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Strong video calls for smacking ban

Charity launches graphic new campaign to get France to abolish physical punishment of children

A GRAPHIC new campaign to ban smacking and physical punishment of children has caused upset after TV broadcasts of a video calling for France to come in line with an 1998 EU ruling to end maltreatment of youngsters.

The campaign, by children’s charity Fondation pour l'Enfance, asks parents to think again on the effects of “just a smack”, saying that what was a “little smack” for the parent was a “mighty wallop” for the little child.

It shows a child being smacked with a slow-motion segment showing his face being violently affected by the impact.

Dr Gilles Lazimi, a GP from Seine-Saint-Denis, who is heading the campaign, said: “There is no such thing as a little slap, nor a little smack: all violence towards our children can have consequences for their physical and psychological health.”

And he said that half of French people had slapped children under the age of two when it was “not possible for them to understand why they have been hit”.

He pointed towards a 2004 US study that showed that children who had been physically punished became aggressive themselves when they grew up.

So far, 32 countries have banned smacking– with 21 in Europe – and the major exceptions in the developed nations are the US, Canada, Australia and France.

The video, which has been found disturbing by many French TV viewers, is available here:

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