CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: Ending legalised violence against children - Global report 2010

The new global progress report for 2010 has been published jointly by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children and Save the Children Sweden. Ending legalised violence against children: Global report 2010 reviews progress towards prohibition of corporal punishment of children throughout the world in the context of follow up to the UN Secretary General's Study on Violence against Children. It includes a major section on what it means to achieve law reform, and how to do it, as well as detailed information on law reform opportunities and active campaigns on the issue in all regions.

Hitting and hurting a child is an act of violence – and it is no less violent simply for being lawful. Children, like all people, have a right to live their lives free from violence, and the international human rights consensus on this could hardly be stronger. When the Global Initiative published its first global report in 2006 – the year the final report of the UN Study on Violence against Children highlighted the shockingly widespread legal and social acceptance of corporal punishment and recommended abolition as a matter of urgency – 16 States had achieved prohibition of all corporal punishment of children in all settings. Today, almost twice as many have done so, with 29 States now fully prohibiting corporal punishment, including in the home. The rate of progress reflects the seriousness with which human rights treaty bodies, NGOs and governments now take the issue and an understanding that children are not possessions but human beings and holders of human rights, including the right to respect for their human dignity and to equal protection from assault under the law. But at the end of 2010, there are still 168 States where the law allows parents to hit children in the name of discipline, and more than 40 where children can be whipped or caned as a sentence of the courts.

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