Progress towards ending corporal punishment

A human rights issue – Linked on our blogs with Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children. – Published on Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children /on the Introduction site (scroll down), not authored nor dated.

… Despite the growing consensus that corporal punishment breaches children’s fundamental human rights, most of the world’s children are still subjected to legalised assaults by their parents and by other carers and teachers. Click here for summaries of research studies on prevalence of corporal punishment.

In states in every continent there have been moves to end corporal punishment in schools and penal systems (for example, in recent years in Ethiopia, Korea, South Africa, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and Zimbabwe) and the issue is on the political agenda in many other states. Click here for state-by-state table of the legality of corporal punishment in the home, schools and penal systems. 

At least 10 countries have abolished all corporal punishment of children and more have reforms under discussion. Click here for details of states which have abolished all corporal punishment.

Instituting the necessary legal changes is not expensive: what is required in almost every state is the explicit and well-publicised removal of any defence which currently justifies physical assault of children, in order to ensure that children have equal protection under the law. Promotion of positive discipline can be built into other health promotion, education and early childhood development programmes. Click here for ideas and information about promoting positive, non-violent discipline.

The other arguments against corporal punishment of children: … //

… There is some danger that in becoming too pre-occupied with this absorbing research, people forget the human rights imperative for action now: we do not look into the effects of physical discipline on women, or on animals. It is enough that it breaches fundamental rights. Finding some positive short- or long-term effects of corporal punishment would not reduce the human rights imperative for banning it. Click here for summaries of research into the effects of corporal punishment.

Children, for too long the silent victims of corporal punishment, are beginning to express their own views about it. The Convention on the Rights of the Child requires States to enable children to express their views freely on all matters affecting them, and to give their views due consideration. Hearing children’s voices should help to speed the end of corporal punishment. Click here for summaries of research into children’s views. (full text).

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