Prohibition of all corporal punishment in Croatia (1999)

When Croatia's Initial Report under the Convention on the Rights of the Child was examined by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1996, Government representatives assured the Committee that they would explicitly ban corporal punishment. A new family law received its third reading in the Croatian Parliament in June 1998; it came into effect 1 January 1999. Article 88 of the now repealed Family Act 1998 stated:

Parents and other family members must not subject the child to degrading treatment, mental or physical punishment and abuse.”

This Act has been replaced by the Family Act 2003 (as amended to 2009), which states in article 88:

Parents and other family members may not subject the child to degrading measures, mental or physical violence, or abuse.”

Article 92(2) states:

A parent is bound to protect a child from the degrading procedures and corporal punishment of other persons.”

Article 4 of the Act on Protection from Domestic Violence 2003 defines violence in the family as “any application of physical force and psychological coercion upon personal integrity, any act on the part of one family member which may cause or risk the cause of physical or mental pain, the provocation of fear or feelings of personal danger, or insults to dignity, physical attack, whether resulting in physical injury or not, verbal attack, insult, cursing, the use of derogatory names and other means of causing distress, sexual harassment, spying and other means of causing harassment, illegal isolation or restriction of freedom of movement and communication with third persons, and damage or destruction of property, whether actual or attempted”. This is interpreted as protecting children from all forms of corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading treatment in the family. A new Act on Protection against Family Violence was adopted in 2009 which reportedly further strengthens protection for children and explicitly states that corporal punishment and other forms of degrading treatment of children constitutes family violence (third/fourth state party report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child).


Further information

  • Global Initiative country report for Croatia
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