Peter NEWELL (Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children), The Immediate Human Rights Imperative to Prohibit All Corporal Punishment of Children, English/16 pages, February 2007.


The human rights based campaign to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment and other deliberate humiliation of children is making rapid progress and it becomes possible to forsee a world in which positive rather than punitive forms of child-rearing and education become the norm. The paper explores the huge implications of this new context for child protection. It will identify the challenges it brings in terms of appropriate and sensitive implementation and the key role that should be played by all those involved in child protection.

In Europe, prohibition of school corporal punishment is almost complete and by the end of 2006 more than half the member states of the Council of Europe will have prohibited corporal punishment in the home. The European human rights mechanisms are pursuing universal prohibition and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has called for Europe to become a corporal punishment free zone. In Latin America, five states have prohibition bills before their Parliaments and the Inter-American human rights system is working on the issue. In Africa and Asia there have been high level supreme and constitutional court decisions condemning corporal punishment and there are active campaigns in many states.

In December 2005 the UN General Assembly accepted a resolution calling for elimination of schools and penal system corporal punishment with only 24 states opposing. The report of the UN Secretary-General¡¦s Study on Violence against Children was presented to the UN general Assembly in October 2006. It calls for universal prohibition of all violence against children, including all corporal punishment, setting a target date of 2009.