Minister promotes ban on kid spanking
By ČTK, Prague Daily Monitor, March 7, 2008

Prague, March 6 (ČTK) - Corporal punishment of children, especially babies, should be banned in the Czech Republic, Minister without Portfolio, who is in charge off Human Rights and Minorities, Dzamila Stehlikova (Greens) told journalists after a meeting of the Government Council for Child's Rights Thursday.

"Corporal punishment of infants under 12 months is inadmissible as they do not yet understand the connection between their behaviour and the following punishment," Stehlikova said.

The council will recommend the need of the ban to the Government Council for Human Rights.

The Council of Europe promotes a complete ban on corporal punishment of children and one-third of EU member countries have already adopted the ban.

Stehlikova: "Czech society is too tolerant to corporal punishment... poses a risk for safe development of a child's personality."
Stehlikova said Czech society is too tolerant to corporal punishment.

"Corporal punishment poses a risk for safe development of a child's personality," she said.

She said physically punished children may later in life tend to beat their partners and children.

Stehlikova said she believed other kinds of punishments and praise were much more effective.

She also mentioned the problem of too many children staying in institutional care in the Czech Republic.

Courts can send children to an institution only for a limited period, Stehlikova said.

Children often stay in institutional care until they reach 18 years even though their situation should be checked once in six months under law. At present, the check is often a mere formality, she said.

A child stays in institutional care only for a limited period of time in most EU countries. Meanwhile, social workers and other experts work with the family so that the child may return. If this is impossible, they try to find a substitute family for the child.

According to official data, some 20,000 children are in institutional care, including nearly 5000 in children's homes, in the 10-million Czech Republic. This story is from the Czech News Agency (ČTK).


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