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Report updated Feburary 2009

Summary of law reform necessary to achieve full prohibition

Prohibition is still to be achieved in the home and alternative care settings.

There appears to be no confirmation in law of a right to administer “reasonable chastisement” or similar, but legal provisions against violence and abuse are not interpreted as prohibiting all corporal punishment of children. The near universal acceptance of corporal punishment in childrearing necessitates clarity in law that no level of corporal punishment is acceptable. Explicit prohibition should be enacted of all corporal punishment in childrearing, including by parents.

Explicit prohibition should be enacted in legislation applicable to all alternative care settings, including public and private day care, residential institutions, foster care, etc.

Current legality of corporal punishment


Corporal punishment is lawful in the home.

Children have limited protection from violence and abuse under the Child Welfare Law (1993).


Corporal punishment is prohibited in schools under article 8 of the Fundamental Law of Education, as amended in December 2006. The prohibition applies to all educational institutions, including public and private schools and kindergartens, universities and all types of “cram” schools.

Penal system

Corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for crime and as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions. We have no information on applicable legislation.

Alternative care

No information.

Prevalence research

Research by the Ministry of Education showed a decrease in the incidence of corporal punishment in schools since it was prohibited in December 2006. Surveys among junior high students conducted every two months revealed that corporal punishment of students fell from 43% in 2006 to 29% in 2007 and to 16% in the first two months of 2008 (compared with 28% in the first two months of 2007). (Reported in The China Post, 25 April 2008)

In a nationwide survey by the Humanistic Education Foundation of 2,779 elementary and junior high school students in April and May 2007 more than 52.8% reported receiving corporal punishment, representing a decline compared with the figure of 64% for 2005. There was also a change in the types of punishment inflicted – student beatings dropped from 51% in 2005 to 27.3% in 2007, while the use of fazhan (standing for a certain period of time) increased from 9.7% in 2005 to 35% in 2007. (Reported in the Taipei Times, 4 June 2007)

The Humanistic Education Foundation has conducted five surveys since 1999 which have shown a decline in the use of corporal punishment in schools. In 1999, 83.4% of students interviewed reported experiencing corporal punishment in that academic year. In 2000, the figure was 74.2%, in 2001 70.9%, and in 2004 it was 69.4%. In 2005, the survey was conducted in 23 cities/counties in Taiwan, involving 3,240 respondents (1,164 junior high school students and 2,076 primary school students). Almost two thirds of students (65.1%) reported having experienced corporal punishment, 56.2% of primary school students and 70% of junior high school students. The most common form of corporal punishment was by hitting on the palms or bottoms with a hand or stick (47.7%). Direct infliction of physical pain was used in 56.8% of cases (including hitting with a hand or stick, deprivation of physical needs, holding painful postures). Almost a quarter (23.9%) of students received punishment that may constitute crimes of assault, instigation of assault or public insults. Almost one in ten (9.5%) of those who experienced physical pain were punished in this way over 10 times during the year. (Humanistic Education Foundation, 2005, How much does it hurt? Only the children can tell: HEF 2005 survey of corporal punishment in schools, HEF)

In January 2007, the findings from a survey of 5,630 elementary and junior high school educators who had attended discussions hosted by the 21st Century Education Association in autumn 2006 were published, revealing that 30% of teachers believed that corporal punishment is appropriate and necessary in improving academic performance, study skills and students’ characters; 60% felt that educators would continue to use physical force as a disciplinary measure, despite the prohibition of corporal punishment in law; 69% felt that an online forum for sharing and discussing positive disciplinary methods would facilitate the move away from corporal punishment. (Reported in The China Post, 19 January 2007)

Recommendations by human rights treaty bodies

Taiwan is not internationally recognised as an independent state and so has not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This analysis has been compiled from information from governmental and non-governmental sources, including reports on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every effort is made to maintain its accuracy. Please send us updating information and details of sources for missing information: info@endcorporalpunishment.org.

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