Corporal Punishment of Children: A Human Rights Violation

Susan H. Bitensky, CORPORAL PUNISHMENT OF CHILDREN: A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION, Transnational Publishers, 2006

MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 04-04

Posted: 10 Sep 2006  

Susan H. Bitensky

Michigan State University College of Law

Abstract

The core of this book is a detailed analysis of the status of corporal punishment of children, including so-called reasonable 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 fifteen nations that absolutely ban all corporal punishment of children (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and Israel) and exemplars of domestic laws in the many countries that still permit some physical chastisement of children (United States and Canada).

Because a good number of readers may be surprised to learn that this disciplinary practice has become a human rights violation, the book also presents 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 because they have uniquely pedagogical and therapeutic roles and give permanence to humanity's hard won understanding about protecting the young from violence and legalized violence in particular.

Suggested Citation

Bitensky, Susan H., Corporal Punishment of Children: A Human Rights Violation. Susan H. Bitensky, CORPORAL PUNISHMENT OF CHILDREN: A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION, Transnational Publishers, 2006; MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 04-04 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=929062

Susan H. Bitensky (Contact Author)

Michigan State University College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

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