August 2003


In March 2003, the Icelandic Government passed a new Children's Act which in Article 28 states "It is the parents' obligation to protect their child against any physical or mental violence and other degrading or humiliating behaviour." This is interpreted by the government and by the Ombudsman for Children as explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment by parents.  It is supported by provisions in the 2002 Child Protection Act which had already placed an obligation on parents "to treat their children with care and consideration" and to "safeguard their welfare at all times".  The new law will come into effect on 1 November 2003.  If cases of corporal punishment come within the scope of the Child Protection Act 2002, explicit sanctions prescribed in the law can be imposed.