Prohibition of all corporal punishment in Bolivia (2014)
On 17 July 2014, the President signed into law a new Children and Adolescents Code which explicitly prohibits all corporal punishment of children. Chapter 8 of the Code provides for the right to personal integrity and protection from violence, including in article 146 explicit prohibition of all corporal punishment (unofficial translation):
Right to good treatment.
(1) The child and adolescent has the right to good treatment, comprising a non-violent upbringing and education, based on mutual respect and solidarity.
(2) The exercise of the authority of the mother, father, guardian, family members and educators should use non-violent methods in parenting, education and correction. Any physical, violent and humiliating punishment is prohibited.”
Article 147 states that where violence against a child constitutes a criminal offence it will be punished under criminal law; where violence breaches the Children and Adolescents Code but does not constitute a criminal offence, it will be sanctioned according to the Code. Article 153 confirms that this includes the “subjection to physical punishment or other forms that degrade or adversely affect the dignity of the child or adolescent, whether by way of disciplinary or educational measures, unless the lesions are classified in criminal legislation”.
Article 117 confirms that physical punishment is prohibited in schools:
Rules of conduct and peaceful and harmonious coexistence must be administered in compliance with the rights and interests of children and adolescents, considering their duties, which must conform to the following provisions….
d) physical punishments are prohibited.”
Article 338 prohibits its use in specialised centres (orientation and social reintegration centres):
Disciplinary regime. …
(2) Specialised centres where custodial measures are met should have internal regulations that respect the rights and guarantees recognised by this Code, and include as a minimum the following: …
b) exhaustive regulatory sanctions that may be imposed on the adolescent and for compliance with the measure. Under no circumstances may be applied cruel, inhuman or degrading disciplinary measures, including corporal punishment and confinement in dark and filthy cells….”
Article 342 states the right of children and adolescents deprived of their liberty not to be subjected to corporal punishment.
The Code came into force on 6 August 2014.