Cayman Islands prohibit corporal punishment in schools and early childhood care and education centres

The Global Initiative has confirmed that the Cayman Islands has prohibited corporal punishment in schools and early childhood care and education centres. The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory, with its own Constitution and domestic legislation.

The Education Law 2016, which came into force in 2017, explicitly prohibits corporal punishment in schools with article 26 stating:

Corporal punishment and acts which are cruel, inhumane or degrading to a student shall not be administered in an educational institution.”

The Law allows the use of necessary, reasonable and proportionate force for “prejudicing the maintenance of good order and discipline at the school or any educational activities or provision associated with the school” but clarifies that this “does not authorize anything to be done in relation to a student which constitutes the giving of corporal punishment” (art. 30(5)). Article 23 of the Law also prohibits corporal punishment in early childhood care and education centres – institutions that provide early childhood care and education to children under compulsory school age, for at least four hours per day, and including private residences providing care to three or more children not of the same family.

Prior to the change, corporal punishment was lawful in schools under the Education Law (2010 Revision) which was repealed by the Education Law 2016. Corporal punishment remains lawful in informal early childhood care and in day care for older children, in some alternative care settings, in penal institutions and in the home.

The Global Initiative congratulates the Cayman Islands for protecting children from violence in schools and encourages the Government to enact legislation prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment in all settings. There are still 67 states and now 14 territories where corporal punishment is not prohibited in schools. Corporal punishment has been shown to impede learning and encourage school drop-out – all states and territories must prohibit its use as a matter of urgency.


Further information