France is launching a new campaign to ban the smacking of children, a practice which, though condemned by the UN, still enjoys widespread support in the country.
Attempts by previous governments to ban the practise have run afoul of conservatives.
French governments have traditionally taken a kid-glove approach to smacking, fearing the wrath of the 70 percent of French people who oppose a ban on the practise, according to a 2015 Ifop poll.
Schools have long been banned from physically punishing children, but -- to the dismay of many Europeans, including Swedes and Germans -- not French parents.
Crucially, the bill would not sanction parents who continue to "discipline" their children as its main goal is "educational" -- a way to encourage society to mend its views, according to Maud Petit, the MP from the centrist MoDem party who sponsored the measure.
"What counts is that (parents) realise that what they've done is bad for their child and that they talk to him about it.
"Sending parents to prison because they smacked their child has never been at issue; it's all about education," said Schiappa, herself the mother of two young daughters.
But for Nicolas Bay, a member of the European Parliament for the far-right National Rally, equating "an educational slap" with physical violence is "a political mistake".
Smacking a child "allows one to set limits", and "it has educational value, providing it's done with the love and care parents give their children," he said.
The bill takes aim at a 19th-century addendum to the Civil Code's definition of parental authority -- read out to couples taking their wedding vows -- which specifically allows for "disciplining" children.
Only five members of the 28-strong European Union -- France, Britain, Italy, Belgium and the Czech Republic -- still allow parents to smack their children, according to the Britain-based Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.
Adopting the bill would make France the 55th state to ban smacking children.
Those in favour of a ban point to scientific studies that link smacking to psychological problems.
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