Nicaragua has become the eighth state in Latin America to achieve law reform to fully prohibit children from corporal punishment in the home and all other settings. Following quickly on from reform in Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia this year, the Nicaraguan National Assembly approved the new Family Code 2014, which states in article 280 (unofficial translation):
“The father, mother, or other family members, guardians or other persons legally responsible for the son or daughter have the responsibility, the right and duty to provide, consistent with the child’s evolving capacities, appropriate direction and guidance to the child, without putting at risk his or her health, physical integrity, psychological and personal dignity and under no circumstances using physical punishment or any type of humiliating treatment as a form of correction or discipline.
“The Ministry of Family, Youth and Children, in coordination with other state institutions and society shall promote forms of positive, participatory and non-violent discipline as alternatives to physical punishment and other forms of humiliating discipline.”
The new Code was published in the Official Gazette on 8 October 2014, and will take effect on 8 April 2015.
In addition, on 14 November 2014 – following sustained advocacy by the Group for Good Treatment, coordinated by the Ombudsperson for Children – the Ministry of Family, Adolescents and Children issued Resolution No. 244/2014 confirming prohibition of all corporal punishment in all protection centres for children.
With this reform there are now 44 states worldwide where corporal punishment of children is prohibited in all settings including the home.