URUGUAY: First Latin American country to ban corporal punishment

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On 20 November 2007, the 18th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Uruguay became the first Latin American country to ban all physical and humiliating punishment of children. 

The ban was approved in a bill voted for by 56 of the 99 parliamentarians who make up the House of Representatives. The bill had already been agreed unanimously by the Senate in August this year.

This signals a new landmark in the defence of child rights in Latin America. An important element of this precedent was the creation in October this year of the Parliamentary Group for Children and Young People’s Rights, which was responsible for pushing this and other child rights bills forward.

One of the organisations to play a key role in the process was Organización Servicios y Acciones por la Infancia (SAI) – Programa ARCOIRIS, a partner of Save the Children Sweden.

Ending violence against children

Physical and humiliating punishment is a form of violence against children, it is a violation of their right to physical integrity and dignity. In many countries, it remains the only form of aggression against a human being which is condoned by the law.

In consultations around the world, children have said that physical and humiliating punishment is the most common and widespread form of violence against them. Save the Children Sweden believes it is essential not only to listen to children, but also to take action to change this reality.

For this reason, Save the Children Sweden works in Latin America and the rest of the world in partnership with other civil society organisations to advocate governments for laws which guarantee full recognition of children’s rights.

Further information

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