Progress towards prohibiting and eliminating corporal punishment in Georgia and Mexico; Bills to ban corporal punishment in schools introduced in the US
Despite the current challenges, many countries continue to make progress towards prohibiting and eliminating corporal punishment of children.
Georgia prohibition comes into effect
Georgia enacted prohibition in 2019, and the ban came into force on 1 September 2020. The Code on the Rights of the Child 2019 explicitly prohibits corporal punishment or other cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment of children in all settings (article 53.2), including in the home (article 24.5), and requires the government to take all administrative, social and educational measures necessary to eliminate corporal punishment of children and the practice of any other cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of children (article 60.2).
Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has already produced guidance documents, trained specialists on the implications of the new law, established child protection services in municipalities, and launched a child protection hotline.
Mexico takes a big step towards prohibition
In December 2020 the Mexican Lower House of Congress unanimously approved amendments to the General Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents 2014 to prohibit corporal punishment and humiliation of children in all settings.
Mexico is a federal country, and so now state congresses have an obligation to domesticate their local laws to prohibit corporal and humiliating punishment. Currently, 21 of 32 Mexican states have local civil or family laws that prohibit the use of punishment against children or adolescents. The amended General Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents will come into force only after the remaining 11 states have enacted laws prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings.
As a Pathfinder country, Mexico is committed to three to five years of accelerated action towards the achievement of Target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals which includes prohibition of corporal punishment of children.
Two Bills introduced to prohibit corporal punishment in US schools
In September 2020, the Protecting Our Students in Schools Act of 2020 was introduced in the US House of Representatives. The Bill aimed to prohibit corporal punishment in any school which receives federal funding. A Companion Bill was introduced in the US Senate in November 2020. Both bills will need to be reintroduced in 2021 once the new US Congress takes office.
The US is one of 67 remaining states worldwide to continue to allow corporal punishment of children in schools. Corporal punishment is unlawful in public schools in 31 US states and the District of Columbia, and unlawful in public and private schools in Iowa and New Jersey. Corporal punishment remains lawful in public and private schools in 19 US states.
Other states are also making significant progress towards prohibition and elimination of corporal punishment of children. We look forward to announcing more soon!
Read the country reports for Georgia, Mexico, USA and every state and territory worldwide here.
Find out more about progress towards universal prohibition of violent punishment of children here.
See the states that have made a commitment to enacting laws that prohibit corporal punishment here.