France is joining the ranks of 51 other countries in an effort to stop corporal punishment of children.
That means spanking or smacking is not allowed in France, Israel, Brazil and dozens of other countries, The UN Tribune reported.
Sweden started the push to ban physical punishment of children more than 35 years ago in 1979.
Most recently, Mongolia, Paraguay and Slovenia enacted the ban last year before France.
Accoridng to the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, corporal punishment was defined by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child as “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.”
The committee stated that most of the time it means hitting with either a hand or an object like a stick, belt, or wooden spoon
But it is not only hitting with a hand or an object, but also can involve boxing ears, pinching, or washing a child’s mouth out with soap.
The move is more or less symbolic in France since there is no criminal penalty if someone smacks or paddles their child.
Corporal punishment has been outlawed in schools, but legally permitted within the confines of the family.
The Telegraph reported that France’s move to ban spanking or other physical punishment will put pressure on other European countries like Britain, Italy and Switzerland that still allow the practice.