New global report on prohibiting corporal punishment in schools

More than 25 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and nearly a decade since the recommendation of the UN Study on Violence against Children to urgently prohibit all corporal punishment, a staggering number of laws are still in force authorising violent punishment of children in schools and setting out the details of how it must be inflicted.

This new report by the Global Initiative, published jointly with Save the Children, charts progress towards prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and identifies the states where progress is not being made. The report sets out the human rights standards relating to prohibition of corporal punishment, summarises research documenting the continued use of corporal punishment in schools and together with extracts from national legislation authorising corporal punishment as well as from laws prohibiting it, describes how laws can be reformed to achieve abolition.

There is information on implementing prohibition in practice and on national and international campaigns on the issue. Identifying immediate opportunities for law reform in at least 46 of the 73 states where prohibition has not yet been fully achieved in schools, the report is both a call to action to end violent punishment of children in all places of learning and a tool for advocacy to make this happen through law reform and other measures.

As Professor Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, the Independent Expert who led the UN Study, writes in the Foreword to the report:

“Can anything be more anti-educational than deliberately using violence to discipline children? …”

Towards non-violent schools: prohibiting all corporal punishment, Global report 2015 – published in English and in Spanish and launched at the 6th World Congress on School Violence and Public Policies in Lima, Peru, May 2015 – is available here (in English and Spanish).

A limited number of hard copies is available for advocacy purposes, email