Prohibition of all corporal punishment in Spain (2007)

Corporal punishment is prohibited in the home under a 2007 amendment to the Civil Code. The Code had previously recognised the “right” of parents and guardians to use “reasonable and moderate” forms of “correction” but these provisions have been removed from the law, ensuring that children have the same protection from assault as adults. Article 154 now states that in the exercise of their responsibility, parents/tutors must respect the physical and psychological integrity of their children.

In 1999 the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs supported a widespread awareness-raising campaign highlighting the dangers of corporal punishment and promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline. In November 2004, the Director of Childhood announced the Government’s intention to pursue law reform. Prohibition was achieved when Congress passed the new law on 20 December 2007. Media coverage of the reforms emphasised that the new legislation means parents may no longer smack their children in the name of discipline.


Further information

  • Global Initiative country report for Spain
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