San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Stop Spanking Kids, Say Lawmakers

Lawmakers are expected to vote next week to prohibit parents from spanking their children.

The bill would outlaw “physical or emotional punishment or mistreatment” of children.

Ombudswoman Lisbeth Quesada, whose office proposed the bill in 2005, cheered the move.

“Nothing justifies hitting children,” she said in a statement.

Still, lawmaker Luis Antonio Barrantes, who serves on the committee that approved the bill, called the proposal “symbolic,” noting it lacks an enforcement mechanism.

“There are no clear sanctions,” he said, but “it does send a clear message that you mustn’t mistreat children.”

The bill’s passage was delayed after lawmakers realized in late May that several paragraphs were missing. It becomes law after President Oscar Arias signs it and it is published in the official government daily, La Gaceta.


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