The Local 20 May 2014
France seems no nearer to banning the spanking of children, known as la fessée, after a planned debate in parliament to discuss a proposed bill was halted.
Members of France’s Greens group had put forward an amendment to a new Family Law bill that would have seen an end to la fessée.
“Legal guardians cannot use corporal punishment or physical violence against children,” read the text of the proposal penned by French Greens deputee François-Michel Lambert.
“Violence is never obligatory to assert parental authority,” Lambert said, before expressing his confusion over the fact that if “a father slaps his son”, in the street people find it “almost normal”, but not if it is a woman who is struck.
Lambert said the law would bring France in line with 18 other European countries.
However Laurence Rossignol, a junior minister in charge of family affairs, said on Monday that the government preferred to discuss them as part of a separate bill targeting child abuse.