Lithuania prohibits all corporal punishment of children

Until February 2017 corporal punishment of children in Lithuania was lawful in homes, alternative care and some day care settings. For years the legal ban was impossible as some parliamentarians believed that beating a child is a part of its education and that any interference into family affairs should be forbidden.

But on 14 February 2017, during an extraordinary session, the Lithuanian Parliament (the Seimas) finally passed amendments to the Law on the Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child (1996), prohibiting all corporal punishment of children. It was the reaction on the January's case of the 4-year-old boy beaten to death by family members. Shocked Lithuanian society started demanding a legal ban on violence against children.  

Attorney General of Lithuania Evaldas Paszilis, in his speech in Seimas, pointed out that in Lithuania every year the domestic violence touches almost three thousand minors. About four hundred children experience violence from strangers.

New law defines corporal punishment as "any punishment in which physical force is used to cause physical pain, even on a small scale, or otherwise to physically torture a child" and explicitly includes it in the definitions of violence against a child and physical violence. The amendments also set out the State's obligation to take appropriate measures ensuring that children are protected from all forms of violence - including corporal punishment - they may suffer at the hands of their parents, guardians, and any other person caring for the child.

This reform makes Lithuania the 52nd state worldwide that fully prohibits all corporal punishment of children; it is the 31st Council of Europe member state and the 22nd European Union state to do so (check: States prohibiting all corporal punishment of children, including the home).

In the same time the Russian Duma approved a bill that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence. The bill also includes violence against children. The law provides e.g. a fine for violence against wife, children or parents. In a particularly drastic cases the abuser could be sentenced to 15 days in jail.


Submitted by admin on Thu, 2017-03-02 14:19.