Legal reform handbook 2009


Prohibiting corporal punishment of children: A guide to legal reform and other measures

Published by

Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children

Publication date

February 2009

Type of publication



English, French, Spanish


This handbook, supported by online resources, explains the legislative measures states should take to meet their obligations to prohibit all corporal punishment under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Building on the advice given by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its General Comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel of degrading forms of punishment, the handbook provides examples of legislation which would ensure that children are given the same protection from assault that adults enjoy, from the removal of legal defences relating to “reasonable chastisement/correction” by parents to the repeal of laws authorising corporal punishment in schools and as a sentence of the courts. It also gives guidance on non-legislative measures necessary to support full prohibition.

The revised handbook takes into account comments on the original version published in January 2008, as well as subsequent experience gained through working with NGOs and others pursuing law reform.

If you have questions or comments about this or any of our resources, or to request hard copies, contact us at

Legal reform handbook 2009 (EN)
Prohibiting corporal punishment of children: A guide to legal reform and other measures
Legal reform handbook 2009 (FR)
Interdire les châtiments corporels à l’encontre des enfants: Guide des réformes juridiques et autres mesures
Legal reform handbook 2009 (ES)
Prohibir el castigo corporal de los niños: Guía sobre la reforma legal y otras medidas