Forty three states worldwide now prohibit corporal punishment in all settings.

2 December 2014

In late November 2014, Estonia became the 43rd state to prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings. Earlier in the month, San Marino had done the same. A list of the countries that have now banned corporal punishment of children is available here.

Europe, South America and Africa have experienced a steady increase in the number of states prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings in the last year or so. Asia and the Pacific, our region, is lagging far behind with New Zealand still the only country to have effectively banned corporal punishment of children. It is interesting to speculate about why this part of the world is slower to give children their human rights entitlement to physical integrity and protection from violence. The reasons for the slowness will be complex but undoubtedly include lack of effective action from organisations and individuals prepared or able to put resources into leading change, fear of the public outrage thatmight arise should a long  held tradition be questioned, outdated religious beliefs and a lack of understanding about the symbolic importance of law change and its critical part in bringing about change in attitudes.