Remarkable progress has been made in the past year towards universal prohibition of all corporal punishment: now 44 states have achieved this fundamental reform, and governments in a further 45 have expressed their commitment to doing so. Celebration of this accelerating progress is a fitting way to mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. But sadly, too many children are still growing up in countries where the law allows them to be hit and hurt by those closest to them.
This latest global progress report from the Global Initiative and Save the Children charts the growth in the list of states prohibiting, and making a commitment to prohibiting, all corporal punishment. It describes growing faith-based advocacy for reform and ever more systematic and rigorous research making visible this form of violence which children face on a daily basis. Packed with facts and figures – the good and the bad – as well as setting out the relevant international human rights standards and what the obligation to protect children from corporal punishment means in terms of law reform, it is intended to provoke and support continued advocacy on the issue.
“The best birthday gift children could get for the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is a life free from violence. It is absurd that adults in most countries are allowed to use physical punishment in the upbringing of children, who are so much smaller than them. It is also absurd that children have to accept violence from those they love most and who should be the persons they should really be able to trust and feel safe with. I am thinking about all forms of violence, including the smallest slap or pinch. The 25th anniversary is a golden occasion for states to prohibit corporal punishment against children in all settings, and to educate parents and other caregivers in alternative ways of raising children. Children have the right to be treated well and need to learn that violence does not solve any problems.”
(Kirsten Sandberg, Chair, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in Ending legalised violence against children: global progress to December 2014)
The full report is available here.
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