
Chapter V, Examples of Binding Domestic Laws of Countries Permitting Some Corporal Punishment of Children;
Chapter VI, The Utility of Law in Ameliorating Adverse Outcomes Associated With Corporal Punishment of Children and in Ultimately Eliminating Such Punishment; Afterward; Bibliography; Cases; Treaties and International Declarations; Index.
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