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Research in countries which have prohibited all corporal punishment:

Countdown to universal prohibition

Click here for more information about the law in states which have prohibited all corporal punishment.

Comparative research.

Research in individual countries.

 Introduction – the human rights foundation for prohibition

This section of the website provides information on research conducted in countries that have outlawed all corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home. Governments, quite reasonably, want to base their policies on “what works”, to ensure that they are as far as possible evidence-based. But no-one asks whether torture works or if wife-beating improves marital relations – protection from these abuses is a human right and does not depend on research. Similarly, the human right of children to legal protection from all forms of corporal punishment is recognised under international and regional human rights treaties: countries which have ratified these treaties are legally obliged to enact laws to prohibit corporal punishment. Research is not necessary to “prove” the need for law reform. It can, however, guide governments on how to maximise the effectiveness of law reform, to ensure implementation is in the best interests of children and to measure whether its message of the need for non-violent childrearing is translating into reality.

 Comparative research

A 2013 study compared approval of corporal punishment in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine through surveys of 500-1,000 people in each country. It found that in some countries which have prohibited all corporal punishment, the proportion of people believing that corporal punishment should never be used had increased since a similar survey in 2005. In Bulgaria (which prohibited all corporal punishment in 2000), it had risen from 47% to 54%, in Latvia (which prohibited in 1998) from 39% to 51%, in Moldova (which prohibited in 2008) from 37% to 50% and in Poland (which prohibited in 2010) from 35% to 47%.
(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

A study carried out between October and December 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria and Germany, which have prohibited corporal punishment, and France and Spain which had not prohibited corporal punishment at the time of the study (Spain prohibited all corporal punishment in December 2007). Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 

Nearly all forms of corporal punishment were used significantly less in countries which had prohibited than in those where corporal punishment was still lawful. For example, while over half of French and Spanish parents had “spanked” their child’s bottom, only 4% of Swedish parents and around 17% of Austrian and German parents had done so. Nearly half of Spanish and French parents had used severe corporal punishment (a resounding slap on the face, beating with an object or severe beating) on more than one occasion, compared with 14% of Austrian and German parents and 3.4% of Swedish parents.

A longitudinal study carried out in Germany from 1996 to 2008 showed that the number of German parents believing that corporal punishment is legally admissible declined for almost all forms of corporal punishment throughout this time. For example in 1996, 83% of parents surveyed believed that a “mild slap on the face” was legally admissible, but by 2008, only 25% of parents thought so. Corporal punishment was prohibited in Germany in 2000. The researcher stated that “legal prohibition combined with continuous public discussion on nonviolent childrearing can influence beliefs about what is legally admissible over the course of time” (p. 13).

Parents in nations where corporal punishment was prohibited at the time of the study showed less acceptance of justifications for corporal punishment: 20% of Spanish and 27% of French parents agreed that “a slap on the face is sometimes the best/quickest way to deal with a situation”, compared with 15% of German, 13% of Austrian, and 4% of Swedish parents.

The data was analysed to examine the influence of parents’ knowledge of the law and attitudes and beliefs on their use of corporal punishment. In Sweden, Austria and Germany, parents’ knowledge of the prohibition of corporal punishment was one of four factors which most affected whether or not they used corporal punishment. The other factors were parents’ approval of corporal punishment, definition of physical violence and experiences of violence during their own childhood.

The study concludes that information campaigns which are not accompanied by law reform are not very effective, while information campaigns which accompany law reform can have a significant effect on attitudes and behaviour, and that “there can no longer be any doubt about the violence-reducing effect of a ban on childrearing violence” (p.20).
(Bussmann, K. D., 2009, The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Download the Report here

A 2002 study of countries that accord children full legal protection from physical punishment gives details of the context of reform, public education measures and research on the effects of reform in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia, Israel and Germany, as well as in Italy (where a Supreme Court ruling banning all corporal punishment is yet to be confirmed in legislation). See below for details of research in individual countries.

The report also discusses common features and differences between the countries, noting that:

  • “Half-measures” (such as unclear law reform or law reform prohibiting only some corporal punishment) to prohibit corporal punishment have been unsuccessful and often led to public and professional confusion.
  • In all countries studied except Finland, majority public opinion was not in favour of reform at the time of the law change. However, introducing legislation can hasten declining support for and use of physical punishment.
  • Public education which is not underpinned by legal reform has limited success. However, public education coupled with law reform can lead to significant shifts in attitudes and behaviours.

The report recommends that more research, including comparative international research, be undertaken into the effects of law reform, that public education be carried out alongside law reform, and that more collaborative work across the European Union take place.
(Boyson, R., 2002, Equal Protection for Children: An overview of the experience of countries that accord children full protection from physical punishment, London: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
www.nspcc.net/Inform/publications/downloads/equalprotectionforchildren_wdf48095.pdf)

 

Research in individual countries which have prohibited

Click here for research on the prevalence of corporal punishment in all states worldwide.

Click below for details of research on the prevalence of corporal punishment and attitudes towards it in the following countries which have prohibited all corporal punishment. Please note that research published since prohibition was achieved does not necessarily reflect the impact of law reform – for example, some asks adults retrospectively about their childhood experiences of corporal punishment. No research has been identified for Hungary, Malta or South Sudan.

Albania (2010)

Austria (1989)

Bolivia (2014)

Brazil (2014)

Bulgaria (2000)

Congo, Rep. of (2010)

Costa Rica (2008)

Croatia (1999)

Cyprus (1994)

Denmark (1997)

Finland (1983)

Germany (2000)

Greece (2006)

Honduras (2013)

Iceland (2003)

Israel (2000)

Kenya (2010)

Latvia (1998)

Liechtenstein (2008)

Luxembourg (2008)

Netherlands (2007)

New Zealand (2007)

Norway (1987)

Poland (2010)

Portugal (2007)

Republic of Moldova (2008)

Romania (2004)

Spain (2007)

Sweden (1979)

TFYR Macedonia (2013)

Togo (2007)

Tunisia (2010)

Turkmenistan (2012)

Ukraine (2004)

Uruguay (2007)

Venezuela (2007)

Albania (prohibition achieved in 2010)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 52% of children aged 2-14 experienced violent discipline (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in 2005-2006. Half of children experienced physical punishment while a much smaller percentage (6%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 70% of children. Nine per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 12% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 55% compared to 48%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 57% of children aged 5-9 compared to 46% of children aged 2-4 and 49% of children aged 10-14. Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to household size or engagement in child labour.
(UNICEF, 2010, Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to statistics from UNICEF on violence in the family, in 2005-2006 children with disabilities were more likely to experience severe physical punishment: 12% of disabled children aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement, compared with 8% of non-disabled children.
(UNICEF, 2009, Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

A 2006 study involving 1,500 children, 1,500 parents and 1,500 teachers in eight districts of Albania found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in homes and schools. Common forms of violence including pulling children’s ears (experienced by 60.1% of children at least once at home within the last year, and 38.5% of children in school within the last year), pinching (55.7% at home and 36.9% at school), hitting children with an object (53% at home and 51.8% at school), smacking with an open hand on the body (52.6% at home and 34.3% at school) and head (49.2% at home and 35.6% at school. When asked about the kinds of violence they experienced often, children mentioned having their ears pulled (18.5% experienced this often at home and 38.9% at school), being pinched (15.9% at home and 23.5% at school) and being smacked on the head (15.2% at home and 26.3% at school). At school, approximately one in three children also reported often being forcibly pushed/pulled and often being hit on the body with on object. Other reported forms of violence included being punched in the head (7.6% of children at home), grabbed by the throat (12.2% at home, 9.6% at school) and bitten (19.1% at home, 12.8% at school). 27.7% of children had been bruised by violence at home, 24.5% had been made to bleed, 21.9% had been made dizzy, and 7.9% had lost consciousness. Violence in social care institutions was found to be particularly frequent and severe. Reported forms of violence in institutions included being kicked (78.9%), smacked in the head (68.4%), hit with an object (68.4%), punched on the body (66.7%), grabbed by the throat (35.2%), and punched in the head (25%). 44.5% of children in institutions had been made to bleed by corporal punishment, 42.2% had been made dizzy, and 16.7% had lost consciousness.
(Tamo, A. and Karaj, T., 2006, Violence Against Children in Albania, Tirana: Human Development Centre)

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Austria (prohibition achieved in 1989)

Research published since prohibition
A 2013 study found that 18-29 year olds, who grew up mostly after prohibition, were less likely to have been slapped or smacked on the bottom by their parents than people over 30.
(Spectra Marktforschung (2013), Gewaltverbot in der Erziehung: trendmessung zu 2009)

A study involving focus groups and face to face interviews with 104 13-22 year olds with experience of youth custody in Austria, Cyprus, England, the Netherlands and Romania found that in Austria, young people in custody experienced solitary confinement and imprisonment in dark, dirty basement rooms for up to two weeks as punishment. Young people in pre-trial detention described a particular group of prison guards who were considered to be particularly violent, the “Emergency Squad”, who used special grips on young people and carried batons.
(Children’s Rights Alliance for England, 2013, Speaking Freely: Children and Young People in Europe Talk about Ending Violence Against Children in Custody – Research Report, London: CRAE)

A study carried out in 2008 examined the prevalence of corporal punishment and attitudes towards it through interviews with 1,054 Austrian young people aged 12-18, 1,049 Austrian parents and 614 immigrant parents (from Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe) living in Austria. Compared to a similar study in 1991, which involved 380 parents of children aged under 6, the study found that the prevalence of corporal punishment had fallen: in 2008, 31.4% of Austrian mothers of children aged under 6 never used corporal punishment, compared to 8.5% in 1991, and 4.1% used “light” corporal punishment such as slapping and spanking “often”, compared to 30.5% in 1991. A large majority of all the groups interviewed agreed that “a non-violent upbringing is ideal”: 88.3% of young people, 86.2% of Austrian parents and 81.1% of immigrant parents. Ninety-six per cent of young people believed that they had legally defined rights, 78.1% of boys and 84.6% of girls were “sure” that they had a right to an upbringing without violence and 41.2% of boys and 42.1% of girls were aware of the law prohibiting corporal punishment.  Of those who were aware of the law, 62.4% of young people had heard about it at school or other facilities for children, and 70.8% of Austrian and 66.7% of immigrant parents had heard about it in the media (TV, newspapers, radio and cinema).
(Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft, Familie und Jugend, 2009, Familie - kein Platz für Gewalt!(?): 20 Jahre gesetzliches Gewaltverbot in Österreich, Vienna: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft, Familie und Jugend)

A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 

50% of Austrian parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 62% had slapped their child on the bottom. 18% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 4.4% had beaten their child with an object.

30% of Austrian parents never used corporal punishment. 89% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 86% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.
See also ‘Comparative research’ above.
(Bussmann, K. D., 2009, The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Download the Report here

 A survey in 1991-2 commissioned by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Youth and the Family, found that 28.5% of mothers and 26% of fathers occasionally resorted to violence in bringing up their children, while 4% of mothers and 5.2% of fathers frequently used “stronger” forms of violent discipline. Corporal punishment was more common for boys than for girls. More than two thirds of mothers (67.5%) and fathers (68.8% ) rejected beatings as a means of education.
(Federal Ministry of the Environment, Youth and the Family, “Causes and consequences of violence against women and children”, cited in initial state report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 1996, CRC/C/11/Add.14, para.258)

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Bolivia (prohibition achieved in 2014)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
In a 2008 study involving 10,092 women aged 15-49 with children, 48.7% reported that children in their home were physically punished (47.6% by being hit, beaten, spanked or slapped; 1.1% by other physical punishment). In a similar 2003 study, women who had experienced partner violence were more likely to report that children in their home were physically punished: 66% of women who had ever experienced partner violence compared to 50.9% of women who had not.
(Bott, S. et al (2012), Violence Against Women In Latin America And The Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis Of Population-based Data From 12 Countries, Washington DC: Pan American Health Organisation & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Brazil (prohibition achieved in 2014)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
A 2012 study of men’s childhood experiences of violence in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda, which involved men aged 18-59 living in urban settings, found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in all six countries. In Brazil, of the 744 men who participated, 36% reported having been spanked or slapped by a parent in the home during childhood, 6% having been threatened with physical punishment in the home and 8% having been humiliated by someone in their family in front of other people. Four per cent reported having been beaten or physically punished at school by a teacher. The study found that men who had experienced violence, including corporal punishment, during childhood, were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence, hold inequitable gender attitudes, be involved in fights outside the home or robberies, pay for sex and experience low self-esteem and depression, and were less likely to participate in domestic duties, communicate openly with their partners, attend pre-natal visits when their partner is pregnant and/or take paternity leave.
(Contreras, M. et al (2012), Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence, Analyzing Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, Washington DC: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo)

During the 2011 visit of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to Brazil, the Subcommittee received numerous and consistent allegations of ill-treatment of children and young people in police custody, pre-trial detention facilities and penal institutions for children and adolescents, including beatings by staff on the back of the head and other parts of the body with open hands, wood or metal batons, stripping of children and adolescents, forcing them to stand in uncomfortable positions, insults and threats.
(Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2012), Report on the visit of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to Brazil)

A 2010 survey which involved interviews with 4,025 people aged over 16 found that 70.5% of respondents had experienced physical punishment as children, compared to 79.6% in a similar survey in 1999. One in five (20.2%) had experienced physical punishment almost every day or once a week, compared to 23.2% in 1999.
(Cardia, N. (2012), Pesquisa nacional, por amostragem domiciliar, sobre atitudes, normas culturais e valores em relação à violação de direitos humanos e violência: Um estudo em 11 capitais de estado, São Paulo: Núcleo de Estudos da Violência da Universidade de São Paulo)

A report comparing diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) in different countries found that in Brazil, physical punishment is considered by a large number of teachers to be a “therapeutic” treatment for ADHD.
(Reported in Psychiatric News, vol. 46, no. 11, June 3, 2011) 

A large scale comparative study (World Studies of Abuse in the Family Environment (WorldSAFE)) which involved surveys with over 14,000 mothers of children aged under 18, carried out between 1998 and 2003, examined parental discipline in Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Philippines, and the United States. In Brazil, 70% of children experienced “moderate” physical discipline (including being “spanked” on the buttocks, hit with an object, slapped on the face and having hot pepper put in their mouth). Two per cent of children experienced harsh physical “discipline” (including being burnt, beaten up, kicked and smothered). Nearly four children in ten (39%) experienced harsh psychological discipline such as being called names, being cursed and being threatened with abandonment. “Moderate” psychological discipline, including being yelled or screamed at or being refused food was experienced by 77% of children. Non-violent discipline, including explaining why a behaviour was wrong and telling a child to stop, was also widely used (experienced by 96% of children). The study found that rates of harsh physical discipline were dramatically higher in all communities than published rates of official physical abuse in any country, and that rates of physical punishment can vary widely among communities within the same country.
(Runyan, D. et al (2010), “International Variations in Harsh Child Discipline”, Pediatrics, published online 2 August 2010, www.pediatrics.org)

A study on the relationship between severe physical punishment and mental health problems found that 20% of the children (aged 6-17) in the 813 participating households had suffered severe physical punishment (being hit with an object, being kicked, choked, smothered, burnt, scalded, branded, beaten or threatened with a weapon) by one or both parents in the last 12 months.
(Bordin, I. A. et al (2009), “Severe physical punishment: risk of mental health problems for poor urban children in Brazil”, Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, May 2009, vol. 87(5), pp. 336–344)

Surveys carried out in 2002-2004 examined the attitudes of children and adults in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela towards physical punishment. In Brazil, 800 people were surveyed (200 adults and 600 children). Nearly a quarter (23.2%) of the children agreed that physical punishment is “very bad” or “makes children violent”, and 37.2% agreed that physical punishment is “unfair”. Three-quarters of children and adults thought that physical punishment is never necessary.
(Save the Children Sweden & Instituto de Encuestas y Sondeos de Opinión (2005), Sistematización de las Encuestas Sobre la Perceptión del Castigo Físico en Seis Países de America Latina, presentation: Managua, 16 May 2005)

Research in five juvenile detention centres in the State of Rio de Janeiro found that beatings, and impunity for offenders, were common. Verbal violence was also common, and youths experienced lengthy periods of lock-up and being forced to stand for long periods of time in uncomfortable positions.
(Human Rights Watch (2004), “Real dungeons”: Juvenile Detention in the State of Rio de Janeiro, vol.16, no.7)

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Bulgaria (prohibition achieved in 2000)

Research published since prohibition
A study involving 500 people aged 15 and over found that 54% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – a slight increase from the 47% who thought this in a similar survey in 2005. Sixty-two per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child, 43% that they had beaten or hit them and 21% that they had slapped their child on the face. These findings on whether parents had ever used these forms of corporal punishment were similar to those of a 2010 survey which asked identical questions.  
(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

49.9% of respondents to a 2009 survey of 1,000 adults believed that corporal punishment should never be used. This was a slight increase compared to an identical 2005 survey of 994 adults, when 47.2% said that corporal punishment should never be used. 34.8% of respondents in 2009 said that corporal punishment “should not be used in general but in certain situations it is justifiable” and 10.9% believed that corporal punishment was acceptable “if the parent believes that it will be effective”. The studies in 2005 and 2009 also examined adults’ perceptions of the prevalence of corporal punishment. 
(Vitosha Research, 2009, Physical Punishment in Child-Rearing in Bulgaria
www.canee.net/files/Omnibus research Bulgaria 2009.pdf)
Part of  the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.  
www.canee.net/bulgaria/research_on_the_problem_of_child_abuse_in_eastern_europe

 A 2009 survey of 202 teachers in primary schools in Sofia found that 82% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 74% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 41% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party. In an identical survey of a similar sample in 2005, only 30% believed this. 46% of respondents in 2009 believed that more than 50% of children in Bulgaria experience “spanking”. In 2005, 51% of respondents believed this.
(Nobody’s Children Foundation et al, 2009, Sofia teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse
www.canee.net/files/Teachers studies Bulgaria 2009.pdf)
Part of  the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.
www.canee.net/bulgaria/research_on_the_problem_of_child_abuse_in_eastern_europe

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Costa Rica (prohibition achieved in 2008)

Research published since prohibition
A 2009 study involving interviews with 1,201 people responsible for the care of a child aged 2-17 found that 86.6% of respondents knew of the 2008 law banning physical and other humiliating punishment of children and nearly two thirds (64.4%) of respondents totally agreed or somewhat agreed with the law. When asked the reason for their response, a quarter of respondents said that they agreed because upbringing of children should not be based on physical punishment. Over half (56%) of respondents totally disagreed or somewhat disagreed that “if a child is disobedient it is acceptable for the parent to hit him or her” and nearly eight in ten (78.8%) totally disagreed or somewhat disagreed that “if a child is violent it is acceptable for the parent to hit him or her”. Around half (48.7%) of respondents said that the child they cared for had been spanked by them or another adult in their household during the past year: 21.2% said the child had been spanked once or twice, 16.6% three to five times and 10.9% six or more times. More than three quarters (77.2%) of respondents said that they had been spanked when they were children.
(Consejo Nacional de La Niñez y la Adolescencia & Pani, 2009, Estudio de Conocimientos, Actitudes y Prácticas en materia de Patrones de Crianza en Costa Rica: Informe Técnico De La Encuesta Nacional Sobre Patrones De Crianza)

Research published before prohibition
In 2003, a survey by the Paniamor Foundation of 1,034 school children aged 9-16 found that nearly half (47.8%) experienced physical punishment occasionally in the home, while 4.2% experienced it frequently, more so for boys than girls in both cases; 11% said they had been punished in the past 15 days. The reasons given for being punished were mainly concerned with correcting behaviour: “they behave badly” (71.5%), “they don’t do as they are told” (22.7%), “to educate” (5.8%). Most punishment was administered by parents (mother 78%, father 77%), but was also given by grandparents (20%), older siblings (20%), uncles (19%), caregivers (16%), teachers (12%), domestic workers (9%), and the school principal (8%). When asked how they feel when they are punished, the most frequent responses were sadness (79.2%), pain (56.7%), fear (42.6%), guilt (39.8%) and loneliness (37.1%). The large majority of children viewed corporal punishment negatively, with almost two out of five children saying it is very bad and almost a third saying that people should not be punished in this way.
(Paniamor Foundation/Save the Children Sweden, 2004, “National Survey of Children and Adolescents on Physical Punishment”, part of project “Prevencion de la Violencia desde la Familia y la Adolescencia”, presented at Costa Rica, March 2004 http://paniamor.org)

Interviews with parents in 1997 found that one in ten mothers and fathers always hit their child when she or he did wrong, six in ten sometimes; almost a quarter reported never hitting. Asked about objects used to hit their children, 41.8% of mothers and fathers said they always used a belt, 12.2% sometimes used a rope or cord, 52.5% always or sometimes used their hand, and 8.1% used a cane. One in ten said they punished their children every day and over a third said once a week.
(Barrantes, Z., Castillo, E. & Ortega, X., 1997, “Problems of child aggression and the role of the administrator teacher in the one-teacher (unidocente) schools of Circuit 1 of the Guapiles Regional Education Management in 1997”, Latina University, cited in paper on draft law abolition of physical punishment of children and adolescents, presented in Costa Rica, March 2004)

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Croatia (prohibition achieved in 1999)

Research published since prohibition
A survey commissioned by UNICEF of more than 1,700 parents of 0-6 year olds found that 12% of parents believed that corporal punishment was effective. More than 30% of parents of 3 year olds said that in the past week, they had “smacked” or pulled the hair of their child.
(Reported by UNICEF Croatia, 25 April 2013)

A 2012 study of men’s childhood experiences of violence in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda, which involved men aged 18-59 living in urban settings, found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in all six countries. In Croatia, of the 1,451 men who participated, 67% reported having been spanked or slapped by a parent in the home during childhood, 35% having been threatened with physical punishment in the home and 24% having been humiliated by someone in their family in front of other people. Thirty per cent reported having been beaten or physically punished at school by a teacher. The study found that men who had experienced violence, including corporal punishment, during childhood, were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence, hold inequitable gender attitudes, be involved in fights outside the home or robberies, pay for sex and experience low self-esteem and depression, and were less likely to participate in domestic duties, communicate openly with their partners, attend pre-natal visits when their partner is pregnant and/or take paternity leave.
(Contreras, M. et al, 2012, Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence, Analyzing Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, Washington DC: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo)

In research into the prevalence of various forms of family violence experienced by 1,146 university students, carried out in 1997-8 and published in 2003, 93.4% reported experiencing corporal punishment (from slapping to heavy beating) before the age of 18 years, with 27.2% reporting physical injury (from bruises to fractures). The same questionnaire given to 698 primary and secondary school pupils found that up to 86% reported experiencing corporal punishment with injuries in up to 32% of cases.
(Pecnik, N., 2003, Intergenerational transmission of child abuse (in Croatian), Slap: Jastrebarsko)

Research into the experiences of 310 high school students in 10 schools, carried out in 2001, found that 59% had experienced occasional slapping or hitting before the age of 14 years, and 16% had occasionally been spanked or beaten. For 5% of respondents, slapping or hitting was experienced frequently, and 3% experienced frequent spanking and beating.
(Fabijanic, S., Flander, G. B. & Karlovic, A., 2002, Epidemiological study on the prevalence of the child abuse experience among high school students of Sisacko-Moslavacka Zupanija, Zagreb: Centre for Child Protection)

A survey of 505 university students reported in 2001 revealed that up to 25% had experienced physical abuse, including corporal punishment.
(Karlovic, A., Gabelica, D. & Vranic, A., 2001, “Validacija upitnika o zlostavljanju u djetinjstvu I procjena incidencije zlostavljanja u djetinjstvu na uzorku zagrebackih studenata”, XV, Dani Ramira Bujasa, Zagreb, Odsjek za psihologiju. Filozofski fakultet)

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Congo, Republic of (prohibition achieved in 2010)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
According to statistics from UNICEF relating to the period 2001-2007, of girls and women aged 15-49, 76% think that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances.
(UNICEF, 2009,  Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

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Cyprus (prohibition achieved in 1994)

Research published since prohibition
A study involving focus groups and face to face interviews with 104 13-22 year olds with experience of youth custody in Austria, Cyprus, England, the Netherlands and Romania found that in Cyprus, the majority of young people felt that violence was used by staff in custodial settings as a punishment or as a form of coercion, or as a means to show power.
(Children’s Rights Alliance for England, 2013, Speaking Freely: Children and Young People in Europe Talk about Ending Violence Against Children in Custody – Research Report, London: CRAE)

1,000 individuals aged 16 and over took part through interviews and questionnaires in a study published by the University of Nicosia in 2000. 34% thought that it was sometimes acceptable to hit a child, while 19% thought that parents hit their children because they want to better them.
(University of Nicosia Center for Research and Development, 2000, Results of the “Violence in the Cypriot Family” study, cited in Georgiades S. D., 2009, “Child abuse and neglect in Cyprus: an exploratory study of perceptions and experiences”, Child Abuse Review, vol. 18, no. 1, Jan-Feb, pp. 60-71.)

An attitudinal survey in 2000 by the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family found that of 1,000 interviewees, 15% believed smacking to be a socially acceptable method of child discipline.
(Cited in Boyson, R., 2002, Equal Protection for Children: An overview of the experience of countries that accord children full protection from physical punishment, London: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
www.nspcc.net/Inform/publications/downloads/equalprotectionforchildren_wdf48095.pdf)

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Denmark (prohibition achieved in 1997)

Research published since prohibition
A survey of 1,008 students aged 12-16 found that 81.8% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Nearly one in ten (9.6%) thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. Eighty-three per cent disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 89% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.
(UNICEF, 2011, Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

A 2010 study involving nearly 3,000 young people in Denmark found that 20% of them had been pushed, pulled, had their hair pulled, been hit with a flat hand, fist or an object or been kicked by a parent in the past year. Eight per cent had experienced this once and twelve per cent more than once.
(Korzen, S., Fisker, L. & Oldrup, H., 2010, Vold mod Unge i Danmark, SFI - Det Nationale Forskningscenter For Velfærd)

A survey in 2000 by the National Institute of Social Research found that 12% of 3 year-olds were spanked “sometimes” or “seldom”, contrasting with a survey by the same Institute in 1968 which found that 40.2% of children aged 9-12 years were hit “sometimes”.
(Cited in Boyson, R., 2002, Equal Protection for Children: An overview of the experience of countries that accord children full protection from physical punishment, London: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
www.nspcc.net/Inform/publications/downloads/equalprotectionforchildren_wdf48095.pdf)

Research published before prohibition
A survey of 1,000 adults in 1988 revealed over 50% opposing corporal punishment.
(Varming, O., 1988, “Attitudes to Children”, doctoral dissertation, Copenhagen: Royal Danish School of Educational Studies)

A Gallup poll in 1984 found 25% of public opinion in favour of prohibition of corporal punishment.
(Cited in Newell, P., 1989, Children Are People Too: The Case Against Physical Punishment, London: Bedford Square Press)

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Finland (prohibition achieved in 1983)

Research published since prohibition
A study carried out in 2011, which involved a survey of a representative sample of 4,609 15-80 year olds from Western Finland, found that the proportion of people who were slapped and beaten with an object during childhood decreased after corporal punishment was prohibited in 1983. The study found that experience of corporal punishment was associated with reporting indications of alcohol abuse, depression, mental health problems, and schizotypal personality and with having attempted suicide in the past year. The study examined the survey data in relation to data on murders of children and found that the decline in physical punishment was associated with a similar decline in the number of children who were murdered.
(Österman, K. et al (2014) “Twenty-Eight Years After the Complete Ban on the Physical Punishment of Children in Finland: Trends and Psychosocial Concomitants”, Aggressive Behaviour, 9999, 1-14)

A study by the Police College of Finland, which involved more than 3,000 parents of children aged under 13, found that almost all parents knew of the prohibition of corporal punishment and that parents were very negative about hitting children. Less than one per cent of parents reported hitting their children with an object, punching them or kicking them. Twenty per cent of parents said that they had pulled their child’s hair as a punishment.
(Ellonen, N., 2012, Kurin alaiset : lasten ja vanhempien välisten ristiriitojen ratkaiseminen perheissä, Tampere : Poliisiammattikorkeakoulu)

A series of seven nationally representative surveys carried out between 1981 and 2014 show a consistent decline in adult acceptance of corporal punishment: from 47% in 1981 to 15% in 2014. In the 2012 survey, 10% of parents agreed that corporal punishment of children was acceptable and 97% of parents were aware of the prohibition of corporal punishment.

(Sariola, H. (2012), Violence against children and child sexual abuse in Finland, presentation given at the Central Union for Child Welfare, Helsinki 30 August 2012; Central Union for Child Welfare (2012), Attitudes to disciplinary violence, Finland: Central Union for Child Welfare & Taloustutkimus Oy; reported by Central Union for Child Welfare, 9 April 2014)

A survey of 1,044 students aged 12-16 found that 55.8% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Twenty-seven per cent thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. However, 65.8% disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 87% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.
(UNICEF, 2011, Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

Studies on violence experienced by children in Finland examined the prevalence of corporal punishment in 1988 and 2008. The 2008 study, published by the Police College of Finland, involved over 13,000 children aged 12-15 and was designed to allow direct comparison with research carried out in 1988. In 1988, around a quarter of children had been “smacked” before age 14, and around two thirds had had their hair pulled. In 2008, around 10% had been “smacked” and around a third had had their hair pulled. The overall percentage of children who had experienced “mild” punitive violence from their parents declined from 72% in 1988 to 32% in 2008; the percentage of children who had experienced severe punitive violence dropped from 8% to 4%. There had been a clear reduction in all forms of corporal punishment and other parental violence against children in the past twenty years, with the most significant reduction in the “relatively mild forms of violence previously considered socially acceptable types of corporal punishment” (p. 160).
(Ellonen, N., Kääriäinen, J. Salmi, V. & Sariola, H., 2008, Lasten ja nuorten väkivaltakokemukset. Tutkimus peruskoulun 6. - 9. luokan oppilaiden kokemasta väkivallasta, Poliisiammattikorkeakoulun Raportteja 71/2008)

In 2004, 46% of a sample of 6,160 15 and 16 year olds reported having been physically punished by their parents at some point in their lives; 7% reported this during the past year.
(Ellonen, N., Kivivuori, J. & Kääriäinen, J., 2007, Violence concentrated on children and young people in the light of statistics and questionnaires, Police College Press Releases 64/2007, Legal Policy Institute 80, cited in Durrant, J. & Smith, A., 2011, Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, NY: Routledge)

Research published before prohibition
In 1981, a public opinion survey asked “After long debate, the physical punishment of children was banned by the Swedish Parliament. In your opinion, should a similar law be passed in Finland too?” 60% of respondents, and 72% of those aged 15 – 24, agreed that a similar law should be passed. In a 1988 survey of teenagers, 5% thought that they would use physical punishment on their own children.
(Cited in Boyson, R., 2002, Equal Protection for Children: An overview of the experience of countries that accord children full protection from physical punishment, London: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
www.nspcc.net/Inform/publications/downloads/equalprotectionforchildren_wdf48095.pdf)

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Germany (prohibition achieved in 2000)

Research published since prohibition
A survey carried out in 2012 by the opinion research centre Forsa found that four out of ten parents said they “gave their children the odd smack on the bottom”, and 10% had slapped their children in the face.
(Reported in dw.de, 13 March 2012)

                              
A 2011 study which involved 9,500 16-40 year olds found that 52% of respondents had not been physically punished in childhood. This proportion had doubled since a similar study in 1992, when the figure was 26%. Younger people were most likely to have never been physically punished: 63% of 16-20 year olds reported this. The proportion of people who had experienced “light” violence in childhood decreased significantly: from 58% in 1992 to 36% in 2011.

(Pfeiffer, C. (2012), “Weniger Hiebe, mehr Liebe. Der Wandel familiärer Erziehung in Deutschland”, Centaur, 11 (2), 14-17, cited in Pfeiffer, C. (2013), Parallel Justice – Why Do We Need Stronger Support for the Victim in Society?, Address at the closing plenary session of the 18th German Congress on Crime Prevention, April 23, 2013)

A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 

43% of German parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 68% had slapped their child on the bottom. 13% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 5.2% had beaten their child with an object.

28% of German parents never used corporal punishment. 88% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 87% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.

See also ‘Comparative research’ above.
(Bussmann, K. D., 2009, The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
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A 2005 study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Justice found that 95% of parents who were aware of the prohibition of corporal punishment considered a violence-free upbringing to be a desirable ideal.
(Bussmann, K. D., 2005, Report über die Auswirkungen des Gesetzes zur Ächtung der Gewalt, in der Erziehung, Berlin: Bundesministerium der Justiz)

Government research was undertaken in 2001 and published in 2003 into the reception and initial impact of the prohibition of corporal punishment in childrearing, in force since November 2000. Interviews were held nationwide with 3,000 parents of children below 18 years and 2,000 young people aged 12-18 years. Surveys were also done in 1,074 government and non-governmental institutions, with 30 representatives of relevant institutions interviewed in depth.

The research found that around 28% of parents rarely resorted to disciplinary sanctions and “as far as possible” did not use corporal punishment; 54% frequently used “minor” but never “serious” corporal punishment and a further 17% frequently used “serious” corporal punishment, including beatings and spankings, as well as psychological punishments. Boys were more commonly hit than girls, and more commonly experienced “serious” corporal punishment.

Based on parents’ and young people’s reports, in comparison with previous studies there had been a decrease in corporal punishment at all degrees of severity. For example, in 1996 a third of parents (33.2%) reported they had hit their child’s bottom, compared with just over a quarter (26.4%) in 2001. In 1992, 30% of young people (aged over 11) reported that they had been “thrashed,” while in 2002, 3% of young people reported this. In families where violence was used in childrearing, more severe corporal punishment had declined significantly. For example, in 1992, 98.9% of young people from families who used violence reported that they had been beaten to the point of bruising; by 2002, this had declined to 26.1%.

87% of parents surveyed in 2001 considered that a non-violent upbringing was ideal, and over 80% of parents and 90% of young people thought that parents should talk to their children instead of using corporal punishment. 74% of parents agreed that “Striking any other person is a criminal offence; there is no reason why corporal punishment of a child should be treated differently”.

The study also discussed awareness of the new law among professionals, parents and children and how this could be increased. 
(Federal Ministry of Justice & Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, 2003, Violence in upbringing: An assessment after the introduction of the right to a non-violent upbringing
www.endcorporalpunishment.org/pages/pdfs/Germany research.pdf)

See also an analysis of the results of this study in Bussmann, K. D., 2004, “Evaluating the subtle impact of a ban on corporal punishment on children in Germany”, Child Abuse Review, 13: 292–311.

Research published before prohibition
Research published in 1999 involved interviews with 16,190 children aged 14-15 years about their experiences of corporal punishment. Over two fifths (43%) reported that they had never been hit; 47% reported being smacked occasionally; 10% reported more severe corporal punishment.
(Pfeiffer, C. & Wetzels, P., 1999, “Use of physical punishment within families against children and the consequences”, unofficial translation by Goodall, K. & Taverner, K. at National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, UK)

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Greece (prohibition achieved in 2006)

Research published since prohibition
A study which involved 486 children in the first year of high school and their parents, carried out in 2007-2008, found that 26.7% of the children involved had been hit with a hand by a family member. Seventy-one per cent of the parents had physically punished their child. Nearly all (98.3%) of the parents said that corporal punishment should not or probably should not be used as a method of “discipline”.

(Tsirigoti, A, et al, (2010), Current Situation Concerning Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) in Greece, Athens: Institute of Child Health, Department of Mental Health and Social Welfare & Centre for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect)

Research published before prohibition
As part of a large scale study initiated by researchers from the National Center for the Study of Corporal Punishment and Alternatives (NCSCPA), a questionnaire was administered to 546 university students in Athens and Thessalonili, of which 73% recalled receiving corporal punishment at home. The most common types of corporal punishment were recalled as spanking on the buttocks with an open hand (54%), smacking or slapping on the hand, arm or leg (45%) and smacking or slapping on the face, head or ears (31%). Other types included hair pulling (17%), hitting with an object (17%), pinching (9%), shaking (9%), arm twisting (6%) and whipping (3%).
(Halkias, D. et al., 2001, “Conducting a cross cultural study of corporal punishment: The Greek researcher’s perspective”, paper presented at the National Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA, August 2001)

In 1998, a nationwide survey looked at the frequency and types of corporal punishment in families. Of the 417 parents with at least one child enrolled in daycare answering the question on parenting practices, 85.36% reported using corporal punishment “when necessary” but not daily.
(Damianaki et al., 1998. Cited in Halkias, D. et al., 2001, “Conducting a cross cultural study of corporal punishment: The Greek researcher’s perspective”, paper presented at the National Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA, August 2001)

Research carried out between 1994 and 1997 at the Department of Family Relations in the Institute of Child Health in Athens, involving 591 structured interviews with mothers of 6 year-old and 12 year-old schoolchildren, revealed that 65.5% of mothers used physical punishment to discipline their children, with mothers of 6 year-olds three times more likely to use such punishment than mothers of 12 year-olds. 62% of mothers believed that physical punishment is used by most parents, and 82% believed that at least half of all parents hit their children. Of those children physically punished, 4% suffered minor injuries and 1.2% suffered injuries needing stitches and/or hospitalisation.
(Fereti, I. & Stavrianki, M., 1997, “The use of physical punishment in the Greek family: selected socio-demographic aspects”, International Journal of Child and Family Welfare, vol. 3, pp.206-216; Fereti, I., 2002, “Initiatives to reduce and prevent corporal punishment of children within the family in Greece”, Athens: Institute of Child Health)

In 1996, interviews with 423 police officers (including 208 who were parents) about their childhood experiences, attitudes and parental practices regarding corporal punishment, found that one in two reported receiving corporal punishment as children. Two in three believed that “sometimes hitting is needed” to discipline a child, and 64% reported using corporal punishment to discipline their own children.
(Maragos, Agathonos-Georgakopoulou & Nova, 1997. Cited in Halkias, D. et al., 2001, “Conducting a cross cultural study of corporal punishment: The Greek researcher’s perspective”, paper presented at the National Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA, August 2001)

A 1993 study found that of 8,158 children aged 7 years, one in three (37.7%) was spanked at least once a week and one in six daily (18%).
(Agathonos-Georgopoulou, H., 1997, “Child Maltreatment in Greece: A Review of Research”, Child Abuse Review, vol. 6, pp.257-271)

A study in 1979 found that 82.4% of mothers admitted punishing their children, with many using more than one method of punishment, including 49.3% who used physical punishment and other forms of violence.
(Zarnari, 1979. Cited in Halkias, D. et al., 2001, “Conducting a cross cultural study of corporal punishment: The Greek researcher’s perspective”, paper presented at the National Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA, August 2001)

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Honduras (prohibition achieved in 2013)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Iceland (prohibition achieved in 2003)

Research published since prohibition
A survey of 827 students aged 12-16 found that 71.4% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Fourteen per cent thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. Seventy-eight per cent disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 89% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.
(UNICEF, 2011, Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Israel (prohibition achieved in 2000)

Research published since prohibition
A report based on the sworn testimony of 311 children held in Israeli military detention between January 2008 and January 2012 documented systematic ill-treatment of children during their arrest, transfer and interrogation. Sixty-three per cent of the children were detained inside Israel. Ninety-five per cent of children had their hands tied, often very painfully, and 90% were blindfolded. Three quarters experienced physical violence such as being pushed, slapped or kicked, 57% experienced threats and 54% verbal violence. In 12% of cases children reported being held in solitary confinement for an average period of 11 days. The report found that when the totality of the evidence was considered, the pattern of systematic ill-treatment which emerges, amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and in some cases, torture, as defined in the UN Convention against Torture.
(DCI Palestine, 2012, Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention)

A survey published in 2003 assessed 107 physicians’ attitudes towards corporal punishment and their reporting of child abuse. Corporal punishment was perceived as an acceptable disciplinary act by 58% of the physicians. 84% of the sample were native born Israelis or had been Israeli citizens for at least 20 years, while 16% were immigrants who had arrived from the former Soviet Federation in the past three years. There was found to be a significant difference between the attitudes of Israeli and immigrant physicians towards corporal punishment, with greater proportions of immigants than Israelis finding corporal punishment acceptable in most cases. For example, 58.5% of immigrants believed it was acceptable for a parent to slap a child’s face, compared to 14.4% of Israelis, and 68.7% of immigrants believed that smacking a child’s bottom and leaving a red mark was acceptable, compared to 56.3% of Israelis.
(Tirosh E, Shechter S O, Cohenc A, Jaffe M, (2003) “Attitudes towards corporal punishment and reporting of abuse”, Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 27, no.8, pp.  929–937)

Research published before prohibition
Interviews with 273 parents of at least one child under the age of 18 years (Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union) were carried out in 1999 using a semi-structured questionnaire and vignettes. Two of the vignettes showed two situations in which different methods of physical punishment were used on 8-year-old children, slapping the face of a girl and hitting a boy with a belt. When asked which methods parents could use to hit their children, 75% described specific acceptable methods, including hitting with the hand (85%) and hitting with an object, mainly a belt (15%); 63% believed it acceptable to physically punish boys, 41% girls.
(Shor, R., 1999, “Inappropriate child rearing practices as perceived by Jewish immigrant parents from the Former Soviet Union”, Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 23, no. 5, pp.487-499)

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Kenya (prohibition achieved in 2010)

Research published since prohibition
A study involving more than 1,000 girls in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique analysed the impact of ActionAid’s 2008-2013 project “Stop Violence Against Girls in School”. The project included awareness raising and lobbying for the adoption and implementation of legal and policy measures that ensure education is free from corporal punishment in the three countries. The study found that in 2013 the use of some forms of corporal punishment had reduced since the baseline survey carried out in 2009. In Kenya in 2013, 55% of girls had been beaten in the past year, compared to 80% in 2009, although the proportion of girls who had been whipped in the past year increased from 50% in 2009 to 70% in 2013. Girls’ last experiences of corporal punishment usually took place in school. The study recommends measures to implement prohibition of corporal punishment in schools.

(ActionAid International (2013), Stop Violence Against Girls in School: A cross-country analysis of change in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, Johannesburg: Action Aid)

Seventy-one per cent of Kenyans think that governments should completely outlaw all violence in schools. However, over half of adult Kenyans believe that their religion allows them to slap their children if they do not behave.
(Global Advocacy Team, 2012, Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign: Third progress report, Woking: Plan)

In a national survey carried out in 2010, nearly half of the 13-17 year olds involved (48.7% of girls and 47.6% of boys) reported having been slapped, pushed, punched, kicked, whipped, beaten or threatened or attacked with a weapon in the past year. Two thirds (66%) of females and 73% of males aged 18-24 reported experiencing this before they were 18. Perpetrators included authority figures, parents and adult relatives. The survey involved 1,306 females and 1,622 males aged 13-24.
(UNICEF Kenya Country Office et al, 2012, Violence against Children in Kenya: Findings from a 2010 National Survey, Nairobi: UNICEF Kenya Country Office, Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Kenya National Bureau of Statistics)

According to statistics collected under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), in 2009 77.7% of children aged 2-14 in Mombasa informal settlements experienced violent “discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression).  Over two thirds (67.9%) experienced “minor” physical punishment, 19.1% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 51% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Forty per cent of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing.
(Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010, Mombasa Informal Settlement Survey, Kenya, 2009, Nairobi: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics)

Research published before prohibition
A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in Kenya 82% of girls and 97% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 61% of girls and 62% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month. Smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 44% of mothers and 48% of fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 56% of mothers and 54% of fathers believed it was necessary.
(Lansford, J. et al, 2010, “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A survey of 500 young women in Kenya aged 18-24 concerning their childhood experiences of violence, undertaken by the Africa Child Policy Forum and published in 2006, found that 99% reported experiencing physical violence. Beating with an object was found to be the most prevalent form of physical violence (80.8%), though the research does not investigate the degree to which this and other physical violence was explicitly in the name of “discipline”. Prevalence figures for other forms of physical violence were 59.5% for punching, 39.6% kicking, 43.8% hard work, 20.5% being choked/burned/stabbed, 12.3% having spicy/bitter substances put in mouth, 14.3% being locked or tied up, and 35% being denied food. Girls were found to be most vulnerable when aged 10-13 years. Experiencing the violence more than ten times was more likely in the case of beating than other types of physical violence. Most beating with an object was carried out by mothers (23.5%), followed by female teachers (15.3%) and fathers (13.3%). Most hitting/punching was carried out by female teachers (16.1%), followed by mothers (14.2%) and male teachers (11.3%), with medical attention necessary in 20% of cases. In 52.3% of cases, the hitting/punching resulted in “bruises or scratches, broken bones or teeth, or bleeding”; the figure for beating with an object was 64.6%.
(Stavropoulos, J., 2006, Violence Against Girls in Africa: A Retrospective Survey in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, Addis Ababa, The African Child Policy Forum, www.africanchildforum.org/Documents/Survey Report.pdf)

A survey of 267 adults and children and interviews with parents, teachers and children, reported in 2005, found that the most frequent forms of physical discipline used on children were smacking (78.8%), pulling ears (68.8%) and cuffing (61.5%). Other corporal punishments included forcing a child to kneel on a hard floor (45.9%), tapping (43.3%), forcing a child to stand in the sun (33.2%) and burning fingers (19.7%). Almost two thirds of children (62.2%) said they wanted the use of corporal punishment to be stopped. Over half of parents (54%) said that physical punishment should not be stopped.
(ANPPCAN Kenya Chapter, 2005, From Physical Punishment to Positive Discipline: Alternatives to Physical/Corporal Punishment in Kenya, second draft www.anppcankenya.co.ke)

A 2004 survey by Population Communication Africa reported that over 60% of children had been or were being physically abused at school, including being slapped in the face, being hit on the body with a cane or stick, and being beaten, kicked or punched or otherwise physically bullied.
(Johnston, T., 2004, Gender Series: The Abuse of Nairobi School Children, Population Communication Africa: Nairobi. Cited in O’Sullivan, M., 2005, “Corporal Punishment in Kenya”, Juvenile Justice Quarterly, vol.2, no.1)

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Latvia (prohibition achieved in 1998)

Research published since prohibition
A study involving 500 people aged 15 and over found that 51% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – an increase from 39% in a similar survey in 2005. Thirty-nine per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child (compared to 44% in a similar survey in 2010), 19% that they had beaten or hit them (27% in 2010), 19% that they had beaten them with a belt (27% in 2010) and 9% that they had slapped their child on the face (15% in 2010).
(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

A study involving interviews with 1,223 18-25 year olds in Latvia found that 16.4% of the sample (17.9% of females and 14.9% of males) were sometimes, often or very often pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or had something thrown at them and/or were hit so hard that they were marked or injured by an adult living with them during their childhood.
(Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2012, Adverse Childhood Experiences of Young Adults in Latvia: Study Report from the 2011 Survey, Riga: Ministry of Health, Centre for Disease Prevention and Control & Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia)

A 2009 survey of 1,010 respondents found that 38.9% believed that corporal punishment should never be used. 48.8% believed that it “should not be used in general, but there are situations when it is justified” and 8.5% that it “may be used if the parent considers that it will be effective”. In an identical survey with a similar sample in 2005, 12.1% said that corporal punishment “may be used.” 47% of respondents to the 2009 survey believed that over 40% of children in Latvia experience corporal punishment. Results were similar in 2005.
(Marketing and public opinion research centre SKDS, 2009, Attitude towards corporal punishment of children: survey of Latvia’s population
www.canee.net/files/Omnibus research Latvia 2009.pdf)
Part of  the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.
www.canee.net/bulgaria/research_on_the_problem_of_child_abuse_in_eastern_europe

A 2009 survey of 214 teachers in primary schools in Riga found that 54% believed that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 44% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 22% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party.
(Nobody’s Children Foundation and Center Against Abuse “Dardedze”, 2009, Riga teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse: Research report
www.canee.net/files/Teachers studies Latvia 2009.pdf)
Part of  the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.
www.canee.net/bulgaria/research_on_the_problem_of_child_abuse_in_eastern_europe

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Liechtenstein (prohibition achieved in 2008)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
In a 1999 study, 689 young people aged 12-20 years were asked about family violence. More than two fifths (41%) reported having experienced slaps and 3% thrashing, although whether this was done by siblings or parents was not specified.
(Amt fűr Soziale Dienste, 1999, Liechtensteinische Jugendstudie 1999. Ergebnisse, Analysen und Kommentare, Schaan: Amt fűr Sociale Dienste)

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Luxembourg (prohibition achieved in 2008)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
A public opinion survey in 1993 found that of 508 parents questioned, 49% considered that corporal punishment was a useful way of disciplining children, 29% believed that it was not very useful but that it didn’t do any harm, and 22% believed that it should be forbidden.
(Poll carried out by Fondation Kannerschlass and Institut Luxembourgeois de Recherches Statistiques, 1993)

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Netherlands (prohibition achieved in 2007)

Research published since prohibition
A study involving focus groups and face to face interviews with 104 13-22 year olds with experience of youth custody in Austria, Cyprus, England, the Netherlands and Romania found that young people experienced physical violence and solitary confinement lasting up to two months as a punishment, as well as group punishments including being confined to their rooms and forbidden to attend school. 
(Children’s Rights Alliance for England, 2013, Speaking Freely: Children and Young People in Europe Talk about Ending Violence Against Children in Custody – Research Report, London: CRAE)

Research published before prohibition
A survey in 1999 by a popular parenting magazine of 2,000 mothers revealed 8% slapped or shook their 2 month-old babies to try to stop them crying.
(Our Baby, April 1999)

Research for the Ministry of Justice in 1997 revealed that nearly 47% of the Dutch population had experienced recurrent intra-familial violence, especially between the ages of 10 and 25 years.
(Institute Dienst Preventie, Jeugdbescherming en Reclassering, 1997, Huiselijik gewald, Aard, omvang en hulpverlening, Institute Dienst Preventie, Jeugdbescherming en Reclassering)

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New Zealand (prohibition achieved in 2007)

Research published since prohibition
Note: In August 2009, as a result of opposition to prohibition by a vocal minority of the population, a citizens initiated referendum was held which aimed at challenging the 2007 law that banned the use of force for correction of children. It was not compulsory for registered voters to vote in the referendum and the outcome was non-binding on the Government. Only 57% of those eligible to vote actually voted. The majority of those who did, voted “no” on a loaded and much-criticised question “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” In ruling out any change to the 2007 law, Prime Minister Mr John Key announced that the law was working well and initiated a review of the policies and procedures of the Police and Children, Youth and Family to identify any changes necessary in implementing the law. The law itself (Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007) also provided for monitoring and reviewing its effects.

A 2013 survey of 750 adults in New Zealand, which used questions and a methodology comparable to earlier studies found that a large majority of respondents (93%) were aware of the law reform which prohibited all corporal punishment and that acceptance of physical punishment of children was declining steadily.  In 2013, 40% of respondents thought that it was sometimes alright for parents to physically punish children, compared to 58% in 2008, more than 80% in 1993 and more than 90% in 1981. The proportion of parents with children under 18 who thought that it was alright to use physical punishment with children fell from 62% in 2008 to 35% in 2013.
(Wood, B., 2013, Physical punishment of children in New Zealand – six years after law reform, EPOCH New Zealand)

A 2012 poll of 500 parents of children aged under 12 found that 44% had not smacked their children since the 2007 law change which prohibited all corporal punishment of children. Twenty-nine per cent said they had smacked “rarely”, 21% “occasionally” and 1% “frequently”.
(Reported in New Zealand Herald, 2 April 2012, www.nzherald.co.nz)

The New Zealand Police Force produced eleven reviews of police activity between the prohibition of all corporal punishment of children in June 2007 and the end of 2012.

The reviews identify incidents of “smacking,” “minor acts of physical discipline” and “other child assaults” in police statistics and discuss police responses to these incidents.  The first review, at three months since the law change, saw a small increase in police activity around child assault, with police attending a total of 111 child assault events over all three categories, compared with 95 in the three months prior to the law change. The second review showed an increase in “smacking” events attended by police six months after the law change, followed by a decrease to pre-law change levels nine months after the law change. The following reviews showed similar small decreases in “smacking” events attended by police. The sixth review found that the number of reported “other child assaults” (referring to more severe acts of violence against children) had increased slightly. The seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth reviews all stated that “There is an increase in the number of events attended by police during this review period which is consistent with reduced tolerance and increased reporting of child assault events.” The eleventh review found a decrease in the number of events attended by police.

In the first 5 years after the law change, police attended a total of 143 incidents of “smacking”, 435 “minor acts of physical discipline” and 2,674 “other child assaults”. Eight prosecutions were made for “smacking” and 46 for “minor acts of physical discipline”.  In all the other cases of “smacking” and “minor acts of physical discipline”, a warning was given or no further action was taken. The reports also contain some information on referrals for support made to government and non-government agencies.
(New Zealand Police, 2013,Eleventh review of police activity since enactment of the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007; previous reviews available at http://www.police.govt.nz)

The Ministry for Social Development’s 2009 Report to the Minister for Social Development and Employment confirmed that there had been no evidence of disproportionate state interference in childrearing, including unwarranted investigation or prosecution for light smacking, since the 2007 prohibition of all corporal punishment of children. The report examines New Zealand police data and data from Child, Youth and Family (CYF), the government agency responsible for child protection. The CYF data shows a steady increase between 2001 and 2009 in care and protection notifications received. The rate of increase rose after 2007. This was partly due to a significant increase of family violence notifications from the New Zealand Police, driven in part by family violence training for police which began in 2006. The number of notifications which were allocated to a front-line social worker had also risen, but not as sharply as the total number of notifications. The report states that the data “provides no evidence that Child, Youth and Family is unnecessarily intruding into family life in response to allegations of light smacking” (p. 8).
(Hughes, P., 2009, Report to the Minister for Social Development and Employment, Wellington: Ministry for Social Development
www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/20091110 CE Monitoring Report on s59.pdf)

A 2007 Families Commission survey found that while 41% of parents and carers in the sample of 100 families with children aged under 5 had smacked their children, only 9% thought smacking was effective. Around half of the sample filled in detailed diary sheets about “disciplinary encounters” with their children over three days. Of these parents, 2.6% smacked the child’s bottom at some point during the three days, 2% smacked the child’s hand and 2% smacked the child on another part of their body. Parents and carers were two to three times more likely to use positive techniques (such as giving rewards and praise) than punishments (such as smacking, verbal reprimands and withdrawal of privileges).
(Lawrence, J., and Smith, A., 2009, Discipline in context: families’ disciplinary practices for children aged under five, Wellington: Families Commission
www.familiescommission.govt.nz/sites/default/files/downloads/discipline-in-context.pdf)
See also Lawrence, J., and Smith, A., 2008, “Aotearoa/New Zealand Families: Their Perspectives on Child Discipline and Recent Legislative Change”, Childrenz Issues, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 17-24.

A survey of 100 families with children aged under five found that 46% of parents and carers were in favour of the legislation which gave children equal protection from assault to adults. 27% were opposed to the legislation and 27% were undecided. Of those who were in favour of the legislation, 58% had an accurate understanding of it. Of those who were undecided or opposed to reform, a large majority had an inaccurate understanding of the legislation (81% of those who were undecided and 70% of those who were opposed to reform). The law came into action in June 2007. Around a third of the interviews were carried out before the law change, and two thirds following it.
(Lawrence, J., and Smith, A., 2008, “Aotearoa/New Zealand Families: Their Perspectives on Child Discipline and Recent Legislative Change”, Childrenz Issues, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 17-24)
See also Lawrence, J., and Smith, A., 2009, Discipline in context: families’ disciplinary practices for children aged under five, Wellington: Families Commission
www.familiescommission.govt.nz/sites/default/files/downloads/discipline-in-context.pdf

In the wake of prohibition of all corporal punishment in 2007, the Children’s Commissioner commissioned a benchmark survey in order to gauge changes in attitudes towards corporal punishment and the law. Of a nationally representative sample of 750 adults, 43% supported the law, compared with 28% who opposed it. The research found a high awareness of the law change (91%), and high levels of support (84-89%) for the principle of equal protection from assault for children and adults. Support for the use of corporal punishment was found to be declining over time: 58% of respondents agreed that there are some circumstances in which smacking a child is acceptable, compared with 87% in 1993 and around 90% in 1981. The research confirmed that attitudes and knowledge of the law were changing, even over the one-year period since its introduction. The report includes detailed recommendations for continued and improved implementation of the law based on the issues raised.
(UMR Research, 2008, Omnibus Survey Report: One year on: Public attitudes and New Zealand’s child discipline law, Office of the Children’s Commissioner
www.occ.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/5669/OCC_UMR-Research_141108.pdf)

Crime figures show a decrease in the years following prohibition of corporal punishment in schools. A Victoria University criminologist found that reported crime was steady at 2 crimes per 100 people between 1900 and 1970, then climbed to 13 crimes per 100 by 1992. But since then (two years after school corporal punishment was prohibited), crime has fallen and since 2002 levelled out at 10 crimes per 100 people. The figures indicate that despite popular perceptions, the increase in crime over the last 40 years cannot be tied to a perceived recent weakening of school discipline.
(Reported in nzherald.co.nz, 28 September 2008)

One in ten children aged up to the age of 14 had received physical punishment from their primary caretaker in the four weeks leading up to the 2006/7 New Zealand Health Survey. However, only 5% of all primary caregivers believed that physical punishment was an effective form of punishment. Less than a third of those who had used physical punishment in the previous four weeks felt that it was effective. The survey was carried out between October 2006 and November 2007, before and after New Zealand prohibited all corporal punishment, on a sample size of 17,000.
(Ministry of Health, 2008, A Portrait of Health – Key results of the 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey,
www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagesmh/7601/$File/physical-punishment-ch2.pdf)

Research published before prohibition
A poll of more than 3,000 respondents by The New Zealand Herald found that almost 70% supported the return of caning and strapping in schools.
(Reported in Radio New Zealand News, 1 August 2007)

As part of the Government’s Strategies with Kids: Information for Parents public education programme, designed to promote alternatives to corporal punishment, the Ministry of Social Development commissioned telephone interviews with 612 parents and 539 caregivers of children up to 5 years of age nationwide in 2004. Overall, 51% of parents and 21% of caregivers reported using physical discipline, with this being more likely the lower the level of education and higher the number of children (for parents) and with decreasing household income and increasing age (for caregivers). The most common form was smacking on the bottom (45% parents, 32% caregivers). 25% of parents using physical discipline were not interested in receiving information on parenting.
(Gravitas Research and Strategy Ltd, for the Ministry of Social Development, 2005, Strategies with Kids – Information for Parents (SKIP) Research Report
www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/research/skip-research/)

In 2001, a telephone survey of 1,000 adults commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and carried out by the National Research Bureau Ltd (NRB) revealed that 80% of parents believed smacking with an open hand should be legally permissible, but 85% were against the use of a wooden spoon or belt, and 98% believed hits to the head and neck area should not be allowed. Physical punishment that causes marking, bruising or injury to a child was not considered acceptable by almost 95% of respondents. When asked about the age of children it should be acceptable to physically punish, 62% believed it acceptable to punish those aged 2-5 years (64% women, 60% men), over half (52%) believed it acceptable for children aged 6-10 years (67% women, 76% men), 43% believed it acceptable for children aged 11-14 years (35% women, 51% men), and 16% for 15-17 year olds (14% women, 18% men). Almost one in four (23%) thought it was acceptable to physically discipline children below the age of 2 years (26% women, 19% men).
(Carswell, S., 2001, Survey on public attitudes towards the physical discipline of children, Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Justice
www.justice.govt.nz/publications/publications-archived/2001/survey-on-public-attitudes-towards-the-physical-discipline-of-children-november-2001/survey-on-public-attitudes-towards-the-physical-discipline-of-children-november-2001)

The Christchurch Health and Development Study, a longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1,265 children born in 1977, included the collection of data from 18 year olds of their recall of punishment before the age of 16 years. Out of 1,025 responses, nine out of ten young people reported having received punishment at the hands of their parents: 77.7% said both parents seldom used physical punishment, 7.6% said at least one parent used physical punishment regularly, 2% said that at least one parent used physical punishment too often and too severely, and 1.9% said at least one parent treated them in a harsh and abusive way. One in ten (10.8%) said they had never been physically punished by their parents. In terms of specific forms of punishment, 56.4% reported regular frequent smacking, 30.8% regular hitting around head or body with fists, 29.5% regular hitting with a cane, strap or similar object, and 23.1% receiving a regular severe beating. Over a third (35.9%) reported being injured as a result of physical punishment.
(Fergusson, D.M. & Linskey, M.T., 1997, “Physical punishment/maltreatment during childhood and adjustment in young adulthood”, Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 21, no. 7, pp.617-630)

In 1993, The Listener/Heylen Monitor polled 1,000 home occupiers aged 15 and over on the acceptability of corporal punishment, and found that 49% supported corporal punishment for girls, 54% for boys. This was reported as representing a significant decline in support of physical punishment since its abolition in schools in 1990.
(Physical Punishment in the Home in New Zealand, 1993, available from the Office of the Commissioner for Children)

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Norway (prohibition achieved in 1987)

Research published since prohibition
A survey of 1,199 students aged 12-16 found that 82.4% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Eight per cent thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. Eighty-six per cent disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 91.9% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.
(UNICEF, 2011, Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

In a study on gender equality, which involved 2,805 women and men, participants were asked if they had been physically punished or witnessed violence in their family as a child. Fifteen per cent answered “yes” and 12% “partly”. The results showed a decline in experience of corporal punishment and witnessing violence in the home since the 1970s, with 16.3% of 17-24 year olds answering “yes” or “partly”, compared to 33.3% of 65-79 year olds. Physical punishment by parents was associated with gender-unequal decision-making in the home: 27% of respondents who said their father made the decisions at home reported physical punishment or witnessing violence at home, compared to 17% where the mother made the decisions and 10% of those whose parents made decisions on an equal basis. The study found that experiencing physical punishment or witnessing violence at home during childhood strongly reduced the chance of good quality of life as an adult: it was associated with increased feelings of aggression, anger, anxiety and depression, increased risk behaviour and increased involvement in traffic accidents. Those who had experienced physical punishment or witnessed violence in the home were more likely to be teased and bullied outside the home, be exposed to violent environments as an adult and be involved in violence and conflicts in their relationships and in the workplace.
(Holter et al, 2009, Gender Equality and Quality of Life: A Norwegian Perspective, Nordic Gender Institute)

A 2007 study found that one quarter of 18 year olds had experienced at least “mild” violence from one of their parents, and 8% reported “serious” violence from one of them.
(Mossige, S. & Stefanson, K. (eds), 2007, Violence and abuse against children and young people: A self-reporting study among last year pupils in high school), Oslo: NOVA Rapport 20, cited in Durrant, J. & Smith, A., 2011, Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, NY: Routledge)

Research published before prohibition
None identified

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Poland (prohibition achieved in 2010)

Research published since prohibition
In research from 2013, involving 1,000 adults, 60% of respondents agreed that “there are situations when a child needs to be smacked”, compared to 68% in 2012, 69% in 2011 and 78% in 2008. In 2013, 33% disagreed with the statement, compared to 29% in 2012, 27% in 2011 and 19% in 2008. In 2013, 45% of respondents thought that the prohibition of corporal punishment was right and would have positive effects.

(Ombudsman for Children (2013), Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Children of the Republic of Poland for 2013, Warsaw: Office of the Ombudsman for Children)

A study involving 1,000 people aged 15 and over found that 47% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – an increase from 35% in a similar survey in 2005. Sixty-five per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child (compared to 72% in a similar survey in 2010), 26% that they had beaten or hit them (37% in 2010) and 11% that they had beaten them with a belt (16% in 2010).
(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

The report of the Human Rights Defender on the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism in Poland in 2011 found that in some police emergency centres for children, youth care centres and juvenile detention centres young people experienced punishments including being slapped, isolation, being forbidden contact with their families and being forced to do physical exercise. The reports of the Human Rights Defender on the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism in 2010, 2009 and 2008 had similar findings.
(Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich, 2012, Report of the Human Rights Defender on the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism in Poland in 2012)

A study conducted in 2011 on behalf of the Children’s Ombudsman, involving 1,005 residents of Poland aged 15-75, found decreases in the social acceptance of parents hitting children since the achievement of full prohibition in 2010. In research published in 2008, 78% of respondents agreed that “there are situations when a child needs to be smacked”, compared to 69% in 2011; in 2008, 19% disagreed with the statement, compared to 27% in 2011. A previous comparison of research carried out in 1994 and 2008 did not reveal similar decreases in public approval of corporal punishment, suggesting that law reform and accompanying public education activities had an impact on public opinion. The study also showed a high rate of awareness of the law: 74% of respondents agreed that “beating of a child is unlawful”.
(TNS OBOP, 2011, Social resonance of the amendment to the Act on Counteracting Domestic Violence, Ombudsman for Children of the Republic of Poland)

Research published before prohibition
A 2009 survey of 189 teachers in primary schools in Warsaw found that 75% believed that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 71% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 36% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party, in comparison to 20% in an identical survey with a similar sample in 2005. On average, respondents in 2009 estimated that 61% of children in Poland experience “spanking” as punishment, compared to an average estimate of 72% in 2005. Of 1,000 respondents to a 2009 nationwide study, 38% believed that corporal punishment should not be used, compared to 35% in 2005.
(Nobody’s Children Foundation, 2009, Warsaw teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse: research report
www.canee.net/files/Teachers studies Poland 2009.pdf)
Part of  the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.  www.canee.net/bulgaria/research_on_the_problem_of_child_abuse_in_eastern_europe

A nationwide survey of adults published in 2001 found that 80% reported experiencing beatings in the home as children, by parents or guardians, more commonly for men than for women. The higher the level of education of respondents, the less often they had experienced physical punishment and the less frequently they used corporal punishment on their own children. Corporal punishment was most often reported as being used on children aged 7-14 years. Almost half of respondents (48%) believed that corporal punishment by parents should be banned. One fifth (20%) had also experienced corporal punishment by teachers.
(Fluderska, G. and Sajkowska, M., 2001, The Problem of Child Abuse in Poland: Attitudes and Experiences, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation Link to www.fdn.pl)

In 2001, the State Agency for Prevention of Alcohol Related Problems (PARPA) commissioned attitudinal research on childrearing. The survey of 1,116 people aged above 15 years found that more than half (54%) considered beating children with a belt acceptable, and 77% believed it was acceptable to shout at and threaten children. Just under a half (44%) agreed that children are the property of their parents; 24% agreed with the statement “a child should be afraid of his/her parents, and there is no upbringing without beating”; 30% agreed with “the severe upbringing makes a child stronger and is beneficial for the child”; 27% agreed with “children deserve corporal punishments”.
(Reported in Government Response to UN Study on Violence Against Children Questionnaire, May 2005)

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Portugal (prohibition achieved in 2007)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
Telephone interviews with 809 adults aged 18 years and over in April 2004 revealed that 83% believe it is acceptable for parents to smack their children, including one in six (16%) who believe it is always acceptable and a further two thirds (67%) who believe there are some circumstances in which it is acceptable. Just over one in ten (13%) believe it is unacceptable in any circumstances.
(Market & Opinion Research International, 2004, “Attitudes towards smacking children: Portugal”, Research conducted for the Association for the Protection of All Children (UK))

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Republic of Moldova (prohibition achieved in 2008)

Research published since prohibition
A study involving 500 people aged 15 and over found that 50% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – an increase from 37% in a similar survey in 2005. Seventy-three per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child (compared to 76% in a similar survey in 2010), 29% that they had beaten or hit them (66% in 2010), 19% that they had beaten them with a belt (26% in 2010) and 19% that they had slapped their child on the face (46% in 2010).
(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

A 2009 survey of 206 teachers in primary schools in Chi?in?u found that 68% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 58% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 51% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party. In an identical survey of a similar sample in 2005, 40% believed this. In a 2009 nationwide study, 55% of respondents believed that corporal punishment should not be used, compared to 37% in 2005. In 2005, 11%  of respondents said that corporal punishment “may be used if the parent believes it will be effective”; in 2009, 5% of respondents said this.
(National Center for Child Abuse Prevention and Nobody’s Children Foundation, 2009, Chisinau teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse
www.canee.net/files/Teachers studies Moldova 2009.pdf)
Part of  the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.  www.canee.net/bulgaria/research_on_the_problem_of_child_abuse_in_eastern_europe

Research published before prohibition
In 2004, the Working Group on Development of Policies and Strategies in the Field of Small Children Care and Development, supported by UNICEF, carried out a national study on children’s health, education and experience of violence and abuse. Of the 4-7 year old children questioned, 58.4% reported being beaten at home.
(Reported in Government Response to UN Study on Violence Against Children Questionnaire, September 2005)

The “Young Voices” Study carried out by UNICEF across 35 countries in May 2001 involved interviews with 400 children aged 9-17 years in each country. Almost half (47%) of those interviewed in Moldova reported having been subjected to violent or aggressive behaviour at home. In 43% of cases the reason given for this behaviour was children’s disobedience and bad behaviour; in 4% it was attributed to poor performance at school or not doing homework.
(Reported in Government Response to UN Study on Violence Against Children Questionnaire, September 2005)

In 2000-2001, the National Study on Early Child Development studied the methods used in disciplining children and the beliefs of parents regarding abusive methods of child discipline. When asked what they do when children do not obey, two out of five parents (39.6%) admitted to beating them with their hands, with 52.4% threatening a beating or other punishment. In two-parent families, children were more frequently beaten by mothers than fathers (47.9% compared with 27.8%). Over half of parents (56.4%) acknowledged that beatings do not solve anything, and only 15.5% reported considering that what they do is right. The size of the sample was not reported.
(Protection, Neglect, Abuse and Violence, reported in Government Response to UN Study on Violence Against Children Questionnaire, September 2005)

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Romania (prohibition achieved in 2004)

Research published since prohibition
A 2012 study found that fewer children reported experiencing corporal punishment from their parents than in a similar study carried out in 2001. In 2001, 84% of children said that their parents hit them with a hand without leaving a mark; by 2012, this had fallen to 62%. In 2001, 29% of children reported being hit with objects by their parents and 10% being hit so hard it left a mark. By 2012 these figures had fallen to 18% and 5% respectively. The study also found a decrease in parents’ use of verbal abuse: 22% of children reported experiencing this in 2001, compared to 16% in 2012.

(Save the Children Romania, (2014), Child Neglect and Abuse: National Sociologic Study (English summary),Save the Children & Child Protection Department, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly)

A report on institutions, including psychiatric institutions and care facilities, in Romania found that children with disabilities were kept in permanent restraints, including being tied to chairs, tied up with bedsheets and kept in cribs.
(Ahern, L., Rosenthal, E., et al, [n.d.], Hidden Suffering: Romania’s Segregation and Abuse of Infants and Children with Disabilities, Mental Disability Rights International)

A 2007 study included a nationally representative poll of1,110 people and interviews with 155 teachers, doctors, psychologists and other adults who worked with children. 70% of the sample polled and 92% of professionals interviewed were aware that Romanian legislation included “provisions that forbid physical punishment and humiliating treatment of children”. 73% of the polled sample and 95% of professionals were aware that physical punishment and humiliating treatment of children were banned in all environments, including schools and the home. 97% of professionals believed that the law was necessary in Romania. 82% of the sample felt that an information campaign for the public on child protection legislation was “greatly needed” and 14% that it was needed to some extent. 90% of professionals thought that an information campaign for adults working with children was needed. The poll asked people to define “humiliating treatment of children”. Of the 923 people who answered this question, 60% referred to physical violence and 21% to psychological violence. 12% of the sample interviewed said that they were aware of children being treated violently in the families of friends or neighbours.
(Save the Children Romania, 2007, Study on the Level of Awareness of Child Protection Legislation Among the General Population and Experts)

Research published before prohibition
An opinion poll of 1,200 children aged 8-13 years, carried out by Save the Children Romania during the 2002 national campaign “Beating is not from Heaven”, found that 81% considered beating to be an inefficient method of education, 70% believed that child protection against violence was inadequate, 76% believed that adults should be punished by the state for beating children, and 83% felt that corporal punishment should be prohibited by law.
(Reported in International Save the Children Alliance, 2005, Ending Physical and Humiliating Punishment of Children - Making it Happen: Global Submission to the UN Study on Violence against Children, Save the Children Sweden)

Research in 2000 by Save the Children Romania found that of a sample of 423 children aged 11-13 years, 75% reported experiencing physical abuse, including corporal punishment, with 5% reporting the need for medical treatment.
(Alexandrescu, G. et al., 2000, Child abuse and neglect, Save the Children Romania)

In a national survey in 2000 of 1,556 households with children, 1,295 school children aged 13-14 years, and 110 professionals, 47% of parents admitted using corporal punishment while 84% of children reported experiencing corporal punishment from their parents, including 20% who were beaten with objects and 15% who were afraid to go home because of the beatings. 16% of parents admitted to beating their children with an object, and 48% to threatening their children with beatings and other forms of punishment.
(Browne, K. et al., 2002, Child abuse and neglect in Romanian Families: A National Prevalence Study 2000, Bucharest: Romanian Government National Authority for Child Protection)

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Spain (prohibition achieved in 2007)

Research published since prohibition
A 2009 study by the Defensor del Pueblo (ombudsman) on centres for children without parental care found that “disciplinary regimes” varied widely between centres. While some centres applied positive disciplinary techniques, others relied more on punitive sanctions. In some centres, punishments included tying two children together, preventing children from attending school and isolating children. The report recommends increased regulation at a regional level and states that regulations must not directly or indirectly provide for corporal punishment or other types of punishment which violate children’s rights.
(Defensor del Pueblo, 2009, Centros de Protección de Menores con Trastornos de Conducta y en Situación de Difficultad Social)

Research published before prohibition
A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law.  55% of Spanish parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 80% had slapped their child on the bottom. 31% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 6.7% had beaten their child with an object. 16% of Spanish parents never used corporal punishment. 84% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 85% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.
See also ‘Comparative research’ above.
(Bussmann, K. D., 2009, The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Download the Report here

Research in 2004 asked 119 children aged 7 to 15 years old about their views on physical and humiliating punishment. Click here for more details.

Research in 2004 by the National Social Research Centre found that 25.6% of adults believed it was necessary to smack their own children to impose discipline, with 74.4% believing it unnecessary.
(Cited in Goicoechea, P. H., Castigo Físico y Psigológico en España: Incidencia, voces de los niños y niñas y situación legal, Save the Children Spain
www.savethechildren.es/docs/Ficheros/76/informeSC.pdf)

A study in Madrid in 1998 found that 27.7% of parents had hit their children in the month before the research, with an average of three times per month; 2.7% of parents admitted having hit their children hard.
(Violencia en ciudades de América y España, 1998, cited in Goicoechea, P. H., Castigo Físico y Psigológico en España: Incidencia, voces de los niños y niñas y situación legal, Save the Children Spain
www.savethechildren.es/docs/Ficheros/76/informeSC.pdf

A nationwide survey in 1997 on attitudes towards maltreatment in the home found that 2% of parents believed it was essential to use corporal punishment often, 47.2% believed it was necessary sometimes, and 53.2% felt it was not a necessary part of childrearing, although this did not mean that they never used it. Women were more likely to use corporal punishment, especially on young children.
(Juste, G. 1997, Actitudes de los españoles ante elcastigo físico infantil,  Ministerio de Trabajo y asuntos sociales, cited in cited in Goicoechea, P. H., Castigo Físico y Psigológico en España: Incidencia, voces de los niños y niñas y situación legal, Save the Children Spain
www.savethechildren.es/docs/Ficheros/76/informeSC.pdf)

In a study reported in 1995 comprising interviews with 426 undergraduate students, 57% reported experiencing physical punishment before the age of 13 years, with 7.8% reporting severe physical abuse.
(de Paul, Milner & Mugica, 1995, “Childhood maltreatment, childhood social support, and child abuse potential in a Basque sample”, Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 19, no. 8)

Interviews with parents in 1997 found that one in ten mothers and fathers always hit their child when she or he did wrong, six in ten sometimes; almost a quarter reported never hitting. One in ten said they punished their children every day and over a third said once a week.
(Barrantes, Z., Castillo, E. & Ortega, X., 1997, “Problems of child aggression and the role of the administrator teacher in the one-teacher (unidocente) schools of Circuit 1 of the Guapiles Regional Education Management in 1997”, Latina University, cited in paper on draft law abolition of physical punishment of children and adolescents, presented in Costa Rica, March 2004)

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Sweden (prohibition achieved in 1979)

Research published since prohibition
A 2011 study which involved 2,500 parents of children aged 0-12 and 3,207 15-16 year olds, and was designed to follow-up on similar studies carried out in 1980, 2000 and 2006, found that 92% of parents thought that it was wrong to beat or slap a child. About 3% of parents had struck their child at some point during the past year, compared to 28% in 1980. Fourteen per cent of 15-16 year olds said that they had been hit by their parents at least once in their lifetime. Children with disabilities or chronic health problems were twice as likely to be beaten as children without disabilities. The study found no evidence that parents were replacing physical punishments with other humiliating punishments instead of physical punishment – rather, there was a strong connection between violent punishment and other humiliating treatment of children. The study examined various risk factors for experiencing corporal punishment and found that violence between adults in the family was the greatest risk factor: children in families where there was violence between adults were ten times as likely to be physically punished as children in families where there was no violence between adults.

(Janson, S. et al (2012), Corporal punishment and other humiliating behaviour towards children in Sweden – a national study 2011, Children’s Welfare Foundation & University of Karlstad)

A survey of 1,697 students aged 12-16 found that 76.7% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Nearly one in ten (9.7%) thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. More than eight in ten (83.8%) disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 93.6% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.
(UNICEF, 2011, Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in Sweden, none of the boys or girls had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month, and none of the parents believed that it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child. Nine per cent of girls and 6% of boys had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object) by someone in their household in the past month.
(Lansford, J. et al, 2010, “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A 2009 review of the thirty years since the legislation was introduced showed that there has been a consistent decline in the use of physical punishment and the number of adults who are in favour of it. In the 1970s, around half of children were smacked regularly; this fell to around a third in the 1980s, and just a few per cent after 2000. Children who are still smacked experience this less often; 1.5% experience physical punishment with an implement. The reporting of cases of assault on children has increased since the 1980s, reflecting less tolerance within society for violence towards children.

The report also notes that in 1981, just two years after the law was introduced, over 90% of Swedish families were aware of the prohibition on corporal punishment. The change in legislation was accompanied by a large public awareness campaign, with pamphlets distributed to every household with children and information printed on milk cartons.
(Modig, C., 2009, Never Violence – Thirty Years on from Sweden’s Abolition of Corporal Punishment, Save the Children Sweden and Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs,
http://sca.savethechildren.se/Documents/Resources/never violence.pdf)
Also available in Swedish http://shop.rb.se/Product/Product.aspx?ItemId=5144043, Portuguese http://shop.rb.se/Product/Product.aspx?ItemId=5257426 Thai http://seap.savethechildren.se/Global/scs/SEAP/publication/publication pdf/Child Protection/Never Violence Thai 1 Dec 2009.pdf.

A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 

14% of Swedish parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 17% had slapped their child on the bottom. 4% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 1.8% had beaten their child with an object.

76% of Swedish parents never used corporal punishment. 88% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 93% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.
See also ‘Comparative research’ above.
(Bussmann, K. D., 2009, The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Download the Report here

In 2000, a study examined the impact of the ban on attitudes towards physical punishment, reporting of assaults against children, the responses to them, youth crime and the well-being of Swedish youth through various indicators.

Support for corporal punishment among adults had declined significantly since the introduction of the ban. In 1965 half the Swedish adult population believed that corporal punishment was necessary, but by 1981, a quarter did. By 1994, 11% of the population supported any form of corporal punishment. This reflects a generational effect, with younger generations significantly less likely to support corporal punishment than older generations.

Reporting of assaults against children rose between 1981 and 1996, with the vast majority of reported assaults being in the most minor ‘petty’ or ‘common’ assault category, punishable by a fine. This indicates that children at risk of violence are being identified before serious injury occurs. At the same time, social care interventions have become increasingly supportive of families, with the proportion of interventions involving out-of-home care decreasing by a third.

Crime statistics indicate that there was a decrease in the number of 15 to 17 year olds involved in various types of crime, including theft, narcotics crimes, assaults against young children and rape between 1983 and 1996. Suicide and use of alcohol and drugs by young people also decreased between 1971 and 1997. 
(Durrant, J., 2000, A Generation Without Smacking: the impact of Sweden’s ban on physical punishment, Save the Children www.endcorporalpunishment.org/pages/pdfs/GenerationwithoutSmacking.pdf)

See also:

Durrant, J., 1996, The Swedish Ban on Corporal Punishment: Its History and Effects www.nospank.net/durrant.htm
Durrant, J. & Olsen, G., 1997, “Parenting and Public Policy: Contextualizing the Swedish Corporal Punishment Ban”, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol. 19, issue 4, pp. 443 - 461
Durrant, J, 2000, “Trends in Youth Crime and Well-Being Since the Abolition of Corporal Punishment in Sweden”, Youth and Society, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 437 – 455 www.radford.edu/~junnever/articles/sweden.pdf

Studies carried out in 2000 on behalf of the Parliamentary Committee on Child Abuse and Related Issues involved interviews with parents of 1,609 children, a nationwide classroom questionnaire completed by 1,764 children aged 11-13 years, and a nationwide postal survey completed by 1,576 20 year-olds. Compared with earlier studies, fewer children (20%) reported experiencing corporal punishment, and less frequently than before; 4% of children aged 11-13 years and 7% of young adults aged 20 years reported experiencing severe corporal punishment with some sort of instrument. Interviews with parents revealed a marked change in attitudinal support for corporal punishment, from 53% in 1965 to 10% in 1999. The proportion of children accepting parental corporal punishment similarly decreased, from 50% in 1995 to 25% in 2000.
(Janson, S., 2000, Children and abuse - corporal punishment and other forms of child abuse in Sweden at the end of the second millennium: A scientific report prepared for the Committee on Child Abuse and Related Issues, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sweden)
English summary report. www.regeringen.se/content/1/c4/11/98/b1ebdfe0.pdf

Surveys by the Swedish Department of Social Welfare in the 1990s found that 78% of adults considered corporal punishment unacceptable. They also showed a significant reduction in the use of corporal punishment since the legislative prohibition, with 30% of middle school aged students reporting experience of corporal punishment, contrasting with a 1979 finding of 50%.
(Statistics Sweden, 1996, Demography, the family and children, spanking and other forms of physical punishment: a study of adults’ and middle school students’ opinions, experience, and knowledge, Stockholm: Statistics Sweden)

Research published before prohibition
See references in ‘Research published since prohibition’ above.

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TFYR Macedonia (prohibition achieved in 2013)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
The 2011 report of the Ombudsman, acting as National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, documented the use of solitary confinement as a punishment and of insults and physical violence by guards against juveniles in penitentiary-correctional and educational-correctional institutions.
(Ombudsman: National Preventive Mechanism (2012), Annual Report, Skopje: Ombudsman)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 72% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Nearly six in ten experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (7%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 90% of children. More than one child in seven experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 61% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 77% compared to 68%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to age, household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.
(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, twelve per cent of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the month prior to the survey, compared to 20% of children without disabilities.
(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

A 2009 report by the office of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Macedonia found that corporal punishment was very common in institutions. Fifty-three children living in three institutions took part in the research. Of these, 21% said physical violence occured often in institutions and 21% said it occured rarely. Seventeen per cent said they were often psychologically abused, and 11% rarely. Only about half of the children had never experienced physical violence, and half had never experienced psychological violence. Children were afraid to report experiencing corporal punishment, and also did not know where to report it.
(First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi (2009),Overview of the situation of children in institutions in Republic of Macedonia, www.childrensembassy.org.mk)

65.3% of respondents to a 2009 survey of 662 adults believed that corporal punishment should never be used. This was a significant increase compared to an identical 2005 survey of 519 adults, when 42.8% said that corporal punishment should never be used. 1.5% of respondents in 2009 said that corporal punishment was acceptable “if the parent believes that it will be effective”, compared to 14.5% in 2005. The studies in 2005 and 2009 also examined adults’ perceptions of the prevalence of corporal punishment.
(BRIMA (2009), Overview of the perception about the corporal punishment of the children in Republic of Macedonia and comparative analysis between the research results from 2005 and 2009 year, www.canee.net/files/Omnibus%20research%20Macedonia%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

A 2009 survey of 208 teachers in primary schools in Skopje found that 73% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 70% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 68% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party. In an identical survey of a similar sample in 2005, 62% believed this. On average, respondents in 2009 estimated that 30% of children in Macedonia experience spanking as punishment, compared to an average estimate of 52% in 2005.
(Nobody’s Children Foundation et al (2009), Skopje teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse, www.canee.net/files/Teachers%20studies%20Macedonia%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

The First Children’s Embassy in the world-Megjashi, carried out research on children’s rights, discrimination and violence in 2009, involving over 2,200 students. According to the report, 56% of children named hitting/beating as a form of violence that happens in schools, and 57% said they knew a child who had been beaten by a teacher or headteacher, including slapping (63%), caning (34%), and kicking (15%).
(First Children’s Embassy in the world-Megjashi (2009), Perception of Children’s Rights, Discrimination and Children’s Exposure to Violence, www.childrensembassy.org.mk/default-en.asp?ItemID=BDE30F4995F6E24A8495ABB7F7C731A1)
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Togo (prohibition achieved in 2007)

Research published since prohibition
A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 91% of children aged 2-14 experienced violent discipline (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in 2005-2006. More than three quarters experienced physical punishment. Non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 90% of children. More than a quarter of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 83% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than younger children: 92% of children aged 5-9 compared to 87% of children aged 2-4. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.
(UNICEF, 2010, Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

Research published before prohibition
From mid-2005, Plan Togo commissioned research into violence and abuse in schools (Plan Togo, 2006). This included a joint study with the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) which involved interviews with 1,000 schoolchildren in 35 villages and with more than 500 mothers of school aged children, teachers, traditional chiefs, members of security services, social workers and others, a case study on violence and abuse in Togolese schools comprising 19 first-person narratives and observations based on interviews with children, parents and teachers in 7 villages and 2 towns, and a discussion of structural violence in the education system in Togo. In the FAWE  research, children in their last 3 years of primary school were interviewed: 88% of the girls and 87% of the boys reported experiencing physical violence at school; 52% of girls and 48% of boys reported experiencing threatening behaviour or psychological violence.
(Plan Togo, 2006, Suffering to Succeed? Violence and abuse in schools in Togo, Lome: Plan Togo)

A 2003 Human Rights Watch report on child trafficking in Togo noted that many boys had been recruited into agricultural labour and worked very long hours, with many recalling that taking time off for sickness or injury would lead to longer working hours or corporal punishment. Most boys interviewed reported suffering physical injuries on the job and some of these were from corporal punishment by employers. The report notes that girls trafficked for domestic or market labour also experienced frequent beatings, carried out by bosses or by other neighbours.
(Human Rights Watch, 2003, Borderline Slavery: Child Trafficking in Togo)

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Tunisia (prohibition achieved in 2010)

Research published since prohibition
According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2012, 93% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(UNICEF (2014), The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers: Every Child Counts, NY: UNICEF)

Research published before prohibition
A 2006 study of 4,511 households with children aged 2-14 found that 94% of the children were punished using physical, verbal or other forms of violence. 73% of them were hit and 26% insulted. 85% of 2-5 year olds, 81% of 6-9 year olds and 66% of 10-14 year olds experienced corporal punishment. Boys and girls were punished equally and the number of people in the household, amount of living space and levels of maternal education had little effect on the levels of corporal punishment. 82% of mothers aged under 40 were physically violent towards their children compared to 70% of mothers aged over 40. 

(Ministère de la Sante Publique, Office National de la Famille et de la Population and UNICEF, 2008, Enquête sur la Sante et Le Bien Etre de la Mère et l’Enfant - MICS 3 (in French), www.childinfo.org/files/MICS3_Tunisia_FinalReport_2006_Fr.pdf)

A study published in 1987 reported that only 20% of interrogated families reported that they never beat their children, that it is considered normal in the traditional culture to inflict corporal punishment on children and wives when they disobey, and that 64% of parents consider that beating their child is good for his/her education. Young boys under 12 years were more exposed to corporal punishment than girls, and fathers were generally responsible for inflicting punishment, though mothers and teachers also beat children.
(Moncef, M., 1987, “L’enfant battu et les attitudes culturelles: l’exemple de la Tunisia”, Child Abuse & Neglect, vol.II, pp.137-141, cited in OMCT, Rights of the Child in Tunisia)

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Turkmenistan (prohibition achieved in 2012)

Research published since prohibition
None identified.

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Ukraine (prohibition achieved in 2004)

Research published since prohibition
A study involving 1,000 people aged 15 and over found that 41% thought that corporal punishment should never be used. Seventy-two per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child, 20% that they had beaten or hit them, 29% that they had beaten them with a belt and 29% that they had slapped them in the face.
(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 70% of children aged 2-14 experienced violent discipline (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in 2005-2006. Over one third experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (13%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 96% of children. Two per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 66% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 76% compared to 65%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 79% of children aged 5-9 compared to 60% of children aged 2-4 and 66% of children aged 10-14. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour. 
(UNICEF, 2010, Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

35% of respondents to a 2009 survey of 1,501 parents aged over 25 believed that corporal punishment should never be used, 51% said that corporal punishment “should not be used in general but in certain situations it is justified” and 12% said that corporal punishment “could be used”. 54% of respondents believed that corporal punishment was experienced by more than 50% of children in Ukraine.
(Child Well Being Fund Ukraine, 2009, Public opinion monitoring in Ukraine: July 2009
www.canee.net/files/Omnibus research Ukraine 2009.pdf)
Part of  the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.  
www.canee.net/bulgaria/research_on_the_problem_of_child_abuse_in_eastern_europe

A 2009 survey of 213 teachers in primary schools in Kiev found that 74% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 76% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party.
(Child Well Being Fund Ukraine and Nobody’s Children Foundation, 2009, Kiev teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse www.canee.net/files/Teachers studies Ukraine 2009.pdf)
Part of  the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.
www.canee.net/bulgaria/research_on_the_problem_of_child_abuse_in_eastern_europe

Research published before prohibition
None identified.

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Uruguay (prohibition achieved in 2007)

Research published since prohibition
According to a 2009 report by the Ministry of Social Development, 59% of adults reported having used “moderate” or “severe”  physical punishment in the home and 15% having inflicted “severe” or “very severe” punishments.
(Ministry of Social Development, 2009, Practices of upbringing and solving family conflicts: Prevalence of ill-treatment against children and adolescents, cited in Durrant, J. & Smith, A., 2011, Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, NY: Routledge)

Research published before prohibition
A 2005 survey of 1,500 children and 900 adults responsible for their care found that 92% of adults had been physically punished at home as children and 70% justified its use. Nearly all (99%) adults were able to identify methods of non-violent childrearing if a prohibition of physical punishment were to be introduced. Thirty-six per cent of the children believed that physical punishment was justified.
(Program Arcoiris, 2005, Boys’ and girls’ opinion about raising methods in Uruguay, cited in Durrant, J. & Smith, A., 2011, Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, NY: Routledge)

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Venezuela (prohibition achieved in 2007)

Research published since prohibition

None identified.

Research published before prohibition
Surveys carried out in 2002-2004 examined the attitudes of children and adults in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela towards physical punishment. In Venezuela, 889 people were surveyed (685 children and 204 adults). Nearly half (46.8%) of the children and 30.2% of the adults agreed that physical punishment is “very bad” or “makes children violent”, and 13.4% of the children and 35.1% of the adults agreed that children should not be physically punished or that “punishment does not solve anything”. More than eight in ten adults (83.4%) and 71.2% of children thought that physical punishment is never necessary.
(Save the Children Sweden & Instituto de Encuestas y Sondeos de Opinión, 2005, Sistematización de las Encuestas Sobre la Perceptión del Castigo Físico en Seis Países de America Latina, presentation: Managua, 16 May 2005)

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