One hundred and ninety two governments have accepted an obligation to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of violence (article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).
The Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors implementation of this Convention, has confirmed in its General Comment No. 8 on “The right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (articles 19, 28(2) and 37, inter alia)” (June 2006) that this obligation requires States parties “to move quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment and all other cruel or degrading forms of punishment of children”. The General Comment outlines the legislative and other awareness-raising and educational measures that States must take.
The Report of the Independent Expert for the United Nations Study on Violence against Children sets a target of 2009 for the prohibition of all violence against children, including all corporal punishment. The Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomes this target and hopes States will move quickly to end the legality and social acceptance of this fundamental breach of children’s human rights.
Many citizens and politicians express deep concern about increasing violence in their societies. The credibility of this concern is questionable as long as they are not willing to seriously and systematically address the use of violence against children. And nobody should suggest that a little bit of violence is acceptable. That applies equally for adults and children.
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