Some time back on a mailing list, we were discussing violence against kids. As I mentioned there jokingly, my mum claims that she has used almost every kitchen implement to tan my backside for being a horrible kid. But corporal punishment in the west, by and large, is now illegal. Here’s a good reasoned short debate on corporal punishment for children. Here’s another site with some good evidence on this issue.
Seems like the consensus is that while children should not be physically punished as a rule, there are exceptions where a spanking might be appropriate. How about at home? good article here. US and EU legality of corporal punishment. Red: corporal punishment not prohibited, blue only prohibited in schools and green, you will not touch the child anywhere.
Curiously, on the wiki site, the only countries which seem to be interested in this area are the OECD countries. Other countries from say Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latam or poorer countries…, hmmm. is concern for kids a function of rich countries only?
Which brings me to the question, if I threaten to kick my nephew in his pants, is that illegal? No. I quote:
It's OK to tell a teenager he'll get good kick in the pants if he doesn't behave, Italy's top court ruled Tuesday.
The Cassation Court, whose rulings set precedents, rejected the contention of the teen's mother that the warning amounted to a real threat and a form of abuse.
''The statement cannot be deemed abusive, given the type of language used by the new generation,'' said the court, upholding a previous decision by a Sardinian tribunal.
The court said Gavino S. a 55-year-old man from the city of Alghero, could not be accused of ''threatening'' his 15-year-old nephew Pietro S. and a group of his friends who were loitering in the stairs of their condominium.
The uncle's order to stop making noise and go home and ensuing threat to kick them all in the pants was judged by the judges to be ''incapable of sparking real fear'' in the youngsters.
The uncle's scolding ''was only meant to censure, albeit rudely, the behaviour'' of the youngsters, the court said.