To Smack or Not to Smack, Whether ’tis Ever Right for Europe to Tell Parents What to Do

French public opinion — 87% of French parents — seems to be in favour of the current law and its exceptions over the use of smacking when disciplining children, a view backed by Socialist Family Minister Marisol Touraine … and the Pope in Rome.

Is France soft on smacking? No say many parents, and its our business anyway. (Credit Screengrab)

Is France soft on smacking? No say many parents, and its our business anyway (Credit Screengrab)

But the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, a human rights body, is indignant and seeks to “reeducate” French parents and French public opinion. This despite some reports suggesting lamentable outcomes in Sweden, the first country in Europe to introduce this piece of left-wing social engineering.

Watch France24 presenter François Picard as he tries to reach a consensus on issues such as: “Are we (in France) too soft on smacking? and “is corporal punishment, a public policy matter”?

Part 1:

The two-part series follows a report by the Council of Europe taking France to task for not banning corporal punishment. So far only 22 of the Council’s 47-member states have done so.

Reflecting French public opinion, France’s family minister is against tougher laws, as is Pope Francis according to a reportage clipped into the debate.

A related issue that has inflamed public opinion on French chat shows and in the social media is whether a European human rights body should have any say whatsoever on the way French parents raise their children.
Part 2:

Taking part in a rather lopsided debate were:
Alexandra Caude assistant secretary of Familles de France;
the Council of Europe’s Regina Jensdottir, author of the critical report;
Michel Pierpaoli, education specialist at a private school in Paris and Washington-born, Paris-based Tony Kenneybrew, an attorney and president of ADEPE an association defending children’s human rights.


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