Prohibition of all corporal punishment in Honduras (2013)
On 6 September 2013, Decree No. 35-2013 was published in the Official Gazette in Honduras, bringing into force a comprehensive set of reforms to child and family law which includes prohibition of all corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home.
Prior to reform, article 231 of the Civil Code and article 191 of the Family Code both confirmed the authority of parents “to reprimand and adequately and moderately correct their children”. These defences for the use of corporal punishment in childrearing were explicitly repealed. Article 14 of Decree No. 35-2013 repeals article 231 of the Civil Code, and article 5 of the amending law replaces article 191 of the Family Code with explicit prohibition of corporal punishment:
Parents, in the exercise of parental authority, have the right to exercise orientation, care and correction of their children, and to import to them, in keeping with the evolution of their physical and mental faculties, the guidance and orientation which are appropriate for their comprehensive development.
It is prohibited to parents and every person charged with the care, upbringing, education, treatment and monitoring [of children and adolescents], whether on a temporary or permanent basis, to use physical punishment or any type of humiliating, degrading, cruel or inhuman treatment as a form of correction or discipline of children or adolescents.
The State, through its competent institutions, will guarantee:
a) the execution of awareness and education programs directed to parents and every person charged with the care, treatment, education or monitoring of children and adolescents, at both national and local levels; and,
b) the promotion of positive, participative and non-violent forms of discipline as alternatives to physical punishment and other forms of humiliating treatment.”
In addition, article 1 of the amending law reforms article 164 of the Code on Children and Adolescents to include in its definition of abuse that which is inflicted in the guise of discipline or correction.
- Global Initiative country report for Honduras