Child abuse prohibited by law in Switzerland

By Ann Kernahan, December 2022

The Upper House of the Swiss Federal Assembly (Council of States) has decided by majority vote to legally ban child beating, reports

According to the child protection foundation, one child in a school class is physically abused and almost one in four is psychologically abused. Families often resort to corporal punishment.

It is proposed that the prohibition of physical abuse of children be enshrined in the Civil Code, which, among other things, regulates issues of personal and family law. Hospitals and schools are obliged to report any suspicious changes in a child that they notice. In addition, counselling centres, lawyers' offices and authorities must be given greater scope to intervene. Parents are then unlikely to be able to talk their way out of breaking the law.

During an investigation, the Federal Equality Bureau found that children and young people who are raised by foreigners are twice as likely to suffer domestic violence as Swiss children. A law banning child abuse should remedy the situation. "Many of these people will think that if they comply with Swiss law, they can extend their residence permit or even naturalise," believes lawyer Andrea Caroni.