Ending corporal punishment in schools to transform education for all children


Ending corporal punishment in schools to transform education for all children

Published by

Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children with the Safe to Learn Coalition and the Coalition for Good Schools

Publication date

May 2023




Download the report here.

Can you learn when you are afraid? Can you experience the transformative power of education when your teacher beats you? How can you learn the skills for employment if school is a dangerous place?

The evidence tells us over and over again that violent punishment - and the fear, anger and humiliation it creates - stops children from learning. As well as causing physical and psychological harm, it affects children’s brain and cognitive development, leads to lower educational achievement, prevents them from building healthy relationships, causes school dropout and has many other negative short- and long-term impacts for both the individual and society.

Corporal punishment in schools undermines everything that education aims to achieve - and yet it remains lawful for half the global school-age population, and a weekly or even daily experience for vast numbers of children around the world. Its prevalence combined with its harmful impacts mean that the vital benefits of education for children and societies are wasted.


schools key facts

The report makes the case that ending corporal punishment in schools is an overdue and urgent priority.

With sections addressing:

  • The criticality of safe education for children
  • How legal prohibition of school corporal punishment is an essential foundation for ending its use in practice
  • How laws banning corporal punishment must be supported with ongoing, practical measures to end violence and build non-violent school cultures
  • Children’s rights to non-violent education
  • Prevalence of corporal punishment in schools
  • Children’s experiences of corporal punishment in school
  • The harms and costs of school corporal punishment
  • How corporal punishment in schools entrenches inequality
  • Global progress towards universal prohibition in schools
  • Effectively ending the use of corporal punishment in schools: seven key steps
  • School violence needs ‘whole school’ interventions

The states where corporal punishment is still lawful in education settings are listed.