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A

Note: No prevalence research identified for American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba.

AFGHANISTAN

According to statistics collected in 2010-2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 74.4% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. More than two thirds (68.4%) experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (40.9%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Nearly four children in ten (38.4%) experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 61.5% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Central Statistics Organisation & UNICEF (2012), Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010-2011: Final Report, Kabul: Central Statistics Organisation & UNICEF)

Surveys carried out in three government schools in Jalalabad and 20 government schools in Mazar-i-Sharif in 2008 found very high levels of physical punishment, with children punished in 100% of observed classes in boys’ schools and 20% in girls’ schools. Humiliating punishment including verbal abuse was also very common, and children were often authorised by the school to beat other children. Being beaten with a stick was identified as the most common method of discipline for both girls and boys. Over 50% of teachers believed they had the right to beat students, and the vast majority of teachers believed that physical punishment was essential and unavoidable. However there was a strong desire among the vast majority of teachers to learn alternatives to physical discipline. Following legal prohibition of school corporal punishment in 2008 and a two year project which aimed to develop and implement child protection systems in the schools in question, including through the development of monitoring and reporting mechanisms and education and training of teachers and children, the prevalence of physical and humiliating punishment fell.

(Abdul Ahad Samoon, A.A, Hassanzai, Y., Aqdas, R. & Hakamy, P. (2011), Learning without Fear: A Violence Free School Project, Save the Children & Federal Republic of Germany Foreign Office)

Qualitative research into adults’ perspectives on everyday physical violence against children within the family, published in 2008, involved interviews with more than 200 men and women from 61 families in urban and rural areas in four provinces, plus 56 focus group discussions and 46 interviews with key informants. The study found that violence against children is widely used and recognised, though to a significant degree is not regarded with approval. Physical violence existed to varying degrees within all 61 case study families, most commonly slapping, verbal abuse, punching, kicking, and hitting with thin sticks, electrical cables and shoes. More unusual types of violence included shooting at children, tying them up, washing them in cold water outside during winter and public humiliation. Corporal punishment was used on children as young as 2 or 3 years. No clear difference between punishment of boys and of girls was found, but men were perceived as having more “rights” to be violent towards children than women in the family.

(Smith, Deborah J. (2008), Love, Fear and Discipline: Everyday violence toward children in Afghan families, Kabul: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit)

ALBANIA

A UNICEF report published in 2010, which used statistics collected in 2005-2006, states that 52% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Half of children experienced physical punishment while a much smaller percentage (6%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 70% of children. Nine per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 12% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 55% compared to 48%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 57% of children aged 5-9 compared to 46% of children aged 2-4 and 49% of children aged 10-14. Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to household size or engagement in child labour.
(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

A 2009 survey of 195 parents of children attending two schools and two kindergartens found that 59% of parents agreed that slapping a child or pulling their ear would not harm them. Fifty-one per cent of parents believed that people slap children “for their own good”, 34% of parents thought that if children were not slapped, they would be out of control and 29% agreed that “if you talk to a child and they don’t obey, you should slap them”. However, 77% disagreed that corporal punishment is a good way of disciplining children, 68% disagreed that it is the only way to discipline some children and 80% disagreed that hitting makes a child a decent human being. Nearly three quarters (74%) of parents agreed that corporal punishment is absolutely harmful, and 79% agreed that corporal punishment should be banned completely.

(Karaj, T. (2009), Parents’ Beliefs about Corporal Punishment of Children, Tirana: Save the Children in Albania)

A 2009 survey of 92 teachers working in two schools and two kindergartens found that 30% of teachers believed that people slap children “for their own good”, 21% believed that if children were not slapped they would be out of control and 11% agreed that children must be slapped because they make mistakes. Twenty-one percent agreed that “if you talk to a child and they don’t obey, you should slap them”. Nearly nine teachers in ten (89%) disagreed that corporal punishment is a good way to discipline children, 78% disagreed that corporal punishment is the only way to discipline some children and 84% disagreed that hitting makes a child a decent human being. Eight teachers in ten agreed that corporal punishment is absolutely harmful and 78.4% believed that it should be banned completely.

(Karaj, T. (2009), Teachers’ Beliefs about Corporal Punishment of Children, Tirana: Save the Children in Albania)

According to statistics collected in 2005-2006 by UNICEF, children with disabilities were more likely to have experienced severe physical punishment in the home in the past month: 12% of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement, compared with 8% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

A 2006 study involving 1,500 children, 1,500 parents and 1,500 teachers in eight districts of Albania found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in homes and schools. Common forms of violence including pulling children’s ears (experienced by 60.1% of children at least once at home within the last year, and 38.5% of children in school within the last year), pinching (55.7% at home and 36.9% at school), hitting children with an object (53% at home and 51.8% at school), smacking with an open hand on the body (52.6% at home and 34.3% at school) and head (49.2% at home and 35.6% at school. When asked about the kinds of violence they experienced often, children mentioned having their ears pulled (18.5% experienced this often at home and 38.9% at school), being pinched (15.9% at home and 23.5% at school) and being smacked on the head (15.2% at home and 26.3% at school). At school, approximately one in three children also reported often being forcibly pushed/pulled and often being hit on the body with on object. Other reported forms of violence included being punched in the head (7.6% of children at home), grabbed by the throat (12.2% at home, 9.6% at school) and bitten (19.1% at home, 12.8% at school). 27.7% of children had been bruised by violence at home, 24.5% had been made to bleed, 21.9% had been made dizzy, and 7.9% had lost consciousness. Violence in social care institutions was found to be particularly frequent and severe. Reported forms of violence in institutions included being kicked (78.9%), smacked in the head (68.4%), hit with an object (68.4%), punched on the body (66.7%), grabbed by the throat (35.2%), and punched in the head (25%). 44.5% of children in institutions had been made to bleed by corporal punishment, 42.2% had been made dizzy, and 16.7% had lost consciousness.

(Tamo, A. and Karaj, T. (2006), Violence Against Children in Albania, Tirana: Human Development Centre)

ALGERIA

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 87% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Three quarters of children experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (16%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also very widely used: experienced by 90% of children. A quarter of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 84% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 89% compared to 87%. Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 90% of children aged 5-9 compared to 85% of children aged 2-4 and 87% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 88% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 82% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

Research reported in January 2008 found that of 1,700 Algerian families, 70% whip their children and use violence for disciplinary reasons. The most commonly used implements in corporal punishment were found to be rocks and shoes; parents also reported using their hands to beat children’s faces and heads. Punishments often resulted in injuries and bruising.

(Reported in Echorouk Online, 6 January 2008)

ARGENTINA

A report on the human rights violations perpetrated against approximately 25,000 people – children and adults – detained in Argentina’s psychiatric institutions – documented many beatings and prolonged use of isolation in cells.

(Mental Disability Rights International & Center for Legal and Social Studies (2007), Ruined Lives: Segregation from Society in Argentina’s Psychiatric Asylums)

ARMENIA

According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2011, 70% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey: 72% of boys and 74% of girls.

(UNICEF (2013), The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities, NY: UNICEF)

The 2010-2011 report of the Public Monitoring Group on the situation in the special education institutions of the Ministry of Education and Science, which studied 13 “special boarding schools” which provide alternative care to children, found that staff were violent towards children and also encouraged children to punish one another.

(Reported in Armenia Now, 16 January 2013)

AUSTRALIA

In a 2012 report by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission found that 514 educators – around 60% of the 883 educators involved in total – reported having used restraint on children with disabilities. Restraints included including tying children up, forcing them to the floor and other uses of physical force.

(Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (2012), Held back: the experiences of children with disabilities in Victorian schools, Victoria: Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission)

The Education Department of Western Australia approved confining 19 primary school children, most of whom had intellectual disabilities, in unfurnished “time-out” rooms in 2012.

(Reported in The Sunday Times, 12 January 2013)

A 2012 civil society report to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities documents evidence of the use of “restrictive practices”, including being thrown to the ground and pinned down, solitary confinement and chemical restraint, against children with disabilities in both mainstream and special schools.

(Australian Centre for Disability Law et al (2012), Disability Rights Now: Civil Society Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

In a 2012 online poll of more than 12,000 people, 92.47% replied “no” to the question “should smacking a child be a criminal offence?”

(Reported in The Daily Telegraph, 4 February 2012, www.dailytelegraph.com.au)

In a 2011 online poll of more than 4,000 people, 85% of parents admitted smacking their children.

(Reported in news.com.au, 12 September 2011)

In a survey of over 300 young people carried out by the Australian Capital Territory Human Rights Commission Children & Young People Commissioner in 2010, nearly seven in ten (69%) of respondents thought that parents “smacking” their children maybe should or should be banned. Over half of respondents (52%) said it was “not OK” for parents to “smack” their children, 42% said it was “sometimes OK” and only 2% said it was “OK”.

(ACT Human Rights Commission (2011), Children & Young People Commissioner Annual Report Summary 2010-2011)

The Victoria Education Department investigated 187 cases of “inappropriate discipline” in childcare centres between 2007 and 2009, including “smacking”, despite corporal punishment being prohibited.

(Reported by The Herald Sun, 11 April 2011, www.heraldsun.com.au)

A 2009 study looked at all identified child homicides in New South Wales from 1991 to 2005 (165 homicides by 157 offenders). It found that the most common cause of death was physical punishment, which accounted for 36% (59 deaths) over the 14 year period. In almost three in four cases, children had been beaten, thrown or shaken to death by their parents/carers. Children below the age of one are more likely to be killed than older children. The average age of the 59 children killed through physical punishment was 1.5 years. The researchers, backed by the Australian Childhood Foundation, have called for corporal punishment to be prohibited: “More lives could be saved by measures that reduce the incidence of child abuse, including the prohibition of corporal punishment of children.”

(Nielssen, O. et al (2009), “Child homicide in New South Wales from 1991 to 2005”, Medical Journal of Australia, 190 (1), pp. 7-11, www.mja.com.au/public/issues/190_01_050109/nie10592_fm.html)

A review of “domestic discipline” cases under section 280 of the Criminal Code – which allows parents to use “reasonable force” on their children – was undertaken by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General in Queensland. The results were tabled in Parliament in November 2008. Of the 134 cases of “excessive discipline” in 2006-7, more than half (80 cases) involved the use of implements, including cattle prods. In 85 cases children were hit on the head, in 36 cases they were punched, in 13 kicked.

(Department of Justice and Attorney General (2008), Review of Section 280 of the Criminal Code, www.justice.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/file/0013/21631/review-of-section-280-of-criminal-code.pdf)

A federal government funded survey of over 500 adults by the Australian Council of State School Organisations found that while most believed discipline in schools is too lax, few supported a return to corporal punishment.

(Reported in The Herald Sun, 10 October 2008)

In a study which involved interviews and focus groups with 31 children aged 8-17, children described the physical and emotional pain which physical punishment causes. Children said that physical punishment is often inflicted by adults who are angry and stressed and that adults often regret it and feel guilty afterwards.

(Saunders, B. J. & Goddard, C. (2007), “Some Australian Children’s Perceptions of Physical Punishment in Childhood”, Children & Society, 22, 405-417)

A survey of parents in Queensland, conducted by the Parenting and Family Support Centre, University of Queensland, and reported in 2007, found that 71% smacked their children occasionally. When asked how likely parents were to use smacking as a punishment, 43% said they were likely or very likely to give a single smack with their hand; 10% said they were likely or very likely to spank their child more than once with their hand or another object.

(Reported in Herald Sun, 19 May 2007)

Telephone interviews with a representative sample of 720 adults aged 18+ were carried out in 2006 by Quantum Market Research on behalf of the Australian Childhood Foundation and the National Research Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse at Monash University. The research found that 45% of respondents believed it was reasonable to leave a mark on a child as a result of physical punishment (representing a decrease from the 55% found in similar research in 2002). One in 10 believed that it was appropriate to use implements such as canes, sticks, belts, or slippers to punish a child (representing an increase in support for the use of implements compared with the 4% figure found in the 2002 research); one in seven (14%) supported the use of a wooden spoon. Two out of five (41%) believed that smacking a child is effective in shaping his or her behaviour, while one in ten believed that smacking a teenager is an effective way of discipline. When presented with the statement that it is sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child, 69% agreed, representing a decline in support for corporal punishment when compared with similar research in 2002 (75%).

(Tucci, J., Mitchell, J. & Goddard, C. (2006), Crossing the Line: Making the case for changing Australian laws about the physical punishment of children, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia: Australian Childhood Foundation)

AUSTRIA

A 2013 study found that 18-29 year olds, who grew up mostly after prohibition, were less likely to have been slapped or smacked on the bottom by their parents than people over 30.

(Spectra Marktforschung (2013), Gewaltverbot in der Erziehung: trendmessung zu 2009)

A study involving focus groups and face to face interviews with 104 13-22 year olds with experience of youth custody in Austria, Cyprus, England, the Netherlands and Romania found that in Austria, young people in custody experienced solitary confinement and imprisonment in dark, dirty basement rooms for up to two weeks as punishment. Young people in pre-trial detention described a particular group of prison guards who were considered to be particularly violent, the “Emergency Squad”, who used special grips on young people and carried batons.

(Children’s Rights Alliance for England (2013), Speaking Freely: Children and Young People in Europe Talk about Ending Violence Against Children in Custody – Research Report, London: CRAE)

A study carried out in 2008 examined the prevalence of corporal punishment and attitudes towards it through interviews with 1,054 Austrian young people aged 12-18, 1,049 Austrian parents and 614 immigrant parents (from Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe) living in Austria. Compared to a similar study in 1991, which involved 380 parents of children aged under 6, the study found that the prevalence of corporal punishment had fallen: in 2008, 31.4% of Austrian mothers of children aged under 6 never used corporal punishment, compared to 8.5% in 1991, and 4.1% used “light” corporal punishment such as slapping and spanking “often”, compared to 30.5% in 1991. A large majority of all the groups interviewed agreed that “a non-violent upbringing is ideal”: 88.3% of young people, 86.2% of Austrian parents and 81.1% of immigrant parents. Ninety-six per cent of young people believed that they had legally defined rights, 78.1% of boys and 84.6% of girls were “sure” that they had a right to an upbringing without violence and 41.2% of boys and 42.1% of girls were aware of the law prohibiting corporal punishment. Of those who were aware of the law, 62.4% of young people had heard about it at school or other facilities for children, and 70.8% of Austrian and 66.7% of immigrant parents had heard about it in the media (TV, newspapers, radio and cinema).

(Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft, Familie und Jugend (2009) Familie - kein Platz für Gewalt!(?): 20 Jahre gesetzliches Gewaltverbot in Österreich, Vienna: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft, Familie und Jugend)

A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 50% of Austrian parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 62% had slapped their child on the bottom. 18% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 4.4% had beaten their child with an object. 30% of Austrian parents never used corporal punishment. 89% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 86% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.

 (Bussmann, K. D. (2009), The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

AZERBAIJAN

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 76% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Almost half (48%) experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (18%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also very widely used: experienced by 93% of children. Nearly one child in five (17%) experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 73% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 79% compared to 72%. Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to age, household size or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

B
Note: No prevalence research identified for Bahrain, Bhutan, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Bermuda (UK overseas territory).

BAHAMAS

A 2010 study involving a survey of 933 adults and 12 semi-structured interviews with adults examined the coexistence in homes in the Bahamas of corporal punishment of children and other behaviours including sexual abuse, illegal drug use, violence among adults in the home and hitting of pets. 77% of respondents from households with children reported that “spanking” was sometimes used to discipline them. 37% of respondents said that children were spanked only when “very naughty”, 28% that they were spanked “sometimes”, 26% “rarely” and 9.7% “often”. 4.1% of respondents in households where children were spanked considered the spanking to be abuse. Violence between adults occurred more in households where children were spanked “often” than where they were not spanked “often”.

(Brennen, S. et al (2010), “A Preliminary Investigation of the Prevalence of Corporal Punishment of Children and Selected Co-occurring Behaviours in Households on New Providence, The Bahamas”, The International Journal of Bahamian Studies, vol 16. 2010 pp.1-18)

BANGLADESH

In a 2013 study, a nationally representative sample of 4,200 12-17 year olds was asked what they thought the role of political aspirants was in stopping corporal punishment in school. Eighty-one per cent of respondents said that political aspirants should raise awareness and ensure teachers’ accountability and 77% said that political aspirants should ensure enforcement of the directive against corporal punishment. Children highlighted that many children stop going to school because of corporal punishment. They said that if they became involved in politics in future, they would discourage corporal punishment and mental harassment in schools and homes and inform teachers and parents about the bad effects of corporal punishment.

(Ministry of Information (2013), Children's Opinion Poll: Children’s Views and Expectations from Political Aspirants and Leaders in Bangladesh, UNICEF)

In a 2012 national study, 77.1% of students stated that physical, psychological or financial punishments were inflicted on students in their schools. Nearly half of parents (48.4%) said that these punishments happened in their children’s schools and just over a third (34.9%) of teachers said that they happened in the schools they worked in.

(Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust & Institute of Informatics and Development (2012), Survey Report on Violence against Children in Education Institute Settings, Institute of Informatics and Development)

In a study involving 2,400 men, 16.9% of men living in urban areas and 11.6% of men living in rural areas reported having been beaten at home with a belt, stick, whip or other hard object during childhood and 4.1% or urban men and 1.8% of rural men reported having been beaten so hard it left a mark or a bruise. About four per cent of urban and rural men reported having been physical punished at school. Forty-three per cent of urban men and 36% of rural men reported having been insulted or humiliated in public by a family member during childhood. Men who had experienced physical violence during childhood were more likely to hold inequitable gender attitudes. The study recommends that, as part of addressing violence against women, corporal punishment in the home be ended.

(Naved, R. T. et al (2011), Men’s Attitudes and Practices Regarding Gender and Violence Against Women in Bangladesh: Preliminary Findings, Dhaka: icddr,b)

In a random survey conducted by Andhra Pradesh Bala Sangham, an NGO, students of about 12 schools stated on camera that they had been subjected to corporal punishment, despite a Supreme Court judgment in January 2011 that corporal punishment in schools was unconstitutional.

(Reported in Deccan Chronicle, 7 Feb 2011)

A 2009 report by UNICEF documented a high prevalence of corporal punishment of children at home and school. The study involved nearly 4000 households, through interviews with children aged 9-18 and the heads of their households, focus group discussions, case studies and a special survey with children living on the street. The research found that 91% of children in school experience physical punishment. Poorer children were more likely to experience it, with greater frequency and severity, than richer students. Punishments included hitting the palm with a ruler or stick (experienced by 76% of students), standing in class, hitting other body parts with a ruler or stick, and slapping. 23% of students said they faced corporal punishment every day and 7% reported injuries and bleeding as a result. Corporal punishment was one of the top four reasons children gave for not attending school. In the home, 99.3% of children reported being verbally abused and threatened regularly by their parents, while 74% said they were physically punished by parents or guardians. 70% were usually slapped, and 40% were regularly beaten or kicked. 367 of the children who took part in the study worked outside the home. Of these, 25% experienced physical punishment in their workplace, with older girls and young boys receiving more physical punishment than other groups. Girls were more likely to be seriously injured by corporal punishment than boys. Physical punishment in the workplace was felt to be unacceptable by 59% of working children.

UNICEF (2009), Opinions of Children of Bangladesh on Corporal Punishment: Children’s Opinion Poll 2008, Dhaka: UNICEF & Ministry of Women and Children Affairs

A study reported in 2005 of 153 children in 16 groups and 109 adults in 13 groups examined behaviours children liked and behaviour children disliked. The children identified a total of 1,043 behaviours that they disliked from people in the immediate family, educational settings and the workplace. Of these, 293 were categorised as physical discipline/punishment, 206 as verbal discipline/punishment, and 66 as other kinds of discipline/punishment, representing the top three disliked behaviours.

(Government of Bangladesh/UNICEF/Save the Children Alliance (2005), Child Abuse Study: Study Report, Draft Version, 25 January 2005)

BARBADOS

A study carried out in 2009, which involved 800 adults and 350 children, found high levels of support for “flogging” in homes and schools among adults: 75% supported flogging in the home and 54% in schools. The figures had decreased slightly since a similar survey in 2004, when 80% supported flogging in the home and 69% in schools. Of children, 54% supported flogging in the home (76% in 2004). A large majority of children (74%) were opposed to flogging in schools (compared to 56% in 2004). Eighty-six per cent of children said that they had been “flogged” at home and 56% at school; 63% of adults said that they had “flogged” their child.

(Caribbean Development Research Services (2009), Corporal Punishment and Other Major Educational Issues in Barbados, UNICEF & Barbados Union of Teachers)

A UNICEF study of child vulnerability in Barbados, St Vincent and St Lucia, completed in November 2006, found that younger girls and boys were much more likely to be punished than their teenage siblings in all three countries. The number of young children who received no punishment was below 50% in all countries. Overall, younger children, both girls and boys, were more likely to be subjected to corporal punishment, such as spanking, slapping or hitting with the hand or an object.

(UNICEF Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Government of Barbados, Government of St. Lucia & Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (2006), A Study of Child Vulnerability in Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Barbados: UNICEF)

BELARUS

According to statistics collected in 2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 64.5% of children aged 2-14 experienced physical punishment and/or psychological aggression in the home in the past month.

(National Statistical Commission of the Republic of Belarus (2013), Republic of Belarus Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of Children and Women 2012: Preliminary Findings, UNICEF)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006states that 84% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Half experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (15%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also very widely used: experienced by 94% of children. Two per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 78% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 87% compared to 80%. Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 86% of children aged 5-9 compared to 85% of children aged 2-4 and 82% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 90% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 81% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

 BELGIUM

A survey of 1,050 parents of children aged 6-18, carried out in September 2013, found that 57% of them thought that it was acceptable to give their children a “pedagogical smack” on the buttocks.

(Reported in Het Nieuwsblad, 14 October 2013)

A study carried out in 2010-2011, which involved nearly 2,000 10-18 year olds in Flanders, revealed a high prevalence of corporal punishment in homes, schools, sports clubs and youth clubs. In the family home, 32.4% of respondents had been pinched or had their hair or ears pulled, 29.7% had been beaten, hit or smacked and 23.4% had been pushed, kicked or grabbed. Parents were the main perpetrators. Nearly half of respondents had experienced at least one of these three kinds of violence and 12% had experienced all three. Nearly a quarter of respondents had experienced “extreme violence” (including being beaten with an object, locked in a small room or tied up and forced to stand in the same position or do physical exercises) in the family home; fathers were the main perpetrators. In school, 22.9% of respondents had been punished by having their ear pulled, 18% by having  their hair pulled and 19.8% by being hit with a hand on their hand or fingers. Forty-two per cent of respondents had experienced at least one form of “extreme punishment” in school; the most common types were being shut outside in hot or cold temperatures (experienced by 15% of respondents), being forced to do something dangerous (14.6%), being forced to stand or kneel in a painful position (13.8%) and being denied food (12.5%). Extrapolated to the whole of Flemish society, the results suggest that around 38,000 children have had “extreme punishment” inflicted on them by teachers. Similar punishments were inflicted on children in sports and youth clubs. In youth clubs, nearly a quarter (23.7%) of children had been punished by being forced to remain in a painful position and 12.7% had been placed in hot or cold water. In sports clubs, 9.3% of children had been punished by being hit on the face or head and 8.7% by being hit on the arm or fingers. The majority of children said that all corporal punishment was unacceptable. The report of the study recommends prohibition of all corporal punishment.

(Kinderrechtencommissariaat (2011), Geweld gemeld en geteld, Brussels: Kinderrechtencommissaris)

BELIZE

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 70.5% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. More than half (56.9%) experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (26.2%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Five per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 53.9% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Statistical Institute of Belize (2012), Belize Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011 Final Report, UNICEF)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 70% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly 60% experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (26%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also very widely used: experienced by 93% of children. Eight per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 53% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, age, household size, level of education of adults in the household, or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to statistics collected in 2005-2006 by UNICEF, children with disabilities were more likely to have experienced severe physical punishment in the home in the past month: 9% of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement, compared with 4% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

In a study involving questionnaires with 292 children aged 7-15, 91% of 7-10 year olds had been “lashed” at home and/or at school, with 87.7% saying they were still being punished in this way. The most commonly used implement was a belt (59.9%), followed by a slipper (42.2%), a rope (16.4%), a ruler (11.9%) and a stick (11.3%). Some of the children were scarred by the beatings. Of children aged 11-15 years, 97% said that corporal punishment had been or was still being inflicted at home and school, with punishments including having to kneel on bottle stoppers and being hit on the head. More than two thirds (69%) considered corporal punishment to be cruel and inhumane and a similar number said that when the they were physically punished they felt hurt, shameful, fearful, upset, vexed, bad, angry and resentful. The study also involved focus group discussions with 87 children. In discussions, children explained that they were told by their parents and teachers that they were being punished out of love and that this led some of them to believe that adults were right to physically punish them. Nonetheless, 45% of children thought that it was wrong and ineffective for adults to use corporal punishment as a means of controlling children. Children said that they could not learn when threatened by corporal punishment and that they would not use corporal punishment when they are adults.

(National Organization for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (2005), Corporal punishment - A situational analysis, Belize: NOPCAN)

BENIN

A 2012 assessment of alternative care in Benin found that there were persistent reports of children in alternative care institutions being physically punished.

(SOS Children’s Villages International (2012), A Snapshot of Alternative Care Arrangements in Benin)

A 2009 study involving interviews with girls aged 6-14 and the mothers of girls aged 2-5 and a survey of 4,649 women and 1,550 men found that corporal punishment at home and in schools was very common and that 88.5% of girls aged 2-5, 88% of girls aged 5-9 and 87.7% of girls aged 10-14 had been beaten. When asked about the reasons for violence experienced by girls, 85.5% of interviewees said that it was for “education”. Half of interviewees said that violence to girls resulted in “submission”, 32.9% “scars on the body”, 9.9% “timidity” and 1.7% “death”.

(Ministère de la Famille et de la Solidarité National (2009), Les Violences Faites aux Femmes au Bénin)

BOLIVIA

In a 2008 study involving 10,092 women aged 15-49 with children, 48.7% reported that children in their home were physically punished (47.6% by being hit, beaten, spanked or slapped; 1.1% by other physical punishment). In a similar 2003 study, women who had experienced partner violence were more likely to report that children in their home were physically punished: 66% of women who had ever experienced partner violence compared to 50.9% of women who had not.

(Bott, S. et al (2012), Violence Against Women In Latin America And The Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis Of Population-based Data From 12 Countries, Washington DC: Pan American Health Organisation & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

According to statistics collected in 2010-2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 55.2% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Among Roma children, the figure was 57.6%. Nearly forty per cent (39.6%) of all children and 44.9% of Roma children experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing (13.8% of all mothers and caregivers; 8% of Roma mothers and caregivers). Nearly five per cent (4.5%) of all children and 7% of Roma children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and nearly 42.1% of all children and 49.2% of Roma children experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina et al (2013), Bosnia and Herzegovina Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2011–2012, Final Report, Sarajevo: UNICEF; Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina & Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2013), Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2011–2012, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Roma Survey, Sarajevo: UNICEF)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006states that 38% of children aged 2-14 experienced violent discipline (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly a quarter (24%) experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (7%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also very widely used: experienced by 93% of children. Three per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 28% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 49% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 25% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, age, level of education of adults in the household, or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to statistics collected in 2005-2006 by UNICEF,seven per cent of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the past month, compared with 3% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

BOTSWANA

In June 2007, the Education Secretary for Ngami region reported a Baseline Study which found that 92% of students had been beaten by school, and this was supported by 67% of parents.

(Reported in Daily News, 13 June 2007)

In research by DITSHWANELO, a survey concerning corporal punishment in schools found that about 90% of respondents said they used corporal punishment on children.

(Reported in correspondence with the Global Initiative, February 2006)

BRAZIL

During the 2011 visit of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to Brazil, the Subcommittee received numerous and consistent allegations of ill-treatment of children and young people in police custody, pre-trial detention facilities and penal institutions for children and adolescents, including beatings by staff on the back of the head and other parts of the body with open hands, wood or metal batons, stripping of children and adolescents, forcing them to stand in uncomfortable positions, insults and threats.

(Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2012), Report on the visit of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to Brazil)

A 2010 survey which involved interviews with 4,025 people aged over 16 found that 70.5% of respondents had experienced physical punishment as children, compared to 79.6% in a similar survey in 1999. One in five (20.2%) had experienced physical punishment almost every day or once a week, compared to 23.2% in 1999.

(Cardia, N. (2012), Pesquisa nacional, por amostragem domiciliar, sobre atitudes, normas culturais e valores em relação à violação de direitos humanos e violência: Um estudo em 11 capitais de estado, São Paulo: Núcleo de Estudos da Violência da Universidade de São Paulo)

A 2012 study of men’s childhood experiences of violence in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda, which involved men aged 18-59 living in urban settings, found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in all six countries. In Brazil, of the 744 men who participated, 36% reported having been spanked or slapped by a parent in the home during childhood, 6% having been threatened with physical punishment in the home and 8% having been humiliated by someone in their family in front of other people. Four per cent reported having been beaten or physically punished at school by a teacher. The study found that men who had experienced violence, including corporal punishment, during childhood, were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence, hold inequitable gender attitudes, be involved in fights outside the home or robberies, pay for sex and experience low self-esteem and depression, and were less likely to participate in domestic duties, communicate openly with their partners, attend pre-natal visits when their partner is pregnant and/or take paternity leave.

(Contreras, M. et al (2012), Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence, Analyzing Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, Washington DC: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo)

A report comparing diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) in different countries found that in Brazil, physical punishment is considered by a large number of teachers to be a “therapeutic” treatment for ADHD.

(Reported in Psychiatric News, vol. 46, no. 11, June 3, 2011)

A study on the relationship between severe physical punishment and mental health problems found that 20% of the children (aged 6-17) in the 813 participating households had suffered severe physical punishment (being hit with an object, being kicked, choked, smothered, burnt, scalded, branded, beaten or threatened with a weapon) by one or both parents in the last 12 months.

(Bordin, I. A. et al (2009), “Severe physical punishment: risk of mental health problems for poor urban children in Brazil”, Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, May 2009, vol. 87(5), pp. 336–344)

BULGARIA

A study involving 500 people aged 15 and over found that 54% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – a slight increase from the 47% who thought this in a similar survey in 2005. Sixty-two per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child, 43% that they had beaten or hit them and 21% that they had slapped their child on the face. These findings on whether parents had ever used these forms of corporal punishment were similar to those of a 2010 survey which asked identical questions.  

(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

49.9% of respondents to a 2009 survey of 1,000 adults believed that corporal punishment should never be used. This was a slight increase compared to an identical 2005 survey of 994 adults, when 47.2% said that corporal punishment should never be used. 34.8% of respondents in 2009 said that corporal punishment “should not be used in general but in certain situations it is justifiable” and 10.9% felt that corporal punishment was acceptable “if the parent believes that it will be effective”. The studies in 2005 and 2009 also examined adults’ perceptions of the prevalence of corporal punishment.

(Vitosha Research (2009), Physical Punishment in Child-Rearing in Bulgaria www.canee.net/files/Omnibus%20research%20Bulgaria%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

A 2009 survey of 202 teachers in primary schools in Sofia found that 82% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 74% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 41% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party. In an identical survey of a similar sample in 2005, only 30% believed this. 46% of respondents in 2009 believed that more than 50% of children in Bulgaria experience “spanking”. In 2005, 51% of respondents believed this.

(Nobody’s Children Foundation et al (2009), Sofia teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse www.canee.net/files/Teachers%20studies%20Bulgaria%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

BURKINA FASO

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006states that 83% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Over 60% experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (38%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 82% of children. More than one child in five experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 84% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 91% of children aged 5-9 compared to 84% of children aged 2-4 and 87% of children aged 10-14. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, household size, level of education of adults in the household, or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

A study by the African Child Policy Forum in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal found that hitting, beating and forced hard work were the most prevalent forms of violence against girls, and that most of the physical violence experienced by girls was corporal punishment. The study involved a survey of 3,025 young women (nearly 600 per country) aged 18-24 about the violence they had experienced in their childhood. In Burkina Faso, 91% of respondents had been hit during their childhood, 88% had been beaten, 51% kicked, 51% denied food, 27% choked or burned and 43% forced to do hard work. Parents and close relatives were the most common perpetrators of physical violence.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Childhood Scars in Africa: A Retrospective Study on Violence Against Girls in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

BURUNDI

Interviews with children in conflict with the law and with parents and law enforcement officials, carried out by Human Rights Watch in 2006-2007, found that many children have been beaten and have suffered other ill treatment while in detention.

(Human Rights Watch (2007), Paying the price: Violations of the rights of children in detention in Burundi)

C

Note: No prevalence research identified for Cabo Verde, Cayman Islands, Comoros, Cook Islands, Cuba.

CAMBODIA

A 2013 Human Rights Watch report documented severe physical punishment in “drug detention centres”, where people who use drugs and others considered “undesirable” by the authorities – including children and adults living or working on the street – are detained. Punishments included beating, punching and kicking detainees, shocking them with electric batons and forcing them to do painful physical exercises such as crawling on the ground. The report was based on interviews with 33 people who had been held in drug detention centres between 2011 and 2013, including three people who were detained when they were under 18. According to government statistics cited in the report, at any one time around 1,000 people are held in the eight drug detention centres in Cambodia, of whom at least 10% are children.

(Human Rights Watch (2013) “They Treat Us Like Animals”: Mistreatment of Drug Users and “Undesirables” in Cambodia’s Drug Detention Centers, NY: HRW)

An investigation by SISHA, an anti-trafficking and exploitation organisation, revealed that children in orphanages were being beaten and experiencing other forms of violent punishment.

(Reported in Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April 2013)

A Human Rights Watch report found that in Cambodia brutal physical punishment, including beatings and the administration of electrical shocks, is inflicted on children and adults who are detained in “drug detention centres”, which are used to keep the streets clear of “undesirables” such as street children, drug addicts, gamblers, alcoholics and mentally ill people.

(Human Rights Watch (2010), “Skin on the Cable”: The Illegal Arrest, Arbitrary Detention and Torture of People Who Use Drugs in Cambodia)

A survey of 1,314 12-15 year olds found that 43.2% had direct experience of physical punishment by a parent and 29.2% had direct experience of physical punishment by a teacher.

(Miles, G. & Thomas, N. (2007), “Don’t grind an egg against a stone’—Children’s rights and violence in Cambodian history and culture”, Child Abuse Review, 16:383-400, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

Large scale comparative research into the views and experiences of 3,322 children and 1,000 adults in 8 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) was carried out by Save the Children in 2005. The research in Cambodia involved 504 children (250 boys, 254 girls) from urban, rural and remote areas, and 275 adults (122 men, 153 women). Methods used included research diaries, body maps, attitude survey, and discussions. Physical punishments mentioned by children in Cambodia included being hit with a variety of implements, including a stick, cane, “whip” made of electric cable, belt, whip, chain; the use of sharp implements (knife) and sharp-edged domestic items (brooms, shoes), kicking, punching, pinching, pulling, and twisting joints. Of those children who mentioned body parts where they were hit, 39.8% reported being hit on the head and neck, 82.2% on the limbs, 80.7% on the back, 33.1% buttocks, 2.3% chest and 3.3% stomach. Over 80% of children reported being punished in the home. Nearly all adults (96%) attested that they felt unhappy after they had been punished as children. When asked what they did in response to punishment, most said that they stood still and endured it (61% boys, 76% girls); 1.8% of boys and no girls said they “fight back”; some escape the punishment (27% boys, 23% girls); some beg not to be punished (16% boys, 4% girls).

(Beazley, H., S. Bessell, et al. (2006), What Children Say: Results of comparative research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast Asia and Pacific, 2005, Stockholm, Save the Children Sweden)

Research involving focus groups, discussions, interviews and a survey with 12-18 year olds in Kandal province found a very high prevalence of corporal punishment in homes and schools. Eighty-four per cent of survey respondents said that they had seen or heard of a teacher beating a boy, and 67% that they had seen or heard of a teacher beating a girl. Fifty-six per cent of boys and 19% of girls said that they had been beaten by a teacher. Thirty-six per cent of respondents said that it was always wrong for a teacher to beat a boy, and 44% that it was always wrong for a teacher to beat a girl. Ninety-two per cent of respondents had seen or heard of a boy being beaten by a parent, and 71% had seen or heard of a girl being beaten by a parent. Two thirds (67%) of boys, and 38% of girls had been beaten by their father, and 76% of boys and 60% of girls had been beaten by their mother. High percentages of respondents said that someone should intervene to stop children being beaten by their parents (95% for a boy; 92% for a girl). Almost half of respondents said a relative should intervene; other choices included neighbours, village chiefs and the police.

(Fordham, G. (2005), “Wise” Before their Time: young people, gender-based violence and pornography in Kandal Stung distict, Phnom Penh: World Vision Cambodia)

Large-scale research into children’s attitudes towards violence has been undertaken by Tearfund, a relief and development NGO working in partnership with Christian agencies and churches. The first stage of the research involved focus groups of boys and girls aged 11-13 from an urban slum community, a rural community and a provincial town community, and found that most children believed that children should be beaten by teachers if they are disobedient or if they “made a mistake”, with few feeling that beating was inappropriate in some cases. Children also felt that parents should beat children if they “made a mistake”. The second stage, supported by the Ministry of Education, comprised a written questionnaire survey of 1,314 children aged 12-15. Half of the boys (50.5%) and over a third of the girls (36.4%) reported having been beaten by their parents; 82.4% of girls and 81.1% of boys reported witnessing other children being beaten by their parents. Nearly one in four girls (24.1%) and over one in three boys (34.7%) reported having been beaten by their teacher in school.

(Miles, G. & Varin, S. (2005), “Stop Violence Against Us!” A preliminary national research study into the prevalence and perceptions of Cambodian children to violence against children in Cambodia, Summary report, Tearfund)

CAMEROON

A 2010 African Child Policy Forum report on violence against children with disabilities in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia documented a very high level of violence. Nearly a thousand 18-24 year olds took part in the study across the five countries, reporting on their experiences as children. In Cameroon, over 50% of respondents had been hit, punched, kicked or beaten, over 25% of respondents had been made to eat hot chilli, pepper or very bitter food or drink, and over 25% of respondents had been choked, burnt or stabbed. Across the five countries, 23% of the young people said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline, reasonable and justified” and 27% said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline but not reasonable or justified”. Twenty-six per cent said that they had experienced emotional violence which was “discipline, but not reasonable or justified”, and 22% that they had experienced emotional violence that was “disciplinary, reasonable and justified”. Across all five countries, more than half (54%) of those who had been physically beaten said they had suffered broken bones, teeth, bleeding or bruising; 2% had been permanently disabled; 21% required medical attention; 13% had to miss school or work; and 20% had needed rest at home. For all five countries, the majority of respondents with physical, visual and intellectual disabilities experienced physical violence more than 10 times. The report recommends prohibition of all corporal punishment, including in the home, as a way to minimise the risk of violence against children with disabilities.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Violence Against Children With Disabilities in Africa: Field Studies from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 93% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly eight in ten experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (44%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 82% of children. Nearly three children in ten experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 87% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children engaged in child labour experienced violent discipline more than those who were not engaged in child labour: 96% compared to 93%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, age, household size or level of education of adults in the household.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

A study by the African Child Policy Forum in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal found that hitting, beating and forced hard work were the most prevalent forms of violence against girls, and that most of the physical violence experienced by girls was corporal punishment. The study involved a survey of 3,025 young women (nearly 600 per country) aged 18-24 about the violence they had experienced in their childhood. In Cameroon, 43% of respondents had been hit during their childhood, 66% had been beaten, 21% kicked, 31% denied food, 7% choked or burned and 18% forced to do hard work. Parents and close relatives were the most common perpetrators of physical violence.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Childhood Scars in Africa: A Retrospective Study on Violence Against Girls in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

According to statistics collected in 2005-2006 by UNICEF, children with disabilities were more likely to have experienced severe physical punishment in the home in the past month: 30% of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement, compared with 24% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

A study of children who had lost their parent(s) due to HIV-related illnesses exposed a high level of physical violence and corporal punishment in the home. The study involved 180 children: 70% of boys without a mother reported experiencing physical violence in the month before the study, as did 62% of non-orphan boys. Between 60% and 70% of non-orphan girls reported suffering physical punishment during the same period.

(Morgan, J. and Behrendt, A. (2007), Silent Suffering: The psychological impact of war, HIV and other high-risk situations on girls and boys in West and Central Africa: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Dakar: Plan West Africa)

CANADA

A 2012 survey of 4,029 mothers and 1,342 fathers of children under 17 in Quebec found that although the use of corporal punishment had declined since similar surveys in 1999 and 2004, 35% of children experienced physical punishment such as slaps with bare hands on the buttocks, hand, arm or leg at least once a year and 11% experienced it three times or more in a year. Forty-nine per cent of children experienced psychological aggression, such as being shouted or screamed at, called names or threatened, three or more times a year. Ten per cent of mothers and 15% of fathers thought that it was acceptable to slap a disobedient child.

(Clément, M. E. et al (2013), La violence familiale dans la vie des enfants du Québec, 2012 : Les attitudes parentales et les pratiques familiales, Montréal: Institut de la statistique du Québec)

A survey of 818 adults without children, mostly aged 18-21, found that 46% agreed that Section 43 of Canada’s Criminal Code, which allows for the use of “reasonable force” to “correct” children, “should be ended if guidelines are developed so that parents are not prosecuted for mild slaps or spankings”. Around a quarter (26%) disagreed. Seventeen per cent of respondents held “favourable attitudes” towards “spanking”.

(Bell, T. & Romano, E. (2012), “Opinions About Child Corporal Punishment and Influencing Factors”, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(11), 2208-2229)

The Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2008, the third nationwide study to examine the incidence of reported child maltreatment, involved 112 child welfare service agencies in Canada, reporting on 15,980 child protection investigations. The study found that nearly three quarters (74%) of all cases of “substantiated physical abuse” were cases of physical punishment and 27% of “substantiated emotional maltreatment incidents” were initiated as a form of punishment. In the vast majority (17,212) of the estimated 18,688 cases of “substantiated physical abuse”, physical violence was the primary form of maltreatment. Of cases of physical violence, just over half (54%) involved children being slapped or “spanked”, 30% involved children being shaken, pushed, grabbed or thrown, 21% involved children being hit with objects and 8% involved children being punched, kicked or bitten.

(Jud, A. & Trocmé, N. (2013), Physical Abuse and Physical Punishment in Canada, Child Canadian Welfare Research Portal Information Sheet # 122)

A study involving questionnaires with 712 medical students (74% female) at Laval University in Québec between 2006 and 2011 found that 22% of them were in favour of corporal punishment of children. Of men who took part, 31% were in favour of corporal punishment; of women, 18% were in favour. Of students who had experienced corporal punishment as children, 36% were in favour of it, compared to 4% of students who had not experienced corporal punishment as children.

(Labbé, J. et al (2012), “The opinion of Québec medical students on corporal punishment”, Paediatric Child Health 17 (9): 490-494)

In a Leger Marketing survey of 1,000 adult men in Alberta, undertaken during February 2012, 21% said that slapping a child’s face is acceptable behaviour; one in ten said that hitting a woman is acceptable if she makes them angry.
(Reported in Toronto Star, 15 March 2012, as reported at www.repeal43.org)

In an online poll of more than 6,000 people, 54.6% said that “spanking” should not be allowed under Canadian law. Thirty-five per cent said that “spanking” should be allowed and that the limits set out by the Supreme Court in 2004 were “reasonable” and 8.5% that it should be allowed and the limits set by the Supreme Court were “too strict”.

(Reported in CBC News, 6 February 2012, www.cbc.ca)

A 2008 study in Canada with adolescents and their parents of Caribbean and of Filipino heritage found that 78% of the 118 Caribbean parents interviewed and 42% of the 136 Filipino parents interviewed thought that they should have the “right” to physically punish their children, while adolescents disagreed.

(Hassan, G. et al (2008), “Caribbean and Filipino adolescents' and parents' perceptions of parental authority, physical punishment, and cultural values and their relation to migratory characteristics”, Canadian Ethnic Studies, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 171 - 186)

In a sample of mothers of preschoolers in Manitoba, 59% reported having used physical punishment in the previous two weeks.

(Ateah, C. & Durrant, J. E. (2005), “Maternal use of physical punishment in response to child misbehavior: Implications for child abuse prevention”, Child Abuse & Neglect, 29, pp.177-193)

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

A survey of 2,643 children aged 10-17 in 975 households found that nearly half (49.19 %) of them experienced corporal punishment, with the commonest perpetrators being fathers (56.5%) and mothers (36.11%).

(Mande Djapou, F. (2013), Châtiment Corporel des Enfants en République Centrafricaine 2012-2013, Réseau National des ONG de Jeunesse en Droits de l’Homme)

A study involving 765 people aged 10 years and older and who attended schools or higher education institutions found that of the 47.2% of respondents (50.9%  of males and 45% of females) who had been smacked, slapped or beaten at school in the past year, 32.9% of males and 34% of females said that the perpetrator was a male teacher or other staff member and 2.7% of males and 4.6% of females said that the perpetrator was a female teacher or other staff member.

(Mimche, H. & Tanang, P. (2013), “Les violences basées sur le genre à l’école en République centrafricaine”, Recherches & Educations, 8, 49-63) 

According to statistics collected in 2010-2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 92% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. More than eight children in ten (81%) experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (30%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Thirty-seven per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 84% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(L’Institut Centrafricain des Statistiques, et des Etudes Economiques et Sociales (2012), Enquête par grappes à indicateurs multiples MICS, RCA 2010, Bangui: ICASEES)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 89% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Seventy-eight per cent experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (25%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 90% of children. A third of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 83% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 90% compared to 88%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 91% of children aged 5-9 compared to 85% of children aged 2-4 and 90% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 90% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 83% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to statistics collected in 2005-2005 by UNICEF, children with disabilities were more likely to have experienced severe physical punishment in the home in the past month: 36% of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement, compared with 28% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

CHAD

According to statistics collected in 2009 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 84.3% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. More than three quarters (76.6%) experienced physical punishment and 41.1% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement). More than seven children in ten (70.9%) experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(République du Tchad Ministère du Plan, de l’Economie et de la Coopération Internationale et al (2013), Enquête par grappes à indicateurs multiples: Tchad 2010)

CHILE

A 2012 study of men’s childhood experiences of violence in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda, which involved men aged 18-59 living in urban settings, found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in all six countries. In Chile, of the 1,151 men who participated, 48% reported having been spanked or slapped by a parent in the home during childhood, 36% having been threatened with physical punishment in the home and 34% having been humiliated by someone in their family in front of other people. Twenty-seven per cent reported having been beaten or physically punished at school by a teacher. The study found that men who had experienced violence, including corporal punishment, during childhood, were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence, hold inequitable gender attitudes, be involved in fights outside the home or robberies, pay for sex and experience low self-esteem and depression, and were less likely to participate in domestic duties, communicate openly with their partners, attend pre-natal visits when their partner is pregnant and/or take paternity leave.

(Contreras, M. et al (2012), Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence, Analyzing Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, Washington DC: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo)

A 2006 survey by the Association of Chileans for the United Nations, together with Save the Children Sweden, found that many parents admitted to frequent use of corporal punishment, most commonly in families of lower socio-economic status, and more commonly mothers than fathers; most also expressed concern about physical violence.

(Soledad Salazar Medina (2006), Estilos de crianza y cuidado infantile en Santiago de Chile: Algus reflexiones para comprender la violencia educative en la familia, Associacion Chilena Pro Naciones Unidas – ACHNU – PRODENI. Reported in The Santiago Times, 15 November 2006)

CHINA

A 2014 study which involved 2,518 mothers and fathers of 3-15 year olds found that 53.73% of the mothers and 48.29% of the fathers had physically punished their child in the past year.

(Wang, M. & Liu, L. (2014) “Parental harsh discipline in mainland China: Prevalence, frequency, and coexistence” Child Abuse & Neglect 38(6), 1128–1137)

In a survey of 1,200 first- and second-year university students, 32.1% reported experiencing corporal punishment by teachers when they were at school.

(UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

In a study of 2,363 parents, 43.8% said that they had ever corporally punished a child. One third (32.8%) had done so in the past year.

(Chan, K.L. (2010), “Co-occurrence of intimate partner violence and child abuse in Hong Kong Chinese families”, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, (epub ahead of print), 1-21, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in China 48% of girls and 60% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 10% of girls and 15% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month. Smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 14% of mothers and 20% of fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 36% of mothers and 33% of fathers believed it was necessary.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A survey of over 2,100 primary school children aged 9-12 found that 73% are physically punished by their parents, and this was associated with psychosomatic symptoms such as headache and abdominal pain.

(Hesketh, T. et al (2010), “Stress and psychosomatic symptoms in Chinese school children: cross-sectional survey”, Archives of Disease in Childhood, vol. 95 (2), pp. 136-140)

In a survey of more than 100 children aged 6-15 and 126 parents, carried out by the NGO Against Child Abuse, 58% of parents admitted to smacking or caning their children in the previous 12 months. Almost half (47%) of children who had been physically punished said it had hurt them badly and a third thought it had damaged their relationship with their parents.

(Reported in Earth Times, 4 May 2010)

In a study of 6,592 high school students, 23.2% reported experienced corporal punishment in the past six months.

(Leung, P.W.S., Wong, W.C.W., Chen, W.Q. & Tang, C.S.K. (2008), “Prevalence and determinants of child maltreatment among high school students in Southern China: A large school based survey”, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 2(27), 1-8, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

A study of 810 parents with children of pre-school age found that 33% had used non-contact corporal punishment on their child.

(Wang, F.Y., Chen, J.Q., Ma, Y.X. (2007), “The Prevalence of Physical Maltreatment by Parents in 810 Kindergarten Children”, Chinese Journal of School Health, 28(11): 987-990 [in Chinese], cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

In a study of 1,622 Chinese parents, 57.5% reported using corporal punishment.

(Tang, C.S.K. (2006), “Corporal punishment and physical maltreatment against children: A community study on Chinese parents in Hong Kong”, Child Abuse & Neglect, 30, 893-907, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

In a survey of 484 secondary school students, 16.7% had experienced non-contact corporal punishment, including being forced to run, stand, kneel down, not eat or suffer cold in the winter) from their mothers before the age of 16 and 14.5% had experienced it from their fathers. Over half (53%) had experienced this from a teacher.

(Chen, J.Q., Liao, W. (2005), “Childhood Non-contact Corporal Punishment Revealed in the Questionnaire Survey of Technical Secondary School Students”, Chinese Mental Health Journal, 19(4): 243-246 [in Chinese], cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

COLOMBIA

In a 2005 study involving 26,060 women aged 15-49 with children, 62.6% reported that children in their home were physically punished (61.4%% by being hit, beaten, spanked or slapped; 1.2% by other physical punishment). Women who had experienced partner violence were more likely to report that children in their home were physically punished: 69.2% of women who had ever experienced partner violence compared to 57.6% of women who had not.

(Bott, S. et al (2012), Violence Against Women In Latin America And The Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis Of Population-based Data From 12 Countries, Washington DC: Pan American Health Organisation & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in Colombia 68% of girls and 63% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 15% of girls and 4% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month. Smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 14% of mothers and 13% of fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 19% of mothers and 8% of fathers believed it was necessary.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A qualitative research study about children’s ideas, attitudes and feelings about punishment found that parents punish their children by hitting them with objects, spanking them, scolding them, forbidding them things they like and not allowing them to leave their bedrooms. Children said that they felt bad, bored, guilty, angry and confused when they were punished. They suggested that instead of hitting or humiliating them, parents should talk to them about their behaviour. The study was carried out in 2006 and involved eight girls and five boys from Bogotá.

(Duque-Páramo, M.C. (2008), “No me gusta, pero está bien si me porto mal”, Investigación en Enfermería: Imagen y Desarrollo, 10 (1): 113-134, Bogotá)

As part of a study of the impact of publicly funded early childhood education centres in Bogotá, the kinds of punishments used on children were examined. Interviews were carried out with 97 fathers and mothers and 97 children aged 5-6 years, in which 63% of parents reported seldom using physical punishment and 1% reported using it a lot. Of those who said they smacked their children, 47% said they used their hand, 44% a belt, 10% a slipper or shoe, and 2% a paddle or broom. In the four months prior to the interviews, the most recent punishment had been smacking for 32% and scolding for 11%. Interviews with the children revealed higher incidences of corporal punishment, including 83% reporting punishment by smacking. Various ways of being hit were reported by the children, including with a belt (70%), the hand (31%), a slipper (27%), a whip (5%), a paddle (5%), a shoe (5%), and a switch (3%). Reasons given for the punishment included disobedience (27%), not doing homework or poor performance at school (29%) and talking back or being rude (12%).

(Pineda, N. et al. (2005), Evaluación de Algunas Modalidades de Atención a la Primera Infancia en el ICBF y el DABS, Bogotá, Cinde, Save the Children UK, UNICEF, Colombian Institute for Family Welfare and Bogotá Social Welfare Department, reported in International Save the Children Alliance (2005), Ending Physical and Humiliating Punishment of Children – Making it Happen: Global Submission to the UN Study on Violence against Children, Save the Children Sweden)

CONGO, REPUBLIC OF

A 2011 study found that 25.9% of 5-11 year olds and 20.4% of 12-14 year olds had experienced “very violent” corporal punishment.

(2 December 2013, CRC/C/COG/Q/2-4/Add.1, Responses to list of issues)

COSTA RICA

A 2009 study involving interviews with 1,201 people responsible for the care of a child aged 2-17 found that 86.6% of respondents knew of the 2008 law banning physical and other humiliating punishment of children and nearly two thirds (64.4%) of respondents totally agreed or somewhat agreed with the law. When asked the reason for their response, a quarter of respondents said that they agreed because upbringing of children should not be based on physical punishment. Over half (56%) of respondents totally disagreed or somewhat disagreed that “if a child is disobedient it is acceptable for the parent to hit him or her” and nearly eight in ten (78.8%) totally disagreed or somewhat disagreed that “if a child is violent it is acceptable for the parent to hit him or her”. Around half (48.7%) of respondents said that the child they cared for had been spanked by them or another adult in their household during the past year: 21.2% said the child had been spanked once or twice, 16.6% three to five times and 10.9% six or more times. More than three quarters (77.2%) of respondents said that they had been spanked when they were children.

(Consejo Nacional de La Niñez y la Adolescencia & Pani (2009), Estudio de Conocimientos, Actitudes y Prácticas en materia de Patrones de Crianza en Costa Rica: Informe Técnico De La Encuesta Nacional Sobre Patrones De Crianza)

COTE D’IVOIRE

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 91% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly three quarters experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (39%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 91% of children. More than one child in five experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 88% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, age, household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

CROATIA

A survey commissioned by UNICEF of more than 1,700 parents of 0-6 year olds found that 12% of parents believed that corporal punishment was effective. More than 30% of parents of 3 year olds said that in the past week, they had “smacked” or pulled the hair of their child.

(Reported by UNICEF Croatia, 25 April 2013)

A 2012 study of men’s childhood experiences of violence in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda, which involved men aged 18-59 living in urban settings, found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in all six countries. In Croatia, of the 1,451 men who participated, 67% reported having been spanked or slapped by a parent in the home during childhood, 35% having been threatened with physical punishment in the home and 24% having been humiliated by someone in their family in front of other people. Thirty per cent reported having been beaten or physically punished at school by a teacher. The study found that men who had experienced violence, including corporal punishment, during childhood, were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence, hold inequitable gender attitudes, be involved in fights outside the home or robberies, pay for sex and experience low self-esteem and depression, and were less likely to participate in domestic duties, communicate openly with their partners, attend pre-natal visits when their partner is pregnant and/or take paternity leave.

(Contreras, M. et al (2012), Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence, Analyzing Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, Washington DC: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo)

CURACAO (COUNTRY WITHIN THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS)

A study involving 545 high school students aged 11-17 found that 37.4% of respondents had been badly shaken, squeezed hard, thrown against a wall or to the ground, grabbed by the throat, beaten with a hard object, beaten in the face or attacked with a hot or sharp object or a weapon by their mother, father or another caregiver. Nearly one in five (19.6%) had experienced this in the past year. Fifteen per cent of respondents had been grabbed by the throat, beaten or wounded with a sharp or hot object or a weapon; 10.1% in the past year. No significant differences between girls’ and boys’ experiences, or the experiences of students with different family incomes, were found.

(Klein, K. (2010), De prevalentie van kindermishandeling onder middelbare scholieren op Curaçao en de visie van huisartsen op de signalering aldaar, Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen)

CYPRUS

A study involving focus groups and face to face interviews with 104 13-22 year olds with experience of youth custody in Austria, Cyprus, England, the Netherlands and Romania found that in Cyprus, the majority of young people felt that violence was used by staff in custodial settings as a punishment or as a form of coercion, or as a means to show power.

(Children’s Rights Alliance for England (2013), Speaking Freely: Children and Young People in Europe Talk about Ending Violence Against Children in Custody – Research Report, London: CRAE)

CZECH REPUBLIC

A 2011 poll found that about 30 percent of teachers at Czech elementary schools had slapped a pupil, despite corporal punishment being considered unlawful.

(Reported in Prague Daily Monitor, 25 November 2011, praguemonitor.com)

A 2006 public opinion poll by Median agency for the daily Mladá fronta Dnes found that 25% of the 636 respondents supported the use of corporal punishment in schools, more commonly among respondents aged 45-50 years than among those with school aged children.

(Reported in The Prague Post, 20 June 2007)

D

DENMARK

A survey of 1,008 students aged 12-16 found that 81.8% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Nearly one in ten (9.6%) thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. Eighty-three per cent disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 89% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.

(UNICEF (2011), Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

A 2010 study involving nearly 3,000 young people in Denmark found that 20% of them had been pushed, pulled, had their hair pulled, been hit with a flat hand, fist or an object or been kicked by a parent in the past year. Eight per cent had experienced this once and twelve per cent more than once.

(Korzen, S., Fisker, L. & Oldrup, H. (2010), Vold mod Unge i Danmark, SFI - Det Nationale Forskningscenter For Velfærd)

DJIBOUTI

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 72% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Two thirds experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (31%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 83% of children. More than one child in five experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 57% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). The prevalence of violent discipline rose with age, with 75% of children aged 10-14 experiencing it compared to 66% of children aged 2-4. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 75% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 62% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) were found according to sex, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

Interviews with 1,669 children aged 9 – 14 in 19 schools revealed that school corporal punishment is widespread. 27.6% of the children said they had been hit with an object such as a ruler, stick or “tuyau” (a PVC pipe), 19.5% had been forced to kneel in front of the class or outside as a punishment and 14.1% had been pinched or had their hair or ears pulled. The study also examined the academic achievement of students, and concluded that the schools with the best results are those in which least corporal punishment is used, and that the students in these schools feel most secure.

(Debarbieux, E. (2006), “Pourqui pas un bonne fessée? Une recherche sur le châtiment corporel à l’école”, SPIRALE - Revue de Recherches en Éducation, 37, pp.83-95, available at spirale-edu-revue.fr/IMG/pdf/8_Debarbieux_Spirale_37.pdf (in French))

DOMINICA

A study which involved focus group discussions with 403 children aged 6-16 found that only 15% of the children had never been physically punished at home and only 14% had never been physically punished by a teacher. In both homes and schools, the most common thing used to hit children was a stick or cane, followed by a strap or belt and then a hand.

(Le Franc, E. R. M. et al (2009), Violence Against Children: An Evaluation of the Protective Environment – Participant Assessment Methodology: A Case Study In Dominica, UNICEF Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean & Government of Dominica)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

According to statistics collected in 2005-2006 by UNICEF, 83% of children aged 2-14 experienced physical punishment and/or psychological aggression in in the home in the past month: 45% experienced physical punishment and psychological aggression, 27% experienced psychological aggression only and 12% experienced physical punishment only. In total, 57% of children experienced physical punishment, while only 9% of mothers and caregivers believe that physical punishment is necessary in childrearing.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

DPR KOREA

A 2012 report documents the human rights abuses, including severe corporal punishment and torture, taking place in penal labour colonies, prisons, prison camps and other institutions of detention. Children are often detained with their families in these institutions. The report estimates that 150,000 – 200,000 people are incarcerated in penal labour colonies.

(Hawk, D. (2012), The Hidden Gulag: The Lives and Voices of “Those Who are Sent to the Mountains”, second edition, Washington DC: Committee for Human Rights in North Korea)

DR CONGO

In a study involving interviews with 708 men and 754 women in Goma, 57% of men and women reported having been slapped on the face by parents or other adults in the home as a child. Fifty-four per cent of women and 47% of men said that as a child, they had been insulted or humiliated in front of others by someone in their family, and 50% of both men and women reported being threatened with physical punishment in the home.

(Sonke Gender Justice Network & Promundo (2012), Gender Relations, Sexual Violence and the Effects of Conflict on Women and Men in North Kivu, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo – Preliminary Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES))

A study by the African Child Policy Forum in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal found that hitting, beating and forced hard work were the most prevalent forms of violence against girls, and that most of the physical violence experienced by girls was corporal punishment. The study involved a survey of 3,025 young women (nearly 600 per country) aged 18-24 about the violence they had experienced in their childhood. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 74% of respondents had been hit during their childhood, 83% had been beaten, 25% kicked, 48% denied food, 7% choked or burned and 29% forced to do hard work. Parents and close relatives were the most common perpetrators of physical violence.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Childhood Scars in Africa: A Retrospective Study on Violence Against Girls in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 92% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month, and 37% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement).

(Ministry of Planning et al (2011), Democratic Republic of Congo: Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010 summary report, Ministry of Planning, National Institute of Statistics & UNICEF)

E

Note: No prevalence research identified for El Salvador. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Eritrea.

ECUADOR

A 2012 study by the Observatorio de los Derechos de la Niñez y la Adolescencia, UNICEF, Plan International and other NGOs found that 44% of children experienced being punished by being beaten, compared to 40% in a similar study in 2000. The reasons for punishment included not obeying rules (47%), poor grades (14%), not doing housework (12%) and being late (8%).

(Reported in La Hora, 30 May 2012)

EGYPT

A study which involved 400 9-14 year olds and their mothers found that about three quarters of the children (76%) were sometimes physically punished by their mother. Thirty-nine per cent were physically punished once or twice a week, 3.5% once a day and 2.8% more than once a day. Children who were physically punished by their mother were more likely to say that they had a poor relationship with their parents, siblings, peers and teachers than those who were not physically punished by their mothers.

(Abolfotouh, M. A. et al (2009), “Corporal punishment: Mother’s disciplinary behavior and child’s psychological profile in Alexandria, Egypt”, Journal of Forensic Nursing 5, 5-17)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, 92% of children aged 2-14 experienced physical punishment and/or psychological aggression in the home in the past month: 68% experienced physical punishment and psychological aggression, 22% experienced psychological aggression only and 2% experienced physical punishment only; 40% were hit on the face, head or ears, hit repeatedly or hit hard.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

The National Child Protection Study, carried out by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women in 2008-2009, found that 80% of children and young people had experienced physical punishment or verbal aggression in the family. The study involved 749 children, 152 parents and 100 teachers.

(Reported in the sixth periodic report of Equatorial Guinea to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 14 April 2011, CEDAW /C/GNQ/6)

ERITREA

According to UN statistics, in 2002 significant proportions of women believed that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife for specific reasons: 29% for burning the food, 45% for arguing with him, 52% for going out without telling him, 51% for neglecting the children and 48% for refusing to have sex.

(United Nations, 2010, The World’s Women 2010: Trends and Statistics, New York: Department of Economic and Social Affairs)

ESTONIA

A 2012 survey of 1,000 adults and 1,000 10-17 year olds found that 25 per cent of parents did not consider that physical punishment of children was a form of violence. One third (33%) of parents agreed that “in some circumstances corporal punishment of children is necessary and justified”; 65% of parents disagreed. More than one-third (38%) of parents thought that “in some circumstances corporal punishment of children is understandable”.

(Karu, M. et al (2012), Monitoring of the Rights of the Child and Parenting, Praxis Centre for Policy Studies)

The 2009 annual report of the National Preventive Mechanism of Estonia found that children in a special school and in a children’s shelter experienced being locked in an isolation room, sometimes wearing only their underwear, as punishment. The 2008 and 2010 reports had similar findings.

(Chancellor of Justice (2010), 2009 Overview of the Chancellor of Justice activities for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: statistics of proceedings)

A survey of 475 parents of children aged under 18 found that 60% disagreed that “in some circumstances corporal punishment of children is necessary and justified”, with 20% agreeing and 20% in the middle (tending to agree or tending to disagree). Sixty-one per cent agreed that “corporal punishment of children is violence and not a method”, with 23% disagreeing and 16% in the middle. More than half (56%) disagreed that “in some circumstances corporal punishment of children is reasonable”, with 20% agreeing and 24% in the middle. A large majority (84%) disagreed that “in some circumstances, solving problems between grown-ups with physical action is acceptable”, with 4% agreeing and 11% in the middle. Overall, 47% agreed or tended to agree that “corporal punishment of a child is sometimes inevitable”.

(European Social Survey (2010), Additional Module about Estonia)

In a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,517 people aged 15-74 in Estonia, 14% totally agreed and 33% agreed that “corporal punishment of children is sometimes inevitable”. Nearly half (49%) disagreed or totally disagreed. Eighty-nine per cent totally disagreed or disagreed that “physical reprimanding of a spouse or partner is sometimes inevitable”. Sixty-three per cent agreed or totally agreed that “people should interfere if they see or hear a violent domestic quarrel”, with 23% disagreeing or totally disagreeing.

(Järviste, L. (2010), Gender Equality and Inequality: Attitudes and Situation in Estonia in 2009, Policy Analysis: Series of the Ministry of Social Affairs No 3/2010)

ETHIOPIA

A study involving 47 focus group discussions and 26 interviews with children and adults found that corporal punishment was widespread: 68% of the focus groups who discussed parental corporal punishment said that beating was common, 15% that it was rare and 17% that it did not happen, while 63% of the groups who discussed corporal punishment by teachers said that beating was common, 6% that it was rare and 31% that it did not happen. Corporal punishment usually involved children being beaten with a hand or a stick. Other punishments included shouting at children, pinching them, forcing them to maintain painful positions and forcing them to look at the sun.

(Lelieveld, M. (2011), Child Protection in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, BRIDGES Project, Feinstein International Center & Tufts University)

A 2010 African Child Policy Forum report on violence against children with disabilities in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia documented a very high level of violence. Nearly a thousand 18-24 year olds took part in the study across the five countries, reporting on their experiences as children. In Ethiopia, 68% of the sample had experienced at least one type of physical violence during their childhood. Over 50% of respondents had been hit, punched, kicked or beaten and over 25% had been denied food. The most common perpetrators of physical violence were mothers (12.5%), fathers (12.1%) and other relatives (15%). Across the five countries, 23% of the young people said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline, reasonable and justified” and 27% said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline but not reasonable or justified”. Twenty-six per cent said that they had experienced emotional violence which was “discipline, but not reasonable or justified”, and 22% that they had experienced emotional violence that was “disciplinary, reasonable and justified”. Across all five countries, more than half (54%) of those who had been physically beaten said they had suffered broken bones, teeth, bleeding or bruising; 2% had been permanently disabled; 21% required medical attention; 13% had to miss school or work; and 20% had needed rest at home. For all five countries, the majority of respondents with physical, visual and intellectual disabilities experienced physical violence more than 10 times. The report recommends prohibition of all corporal punishment, including in the home, as a way to minimise the risk of violence against children with disabilities.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Violence Against Children With Disabilities in Africa: Field Studies from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

A 2010 study into child care institutions in Ethiopia studied 87 institutions through visits, document reviews, interviews and focus groups with institution staff, parents of children living in institutions and former residents. The study found that children in institutions were frequently subjected to physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and exploitation. In focus group discussions, foster care was also discussed. Participants stated that children in foster care, too, often experienced violence at the hands of their caregivers, and that foster children were treated as “second-class citizens”. The report does not examine the extent to which the violence was inflicted in the context of “discipline”.

(FHI (2010), Improving Care Options for Children in Ethiopia through Understanding Institutional Child Care and Factors Driving Institutionalization)

A study in 116 schools in various areas of Ethiopia which looked at violence against girls in schools found that 34% of students but only 25% of teachers stated that girls experience corporal punishment in schools.

(Save the Children Denmark (2008), A study on violence against girls in primary schools and its impacts on girls’ education in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, www.ungei.org/resources/files/Study_on_Violence_Against_Schoolgfils_final.pdf)

A survey of 485 young women in Ethiopia aged 18-24 concerning their childhood experiences of violence, undertaken by the Africa Child Policy Forum and published in 2006, found that 84% had suffered one or more types of violence. Beating with an object was found to be the most prevalent form of physical violence (71.1%). Prevalence figures for other forms of physical abuse were 59.5% for punching, 43.3% kicking, 28.6% being forced to carry out hard work, 12.4% being choked/burned/stabbed, 10.9% having spicy/bitter food put into mouth, 9.7% being locked up, and 8.3% being denied food. Girls were found to be most vulnerable to beating with an object when aged 10-13 years (59.4%) and to being hit/punched when aged 14-17 years (58.4%). Experiencing the violence more than ten times was more likely in the case of beating than other types of physical violence except for hard work. Most beating with an object and hitting/punching was carried out by mothers (45.2% and 27.2% respectively), followed by fathers (39.1% and 21.5%) and brothers (23.9% and 24%). In 55.5% of cases, the hitting/punching resulted in “bruises or scratches, broken bones or teeth, or bleeding”; the corresponding figure for beating with an object was 32.2%. The most frequent reasons given to the girls by the perpetrators of the violence were reported as doing something wrong, disrupting the home/class, going out without permission or coming in late, failing to complete an assignment, refusing to accept a proposal for love or sex, giving a confrontational reply, and going out with men.

(Stavropoulos, J. (2006), Violence Against Girls in Africa: A Retrospective Survey in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, Addis Ababa, The African Child Policy Forum)

In a study of over 1,800 children and nearly 500 adults in five regions, only 17 children (1.4%) stated they had never experienced corporal punishment in any setting. Of the 1,223 children who completed a questionnaire, 74.1% reported having been hit with a stick in the home, 73.3% had been hit on the head, 70.3% slapped, 69.1% pinched, 63.7% whipped with a belt, and 53.1% forced to kneel down. With regard to corporal punishment in schools, 72% reported having been hit with a stick, 40.9% with a plastic tube or electric wire, 38.7% whipped with a belt and 77.8% hit on the head. High levels of psychological punishment were also reported.

(Save the Children Sweden & African Child Policy Forum (2005), Ending Physical and Humiliating Punishment against Children: Ethiopia, Addis Ababa: Save the Children Sweden in Eastern and Central Africa)

In a study in which 1,223 children from five regions were interviewed, only 17 children (1.4%) stated that they had never experienced corporal punishment in the home.

(African Child Policy Forum on Violence Against Children & Save the Children Sweden (2005), Report on Violence against Children, cited in Government response to UN Study on Violence Against Children Questionnaire, 2005)

F

Note: No prevalence research identified for Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Faroe Islands, French Guiana, French Polynesia

FIJI

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, 72% of children aged 2-14 years old experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month.

(UNICEF (2011), The State of the World’s Children, Table 9: Child Protection, www.unicef.org/sowc, NY: UNICEF)

A study carried out in 2008 found that 37% of the 248 16-17 year olds involved had been physically hurt by an adult at home in the past month. Seventy-two per cent of the 338 adults surveyed said that they sometimes hit, smacked, pinched, kicked or “donged” children or pulled or twisted their ears. When asked why parents and teachers might physically abuse children, high proportions of interviewees replied “discipline” or “punishment”: 37% for parents and 44% for teachers. Three quarters of interviewees working in education said that teachers in their school “hit, smack, kick, dong, pinch or pull or twist children’s ears,” 31% of children who attended school said that they had been physically hurt by a teacher in the past month and 9% of adults said that a child in their household had told them about being physically hurt by a teacher in the past month. Children said that the top three implements teachers used to hurt them were an open hand (38%), a stick (32%) and a closed fist (8%) and that teachers hitting children is the number one thing which makes them feel unsafe in schools. Children in conflict with the law were sometimes physically punished in their communities: 4% of community leaders and people working in and with the justice system said that physical punishment was used to deal with children in conflict with the law when the police were not involved, 7% said that it was used when a case of a child in conflict with the law was informally diverted to the village or community and 5% that it was used when cases were formally diverted at police or court level.

(UNICEF & AusAid (2009), Protect me with love and care: A Baseline Report for creating a future free from violence, abuse and exploitation of girls and boys in Fiji, Suva: UNICEF Pacific)

Large scale comparative research into the views and experiences of 3,322 children and 1,000 adults in 8 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) was carried out by Save the Children in 2005. The research in Fiji involved 536 children (244 boys, 292 girls) aged 10-17 years from urban, semi-urban and rural areas, and 101 adults (49 men and 52 women, teachers in the schools and members of four community settlements in the Central Division). The research team led 51 sessions with the children, boys and girls separately, and two age groups – 10-13 years and 14-17 years. Methods used included research diaries, drawings, body maps, attitude survey, sentence completion, and discussions. Most punishment experienced by children were direct assaults, more frequently for younger children, including being beaten, hit, slapped or lashed, smacked, whacked, given a hiding, spanked, punched, “donged” (on the head) and pinched. Nine out of ten boys aged 10-13 years and almost eight out of ten aged 14-17 years reported the use of physical punishments; 71% of girls in both age groups reported this. More punishment was administered by immediate family members (parents 48%) than by teachers (45%); for all girls and younger boys, most punishments were experienced in the home; for older boys the majority of punishment happened at school. Reasons for the punishment included disobedience, unsatisfactory academic performance and misbehaviour. In response to the statement “After I punish a child I feel unhappy”, 38% of adults disagreed, 57% agreed, and 5% had no opinion.

(Save the Children (2006), The Physical and Emotional Punishment of Children in Fiji: A research report, Suva, Save the Children Fiji. See also Beazley, H., S. Bessell, et al. (2006), What Children Say: Results of comparative research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast Asia and Pacific (2005), Stockholm, Save the Children Sweden)

FINLAND

A study carried out in 2011, which involved a survey of a representative sample of 4,609 15-80 year olds from Western Finland, found that the proportion of people who were slapped and beaten with an object during childhood decreased after corporal punishment was prohibited in 1983. The study found that experience of corporal punishment was associated with reporting indications of alcohol abuse, depression, mental health problems, and schizotypal personality and with having attempted suicide in the past year. The study examined the survey data in relation to data on murders of children and found that the decline in physical punishment was associated with a similar decline in the number of children who were murdered.

(Österman, K. et al (2014) “Twenty-Eight Years After the Complete Ban on the Physical Punishment of Children in Finland: Trends and Psychosocial Concomitants”, Aggressive Behaviour, 9999, 1-14)

A study by the Police College of Finland, which involved more than 3,000 parents of children aged under 13, found that almost all parents knew of the prohibition of corporal punishment and that parents were very negative about hitting children. Less than one per cent of parents reported hitting their children with an object, punching them or kicking them. Twenty per cent of parents said that they had pulled their child’s hair as a punishment.

(Ellonen, N. (2012), Kurin alaiset : lasten ja vanhempien välisten ristiriitojen ratkaiseminen perheissä, Tampere : Poliisiammattikorkeakoulu)

A series of six nationally representative surveys carried out between 1981 and 2014 show a consistent decline in adult acceptance of corporal punishment: from 47% in 1981 to 15% in 2014. In the 2012 survey, 10% of parents agreed that corporal punishment of children was acceptable and 97% of parents were aware of the prohibition of corporal punishment.

(Sariola, H. (2012), Violence against children and child sexual abuse in Finland, presentation given at the Central Union for Child Welfare, Helsinki 30 August 2012; Central Union for Child Welfare (2012), Attitudes to disciplinary violence, Finland: Central Union for Child Welfare & Taloustutkimus Oy; reported by Central Union for Child Welfare, 9 April 2014)

A survey of 1,044 students aged 12-16 found that 55.8% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Twenty-seven per cent thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. However, 65.8% disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 87% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.

(UNICEF (2011), Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

Studies on violence experienced by children in Finland examined the prevalence of corporal punishment in 1988 and 2008. The 2008 study, published by the Police College of Finland, involved over 13,000 children aged 12-15 and was designed to allow direct comparison with research carried out in 1988. In 1988, around a quarter of children had been “smacked” before age 14, and around two thirds had had their hair pulled. In 2008, around 10% had been “smacked” and around a third had had their hair pulled. The overall percentage of children who had experienced “mild” punitive violence from their parents declined from 72% in 1988 to 32% in 2008; the percentage of children who had experienced severe punitive violence dropped from 8% to 4%. There had been a clear reduction in all forms of corporal punishment and other parental violence against children in the past twenty years, with the most significant reduction in the “relatively mild forms of violence previously considered socially acceptable types of corporal punishment” (p. 160).

(Ellonen, N., Kääriäinen, J. Salmi, V. & Sariola, H. (2008), Lasten ja nuorten väkivaltakokemukset. Tutkimus peruskoulun 6. - 9. luokan oppilaiden kokemasta väkivallasta, Poliisiammattikorkeakoulun Raportteja 71/2008)

 FRANCE

A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 72% of French parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 87% had slapped their child on the bottom. 32% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 4.5% had beaten their child with an object. 7.9% of French parents never used corporal punishment. 85% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 825% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.  

(Bussmann, K. D. (2009), The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

A survey by the Union of Families in Europe (UFE) of 2,000 grandparents, parents and children found that 95% of adults and 96% of children have been smacked. 84% of grandparents and 87% of parents have administered corporal punishment. One in ten parents admitted to punishing their children with a “martinet” (a small whip); 30% of children said they had been punished with a martinet. When asked the reason for smacking their children, parents said it was part of “bringing up” their children (77%), it was to “relieve their feelings” (7%) or both of these things. When asked how they planned to discipline their own children when they become parents, 64 per cent of French children responded “the same”. 61% of grandparents and 53% of parents said that they oppose a ban on corporal punishment of children.

(Union of Families in Europe (2007), POUR ou CONTRE les fessées?, Tassin: UFE)

G

Note: No prevalence research identified for Gabon, Gibraltar, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guernsey. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Guinea.

GAMBIA

The Gambia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) carried out in 2010 found that 90% of children aged 2-14 had been physically and/or psychologically punished by their mothers/caregivers or other household members in the past month. Seventy-four per cent of children had experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (38.9%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Eighteen per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement). The survey involved 14,685 women in 7,791 households.

(The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (2011), The Gambia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010, Final Report, Banjul: UNICEF)

A UNICEF report published in 2010, which used statistics collected in 2005-2006, states that 87% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly three quarters experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (32%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 90% of children. Nearly a quarter of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 77% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than younger children: 88% of children aged 5-9 compared to 83% of children aged 2-4. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 88% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 75% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. Children engaged in child labour experienced violent discipline slightly more than those who were not engaged in child labour: 93% compared to 89%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

In a study involving questionnaires with 878 children, 265 teachers and 426 parents, children reported that corporal punishment is used in 70% of schools. Sixty-eight per cent of students were beaten at school “sometimes”, 8% “often”, 11% “very often” and 13% “rarely”. Students were beaten with belts, canes and rulers. At home, 55% of children reported that parents or guardians beat them “sometimes”, 22% “rarely”, 8% “often” and 14% “very often”. Children were beaten on the back, buttocks, head, face and all over their bodies. Girls were more likely to be beaten on the face - 62% of children beaten on the face were girls – while boys were more likely to be beaten on the buttocks – 61% of children beaten on the buttocks were boys. Younger children were more likely to be beaten on the face, with 18% of children aged 7 and under beaten on the face compared to 10% of 8-12 year olds, 6% of 13-15 year olds and 5% of 16-19 year olds. Nearly half (47%) of children had been injured by a punishment: of these, 31% were bruised, 17% cut, 25% suffered internal bleeding, 12% lost a tooth and 10% had an arm dislocated or fractured. Four children in ten had at some time decided not to go to school for fear of being beaten or punished by a teacher and 47% of children know of another child who left school because of corporal punishment or fear of a teacher. Seven children in ten believed that corporal punishment makes children fear their teachers or parents instead of respecting them. Half of children said that if they became teachers, they would not beat their students. Children who had been beaten by teachers were much more likely to say that they would beat their students than children who had not been beaten (38% compared to 7%). Similarly, more children who were beaten by parents or guardians at home said that they would beat their children when they grew up than those who were not beaten at home (61% compared to 37%). Nearly three quarters (73%) of teachers reported beating students “rarely”, 17% “often” and 9% “very often”. Corporal punishment was more likely to be used in schools for younger children: 80% of kindergarten teachers reported using corporal punishment, compareed to 27% of senior secondary school teachers. Almost all teachers (97%) were beaten when they were students; however, 71% of those who were not beaten said that they would in turn not beat their students, while 59% of teachers who were beaten would beat their students. Forty-five per cent of teachers believed that corporal punishment can negatively impact on a child’s ability to learn and concentrate in class, and 71% of teachers reported feeling bad or very bad after using corporal punishment. Of parents, 83% reported that corporal punishment was used in their families, and 92% had experienced it themselves as children. The report recommends prohibition of all corporal punishment.

(Tang, J. (2005), Beating the Misconceptions, Not the Children, The Gambia: The Child Protection Alliance)

GEORGIA

A study of foster care, small group homes and day care centres, which involved interviews with foster parents, managers, staff, children and parents, found that in day care centres and foster homes, children experienced corporal punishment including being spanked, having their hair or ears pulled, being yelled at and being threatened.

(EveryChild (2011), Advocacy for Participation to Protect Children’s Rights: Georgia – Needs Assessment of the Alternative Child Care Services)

The 2011 report of the Public Defender of Georgia on the monitoring of residential childcare institutions documented corporal punishment in large residential institutions, small group homes and schools attended by children living in childcare institutions, including children having their ears pulled, being beaten with a stick and being shaken. The report was based on interviews with 212 children, 110 of whom were living in large residential institutions and 102 of whom were living in small group homes. It was carried out in the capacity of the Public Defender of Georgia as National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and followed on from the 2010 report of the Public Defender, which had similar findings.

(Public Defender of Georgia (2012), Report on the Monitoring of Residential Childcare Institutions for 2011, Council of Europe & Public Defender of Georgia)

A study of foster care, small group homes and day care centres, which involved interviews with foster parents, managers, staff, children and parents, found that in day care centres and foster homes, children experienced corporal punishment including being spanked, having their hair or ears pulled, being yelled at and being threatened.

(EveryChild (2011), Advocacy for Participation to Protect Children’s Rights: Georgia – Needs Assessment of the Alternative Child Care Services)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 67% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Half experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (13%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 77% of children. One fifth of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 59% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 70% compared to 63%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 73% of children aged 5-9 compared to 69% of children aged 2-4 and 61% of children aged 10-14. Children engaged in child labour experienced violent discipline more than those who were not engaged in child labour: 75% compared to 65%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to household size or level of education of adults in the household.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to statistics from UNICEF on violence in the family, in 2005-2006 seventeen per cent of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement, compared to 25% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

A study carried out in 2007-2008 found that, according to parents’ and carers’ reports, 79.8% of children had experienced physical discipline in the past year and 82.3% had experienced psychological punishments. Common types of physical punishment included “spanking” children on the bottom with a bare hand, shaking them and twisting their ears. Over seven children in ten (71.1%) living in social care institutions reported experiencing physical violence in their institutions in the past year: 29% of these children said the violence was perpetrated only by other children, 12% only by adults and in 58% by both children and adults. At school, 47.1% of children had experienced physical violence in the past year: 32% of these children said only children were the perpetrators, 25% only adults and 27% both children and adults. The first phase of the study, which examined violence in homes and social care institutions, involved interviews with 1,650 parents and carers of children aged under 11, 1,050 children aged 11-17 who were living at home and 301 children aged 11-17 who were living in social care residential institutions. The second phase examined violence in schools and involved 1,300 children aged 11-17, in 99 schools.

(Lynch, M. A, Saralidze, L., Goguadze, N. & Zolotor, A. (2008), National Study on Violence against Children in Georgia, UNICEF & IPSCAN)

GERMANY

A survey carried out in 2012 by the opinion research centre Forsa found that four out of ten parents said they “gave their children the odd smack on the bottom”, and 10% had slapped their children in the face.

(Reported in dw.de, 13 March 2012)

A 2011 study which involved 9,500 16-40 year olds found that 52% of respondents had not been physically punished in childhood. This proportion had doubled since a similar study in 1992, when the figure was 26%. Younger people were most likely to have never been physically punished: 63% of 16-20 year olds reported this. The proportion of people who had experienced “light” violence in childhood decreased significantly: from 58% in 1992 to 36% in 2011.
(Pfeiffer, C. (2012), “Weniger Hiebe, mehr Liebe. Der Wandel familiärer Erziehung in Deutschland”, Centaur, 11 (2), 14-17, cited in Pfeiffer, C. (2013), Parallel Justice – Why Do We Need Stronger Support for the Victim in Society?, address at the closing plenary session of the 18th German Congress on Crime Prevention, April 23, 2013)

A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 43% of German parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 68% had slapped their child on the bottom. 13% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 5.2% had beaten their child with an object. 28% of German parents never used corporal punishment. 88% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 87% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.

(Bussmann, K. D. (2009), The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

GHANA

A study involving more than 1,000 girls in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique analysed the impact of ActionAid’s 2008-2013 project “Stop Violence Against Girls in School”. The project included awareness raising and lobbying for the adoption and implementation of legal and policy measures that ensure education is free from corporal punishment in the three countries. The study found that in 2013 the use of some forms of corporal punishment had reduced since the baseline survey carried out in 2009. In Ghana in 2013 there had been slight reductions in the proportions of girls experiencing most forms of corporal punishment since 2009 – for example, 56% of girls had been beaten in the past year in 2009, compared to 47% in 2013. Girls’ last experiences of corporal punishment usually took place in school. The study recommends prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and measures to implement the prohibition.

(ActionAid International (2013), Stop Violence Against Girls in School: A cross-country analysis of change in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, Johannesburg: Action Aid)

Three quarters (75%) of children involved in a 2012 study by Plan International said that teachers were the main perpetrators of violence in schools.

(Plan International West Africa (2012), Because I am a Girl 2012 Research: Overall Report – Girls’ Retention and Performance in Primary and Secondary Education: Makers and Breakers, Dakar: Plan International West Africa, cited in Greene, M. et al (2012), A Girl’s Right to Learn Without Fear: Working to End Gender-Based Violence at School, Toronto: Plan Canada)

According to statistics collected in 2010-2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 94% of children aged 2-14 had experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly three quarters (73%) experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (50%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Fourteen per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 89% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Ghana Statistical Service (2011), Ghana Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey with an Enhanced Malaria Module and Biomarker, Accra: Ghana Statistical Service)

A 2012 report by Human Rights Watch documented violations of the rights of children and adults with mental disabilities – including prolonged seclusion, being permanently chained in one position, being denied food and being beaten – in psychiatric hospitals and prayer camps (privately owned Christian religious institutions which seek to heal persons with mental disabilities with prayer and traditional methods).

(Human Rights Watch (2012), “Like a Death Sentence”: Abuses against Persons with Mental Disabilities in Ghana, NY: Human Rights Watch)

A survey carried out by Action Aid in collaboration with Songtaba in 2009 found that seven boys in eight thought that corporal punishment, such as being caned, having their ears pulled or forced to kneel, weed or dig pits, was necessary, while more than a quarter of the girls interviewed said they would absent themselves from school because of the fear of punishment. 

(Reported in Modern Ghana, 6 September 2011, www.modernghana.com)

A survey of 2,314 parents, students and graduates carried out by the Campaign for Female Education found that 94% of parents, 92% of students and 89% of female graduates supported corporal punishment in schools and 64% of teachers said that it must be tolerated.

(Reported in GhanaWeb, 18 August 2011)

Government research involving 4,164 children found that 81% of children experienced corporal punishment in the home and that at school, caning was the main punishment, experienced by 71% of children.

(Reported in Business Ghana, 1 February 2011)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006states that 90% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Seven children in ten experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (46%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 88% of children. One child in ten experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 84% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, age, household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

Investigations into care institutions and schools in Ghana revealed that corporal punishment of children was widely used by caregivers and teachers. Types of corporal punishment included caning, kicking and slapping. As a result of corporal punishment, some children had developed fear and dislike for their caregivers, with many others playing truant to escape corporal punishment at school.

(Reported in “Scarred With Whips: The agony of Osu Children’s Home inmates”, MyJoyOnline, 10 Sept 2010, www.myjoyonline.com)

A study on children’s perceptions of physical punishment which used interviews, diaries and a questionnaire found a high prevalence of physical punishment. Of the 158 children in private schools who completed a questionnaire, 61.4% experienced some physical punishment at the hands of parents or primary caregivers, with 30.4% experiencing only physical methods of punishment at home. Seven in ten (70.9%) of survey respondents said that school was the place in which they were most likely to be physically punished. Caning was the most common method of physical punishment at home and at school.

(Twum-Danso, A. (2010), Children’s Perceptions of Physical Punishment in Ghana, Nuffield Foundation)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, children with disabilities were more likely to experience severe physical punishment: 15% of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the past month, compared with 8% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

GREECE

A study which involved 486 children in the first year of high school and their parents, carried out in 2007-2008, found that 26.7% of the children involved had been hit with a hand by a family member. Seventy-one per cent of the parents had physically punished their child. Nearly all (98.3%) of the parents said that corporal punishment should not or probably should not be used as a method of “discipline”.

(Tsirigoti, A, et al, (2010), Current Situation Concerning Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) in Greece, Athens: Institute of Child Health, Department of Mental Health and Social Welfare & Centre for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect)

GUATEMALA

In a 2008-2009 study involving 12,446 women aged 15-49 with children, 56.5% reported that children in their home were physically punished (43.1% by being hit, beaten, spanked or slapped; 13.4% by other physical punishment). Women who had experienced partner violence were more likely to report that children in their home were physically punished: 56% of women who had ever experienced partner violence compared to 38.8% of women who had not.

(Bott, S. et al (2012), Violence Against Women In Latin America And The Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis Of Population-based Data From 12 Countries, Washington DC: Pan American Health Organisation & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

GUINEA-BISSAU

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 82% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly three quarters experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (25%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also very widely used: experienced by 93% of children. Three children in ten experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 68% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 85% of children aged 5-9 compared to 76% of children aged 2-4 and 83% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 83% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 70% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

GUYANA

According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2012, 86% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey: 87% of boys and 85% of girls.

(UNICEF (2014), The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers: Every Child Counts, NY: UNICEF)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006states that 76% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly two thirds experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (27%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 87% of children. One child in six experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 67% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 80% compared to 75%. Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 79% of children aged 5-9 compared to 78% of children aged 2-4 and 75% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 82% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 74% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). Children engaged in child labour experienced violent discipline more than those who were not engaged in child labour: 88% compared to 80%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to the level of education of adults in the household.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

Research carried out in 2008 by a group of individuals and organisations identified the views, needs and fears of children, parents and teachers, based on focus groups, questionnaires, interviews, and reviews of relevant research and political and non-political materials. It found, among other things, that while there was high support for school corporal punishment among parents (92%) and only 8% felt it should be abolished, almost one in four (23%) felt that children would be better behaved in class if corporal punishment was not used and 2% felt there would be no change in behaviour. Parents reported they would support prohibition if schools and teachers were properly resourced and trained in positive disciplinary methods. Few parents indicated that their opinions would be changed by media campaigns or celebrity endorsements.

(Smith, C. and Mbozi, J. (2008), Removing Corporal Punishment from Schools: Integrating Partner Efforts, Georgetown: Business Unlimited Consulting Services, www.hands.org.gy/files/Corporal%20Punishment%20Report%20-%202008.pdf)

In June 2007, the Minister of Education Shaik Baksh announced that the Ministry had conducted a survey on the use of corporal punishment in schools which found that 53% of schools use corporal punishment as a means of maintaining discipline and 47% do not. Phase two of this survey would focus on finding out what are the factors that lead to these schools not using corporal punishment, the performance of the students, the level of violence in the schools and other factors.

(Reported in Stabroek News, 8 June 2007)

An assessment of standards in the twenty residential care institutions in Guyana found that 55% of them allowed beating children as a punishment.

(Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security (2006), Assessment of procedural and physical standards in children’s residential care institutions in Guyana)

In February 2005, government-commissioned research was published based on accounts of almost 4,000 children aged 3-17 years about their experiences of violence in home, schools and the wider community. Corporal punishment was the fourth most commonly mentioned type of abuse (45%), after fighting, killing/murder and beating/beating-up, and various types of corporal punishment were mentioned by just under half the groups in every area (43-50%). Of those interviewed (aged 7-17), 87% had received corporal punishment of some kind (licks, lashes, beating) at least once in the home and 81% had been beaten or hit with a belt, cane, whip or other object; children as young as 3 years reported being disciplined by their parents with an object. There was no difference relating to gender, ethnicity or geographical area. One third (33%) of children described physical punishments leading to injury (bleeding skin, broken bones, blacking out). Corporal punishment as most commonly reported as being inflicted by mothers. Over a quarter (27%) of children in the children’s homes visited reported being physically hurt by a caregiver in the home, and a similar number reported being physically punished by staff at the New Opportunity Corps training school.

(Cabral, C. & Speek-Warnery, V. (2005), Voices of Children: Experiences with Violence, Georgetown: Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security/ Red Thread Women’s Development Programme/ UNICEF-Guyana)

H

Note: No prevalence research identified for Hungary. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Honduras.

HAITI

Research by Amnesty International found that despite the prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, it was commonly reported, including the use of whips, beatings with electric cables, and forcing children to kneel in the sun.

(Amnesty International (2008), Safe Schools: Every girl’s right)

In UNICEF’s Voices of Children survey, 14% of children reported living in a family where there were scenes of violence and aggression. Four in ten (40%) said they were hit or beaten when they behaved badly, the figure even higher among rural children aged 9-13 years.

(Reported in Government response to UN Study on Violence Against Children Questionnaire, 2005)

HONG KONG (China Special Administrative Region)

Large scale comparative research into the views and experiences of 3,322 children and 1,000 adults in 8 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) was carried out by Save the Children in 2005. The research in Hong Kong involved 72 children (36 boys, 36 girls) from urban areas and 51 adults. Methods used included research diaries, drawings, body maps, attitude survey, and discussions. Physical punishments mentioned by children in Hong Kong included hitting. Of those who were hit, 86.7% were hit with an implement (57.8% with sticks etc, 28.9% with a whip, lash or belt). Of those children who mentioned body parts where they were hit, 13% reported being hit on the face, 45% on the limbs, 27% on the back, and 1% on the genitalia. In terms of the settings in which children experienced punishment, the research found that in the home 71% of children experienced physical punishment, 29% emotional punishment, while in school 54% experienced physical punishment and 46% emotional. In response to the statement “After I punish a child I feel unhappy”, 100% agreed.

(Beazley, H., S. Bessell, et al. (2006), What Children Say: Results of comparative research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast Asia and Pacific (2005), Stockholm: Save the Children Sweden)

In 2006, the results of the first household survey on domestic violence were reported, commissioned by Hong Kong Social Welfare Department. The survey was carried out by the University of Hong Kong and involved interviews with 5,049 adults and 2,062 children aged 12-17 years. About 44% of the parents admitted having administered corporal punishment and physical violence on their children. Of these, 32% said they had used violence on their children at least once during the past 12 months.

(Reported in “Hong Kong University Calls to Ban Corporal Punishment”, CRIENGLISH.com, 2 March 2006; “Group seeks to outlaw corporal punishment”, The Standard, 2 March 2006)

I

Note: No prevalence research identified for Isle of Man.

ICELAND

A survey of 827 students aged 12-16 found that 71.4% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Fourteen per cent thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. Seventy-eight per cent disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 89% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.

(UNICEF (2011), Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

INDIA

In a 2014 survey of 6-14 year olds in Delhi, 49.33% of the children involved said that teachers in their schools used corporal punishment. The survey was carried out carried out by the NGO Joint Operation for Social Help (JOSH).

(Reported in The Hindu, 30 March 2014)

According to child rights NGO AP Balala Hakkula Sangham, 583 cases of school corporal punishment were reported in Greater Hyderabad in January 2014 and more than 1,500 were reported in 2013.

(Reported in The Indian Express, 27 January 2014)

In a study on the wellbeing and vulnerability of child domestic workers, 68% of the child domestic workers involved in India said that their employers physically punished them. The study was conducted in 2009 in Peru, Costa Rica, Togo, Tanzania, India and Philippines with around 3,000 children, mostly aged 10-17, half of whom worked as paid or unpaid domestic workers.

(Anti-Slavery International (2013), Home Truths: Wellbeing and vulnerabilities of child domestic workers, London: Anti-Slavery International)

A survey of 4,022 parents in 10 cities in India carried out by the Podar Institute of Education found that 65% of respondents said that they had “spanked” their children. Mothers were more likely than fathers to hit their children, with 77% of mothers having done so.

(Reported in Times of India, 1 November 2012)

A 2012 study of men’s childhood experiences of violence in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda, which involved men aged 18-59 living in urban settings, found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in all six countries. In India, of the 1,547 men who participated, 45% reported having been spanked or slapped by a parent in the home during childhood, 39% having been threatened with physical punishment in the home and 32% having been humiliated by someone in their family in front of other people. Sixty-four per cent reported having been beaten or physically punished at school by a teacher. The study found that men who had experienced violence, including corporal punishment, during childhood, were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence, hold inequitable gender attitudes, be involved in fights outside the home or robberies, pay for sex and experience low self-esteem and depression, and were less likely to participate in domestic duties, communicate openly with their partners, attend pre-natal visits when their partner is pregnant and/or take paternity leave.

(Contreras, M. et al (2012), Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence, Analyzing Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, Washington DC: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo)

A study carried out in 2009-2010 by the National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights found that 99.86% of the children involved in the study had experienced physical or verbal punishment. Little difference was found between the prevalence of corporal punishment in private, state Government and central Government schools, or between girls’ and boys’ experience of corporal punishment. More than eight respondents in ten (81.2%) had experienced insults about their mental characteristics or the use of derisive adjectives. Three-quarters of respondents had been beaten with a cane, 69.9% had been slapped on the cheek, 57.5% hit on the back and 57.4% had had their ears “boxed”. Other punishments children experienced included being pinched, being hit on the knuckles, having their hair pulled, being forced to squat, being forbidden to use the toilet and being given electric shocks. Of children aged 3-5 years old, 65.4% had been beaten with a cane and 60.7% had been slapped on the cheek. Children were punished for academic reasons (for example, not being able to do schoolwork) for meeting their physical needs (for example, for eating), in order to maintain inconsequential order at school (for example, for being late) and for no apparent reason. The study involved 6,632 children aged 3-17 in seven states, who took part in the study on the way to or from school.

(National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (2012), Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools, New Delhi: NCPCR)

A study carried out by Childline India Foundation between 2009 and 2011 found that students experienced corporal punishment in almost 95% of the 198 schools in 11 states studied, despite it being prohibited. Only 6% of government schools studied and 4% of private schools studied were free of corporal punishment.

(Reported in India Today, 5 January 2012, www.indiatoday.in)

A 2011 report on gender equality which involved 6,011 respondents aged 10-35 found that physical, verbal and emotional violence, including in the name of “discipline”, was common in homes and schools, and that mothers and fathers were the main perpetrators of violence.

(Plan India (2011), Engaging Men and Boys towards Gender Equality: The State of the Girl Child in India 2011)

In February 2008 the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights published a report on the state of penal institutions for children in conflict with the law, based on a detailed study of juvenile care centres (“juvenile homes”) across the country. Physical punishment was found to be a dominant disciplinary method in 70% of the centres.

(Reported in BigNewsNetwork.com, 18 February 2008)

In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development, published the first nationwide study on child abuse in India, based on the experiences of 12,447 children aged 5-18 years from across 13 states and also involving 2,324 young adults (aged 18-24) and 2,449 stakeholders (adults holding positions in government departments, private service and urban and rural local bodies, and individuals from the community). The study revealed a high prevalence of corporal punishment of children in all the settings – their family homes, schools, institutions and on the streets. Of the total number of children, 69% reported physical abuse, including corporal punishment, in one or more situations, more commonly (54.68%) boys and young children (48.29%). In the 5-12 age group, nearly three out of four (72.2)% reported physical abuse in one or more situations, in the 13-14 year age group 70.61%, and among 15-18 year olds 62.13%. Of children abused within the family, in the majority of cases the perpetrators were parents (reported by 88.6% of respondents – 50.9% mothers, 37.6% fathers). The second most commonly reported perpetrators were teachers (44.8%), followed by employers (12.39%), caregivers (9.45%), NGO workers (4.78%) and others. The difference between boys and girls was marginal, but age was significant, with young children aged 5-12 the most vulnerable and the risk declining for children aged 13-14 and again for adolescents aged 15-18. The most commonly reported punishment was being slapped and kicked (63.67%), followed by being beaten with a stave or stick (31.31%), and being pushed, shaken, etc (5.02%). For many (15.6%) the hurt resulted in serious physical injury, swelling or bleeding. When stakeholders were asked for their views on physical/corporal punishment, over 44.54% felt it was necessary in disciplining children; 25.45% disagreed with its necessity; 30.01% expressed no opinion. When asked about most suitable form of punishment for discipline, 35.24% said scolding or shouting, 11.31% slapping or beating with a stick, almost 11% felt locking a child in a room or denying food was suitable punishment.

(Kacker, L., Varadan, S. & Kumar, P. (2007), Study on Child Abuse: India 2007, New Dehli: Ministry of Women and Child Development)

As part of the Supporting Positive Alternatives in Raising Kindness in Education (SPARKE) project, questionnaires with teachers, parents and 201 students aged 8-18 were carried out before and after a project which aimed to promote the use of positive discipline in five schools in northern India. Before the project, 78.9% of boys and 40.7% of girls aged 8-11, 74.1% of boys and 54.3% of girls aged 12-15 and 80% of boys and 65.2% of girls aged 16-18 had experienced corporal punishment in the past year. More than eight teachers in ten (83.33%) had used corporal punishment, 43.52% “occasionally”, 33.33% a few times a month and 6.48% at least once a week. Types of corporal punishment included forcing children to stay in uncomfortable or painful positions or do physical exercise, twisting children’s ears, slapping, pinching, caning and kicking children. Students also experienced verbal punishments, such as being ridiculed or insulted. Before the project, 72.28% of teachers wanted to find alternatives to corporal punishment and 87.74% thought that teaching staff needed training in alternative disciplining methods. Nearly seven in ten teachers (68.32%) and 44-87% of students said they would like to be part of a group in their school working against corporal punishment. After the project, 33.33% of boys and 10.34% of girls aged 8-11, 52.24% of boys and 34.69% of girls aged 12-15 and 48.15% of boys and 25.93% of girls aged 16-18 had experienced corporal punishment in the past ten months. Before the project, between 39% and 69% of students thought that corporal punishment should be used in school. After the project, 13%-39% thought that corporal punishment should be used in school, with 52-80% thinking it should not be used, and 73-84% saying they would like their teachers to use positive discipline methods instead of corporal punishment.

(Cedar Woods Consulting Group for SOIR-IM (2007), Supporting Positive Alternatives in Raising Kindness in Education: The SPARKE Research Report)

Research in urban schools in Andhra Pradesh in 2006 found that 59% of students said they had been hit on the palms of the hands with a cane by a teacher and 71% had witnessed this kind of punishment in school. Other kinds of corporal punishment experienced by children included forcing them to kneel in uncomfortable positions, slapping or spanking and beating on the knuckles. 45% of students said that they had witnessed corporal punishment which caused swelling and 22% had seen it cause bleeding. 13% had witnessed corporal punishment which necessitated a visit to a doctor. Only 25% of students who experienced corporal punishment at school chose to tell their parents about it. 23% of those who did not tell their parents said that this was because their parents would beat them too. Children from lower income groups were more likely to experience corporal punishment. The research involved nearly 600 children and over 300 adults, including teachers and parents, through interviews and group discussions.

(Devi Prasad, B. (2006), Spare the Rod and Save the Child: A Study of the Corporal punishment in urban schools of Andhra Pradesh, Child Rights Advocacy Foundation-Vijayawada, www.endcorporalpunishment.org/children/countries/india/india-research.html)

A large scale research study conducted in May 2006 by Saath Charitable Trust and supported by Plan International (India) looked at children’s experiences of corporal punishment in schools and in the home in one district in each of four states – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. The research involved 1,591 children mostly from 41 schools as well as members of various children’s organisations. Parents, teachers (215) community members, government officials and other adults were also consulted. The main methods used were interviews, focus group discussions, and role play and classroom observation. The study found corporal punishment to be an accepted way of life in all the schools and communities visited. The most common forms of punishments were hitting with hands and stick, pulling hair and ears, and telling children to stand for long period in various positions. Threats of physical violence were also common. Severe forms of corporal punishment were also encountered, including being severely kicked, starvation, tying with rope to chairs/poles followed by beatings, and being assigned physically strenuous labour (e.g. in the fields). In all schools, there would be at least five beatings every day, in addition to other more moderate forms of punishment, though the punishments were less severe than those experienced in the home. Punishment in the home was inflicted by mothers and fathers on both girls and boys with equal severity, more frequently for boys.

(Saath Charitable Trust/Plan International, India (2006), Impact of Corporal Punishment on School Children: A Research Study – Final Report)

INDONESIA

According to statistics collected in 2010-2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), in Papua Province 90% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly three quarters (74%) experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (33%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. More than a quarter (26%) of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 83% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Badan Pusat Statistik (2013), The Selected Districts of Papua Province Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011, Final Report, Jakarta: BPS)

According to statistics collected in 2010-2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), in West Papua Province 86% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly two thirds (65%) experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (20%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Nearly a quarter (23%) of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 80% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Badan Pusat Statistik (2013), The Selected Districts of West Papua Province Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011, Final Report, Jakarta: BPS)

A 2013 study on the rights of migrant children in Indonesia, which involved interviews with 102 migrants, found that child and adult migrants in detention frequently experienced beatings and other physical violence, including being kicked, slapped, punched, burned with cigarettes and the use of electroshock weapons.

(Human Rights Watch (2013), Barely Surviving: Detention, Abuse, and Neglect of Migrant Children in Indonesia, NY: Human Rights Watch)

The first comprehensive research into the quality of care in childcare institutions in Indonesia, jointly conducted by the Social Services Ministry, Save the Children and UNICEF, found that many children face corporal punishment in childcare institutions. Someone that Matters: The Quality of Care in Childcare Institutions in Indonesia is based on a survey of 36 childcare institutions in six provinces plus a government owned orphanage. Most of the institutions are run privately by religious organisations. The research found that physical and psychological punishment was widespread in the childcare institutions studied, and was often routine and accepted as a part of daily life by both children and staff. Pinching childrens’ stomachs and caning them were the most common forms of punishment. Shaving of heads and throwing dirty water on children were also common for repeat “offenders”.

(Martin, F. and Sudjarat, T. (2007), Someone That Matters: The Quality of Care in Childcare Institutions in Indonesia, Jakarta: Save the Children, UNICEF and DEPSOS RI, www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/docs/someone-that-matters.pdf)

Large scale comparative research into the views and experiences of 3,322 children and 1,000 adults in 8 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) was carried out by Save the Children in 2005. The research in Indonesia involved 813 children from urban, rural and remote areas, and 16 adults. Methods used included research diaries, drawings, body maps, attitude survey, and discussions. Physical punishments mentioned by children in Indonesia included being hit with implements, kicking, slapping, ear twisting, hair pulling, pinching, throwing object. Of those who were hit, 32.4% were hit with an implement, 23.6% slapped with the hand, 23.6% punched with the fist, and 20.4% kicked. Of those children who mentioned body parts where they were hit, 73% reported being hit on the head and neck, 75% on the limbs, 10% on the back, 15% chest and 15% stomach.

(Beazley, H., S. Bessell, et al. (2006), What Children Say: Results of comparative research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast Asia and Pacific (2005), Stockholm, Save the Children Sweden)

IRAN

According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2012, 79% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey: 81% of boys and 77% of girls.

(UNICEF (2014), The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers: Every Child Counts, NY: UNICEF)

IRAQ

According to statistics collected in 2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 79% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. More than six in ten (63.1%) experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (22.2%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. More than a quarter (27.7%) of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 74.8% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Central Statistics Organisation & Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office (2012), Iraq Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011, Final Report, Baghdad: Central Statistics Organisation & Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office)

A UNICEF report which used statistics collected in 2005-2006 states that 85% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the month prior to the survey. Nearly three quarters experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (23%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also very widely used: experienced by 95% of children. Three children in ten experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 82% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 87% compared to 83%. Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 88% of children aged 5-9 compared to 86% of children aged 2-4 and 83% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 86% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 75% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). Children engaged in child labour experienced violent discipline more than those who were not engaged in child labour: 90% compared to 86%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to level of education of adults in the household.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to statistics from UNICEF on violence in the family, in 2005-2006, thirty per cent of children with disabilities were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement, compared with 31% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

A 2008 analysis of the situation of children’s rights in Iraq involved around 750 children and their families in nine areas of the country, though questionnaires and focus groups. The study found a high level of family violence, especially for girls. Corporal punishment in schools was found to be common – for example, 48% of teachers in the South Region of the country said that they had used physical violence to discipline children. In the Central Region, 83% of children’s drawings showed negative images of life in school, at home and in neighbourhoods, with many mentions of violence. Adults were asked who children could turn to for support if they were victims of violence. In the Central Region the police, political parties and CSOs were mentioned. Tribal and religious leaders were mentioned in both the Central and South Regions, but family members and teachers were not mentioned in either region. In the North, around 30% of adults believed children could approach their families for help if they experienced violence in school.

(Save the Children UK (2008), Iraq: A Child Rights Situation Analysis)

 IRELAND

A 2013 study which involved a nationally representative sample of 1,008 adults including 655 parents found that 62% of respondents believed that it was illegal to slap a child in Ireland and 57% said that they would support a complete ban on slapping in Ireland. Forty one per cent of all respondents and 62% of parents said that they had slapped a child to “discipline” them. Thirty per cent of all respondents and 45% of parents said that they had done so “rarely” and 7% of all respondents and 11% of parents that they had done so “sometimes”. Nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents thought that slapping was not an effective way to discipline a child.

(McCarthy, D. (2013), Attitudes to Child Discipline, Dublin: ISPCC)

A study of 9,739 three year olds found that 45% of their primary caregivers “smacked” them sometimes.

(Williams, J. et al (2013), Growing Up in Ireland: Development from Birth to Three Years – Infant Cohort, Department of Children and Youth Affairs)

A 2012 survey of nearly 800 adults in Ireland found that 49% thought it was acceptable to slap a child under some circumstances, and 49% said that they had done so.

(Reported in IrishCentral, 31 July 2012)

A government-commissioned survey involving 1353 adults aged 21-69, all parents of children aged under 18, found that only 34% of parents believe that “smacking” should remain legal, while 42% believe it should become illegal. In addition, 24% thought that “smacking” should be illegal for children of certain ages. 64.5% of parents agreed that “smacking is not necessary to bring up a well-behaved child” and 30% agreed that “smacking is wrong and should never be used”. 43% of parents agreed that smacking can damage the relationship between parents and children. The majority of parents (80%) reported feeling guilty or sorry after the last time they had smacked their child. Only 5.5% of parents said they felt “better” after smacking. Three quarters of the parents who took part in the survey indicated that they had not used any physical punishment in the past year. Non-aggressive discipline strategies were used by parents much more frequently than physically or psychologically aggressive strategies. “Discussing the issue calmly” was the most frequently adopted strategy; 80% of parents did this often, and 99% had done it at some point during the past year. However, a quarter of parents had used some form of physical punishment in the past year. 15.8% of parents reported that they had smacked their child on the bottom at some point during the past year, with 7.4% having done so “often” or “occasionally”. 7.3% had shaken, grabbed or pushed their child; 2.7% had done so often or occasionally. Parents of younger children were significantly more likely to report using physical punishment than parents of older children, with 37% of parents of 2-4 year olds sometimes using physical punishment.

(Halpenny, A. M., Nixon, E. & Watson, D. (2010), Parenting Styles and Discipline: Parents’ Perspectives on Parenting Styles and Disciplining Children. Dublin: The Stationery Office/Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, available at omc.gov.ie/documents/publications/Parents_Perspectives_on_parenting_styles.pdf)

In a study involving 8,570 nine-year-olds and their families and teachers, carried out in 2007-2008, 11% of mothers said that they “smacked” their children “now and again”, 32% “rarely” and 57% never. Thirty-eight per cent of girls and 39% of boys said that they were “sometimes” smacked by their mother and 31% of girls and 37% of boys that they were sometimes smacked by their father. Four per cent of boys and 3% of boys said that they were “always” smacked by their mother and 6% of boys and 4% of girls that they were always smacked by their father.

(Williams, J. et al (2009), Growing Up in Ireland: National Longitudinal Study of Children – The Lives of 9-Year-Olds, Dublin: Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Department of Health and Children)

ISRAEL

A report based on the sworn testimony of 311 children held in Israeli military detention between January 2008 and January 2012 documented systematic ill-treatment of children during their arrest, transfer and interrogation. Sixty-three per cent of the children were detained inside Israel. Ninety-five per cent of children had their hands tied, often very painfully, and 90% were blindfolded. Three quarters experienced physical violence such as being pushed, slapped or kicked, 57% experienced threats and 54% verbal violence. In 12% of cases children reported being held in solitary confinement for an average period of 11 days. The report found that when the totality of the evidence was considered, the pattern of systematic ill-treatment which emerges, amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and in some cases, torture, as defined in the UN Convention against Torture.

(DCI Palestine (2012), Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention)
Summary also included under Palestine.

ITALY

A study involving 1,000 parents with a child aged 3-16 and 250 young people aged 11-16 living in Italy found that 28% of parents of children aged 3-5, 21% of parents of children aged 6-10 and 26% of parents of children aged 11-16 were opposed to “smacking” and never did it. Around half of parents said that they only smacked their children in exceptional circumstances, 18-27% of parents said that they smacked their children a few times a month and 3% of parents of 3-5 year olds and 5% of parents of 6-16 year olds that they smacked their children almost every day. The proportion of parents opposed to corporal punishment had increased slightly compared to a similar survey in 2009. Fifty-seven per cent of parents of 3-5 year olds, 48% of parents of 6-10 year olds, 53% of parents of 11-16 year olds, 51% of young people aged 11-13 and 48% of young people aged 14-16 felt that smacking was more violent than educational, and 22-27% of all groups felt that smacking was more educational than violent. Large majorities of parents and young people said that after smacking, parents feel bitter, embarrassed or uncomfortable. Nearly half (49%) of parents of 3-5 year olds, 41% of parents of 6-10 year olds and 42% of parents of 11-16 year olds thought that smacking could teach children to smack others or definitely made children aggressive. Of those who recalled seeing a child being smacked in a public place, 47% of 11-13 year olds, 51% of 14-16 year olds and 53-58% of parents had reactions which were opposed to smacking, while 17-20% of parents, 11% of 11-13 year olds and 6% of 14-16 year olds tended to justify the smacking. A large majority (81-92%) of parents believed that a public awareness-raising anti-smacking campaign would be effective.

(Ipsos Public Affairs (2012), I metodi educative e il ricorso a punizioni fisiche)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in Italy, 61% of girls and 66% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 12% of girls and 23% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month. Much smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 5% of mothers and 2% of fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 4% of mothers and fathers believed it was necessary.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

In a 2009 study, 63% of parents of children aged 3-5, 55% of parents of children aged 6-10 and 40% of parents of children aged 11-16 said that they had slapped their children. Over one third (34%) of 11-13 year olds and 24% of 14-16 year olds said that their parents had slapped them. Two per cent of 11-13 year olds and 1% of 14-16 year olds said that it happened almost every day. The study involved 1,000 telephone interviews with a representative sample of the Italian population and online interviews with 600 parents and 500 11-16 year olds. Parents and children were asked how children react when they are slapped, and why parents slap. Around 20% of parents, 14% of 11-13 year olds and 26% of 14-16 year olds said that children are angry, want revenge on their parents and will deliberately repeat the behaviour which led the parent to smack them. Around 30% of 11-16 year olds and 23% of parents of 11-16 year olds said that children are offended and will respect their parents less. Only 8-14% of parents and children thought that parents slap because they believe that it is the best thing to do, while around half of parents and children said that parents slap because of exasperation or fear. Seventeen per cent of parents of 11-16 year olds and around 13% of 11-16 year olds felt that it was “essential” that all corporal punishment be prohibited by law in Italy, while a further 26% of parents and 30-37% of young people said that a law prohibiting corporal punishment would be useful. Two thirds (67%) of parents of 11-16 year olds, 62% of parents of 6-10 year olds and 59% of parents of 3-5 year olds strongly agreed that it is not acceptable or legitimate to beat a child.

(Save the Children Italia ONLUS and Ipsos (2009), Vissuto della punizione corporale e reazioni all'ipotesi di un'educazione senza violenza (in Italian), images.savethechildren.it/f/download/Educazione-senza-violenza/Ri/Ricerca.pdf)

J

Note: No prevalence research identified for Jersey.

JAMAICA

According to statistics collected in 2010-2011 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 84.5% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month.  More than two thirds (68.4%) experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (27%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. More than one child in 20 (5.7%) experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 71.9% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) & United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2013), Jamaica Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011: Final Report, Kingston: STATIN & UNICEF)

In consultations involving 279 children aged 6-12, carried out by the Office of the Children’s Advocate in 2007, corporal punishment in homes and schools was one of three main concerns raised by children.

(4 November 2013, CRC/C/JAM/3-4, Third and fourth periodic report of the State party)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 89% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Over three quarters experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (33%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 89% of children. Nine per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 77% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 92% of children aged 5-9 compared to 90% of children aged 2-4 and 86% of children aged 10-14. Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. Children engaged in child labour experienced violent discipline more than those who were not engaged in child labour: 95% compared to 89%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex or household size.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

A 2010 government sponsored attitudinal survey of 1,000 adults, carried out by Market Research Services Limited, revealed that the majority – regardless of socio-economic status – believe beating a child is necessary in correcting bad behaviour; 30% supported ending the beating of children. More than half (51.8%) did not agree that acts such as pinching, hitting the head, biting, kicking and thumping a child constituted corporal punishment. 51% said that they had physically punished a child. However, 80% of those surveyed agreed that parents could use other forms of discipline that are just as effective.

(Reported in The Gleaner, 17 February 2010, www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100217/lead/lead4.html)

In a 2008-2009 study involving 6,435 women aged 15-49 with children, 53.3% reported that children in their home were punished by being hit, beaten, spanked or slapped. Women who had experienced partner violence were more likely to report that children in their home were physically punished: 64.5% of women who had ever experienced partner violence compared to 52.1% of women who had not.

(Bott, S. et al (2012), Violence Against Women In Latin America And The Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis Of Population-based Data From 12 Countries, Washington DC: Pan American Health Organisation & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006 six per cent of children with disabilities and six per cent of children without disabilities were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

In a study involving six focus groups with 60 children aged 7-12 and eight parent focus groups with 44 adults, all groups of children described experiencing harsh disciplinary measures, including beatings with objects such as belts, rulers, garden hose and boards. Many of the children said they felt angry and hurt by physical punishments, and recommended discussion and withdrawal of privileges as alternatives. Some children said that when they were parents they would use more democratic or flexible discipline, while others said they wanted to hurt their own children as much as they had been hurt. Almost all parents defended the use of corporal punishment (“beating”) as a justified mode of disciplining children,

(Brown, J. & Johnson, S. (2008), “Childrearing and child participation in Jamaican families”, International Journal of Early Years Education: 16 (1): 31–40)

Focus group research with parents, children aged 5-8 years and practitioners in 2007 found that young children were still receiving corporal punishment despite the prohibition in the Early Childhood Act passed in 2005.

(Reported in The Jamaica Observer, 6 June 2007)

According to a study reported in The Gleaner in March 2007, in a survey of teachers from all types of primary educational settings, one in four admitted to flogging students often and one in three to pinching and thumping them. Boys were more likely to be flogged. Less than a quarter of teachers believed beating was effective, and almost half identified negative effects they had seen, including students becoming oppositional, aggressive, destructive towards school property, gathering peer support against teachers, and becoming “disconnected” from school activities.

(Reported in Jamaica Gleaner Online, 21 March 2007)

A survey conducted in July 2006 for The Gleaner found that 60% of respondents were in favour of spanking and caning in schools, with 28% feeling strongly that teachers should be given the right to physically punish students. Over a third (37%) opposed corporal punishment, including 13% who were strongly against it.

(Reported in “Jamaica Gleaner-Bill Johnson Poll – Majority support caning in schools”, Jamaica Gleaner Online, 19 August 2006)

Two hundred and three parents (71.3% mothers, 6.4% fathers, and other caregivers) from across six parishes, of 100 boys and 103 girls aged between 5 and 7, completed questionnaires which were administered by trained interviewers, followed by an investigation into the frequency of use of specific disciplinary methods. Of the 193 parents who responded to questionnaires about the disciplinary methods they used in their homes, 28% reported that non-violent methods were most commonly used; 25.4% reported psychological aggression and 46.6% physical assault. Of those reporting physical assault, 1% reported pinching, 31.1% spanking, 13% beating with an object, 1% shaking, and 0.5% tying of hands. In the week prior to the interview, 1% reported spanking more than 7 times, 3.1% 4-6 times, and 27.4% 1-3 times. Beating with a strap was reported as occurring 1-3 times over the same period by 14.6% of respondents.

(Samms-Vaughan, M., Williams, S. & Brown, J. (2005), “Disciplinary Practices among parents of six-year-olds in Jamaica”, Journal of the Children’s Issues Coalition 1:58-70)

JAPAN

A Government survey of public, national and private schools found that in the 2012-2013 academic year, 6,721 teachers at 4,152 schools nationwide inflicted corporal punishment on 14,208 students. Eighty per cent of the teachers were in public schools; of these, only 3% were disciplined for their use of corporal punishment. In elementary schools, 60% of corporal punishment cases took place during class. In junior high and high schools, just over 20% of cases took place in class, and 40% took place during club activities. In 60% of cases, teachers hit students with their hands and in 10%, teachers kicked students. Other forms of corporal punishment included punching students and hitting them with a stick or other object. In 20% of cases, children were physically injured. Injuries included fractures, sprain and eardrum damage.

(Reported in The Japan Times, 10 August 2013)

In a survey of 510 college athletes (427 male and 83 female), 62% said that violent punishment is acceptable in school athletics programmes. One third (33%) of respondents said that they had been physically punished at school. Students who had been physically punished were more likely to think that violent punishment was acceptable (73% of those who had been physically punished compared to 57% of those who had not) and to say that they would use violence if they became a teacher or athletics coach.

(Reported in The Asahi Shimbun, 13 May 2013)

According to Japan's report to the Human Rights Committee in 2012, the number of cases of corporal punishment in schools handled by human rights organisations was 211 in 2006, 263 in 2007, 198 in 2008, 268 in 2009 and 337 in 2010.

(9 October 2012, CCPR/C/JPN/6, Sixth state party report, para. 312)

A survey of parents conducted by a national newspaper in August 2010 found that 58% of respondents regarded physical punishment as a necessary tool in childrearing.

(Reported in Campaign for Ending Violence against Children (2012), Briefing for the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review 14th session)

In a survey of 1,592 first- and second-year university students, 1.4% reported being slapped, kicked, punched or having something thrown at them by a teacher “often” or “very often” when they were at school.

(Masuda, A., et al (2007), “Intra- and extra-familial adverse childhood experiences and a history of childhood psychosomatic disorders among Japanese university students”, BioPsychoSocial Medicine, 1(9), 1-7, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

JORDAN

A BBC Arabic investigation uncovered violence, including beatings, insults and swearing, against children with mental and physical disabilities in private children’s homes in Jordan. The homes house children of wealthy parents from across the Middle East. The investigation did not examine the extent to which the violence was inflicted in a disciplinary context.

(Reported in The Guardian, 16 May 2012)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in Jordan 66% of girls and 80% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 21% of girls and 31% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month. Smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 8% of mothers and fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 7% of mothers and 10% of fathers believed it was necessary.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A 2007 study into violence against children in Jordan found that in schools, children are subjected to “mild, moderate and severe” violence. ””Severe violence,” defined by the study to include hitting a child with an object such as a rod, rope or cane and biting and burning the child, was the most common kind of violence, suffered by 57% of the 3,130 children who took part in the study. 50% of the children suffered “mild” violence from teachers and other staff at school – “mild” violence was defined to include slapping, pinching, pulling hair, pushing or shoving and twisting arms or legs. The study noted that violence against children in the home often took place in the context of “discipline”. 53% of children in the study had experienced “mild” violence from their parents while 34% had experienced severe violence.

(Elayyan, K. (2007), Violence against children in Jordan study: Summary, UNICEF, www.unicef.org/jordan/VAC_Study_English_FOR_SCREEN%282%29.pdf)

K

Note: No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Kuwait.

KAZAKHSTAN

An assessment of violence against children in schools, which used data from more than 4,000 9-17 year olds and 917 teachers and other staff at 40 state-run schools, found that 12.9% of students had been physically punished by a teacher in the past year and 15% of teachers reported using corporal punishment in the past year, despite it being considered unlawful in schools. Punishments included being hit with objects, slapped or spanked, forced to stay in uncomfortable positions and prevented from using the toilet. Nearly a quarter of teachers (22.9%) said that they supported the use of corporal punishment, with 15.2% agreeing that “A good teacher knows how to use physical punishment to discipline children” and 10.9% thinking that their school director “prefers teachers that know how to use physical punishment to discipline children”.  Only 35.6% thought that there was “an official regulation/policy that regulates how and when teachers and specialized staff can discipline children”. The study recommends that the government ensure that “legislation exists that prohibits all forms of violence and discrimination against children in schools, including corporal punishment and others forms of cruel and degrading punishment”.

(Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan (2013), Assessment of violence against children in schools in Kazakhstan, Astana: Commissioner for human rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan & UNICEF Office in Kazakhstan)

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 49.4% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Nearly three children in ten (29.1%) experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (6.5%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Two per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 43.3% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Agency of Statistics & UNICEF, 2012 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) in the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2010-2011, Final Report, Astana: Agency of Statistics & Republican State Enterprise Information Computing Center)

In 2009, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture visited Kazakhstan and concluded that beatings of juveniles were common in police custody and in prisons and that corporal punishment was common in a “centre for temporary isolation, adaptation and rehabilitation of juveniles,” which housed children temporarily in need of protection.

(O’Donnell, D. (2012), Juvenile Justice In Central Asia Reform Achievements And Challenges In Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan And Uzbekistan, UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe/Commonwealth of Independent States)

A study in 30 state-run residential institutions found that violent punishment of children in institutions was common: 41.1% of children in “institutions of education for children with deviant behaviour”, 35.1% of children in orphanages and 26.8% of children in shelters reported witnessing violence against children by staff. In orphanages, 29.3% of children had witnessed staff use physical violence (including pinching children, twisting their ears, shaking them, slapping them, hitting them with objects and burning them), 19.2% had witnessed staff use verbal violence (including swearing at and insulting children) and 16.4% had witnessed staff use psychological violence (including preventing children from using the toilet, locking children in a room or small place for a long time and tying children up). In institutions for children with disabilities, more than half of staff reported witnessing staff using violent physical, psychological or verbal punishment. Thirty per cent of staff in “institutions for children with psycho-neurological and severe disabilities” and 18.4% of staff in “special correctional institutions of education” reported witnessing physical violence by staff. In “institutions for children with psycho-neurological and severe disabilities” 53.8% of staff supported the use of corporal punishment. More than twenty per cent thought that it was sometimes necessary to shout at children or call them names to get their attention, 14.5% thought that children preferred staff who used strict “discipline” and 10.7% thought that corporal punishment does not really hurt children. In infant homes, 21.8% of staff reported witnessing staff use violent punishment: 18.3% physical violence, 9.9% verbal violence and 9.9% psychological violence. More than a quarter of staff in infant homes supported the use of corporal punishment. The study involved surveys with nearly 1,000 children aged 9-18, 284 staff in infant homes and 349 staff in institutions for children with disabilities. The report recommended prohibiting corporal punishment in residential institutions and other care settings.

(Haarr, R. N. (2011), Violence Against Children in State-Run Residential Institutions in Kazakhstan: An Assessment, UNICEF, National Human Rights Centre (Ombudsman) and Sange Research Centre)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 54% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. A quarter experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (7%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 77% of children. One per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and half experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 56% compared to 51%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 57% of children aged 5-9 compared to 47% of children aged 2-4 and 55% of children aged 10-14. Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to household size or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

KENYA

A study involving more than 1,000 girls in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique analysed the impact of ActionAid’s 2008-2013 project “Stop Violence Against Girls in School”. The project included awareness raising and lobbying for the adoption and implementation of legal and policy measures that ensure education is free from corporal punishment in the three countries. The study found that in 2013 the use of some forms of corporal punishment had reduced since the baseline survey carried out in 2009. In Kenya in 2013, 55% of girls had been beaten in the past year, compared to 80% in 2009, although the proportion of girls who had been whipped in the past year increased from 50% in 2009 to 70% in 2013. Girls’ last experiences of corporal punishment usually took place in school. The study recommends measures to implement prohibition of corporal punishment in schools.

(ActionAid International (2013), Stop Violence Against Girls in School: A cross-country analysis of change in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, Johannesburg: Action Aid)

In a national survey carried out in 2010, nearly half of the 13-17 year olds involved (48.7% of girls and 47.6% of boys) reported having been slapped, pushed, punched, kicked, whipped, beaten or threatened or attacked with a weapon in the past year. Two thirds (66%) of females and 73% of males aged 18-24 reported experiencing this before they were 18. Perpetrators included authority figures, parents and adult relatives. The survey involved 1,306 females and 1,622 males aged 13-24.

(UNICEF Kenya Country Office et al (2012), Violence against Children in Kenya: Findings from a 2010 National Survey, Nairobi: UNICEF Kenya Country Office, Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Kenya National Bureau of Statistics)

Seventy-one per cent of Kenyans think that governments should completely outlaw all violence in schools. However, over half of adult Kenyans believe that their religion allows them to slap their children if they do not behave.

(Global Advocacy Team (2012), Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign: Third progress report, Woking, UK: Plan)

According to statistics collected under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 77.7% of children aged 2-14 in Mombasa informal settlements experienced violent “discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2009. Over two thirds (67.9%) experienced “minor” physical punishment, 19.1% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 51% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Forty per cent of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing.

(Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2010), Mombasa Informal Settlement Survey, Kenya, 2009, Nairobi: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in Kenya 82% of girls and 97% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 61% of girls and 62% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month. Smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 44% of mothers and 48% of fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 56% of mothers and 54% of fathers believed it was necessary.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A survey of 500 young women in Kenya aged 18-24 concerning their childhood experiences of violence, undertaken by the Africa Child Policy Forum and published in 2006, found that 99% reported experiencing physical violence. Beating with an object was found to be the most prevalent form of physical violence (80.8%), though the research does not investigate the degree to which this and other physical violence was explicitly in the name of “discipline”. Prevalence figures for other forms of physical violence were 59.5% for punching, 39.6% kicking, 43.8% hard work, 20.5% being choked/burned/stabbed, 12.3% having spicy/bitter substances put in mouth, 14.3% being locked or tied up, and 35% being denied food. Girls were found to be most vulnerable when aged 10-13 years. Experiencing the violence more than ten times was more likely in the case of beating than other types of physical violence. Most beating with an object was carried out by mothers (23.5%), followed by female teachers (15.3%) and fathers (13.3%). Most hitting/punching was carried out by female teachers (16.1%), followed by mothers (14.2%) and male teachers (11.3%), with medical attention necessary in 20% of cases. In 52.3% of cases, the hitting/punching resulted in “bruises or scratches, broken bones or teeth, or bleeding”; the figure for beating with an object was 64.6%.

(Stavropoulos, J. (2006), Violence Against Girls in Africa: A Retrospective Survey in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, Addis Ababa, The African Child Policy Forum)

A survey of 267 adults and children and interviews with parents, teachers and children, reported in 2005, found that the most frequent forms of physical discipline used on children were smacking (78.8%), pulling ears (68.8%) and cuffing (61.5%). Other corporal punishments included forcing a child to kneel on a hard floor (45.9%), tapping (43.3%), forcing a child to stand in the sun (33.2%) and burning fingers (19.7%). Almost two thirds of children (62.2%) said they wanted the use of corporal punishment to be stopped. Over half of parents (54%) said that physical punishment should not be stopped.

(ANPPCAN Kenya Chapter (2005), From Physical Punishment to Positive Discipline: Alternatives to Physical/Corporal Punishment in Kenya, second draft)

KIRIBATI

According to statistics from UNICEF on violence in the family, 81% of children aged 2-14 years old experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006.

(UNICEF (2011), The State of the World’s Children, Table 9: Child Protection, www.unicef.org/sowc, NY: UNICEF)

A study which involved questionnaires, group activities and interviews with adults and children throughout Kiribati found that 81% of the 199 adults questioned said that they sometimes hit, smacked, pinched, kicked, flicked or pulled or twisted the ears of children in their household. Nearly three in ten (29%) of the 198 children questioned said that they had experienced this in the past month. Children were hit with hands and with objects including brooms, wooden spoons and belts. Forty per cent of interviewees working in education said that corporal punishment was used in their school. Twenty-nine per cent of children said that they had experienced school corporal punishment in the past month. When asked “if a child has committed a crime, how does the village/community handle the situation?” 5% of people working in the justice sector and community chiefs said that physical punishment was used. The report of the study notes that corporal punishment is lawful in the home and elsewhere and that maneabas (community councils administering a traditional justice system) can punish children who have been accused of offences by beating them or excluding them from the community.

(UNICEF & AusAid (2009), Protect me with love and care: A Baseline Report for creating a future free from violence, abuse and exploitation of girls and boys in Kiribati, Suva: UNICEF Pacific)

A 2005 report stated that punishment of children by their parents included severe beatings and that it was commonly accepted that men can, or even should, physically punish their wives and children.

(Government of Kiribati & UNICEF (2005), Kiribati: A Situation Analysis of Children, Women & Youth, Suva: UNICEF Pacific Office)

KYRGYZSTAN 

During its 2012 visit to Kyrgyzstan, the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment documented the widespread use of “punishment cells” in which children were held in solitary confinement, usually for 2-3 days but sometimes for longer, in a prison colony for juvenile offenders. The report of the visit urges that the punishment cells be immediately closed.

(Advance copy, CAT/OP/KGZ/R.1, Report on first periodic visit)

An NGO report to the Committee Against Torture documented corporal punishment in a “special boarding school”. Children were beaten, kicked, and forced to beat each other.

(Votslava, J. et al (2013), Shadow report of NGOs on compliance of obligations in respect of children under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek: Youth Human Rights Group)

A 2013 shadow report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child by a group of NGOs documented that torture (including being beating, forced to do physical exercise, suffocated and deprived of sleep) was inflicted on children in detention centres, special schools and residential institutions, including as a punishment.

(Utesheva, N. et al (2013), Shadow report of NGOs on compliance of obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Kyrgyz Republic, Association of NGOs for the protection and promotion of child rights, Centre for Child Protection, SOS Children's Villages Kyrgyzstan, Independent Human Rights Group, Legal Clinic “Adilet", Youth Human Rights Group, Children of Tien Shan, Blagodat, Association of Parents of Disabled Children, Haliluya, Voice of Freedom & Master radosti)

A 2012 study of juvenile justice settings documented the use of corporal punishment in a “Centre for Adaptation and Rehabilitation of Juveniles” and a “special school”.

(Utesheva N.A. & Korzhova O.A. (2013), Protecting children from torture and cruel treatment in the context of juvenile justice: research report 2012, Bishkek: UNICEF)

An NGO documented evidence of injuries caused by strenuous physical exercise used as punishment in a special school for boys aged 11-14.

(O’Donnell, D. (2012), Juvenile Justice In Central Asia Reform Achievements And Challenges In Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan And Uzbekistan, UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe/Commonwealth of Independent States)

Research by NGOs in care institutions found that corporal punishment was common. Punishments included punching children, beating them with a stick, forcing them to clean for long periods, forcing them to stand on one leg with their arms raised, making them spend nights in rooms occupied by older children, depriving them of food and placing them in psychiatric hospitals. Children were punished by care workers, directors and other staff members. Children said that they were often punished for not agreeing with a care worker's opinion or actions.

(Third/fourth report of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2010), (CRC/C/KGZ/3-4))

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 54% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. More than a third experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (7%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 89% of children. Three per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 43% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 59% compared to 49%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to age, household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

A large-scale national study which involved over 2,000 children found that nearly one quarter (24%) of children said they had been hit, kicked, beaten or physically hurt in another way by an adult in their family. Sixteen per cent had experienced this in the past month. Eleven per cent had been hit or attacked with a weapon or other object by a family member. Of the quarter of children who had been physically hurt by an adult in their family, 31% could still feel the pain next day or had a bruise, cut that bled or other injury such as a broken bone. Twelve per cent of these children had required medical attention. Forty-four per cent of children said that adults in their family had called them names or said things that hurt their feelings; 33% had experienced this in the past month. Fifteen per cent of children had been threatened with violence with a weapon; 10% in the past month. Surveys with 155 parents also revealed very high rates of use of physical and verbal punishment. While positive discipline was widely used (93% of parents had used positive discipline methods such as explaining why a behaviour was wrong or taking away a child’s privileges; 87% in the past month), the majority of parents who used positive discipline also used physical, verbal and psychological violence as a punishment. Sixty-eight per cent of parents had used some kind of corporal punishment; 57% in the past month. Fifty-eight per cent had slapped their child on the back, buttocks, leg or arm; 41% had shaken their child; 32% had hit their child with a hard object (including belts, hairbrushes and sticks); 25% had slapped their child on the face or head. Eleven per cent had hit their child over and over as hard as they could; 4.5% had thrown their child or knocked them down. Forty-seven per cent of parents had sworn at or cursed their child or called them names; 41% in the past month. Thirty-four per cent had threatened to hit, beat or kick their child; 27% in the past month. The study recommends prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings, including the home.

(Haarr, R. et al (2009), Child Abuse and Neglect in Families in the Kyrgyz Republic: a National Population-Based Study, UNIECF)

L

Note: No prevalence research identified for Libya. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg.

LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

A 2011 Human Rights Watch report documented beatings and other inhuman and degrading punishment in Somsanga Center, where drug users, homeless people, street children and people with mental disabilities were detained. The report was based on interviews with 12 former detainees, four of whom were children at the time of their detention, and 8 current or former staff members of international organisations.

(Human Rights Watch (2011), Somsanga’s Secrets: Arbitrary Detention, Physical Abuse, and Suicide inside a Lao Drug Detention Center)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 74% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Nearly half experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (17%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 79% of children. Eight per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 64% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 75% compared to 72%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 78% of children aged 5-9 compared to 74% of children aged 2-4 and 69% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 75% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 63% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

LATVIA

A study involving 500 people aged 15 and over found that 51% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – an increase from 39% in a similar survey in 2005. Thirty-nine per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child (compared to 44% in a similar survey in 2010), 19% that they had beaten or hit them (27% in 2010), 19% that they had beaten them with a belt (27% in 2010) and 9% that they had slapped their child on the face (15% in 2010).                             

(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

A study involving interviews with 1,223 18-25 year olds in Latvia found that 16.4% of the sample (17.9% of females and 14.9% of males) were sometimes, often or very often pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or had something thrown at them and/or were hit so hard that they were marked or injured by an adult living with them during their childhood.

(Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (2012), Adverse Childhood Experiences of Young Adults in Latvia: Study Report from the 2011 Survey, Riga: Ministry of Health, Centre for Disease Prevention and Control & Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia)

A 2009 survey of 1,010 respondents found that 38.9% believed that corporal punishment should never be used. 48.8% believed that it “should not be used in general, but there are situations when it is justified” and 8.5% that it “may be used if the parent considers that it will be effective”. In an identical survey with a similar sample in 2005, 12.1% said that corporal punishment “may be used.” 47% of respondents to the 2009 survey believed that over 40% of children in Latvia experience corporal punishment. Results were similar in 2005.

(Marketing and public opinion research centre SKDS (2009), Attitude towards corporal punishment of children: survey of Latvia’s population, www.canee.net/files/Omnibus%20research%20Latvia%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

A 2009 survey of 214 teachers in primary schools in Riga found that 54% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 44% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 22% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party.

(Nobody’s Children Foundation and Center Against Abuse “Dardedze” (2009), Riga teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse: Research report, www.canee.net/files/Teachers%20studies%20Latvia%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

LEBANON

According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2011, 82% of boys and 82% of girls aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(UNICEF (2013), The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities, NY: UNICEF)

A needs assessment carried out in Palestinian camps and gatherings (unofficial settlements) around Tyre, South Lebanon between November 2008 and March 2009 found that physical violence from teachers was commonly cited as a reason why students drop out of school. Children who took part in the discussions also highlighted parental violence against children in the home as a problem. The assessments involved 36 interviews and meetings with community leaders, staff from international and local NGOs and UN representatives and seven focus group discussions with parents and children in the camps. The three camps and eleven gatherings involved in the assessment have a total population of around 70,405; 34% of whom are estimated to be children.

(Terre des hommes Foundation (2009), A Child Protection Assessment in Palestinian Camps and Gatherings, Tyre, South Lebanon, Lausanne: Terre des homes)

A 2009 report on the situation of Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps and informal gatherings in Southern Lebanon revealed widespread use of corporal punishment at home and in schools. 764 people (children aged 7 years and older and adults of all ages) took part in the research through group discussion. Many children aged 7-13 who took part spoke of school as an unsafe place and said that they don’t like to go to school because of violence and unkind treatment by teachers. Children stated that a recent policy change forbidding school corporal punishment was not applied properly. Many children were opposed to both physical and verbal violence in schools. In all areas, violence in the home was seen primarily as a means of releasing stress and frustration caused by difficult living conditions. Those who admitted using violence in the home also acknowledged that this was not a good way of dealing with problems. Violence against children, perpetuated mostly by parents, ranged from slaps in the face to violent use of implements.

(Abu Sharar, S. (2009), Community Perspectives on Protection: A Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Analysis of Palestinian Communities in Southern Lebanon, Danish Refugee Council and European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department, lebanon-support.org/Uploads/2009-10/News1852.pdf)

A child rights situation analysis by Save the Children noted the use of corporal punishment in private, public and UNRWA schools, and cited research estimating that 40% of school students experience physical violence at the hands of educators.
(Save the Children Sweden (2008), Child Rights Situation Analysis for Lebanon, citing research by the University Center for Family and Community Health)

A survey of over 1,000 youth on sexual and physical violence found that over a one year period, 54.1% of children experienced at least one of the following forms of physical violence: 31.5% were pushed or kicked (31.5%), hit by hand (43.0%), hit by an instrument (18.1%), attempted strangulation (3.1%), burned (2.9%), imprisoned or tied up (6.4%), bitten (25.3%), and threatened with a weapon (1.9%). The father was the most frequent perpetrator, except for biting (the mother) ad hitting (sibling). Psychological violence was reported by 64.9%, most frequently by the father.

(Usta, J. A., Mahfoud, Z. R., Chahine, G. A. & Anani, G. A. (2008), Child Sexual Abuse: The situation in Lebanon, KAFA/The Higher Council for Children/The Ministry of Social Affairs/Save the Children Sweden)

In an UNRWA school in Ein el-Hillweh refugee camp, 91.8% of 126 children surveyed said that they had been exposed to violence in school, with interviewees claiming that corporal punishment was used in UNRWA schools despite UNRWA stating that it should not be used.

(Naba’a (2007), Violence against Palestinian Children in Lebanon – Ein Elhelweh Camp, cited in Manara Network for Child Rights (2011), Violence Against Children in Schools: A Regional Analysis of Lebanon, Morocco and Yemen, Beirut: Save the Children Sweden)

The 2005 school-based health survey found that 37% of students were physically attacked by an adult family member during the previous 30 days, more commonly for younger (grade 7) students (40.4%) than older (grade 9) students (32.6%). One in fours students (24.7%) reported being physically assaulted by a teacher or school staff in the same period.

(WHO, Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007), Lebanon 2005: Global School-based Student Health Survey)

Research carried out with children aged 9-14 about their experiences of corporal punishment in UN Relief Works Agency schools found that punishments included hitting with hands and sticks, being sworn at and being “pressed down on”. Children reported feeling humiliated, sad, insulted and worried when they were hit and said that they would prefer adults to talk to them about what they have done wrong.

(International Save the Children Alliance (2005), Ending Physical and Humiliating Punishment of Children - Making it Happen: Global Submission to the UN Study on Violence against Children, Save the Children Sweden)

In a study involving 1,177 10-18 year olds, only 23.7% had never experienced being slapped in the face or head, having their ears twisted, having their hair pulled, being hit with a rule, being kicked, being forced to stand or kneel in a painful position, being forced to stay outside in the cold or heat or being tied up with a rope or belt as punishment at school. More than one in twenty (6.9%) experienced this “often”. Only 18.6% of the sample had never been insulted, embarrassed, humiliated, called names, made to feel stupid or threatened with bad marks they did not deserve at school; 19.9% experienced this often.

(Adib, S. M. [n.d.] Experience of Violence Among Schoolchildren in Lebanon, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Joseph University, www.docstoc.com/docs/49898197/EXPERIENCE-OF-VIOLENCE-AMONG-SCHOOLCHILDREN-IN-LEBANON)

LIBERIA

According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2011, 94% of girls and 94% of boys aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(UNICEF (2013), The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities, NY: UNICEF)

LITHUANIA

A 2013 opinion poll which involved a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 18-75 year olds found that 54.2% said that they had physically punished their children. Nearly half of respondents (45.5%) thought that all corporal punishment should be prohibited.

(Reported in www.DELFI.lt, 14 January 2013)

A study involving 500 people aged 15 and over found that 30% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – a decrease from the 40% who thought this in a similar survey in 2005. Sixty-four per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child, 53% that they had beaten or hit them and 10% that they had slapped their child on the face. These findings on whether parents had ever used these forms of corporal punishment were similar to those of a 2010 survey which asked identical questions.

(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

As part of Save the Children’s 2011-2012 “Educate, Do Not Punish” project which aimed to protect children from corporal punishment, including through law reform, a study involving 1,004 parents, 540 children and 250 social workers and other professionals working with children and parents was carried out in 2012. More than four parents in ten (43.2%) said that a few times a year they slap their children, 17.5% that they embarrass and ridicule their children and 16% that they beat their child with an object. Children were asked about their reactions to corporal and other degrading punishment: they said that they feel anger (38.7%), argue with adults (34.6%), laze about (25.5%) and have conflict with adults (24.2%). Nearly sixty per cent (59.6) of parents thought that corporal punishment is justified in some situations and 37.3% thought that corporal punishment should not be used. Nearly one quarter (23%) of parents supported prohibition of all corporal punishment and 44.2% were opposed to it.

(Save the Children Lithuania (2012), The Situation of Invoking Corporal Punishment of Children in Lithuania: Study Summary, Save the Children Lithuania)

In a 2008 survey of 1,143 10-15 year olds carried out by Save the Children, 48% said that they had experienced physical punishment and 5% said that they were “constantly” being physically punished. Twenty-nine per cent of the respondents believed that physical punishment should never be used.

(Save the Children (2008), Children’s interview on relations in their families, cited in Durrant, J. & Smith, A. (2011), Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, NY: Routledge)

Thirty-eight per cent of respondents to a 2009 survey of 500 15-74 year olds believed that corporal punishment should never be used, 56% said that corporal punishment “should not be used in general but in certain situations it is justifiable” and 5% felt that corporal punishment was acceptable “if the parent believes that it will be effective”. 29% of respondents in 2009 believed that corporal punishment was experienced by more than 65% of children in Lithuania.

(Children support centre (2009), Attitude towards physical punishment of children, www.canee.net/files/Omnibus%20research%20Lithuania%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

A 2009 survey of 123 teachers in primary schools in Vilnius found that 64% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 59% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 15% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party. In an identical survey of a similar sample in 2005, 13% believed this. On average, respondents in 2009 estimated that 42% of children in Lithuania experience spanking as punishment, compared to an average estimate of 58% in 2005.

(Children Support Centre and Nobody’s Children Foundation (2009), Vilnius teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse, www.canee.net/files/Teachers%20studies%20Lithuania%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

M

Note: No prevalence research identified for Macao, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Monaco, Montserrat.

MADAGASCAR

A study which involved 100 children aged 4-17 who had experienced violence and 30 parents and other family members revealed the severity of violence experienced by children. More than half of the children (52%) had been beaten with an object such as a belt or a broom, 49% had been hit with a hand, most commonly on the back or the head, and 19% had been pinched or had a part of their body twisted. Other types of violence which children experienced included being insulted and threatened, having their hair pulled and being attacked with a knife. Parents were the most common perpetrators of violence: of the 100 children, 43 had experienced violence from their biological mother, 30 from their biological father and 7 from both. Other perpetrators included grandparents, step-parents, uncles, aunts and older siblings. Thirty-five per cent of the children experienced violence every day, 9% every week, 5% every month and 50% “sometimes”.

(Plate Forme de la Société Civile pour l’Enfance & Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Juridiques (2011), La violence a l’egard des enfants au sein de la famille en situation precaire a Antananarivo, Antananarivo: Plate Forme de la Société Civile pour l’Enfance & Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Juridiques, Université d’Antananarivo)

MALAWI

A study of the 104 childcare institutions (orphanages, special needs centres, church
homes, transit care centres and reformatory centres) in Malawi, which involved interviews with staff in the institutions and focus group discussions with children, documented the use of corporal punishment, including being whipped, forced to kneel and forced to do hard work.

(UNICEF Malawi & Ministry of Gender, Children and Community Development (2011), All Children Count: A Baseline Study of Children in Institutional Care in Malawi, Lilongwe: UNICEF)

In a study in 40 schools, involving interviews with 800 students and 288 teachers, 68.5% of students reported having experienced whipping/caning (20.5% in the home and 48% in school); 70.6% said they had experienced beating/fighting. More boys than girls reported being beaten: 47.2% and 40.7% respectively.

(DevTech Systems, Inc. and Centre for Educational Research and Training (2007), The Safe Schools program: Students and teacher baseline report on school-related gender-based violence in Machinga district, Malawi, USAID)

MALAYSIA

In research on corporal punishment conducted in 2011 in nine primary and 10 secondary schools in six Malaysian states, students reported being slapped in the face, pinched, hit on the back of the head and verbally abused; having their hair, eyebrows, ears, and sideburns pulled; and being forced to do repetitive physical activity, such as “squats” while crossing their arms and holding their ear-lobes.

(Qualitative Research on the Prevalence and Impact of Corporal Punishment in Primary and Secondary National and National-Type Schools, Draft as of August 2010, from ongoing UNICEF project research program on corporal punishment, supported by HELP University College, cited in Child Rights Coalition Malaysia (2012), Status Report on Children’s Rights in Malaysia, Child Rights Coalition Malaysia)

A study of 120 parents in Malaysia found that 40% had inflicted “moderate” physical punishment (hitting with an object, spanking, pinching, pulling hair, twisting a child’s ear, “knuckling” the back of a child’s head, forcing a child to kneel or stand painfully, putting chilli pepper in a child’s mouth and/or shaking a child aged over 2) on their child. Eight per cent had inflicted severe physical punishment, including shaking a child aged under 2, kicking, choking, smothering, burning, beating up, threatening with a knife or gun and/or giving a child drugs or alcohol.

(Runyan, D.K., et al (2009), Child Abuse & Neglect 33: 826-832, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

MALDIVES

A study which involved focus groups with 15 10-18 year olds and interviews with children and staff in alternative care settings documented the use of isolation for over a week as a punishment in a “correctional training centre.”

(Naseem, A. (2011), Child participation in the Maldives: An Assessment of Knowledge, UNICEF & Human Rights Commission of the Maldives)

An unpublished large scale 2009 UNICEF study found that 47% of children had experienced physical or emotional punishment at home, at school or in the community. The study involved almost 17,035 people in 2,500 households and 2,000 children in schools. Thirty per cent of children at secondary school had been hit by at least one of their caregivers, 21% with an object; 8% of school students had been physically punished by their teachers.

(Reported by Minivan News, 21 February 2011, www.minivannews.com)

MALI

In a 2009 study which involved interviews with 1,200 adults and 600 children aged 10-15, 83.3% of adults and 82.5% of children said that corporal punishment happens in schools, despite it being prohibited. A large majority (89.1%) of respondents said that corporal punishment has a negative impact on children. Over half of girls (55.7%) did not feel able to speak about their rights to an adult who had inflicted corporal punishment on them at school, and 53% of women did not feel able to speak about their child’s rights to an adult who had inflicted corporal punishment on their child. Half of respondents (50.6%) said that they would not tell the authorities if they or their child experienced corporal punishment. Sixty-four per cent of respondents said that violence in schools was partly due to a lack of teacher training. The report recommends prohibition of all corporal punishment, in line with the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

(Antonowicz, L. (2010), La violence faite aux enfants en milieu scolaire au Mali, Plan & Save the Children)

MARSHALL ISLANDS

A study which involved questionnaires, group activities and interviews with adults and children throughout the Marshall Islands, carried out in 2010, found that forty-six percent of interviewees working in education said that teachers use corporal punishment in schools. Seven to 11 year olds who were involved in the study said that “teacher spanking us” was one of the top four actions which children don’t like at school. Of the 660 16 and 17 year olds who took part in the research, 8% said that they had been physically punished at home every day in the past month, 12% that they had been physically punished once a week, 5% once every two weeks and 6% once during the past month.

(UNICEF Pacific (2012), Child Protection Baseline Report Republic of the Marshall Islands, Suva: UNICEF Pacific)

MAURITANIA

According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2012, 87% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(UNICEF (2014), The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers: Every Child Counts, NY: UNICEF)

MEXICO

A 2012 study of men’s childhood experiences of violence in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda, which involved men aged 18-59 living in urban settings, found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in all six countries. In Mexico, of the 982 men who participated, 26% reported having been spanked or slapped by a parent in the home during childhood, 16% having been threatened with physical punishment in the home and 16% having been humiliated by someone in their family in front of other people. Sixty-seven per cent reported having been beaten or physically punished at school by a teacher. The study found that men who had experienced violence, including corporal punishment, during childhood, were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence, hold inequitable gender attitudes, be involved in fights outside the home or robberies, pay for sex and experience low self-esteem and depression, and were less likely to participate in domestic duties, communicate openly with their partners, attend pre-natal visits when their partner is pregnant and/or take paternity leave.

(Contreras, M. et al (2012), Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence, Analyzing Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, Washington DC: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo)

A report on institutions including psychiatric hospitals and shelters in Mexico found that children and adults with disabilities are kept in permanent restraints, and that this constitutes cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and sometimes torture.

(Rosenthal, E., Jehn, E., Galván, S. et al (2010), Abandoned & Disappeared: Mexico’s Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities¸ Disability Rights International & Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos)

MICRONESIA

A study of 1,475 14-17 year olds found that 13% of boys and 7% of girls had experienced an intentional injury from a teacher in the past year.

(Smith, B.J. et al (2008), “Intentional injury reported by young people in the Federated States of Micronesia, Kingdom of Tonga and Vanuatu”, BMC Public Health, 8(145), 1-8, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

MONGOLIA

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 46% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(National Statistics Office & UNICEF (2011), Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010: Summary Report, Ulaanbaatar: National Statistics Office)

According to statistics from UNICEF on violence in the family, 79% of children aged 2-14 experienced physical punishment and/or psychological aggression in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006: 37% experienced physical punishment and psychological aggression, 42% experienced psychological aggression only and 1% experienced physical punishment only; boys were more likely than girls to be physically punished (42% compared with 34%). Children with disabilities were more likely to experience severe physical punishment: 47% of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement, compared with 40% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

Large scale comparative research into the views and experiences of 3,322 children and 1,000 adults in 8 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) was carried out by Save the Children in 2005. The research in Mongolia involved 607 children from urban, semi-urban and rural areas, and 40 adults. Methods used included research diaries, drawings, body maps, attitude survey, sentence completion, and discussions. Physical punishments mentioned by children in Mongolia included slapping, hitting with implements, forcing to the ground, bearing with a rubber baton, pinching, grabbing, pulling hair, scratching. Children in institutions in Mongolia mentioned the following punishments: adults stomping on their stomachs, being forced to the ground, having to stand in the hot sun, being hit with a rubber baton. The prevalence of punishment was given as direct assault (hitting) for children aged 10-13 years 45.6%, other direct assault 5%, indirect assault 9%, deliberate neglect 1.2, verbal attack 33.8%. Of those from urban areas who were hit, 70.4% were hit with an implement, 21.4% were slapped with the hand, 8.2% kicked. The study included 55 children in institutions, with 25% reporting punishments such as being beaten with a rubber truncheon and having to maintain uncomfortable positions for long periods of time. Reasons for punishment were given mainly as failure of behaviour (30% home, 22% school) and failure of obedience (60% home, 46% school).

(Beazley, H., S. Bessell, et al. (2006), What Children Say: Results of comparative research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast Asia and Pacific (2005), Stockholm, Save the Children Sweden)

MONTENEGRO

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 63% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Forty-five per cent experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (5%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 93% of children. Six per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 56% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 67% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 53% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, age or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, eight per cent of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the past month, compared with 6% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

In June 2009, a survey of 1,000 mothers and others primary carers of children under 6 found that 55% had hit their child in the past week, although a smaller percentage (9%) believed that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. The survey also included 200 mothers and others primary carers living in Roma settlements: of these, 78% said that they had hit their child in the past week and 32% thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Following an awareness-raising campaign about early childhood development, including alternatives to physical punishment, a similar survey, carried out in November 2009, found that a smaller percentage (22%) of parents had physically punished their children in the past week.

(Strategic Marketing Research (2009), Early childhood development for UNICEF, June 2009, StrategicPuls Group; Ipsos Strategic Marketing (2009), Early childhood development – 2nd phase: Testing of campaign for UNICEF, November 2009, Ipsos)

MOROCCO

In a study by the National Human Rights Council on the rights of children in child protection centres (accommodating children in conflict with the law and children without parental care), which included visits to 17 centres and focus groups with children and staff, a large number of children said that physical violence was the “pedagogical tool” used to “discipline” them. Punishments included hitting children with pipes and sticks and slapping them. Some staff members thought that using violence was the only way to “correct” children.

(Conseil national des droits des homes (2013), Enfants dans les centres de sauvegarde: une enfance en danger - pour une politique de protection intégrée de l’enfant, Rabat: CNDH)

A 2012 study by Human Rights Watch documented beatings and insults used as punishments for child domestic workers by their employers. Virtually all child domestic workers in Morocco are girls; the 20 girls interviewed for the report had begun work aged 8-15.

(Human Rights Watch (2012), Lonely Servitude: Child Domestic Labor in Morocco, NY: Human Rights Watch)

A study on violence in schools in Morocco, conducted by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education, Executives Training and Scientific Research (MNE) and UNICEF in collaboration with the School of Psychology, gathered qualitative data from 1,411 students through 100 group interviews and 57 teachers through seven group interviews and quantitative data through questionnaires which were filled in by 5,349 students, 1,827 teachers, 833 parents and 194 directors from a sample of 194 primary schools. The study found that the prevalence of violence in Moroccan schools was extremely high, and that corporal punishment was the most commonly used method of “discipline”. Usually parents were aware that their children experienced physical punishment at school and accepted this. Corporal punishment was perceived as one of the most useful pedagogical tools by the majority of teachers, with teachers believing that that children need to fear them in order to perform better. Nearly nine children in ten (87%) said that they had been hit for a punishment at school, and 60% had been hit with rulers, sticks or pipes. Other types of corporal punishment included tying children’s legs together with a rope, electrocution on the chest, legs and hands, kicking, and making children raise their feet for two hours. Sixty-one percent of children said they had been hit as a punishment by their parents. Seventy-three per cent of teachers said that they had used corporal punishment. Teachers said that they use corporal punishment when children do not do homework, come late to school, miss class, talk during class or fight.

(Ministry of National Education, Higher Education, Executive Trainings and Scientific Research & UNICEF (2005), Violence in Schools, School of Psychology of Casablanca)

According to a report by the Moroccan Ministry of Justice, widespread violence against children is reported in government run orphanages and care institutions, with physical punishment being the most practiced disciplinary measure.

(Cited in Abdul-Hamid, Y. (2011), Child Rights Situation Analysis: Middle East and North Africa, Save the Children Sweden)

At least 1,000 cases of violence in schools were recorded in 2009, according to the Centre for People’s Rights. Four hundred cases were physical violence, 350 psychological violence and 126 sexual violence. The physical violence mostly consisted of corporal punishment, including slapping, kicking and hitting with sticks, iron rulers and electrical cables.

(Reported in Algeria News, 8 October 2010, http://news.marweb.com/algeria)

According to statistics collected in 2006-2007 under round 3 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS3), 91% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Forty-one per cent of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Nearly a quarter (24%) of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 89% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(UNICEF (2008), Enquête Nationale à Indicateurs Multiples et Santé des Jeunes, ENIMSJ 2006-2007, Rabat, Maroc: UNICEF)

MOZAMBIQUE

A study involving more than 1,000 girls in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique analysed the impact of ActionAid’s 2008-2013 project “Stop Violence Against Girls in School”. The project included awareness raising and lobbying for the adoption and implementation of legal and policy measures that ensure education is free from corporal punishment in the three countries. The study found that in 2013 the use of some forms of corporal punishment had reduced since the baseline survey carried out in 2009. In Mozambique in 2009, 52% of girls had been whipped or caned in the past 12 months; by 2013, this had dropped to 29%. Girls’ last experiences of corporal punishment usually took place in school. The study recommends prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and measures to implement the prohibition.

(ActionAid International (2013), Stop Violence Against Girls in School: A cross-country analysis of change in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, Johannesburg: Action Aid)

In 2009, over 2600 children aged 6-18 took part in a survey, while 168 children drew pictures and talked about the last time they were punished at home and at school. The research found that one child in three had been hit with a hand at home in the past two weeks, and 37% had been beaten with an object. 6-8 year olds were more likely to have been hit than older children, and children from low income families were more likely to have been hit than children from high income families. About one child in three had been hit with a hand at school in the past two weeks, and 40% had been hit with an object at school in the past two weeks.

(Clacherty, G., Donald, D., and Clacherty, A. (2009), Children’s Experiences of Punishment in Mozambique: A Qualitative and Quantitative Survey, Pretoria: Save the Children Sweden)

MYANMAR

Corporal punishment is widespread in the family home and in primary schools, according to a 2012 situation analysis of children in Myanmar. In the home, children are punished by being slapped and beaten with implements. In a baseline study carried out in primary schools in 2007 as part of a UNICEF child-friendly schools program, 82% of students said they were beaten if they “did something wrong” and 62% of teachers told their students that they would be beaten if they did not perform well in a test. More than 40% of teachers caned students more than once a week. Although some schools reported declining rates of corporal punishment following the child-friendly schools program, 50% of schools still used physical punishment. The situation analysis notes that corporal punishment is lawful and recommends prohibition.

(Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development & UNICEF (2012), Situation Analysis of Children in Myanmar July 2012, Nay Pyi Taw: UNICEF)

A report on alternative care for children in some countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami found that the use of corporal punishment was one of ten fundamental issues affecting the care and protection of children in residential care.

(UNICEF (2006), Alternative Care for Children without Primary Caregivers in Tsunami-Affected Countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand)

N

Note: No prevalence research identified for Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Niger.

NAMIBIA

A 2008 survey of 1,680 respondents found that 78% of them thought that a parent had a right to hit their child if the child was disobedient, 63% if the child did not want to go to school, 51% if the child ran away from home and 27% if the child performed poorly in school. Almost 61% of respondents believed that it was common in their communities for children to be smacked or caned. Respondents from households with children aged 2-14 years old were asked about what forms of discipline had ever been used in their household. 40% said that children had been spanked, hit or slapped on the bottom with a bare hand, 30% that children had been hit with objects and 18% that children had been hit or slapped on the face, head or ears.  

(SIAPAC (2008), Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Study on Factors and Traditional Practices that may Perpetuate or Protect Namibians from Gender Based Violence and Discrimination: Caprivi, Erongo, Karas, Kavango, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omaheke, and Otjozondjupa Regions (Final Report), Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, cited in Hubbard, D. et al (2010), Corporal Punishment: National and International Perspectives, Windhoek: Legal Assistance Centre)

NAURU

A 2005 report stated that some incidents of teachers beating children had been reported.

(UNICEF (2005), Nauru: A Situation Analysis of Children, Women and Youth, Suva: UNICEF Pacific Office)

NEPAL

A survey involving 100 students and 30 teachers at five government-aided and five private schools in the Kathmandu Valley found that a huge majority of the children experienced corporal punishment at school and almost all had seen or heard corporal punishment at school. Children said that the most common types of punishment were being forced to hold their ears and sit up and down repeatedly, being beaten and being forced to maintain painful positions. Other types of punishment included having their ears or hair pulled, being forced to fight with a friend, being scolded, being hit with a stick or duster and being made to stand on a bench. Children were punished for being late, “speaking rubbish, doing bad things,” fighting with friends, not being attentive in class and not answering teachers’ questions. Corporal punishment resulted in injuries, back pain, marks and swelling. Children said that corporal punishment made them feel bad, unhappy, humiliated, depressed, angry, scared and embarrassed about facing their friends, and that it made them lose interest in studying and feel like quitting school. Although most teachers said that after inflicting corporal punishment of children they regretted it, felt uneasy or felt distressed, the majority of teachers said that corporal punishment was effective and should continue to be used. Most students said that physical punishment was harmful to students, could lead to emotional and psychological disorder problems and so should be stopped. The study recommends prohibition of corporal punishment.

(Sanchar, H. et al (2013), Physical Punishment at School: a Study (Summary), Save the Children Norway)

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 83% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey. Six children in ten (61%) experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (36.1%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Eighteen per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 79% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Central Bureau of Statistics (2012), Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010, Mid- and Far Western Regions, Final Report. Kathmandu: Central Bureau of Statistics & UNICEF Nepal)

A study on barriers to education for children with disabilities in Nepal found that students with disabilities experienced corporal punishment at home and at school, and that this could contribute to the children’s lack of access to education.

(Human Rights Watch (2011), Futures Stolen: Barriers to Education for Children with Disabilities in Nepal)

A 2008 study in 71 child centres in Nepal involved interviews and focus groups with children, child centre staff and children’s biological parents. It found that punishments in child centres included hitting children, isolating them, locking them in the toilet, public humiliation, and forcing them to clean floors and toilets.

(UNICEF and Terre des Hommes (2008), Adopting the Rights of the Child: A study on intercountry adoption and its influence on child protection in Nepal, www.crin.org/docs/adopting_rights_child_ICA.pdf)

In a study in the schools of Kathmandu, 82% of students were found to suffer physical punishment in schools; 80% of students said that alternative methods can be used to discipline children.

(Reported in The Rising Nepal, 24 December 2006)

NETHERLANDS

A study involving focus groups and face to face interviews with 104 13-22 year olds with experience of youth custody in Austria, Cyprus, England, the Netherlands and Romania found that young people experienced physical violence and solitary confinement lasting up to two months as a punishment, as well as group punishments including being confined to their rooms and forbidden to attend school.

(Children’s Rights Alliance for England (2013), Speaking Freely: Children and Young People in Europe Talk about Ending Violence Against Children in Custody – Research Report, London: CRAE)

NEW ZEALAND

A 2013 survey of 750 adults in New Zealand, which used questions and a methodology comparable to earlier studies found that a large majority of respondents (93%) were aware of the law reform which prohibited all corporal punishment and that acceptance of physical punishment of children was declining steadily. In 2013, 40% of respondents thought that it was sometimes alright for parents to physically punish children, compared to 58% in 2008, more than 80% in 1993 and more than 90% in 1981. The proportion of parents with children under 18 who thought that it was alright to use physical punishment with children fell from 62% in 2008 to 35% in 2013.

(Wood, B. (2013), Physical punishment of children in New Zealand – six years after law reform, EPOCH New Zealand)

A 2012 poll of 500 parents of children aged under 12 found that 44% had not smacked their children since the 2007 law change which prohibited all corporal punishment of children. Twenty-nine per cent said they had smacked “rarely”, 21% “occasionally” and 1% “frequently”.

(Reported in New Zealand Herald, 2 April 2012, www.nzherald.co.nz)

A 2007 Families Commission survey found that while 41% of parents and carers in the sample of 100 families with children aged under 5 had smacked their children, only 9% thought smacking was effective. Around half of the sample filled in detailed diary sheets about “disciplinary encounters” with their children over three days. Of these parents, 2.6% smacked the child’s bottom at some point during the three days, 2% smacked the child’s hand and 2% smacked the child on another part of their body. Parents and carers were two to three times more likely to use positive techniques (such as giving rewards and praise) than punishments (such as smacking, verbal reprimands and withdrawal of privileges).

(Lawrence, J., and Smith, A. (2009), Discipline in context: families’ disciplinary practices for children aged under five, Wellington: Families Commission, www.familiescommission.govt.nz/sites/default/files/downloads/discipline-in-context.pdf; see also Lawrence, J., and Smith, A. (2008), “Aotearoa/New Zealand Families: Their Perspectives on Child Discipline and Recent Legislative Change”, Childrenz Issues, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 17-24)

A survey of 100 families with children aged under five found that 46% of parents and carers were in favour of the legislation which gave children equal protection from assault to adults. 27% were opposed to the legislation and 27% were undecided. Of those who were in favour of the legislation, 58% had an accurate understanding of it. Of those who were undecided or opposed to reform, a large majority had an inaccurate understanding of the legislation (81% of those who were undecided and 70% of those who were opposed to reform). The law came into action in June 2007. Around a third of the interviews were carried out before the law change, and two thirds following it.

(Lawrence, J., and Smith, A. (2008), “Aotearoa/New Zealand Families: Their Perspectives on Child Discipline and Recent Legislative Change”, Childrenz Issues, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 17-24; see also Lawrence, J., and Smith, A. (2009), Discipline in context: families’ disciplinary practices for children aged under five, Wellington: Families Commission)

In the wake of prohibition of all corporal punishment in 2007, the Children’s Commissioner commissioned a benchmark survey in order to gauge changes in attitudes towards corporal punishment and the law. Of a nationally representative sample of 750 adults, 43% supported the law, compared with 28% who opposed it. The research found a high awareness of the law change (91%), and high levels of support (84-89%) for the principle of equal protection from assault for children and adults. Support for the use of corporal punishment is declining over time: 58% agreed that there are some circumstances in which smacking a child is acceptable, compared with 87% in 1993 and around 90% in 1981. The research confirms that attitudes and knowledge of the law are changing, even over the one-year period since its introduction. The report includes detailed recommendations for continued and improved implementation of the law based on the issues raised.

(UMR Research (2008), Omnibus Survey Report: One year on: Public attitudes and New Zealand’s child discipline law, Office of the Children’s Commissioner, www.occ.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/5669/OCC_UMR-Research_141108.pdf)

One in ten children aged up to 14 had received physical punishment from their primary caretaker in the four weeks leading up to the 2006/7 New Zealand Health Survey. However, only 5% of all primary caregivers believed that physical punishment was an effective form of punishment. Less than a third of those who had used physical punishment in the previous four weeks felt that it was effective. The survey was carried out between October and 2006 and November 2007, before and after New Zealand prohibited all corporal punishment, on a sample size of 17,000.

(Ministry of Health (2008), A Portrait of Health – Key results of the 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey, www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagesmh/7601/$File/physical-punishment-ch2.pdf)

A poll of more than 3,000 respondents by The New Zealand Herald found that almost 70% supported the return of caning and strapping in schools.

(Reported in Radio New Zealand News, 1 August 2007)

NICARAGUA

In a 2006-2007 study involving 10,113 women aged 15-49 with children, 34.4% reported that children in their home were punished by being hit, beaten, spanked or slapped. Women who had experienced partner violence were more likely to report that children in their home were physically punished: 41.2% of women who had ever experienced partner violence compared to 32.3% of women who had not.

(Bott, S. et al (2012), Violence Against Women In Latin America And The Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis Of Population-based Data From 12 Countries, Washington DC: Pan American Health Organisation & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

NIGER

According to statistics from UNICEF relating to the period 2001-2007, of girls and women aged 15-49, 70% think that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

NIGERIA

According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2012, 91% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(UNICEF (2014), The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers: Every Child Counts, NY: UNICEF)

A report carried out at the end of the Transforming Education for Girls in Nigeria and Tanzania (TEGINT) project, a 2007-2012 initiative to transform the education of girls in Northern Tanzania and Northern Nigeria found that in Nigeria 71% of community members and 72% of girls agreed that “it is not okay for teachers to whip a girl who comes late to school because she was caring for a sick relative”. The study involved surveys with 629 girls and 186 community members.

(Institute of Education & ActionAid (2013), Transforming Education for Girls in Nigeria: Endline research summary report, Abuja: ActionAid Nigeria)

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 91% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the past month. Seventy-nine per cent experienced physical punishment, 34% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 81% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(National Bureau of Statistics et al (2011), Nigeria Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011: Summary Report, Abuja: National Bureau of Statistics)

In a survey of 172 elementary school teachers in Ilorin State, 80% of respondents had seen pupils being punished by elementary school teachers with a cane. Forty-six per cent had seen pupils being punished with a horse-whip (“koboko”), and 30% with a hand. Sixty-one per cent had seen pupils being hit on the buttocks, 49% on the back, 52% on the palm of the hand, 20% on the head and 16% on the face. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents said that they favoured the use of corporal punishment by elementary school teachers.

(Mahmoud, A. O, Ayanniyi, A. A. & Salman, M. F. (2011), “Observations of teachers in Ilorin, Nigeria on practices of corporal punishment that are potentially injurious to their pupils’ eyes”, Annals of African Medicine vol. 10, no. 2)

A study by the African Child Policy Forum in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal found that hitting, beating and forced hard work were the most prevalent forms of violence against girls, and that most of the physical violence experienced by girls was corporal punishment. The study involved a survey of 3,025 young women (nearly 600 per country) aged 18-24 about the violence they had experienced in their childhood. In Nigeria, 84% of respondents had been hit during their childhood, 90% had been beaten, 55% kicked, 71% denied food and 17% choked or burned. Parents and close relatives were the most common perpetrators of physical violence.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Childhood Scars in Africa: A Retrospective Study on Violence Against Girls in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

NORWAY

A survey of 1,199 students aged 12-16 found that 82.4% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Eight per cent thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. Eighty-six per cent disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 91.9% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.

(UNICEF (2011), Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

In a study on gender equality, which involved 2,805 women and men, participants were asked if they had been physically punished or witnessed violence in their family as a child. Fifteen per cent answered “yes” and 12% “partly”. The results showed a decline in experience of corporal punishment and witnessing violence in the home since the 1970s, with 16.3% of 17-24 year olds answering “yes” or “partly”, compared to 33.3% of 65-79 year olds. Physical punishment by parents was associated with gender-unequal decision-making in the home: 27% of respondents who said their father made the decisions at home reported physical punishment or witnessing violence at home, compared to 17% where the mother made the decisions and 10% of those whose parents made decisions on an equal basis. The study found that experiencing physical punishment or witnessing violence at home during childhood strongly reduced the chance of good quality of life as an adult: it was associated with increased feelings of aggression, anger, anxiety and depression, increased risk behaviour and increased involvement in traffic accidents. Those who had experienced physical punishment or witnessed violence in the home were more likely to be teased and bullied outside the home, be exposed to violent environments as an adult and be involved in violence and conflicts in their relationships and in the workplace.

(Holter et al (2009), Gender Equality and Quality of Life: A Norwegian Perspective, Nordic Gender Institute)

A 2007 study found that one quarter of 18 year olds had experienced at least “mild” violence from one of their parents, and 8% reported “serious” violence from one of them.

(Mossige, S. & Stefanson, K. (eds) (2007), Violence and abuse against children and young people: A self-reporting study among last year pupils in high school), Oslo: NOVA Rapport 20, cited in Durrant, J. & Smith, A. (2011), Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, NY: Routledge)

O

Note: No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Oman.

P

Note: No prevalence research identified for Palau, Panama, Pitcairn Islands, Puerto Rico. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Portugal.

PAKISTAN

In a 2013 study by Plan Pakistan, 20% of teachers “fully agreed” and 47% “partially agreed” that “a small amount of physical punishment is necessary for most children.” Forty-one per cent of parents and other adult family members fully agreed and 38% partially agreed with the statement. Three quarters of teachers and 84% of parents agreed that teachers were justified in beating students who were rude or disobedient, 65% of teachers thought that children who violated school rules “deserved” to be beaten and 85% of parents thought that children who stole “deserved” physical punishment. Twenty per cent of teachers fully agreed and 31% partially agreed that frequent “small amounts” of physical punishment had no harmful effect on a child. Students were asked what the most common kind of physical punishment was: 24% said that being beaten on the palms of the hand with a stick or ruler was most common and 22% that slaps on the face or head were most common. Other answers included being forced to stand or sit in an uncomfortable position, being struck with a stick or ruler on body parts other than the hand, and being kicked. The study, Stopping the Fear: Why Teachers Use Corporal Punishment, involved more than 300 students and 137 teachers at 32 schools, half of which were run by the government and half by NGOs or private organisations.

(Reported in The Express Tribune, 27 June 2013)

A 2010 report by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) stated that up to 35,000 students drop out of high school every year because of corporal punishment. 

(Reported in The Express Tribune, 27 June 2013)

A 2013 study documented that beatings and other physical violence, sometimes amounting to torture, were inflicted on child domestic workers.

(Child Rights Movement Punjab et al (2013), The unending plight of child domestic workers in Pakistan: Exploitation, abuse, torture, rape and murder, Child Rights Movement Punjab, Institute for Social Justice, Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child & Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research)

A study carried out as part of Plan International’s “Learn Without Fear” campaign found that physical punishment was used in 89% of public and private schools in Punjab. Physical punishment was most common in public schools, followed by private schools and then madrasas. It sometimes caused major injury or death.

(Reported in The Express Tribune, 19 November 2012)

A 2012 report on violence against children in police and pre-trial detention stated that corporal punishment is inflicted on children as a disciplinary measure in pre-trial detention.

(Sheahan, S. & Randel, B. (2012), A review of law and policy to prevent and remedy violence against children in police and pre-trial detention in eight countries, Penal Reform International & UKaid)

Nearly three-quarters of adult Pakistanis believe that their religion allows them to slap their children if they do not behave.

(Global Advocacy Team (2012), Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign: Third progress report, Woking, UK: Plan)

In a survey carried out by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) in 2011, 76% of parents in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were in favour of corporal punishment of children.

(Reported in PakistanToday, 1 January 2012, www.pakistantoday.com.pk)

A participatory study by Save the Children, UNICEF and Government of the North West Frontier Province in three districts of NWFP – Peshawar, Hangu and D.I.Khan – revealed that corporal punishment is widely used to discipline children in homes and educational institutions. A total of 155 consultations were undertaken, using participatory research techniques, with 3,582 children aged 6-14 years from government and religious schools, 86 consultations with 1,231 parents, and 86 consultations with 486 teachers. Not one child reported never having received corporal punishment. Cumulatively, the children identified 28 types of punishment used in homes and 43 in schools. The most common punishments at home were hitting with an object (shoe, brick, iron rod, knife, etc), smacking, kicking, punching, hair-pulling and ear-twisting. The most common in schools were smacking, hitting with an object, hair-pulling, ear-twisting, and awkward and humiliating physical positions. About 43% of all punishments identified were reported by children in government primary schools, about 30% in government middle schools, 10% in government high schools, and 16% in private schools. Corporal punishment at home and in schools was more frequent the younger the child. There were no significant gender differences – boys and girls were subjected to similar frequencies of punishment. Corporal punishment in homes was reported as being inflicted most frequently by immediate family members such as parents (20.22%), grandparents (24.04%) and older siblings (18.91%) and uncles and aunts (27.31%), followed by close relatives such as cousins and in-laws. Neighbours, village elders, tutors, housemaids and other relations were reported as less frequently beating children. Corporal punishment in schools was most commonly inflicted by the teacher and students assigned discipline duties in the school (49.6%), including class monitor, commander, and assembly commander. Senior students were also frequently reported to be hitting younger children (14.7%).

(April 2005, Disciplining the Child: Practices and Impacts, Save the Children/UNICEF/Schools and Literacy Dept, Government of NWFP)

PARAGUAY

In a 2010 study on violence in the juvenile penal system, based on interviews with 350 juvenile detainees, 35.8% of respondents said they had experienced violence from officials in the penal system.

(Defensa de Niñas y Niños Internacional Seccion Paraguay (2012), Situacion de la Justicia Juvenil en Paraguay, Asunción: DNI Paraguay)

A survey carried out after a two-month long UNICEF campaign designed to raise awareness about family violence against children and provide parents with information about positive parenting asked 753 parents about their childrearing opinions and practices. When asked what discipline strategy they used the most, 57.1% of parents said they talked to their children, compared to 55.6% before the campaign. Just over one parent in ten (11.5%) said they shouted or raised their voice, compared to one in five (20.4%) before the campaign. Before the campaign, 3.6% of parents said they most often “used a belt or other object”; after the campaign, 0.9% said this. After the campaign, nearly nine out of ten parents (88.9%) believed it was possible to bring up children without hitting them or using verbal violence, compared to 76.6% before the campaign. One in ten (10.2%) did not think it was possible, compared to one in five (20.3%) before the campaign. Seven in ten (70.3%) of those interviewed remembered the campaign. Of these, 46.5% thought that the campaign would influence their friends’ and neighbours’ way of bringing up children a lot, and 34% a little.

(First Analysis y Estudios (2010), Sin Violencia si Educa Mejor: medición comparativa post campaña¸UNICEF)

A 2010 UNICEF study found that 61% of respondents had experienced violence or other kinds of mistreatment from their closest family members. The study, the first of its kind in Paraguay, involved over 800 children and young people aged 10-18, attending 54 private and public schools in different areas of the country. 35% of respondents had experienced severe physical violence (being hit with objects, kicked, burned or suffocated) in their families and 13% had experienced “light” physical violence (including slaps, having their hair pulled and being forced to stay in uncomfortable positions). 13% had experienced psychological violence such as insults and threats of abandonment. The physical violence had serious consequences, with 13% of respondents reporting being hit until they bled and 7.7% needing medical attention due to violence. More than half of the study participants remembered that they began to experience family violence at between 3 and 5 years old. Boys experienced more severe physical violence than girls, while girls experienced more psychological violence than boys. Physical and psychological violence was experienced by children of all social classes, although children at public and subsidised schools experienced more physical violence than children in private schools, while children in private schools experienced more psychological violence than their publicly schooled peers. Parents with a higher level of education were less likely to use physical violence – for example, 23.9% of mothers and 26.8% of fathers who had been to university used severe physical violence as a punishment, compared to 46.8% of mothers and 55.6% of fathers who had not been to school. The results of the study suggested that, as mothers spend more time with their children than fathers, mothers use physical violence more often than fathers. However, mothers were more likely to decrease their use of physical violence as their children grew older, while fathers were more likely to use a greater degree of violence than mothers and to continue to use it at the same level as their children grew older. Mothers who spent less time with their children used most physical violence – 27.7% of those who spent all day at home used severe physical violence, compared to 39.6% of other mothers who spent only some hours of the day or some days of the week at home. The study recommended that more research be done on this topic and on the various demands placed on mothers who work both inside and outside the home.

(UNICEF (2010), Resumen Para Prensa: Estudio sobre maltrato infantil en el ámbito familiar, Paraguay 2010 www.unicef.org/paraguay/spanish/py_resumen_periodistas_estudio_14set10.pdf (in Spanish))  

In a 2008 study involving 4,029 women aged 15-49 with children, 25.1% reported that children in their home were punished by being hit, beaten, spanked or slapped. Women who had experienced partner violence were more likely to report that children in their home were physically punished: 34.8% of women who had ever experienced partner violence compared to 23.3% of women who had not.

(Bott, S. et al (2012), Violence Against Women In Latin America And The Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis Of Population-based Data From 12 Countries, Washington DC: Pan American Health Organisation & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

PERU

As part of a 2012 assessment by SOS Children’s Villages of the implementation of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, the Ombudsman reported that children in residential care experienced physical punishment including limitation of food and were also punished by having their free time or study time reduced, being forced to do domestic work and having family visits limited or stopped.

(SOS Children’s Villages International (2012), A Snapshot of Alternative Care Arrangements in Peru, Innsbruck: SOS Children’s Villages International)

Ninety-four per cent of Peruvians think that governments should completely outlaw all violence in schools.

(Global Advocacy Team (2012), Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign: Third progress report, Woking, UK: Plan)

A 2011 study carried out in Lima, Huancayo and Iquitos found that 27% of the children involved had been struck with an object at home and 6.4% of children had suffered serious injury, such as cuts or burns.

(Reported in Catholic Review, 6 September 2012)

A 2011 national study on demographics and family health asked 16,464 mothers with children living at home about the punishments used by parents. Physical punishment was the third most common type of punishment, used by 31.7% of biological fathers and 35.6% of biological mothers. Verbal reprimands were the most common type of punishment, followed by not allowing children something they liked. Sixty-two per cent of the mothers interviewed said that they had been hit by their parents as children. Eighteen per cent of the mothers believed that physical punishment was necessary to bring up their children, compared to 33.4% in 2000.

(Instituto Nacional de Estadistica e Informatica (2011), Perú: Encuesta Demográfica y de Salud Familiar 2011)

A survey of 1,000 adults in 15 cities by Ipsos Apoyo, published by El Comercio, found that 42% of the respondents agreed with using corporal punishment “occasionally” to discipline children. Over half (56%) were against physical punishment.

(Reported in Living in Peru, 27 September 2009, www.livinginperu.com/news/10206)

PHILIPPINES

In a study on the wellbeing and vulnerability of child domestic workers, 22% of the child domestic workers involved in the Philippines said that their employers physically punished them. The study was conducted in 2009 in Peru, Costa Rica, Togo, Tanzania, India and Philippines with around 3,000 children, mostly aged 10-17, half of whom worked as paid or unpaid domestic workers.

(Anti-Slavery International (2013), Home Truths: Wellbeing and vulnerabilities of child domestic workers, London: Anti-Slavery International)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in the Philippines 71% of girls and 77% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 9% of girls and 8% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month. Smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 13% of mothers and 16% of fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 20% of mothers and 15% of fathers believed it was necessary.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A 2010 survey of 270 grade-six students with an average age of 12 found that 61.1% of them had experienced physical punishment at home. 74.5% of those who experienced physical punishment had been pinched, and 49.7% beaten. 13.9% had been slapped, 3.6% kicked and 3% punched. Boys were more likely to be physically punished than girls, with 64.8% of boys experiencing beating compared to 40.9% of girls. The rate of pinching was similar for boys and girls. Mothers were reported to inflict more physical punishment than fathers, with mothers solely responsible for pinching, while both mothers and fathers beat children. The most common reasons for being physically punished were disobedience, cited by 35.6% of children who had been punished, and “pasaway” (35.3%) or being naughty, which included causing younger siblings to cry, interrupting adult conversations by what was perceived to be meaningless or disrespectful chatter, play-fighting with other children or siblings, making noises and disrupting order in the house. 32.9% of the children said that they “felt nothing” after being physically punished, while 25% were angry, 14.5% felt lonely or sad and 7.2% felt hatred.

(Sanapo, M. and Nakamura, Y. (2010), “Gender and Physical Punishment: The Filipino Children’s Experience”, Child Abuse Review, published online in Wiley Online Library DOI: 10.1002/car.1148)

A 2009 study involving 2400 children through questionnaires, interviews and group discussions found that violence against children by adults in school is usually inflicted in the guise of discipline. The most common form of violence by adults was pinching, experienced by 18% of children aged 6 – 13 years. This was closely followed by forms of verbal violence such as shouting, and spanking with hands or an object, experienced by 16% of 6 – 10 year olds and 13% of 9 – 13 year olds.

(Plan Philippines (2009), Toward a Child-Friendly Education Environment - A Baseline Study on Violence Against Children in Public Schools, plan-international.org/learnwithoutfear/files/philippines-toward-a-child-friendly-education-environment-english)

A UNICEF study found that 49.7% of children aged 2-14 experienced “minor” physical punishment and 12.9% experienced severe physical punishment.

(ECPAT International, UNESCAP and UNICEF EAPRO. (2008), East Asia and the Pacific regional prepatory meeting for the World Congress III against sexual exploitation of children and adolescents: Regional report, Bangkok, Thailand, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

Large scale comparative research into the views and experiences of 3,322 children and 1,000 adults in 8 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) was carried out by Save the Children in 2005. The research in the Philippines involved 139 children (69 boys, 70 girls) from urban areas and 78 adults (34 men and 44 women). Methods used included research diaries, body maps, attitude survey, sentence completion, and discussions. Physical punishments mentioned by children in Philippines included hitting, punishing, spanking, whipping, use of implements, hair pulling, ear twisting, and pinching.

(Beazley, H., S. Bessell, et al. (2006), What Children Say: Results of comparative research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast Asia and Pacific (2005), Stockholm, Save the Children Sweden)

POLAND

In research from 2013, involving 1,000 adults, 60% of respondents agreed that “there are situations when a child needs to be smacked”, compared to 68% in 2012, 69% in 2011 and 78% in 2008. In 2013, 33% disagreed with the statement, compared to 29% in 2012, 27% in 2011 and 19% in 2008. In 2013, 45% of respondents thought that the prohibition of corporal punishment was right and would have positive effects.

(Ombudsman for Children (2013), Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Children of the Republic of Poland for 2013, Warsaw: Office of the Ombudsman for Children)

A study involving 1,000 people aged 15 and over found that 47% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – an increase from 35% in a similar survey in 2005. Sixty-five per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child (compared to 72% in a similar survey in 2010), 26% that they had beaten or hit them (37% in 2010) and 11% that they had beaten them with a belt (16% in 2010).

(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

A study conducted in 2011 on behalf of the Children’s Ombudsman, involving 1,005 residents of Poland aged 15-75, found decreases in the social acceptance of parents hitting children since the achievement of full prohibition in 2010. In research published in 2008, 78% of respondents agreed that “there are situations when a child needs to be smacked”, compared to 69% in 2011; in 2008, 19% disagreed with the statement, compared to 27% in 2011. A previous comparison of research carried out in 1994 and 2008 did not reveal similar decreases in public approval of corporal punishment, suggesting that law reform and accompanying public education activities had an impact on public opinion. The study also showed a high rate of awareness of the law: 74% of respondents agreed that “beating of a child is unlawful”.

(TNS OBOP (2011), Social resonance of the amendment to the Act on Counteracting Domestic Violence, Ombudsman for Children of the Republic of Poland)

The report of the Human Rights Defender on the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism in Poland in 2011 found that in some police emergency centres for children, youth care centres and juvenile detention centres young people experienced punishments including being slapped, isolation, being forbidden contact with their families and being forced to do physical exercise. The reports of the Human Rights Defender on the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism in 2010, 2009 and 2008 had similar findings.

(Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich (2012), Report of the Human Rights Defender on the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism in Poland in 2012)

A 2009 survey of 189 teachers in primary schools in Warsaw found that 75% believed that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 71% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 36% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party, in comparison to 20% in an identical survey with a similar sample in 2005. On average, respondents in 2009 estimated that 61% of children in Poland experience “spanking” as punishment, compared to an average estimate of 72% in 2005. Of 1,000 respondents to a 2009 nationwide study, 38% believed that corporal punishment should not be used, compared to 35% in 2005.

(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2009), Warsaw teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse: research report, www.canee.net/files/Teachers%20studies%20Poland%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

A study on residential care for children found that one ninth of children in residential care had been physically hurt by a caregiver.

(The Nobody’s Children Foundation (2005), Being a child victim in residential care)

Q

Note: No prevalence research identified for Qatar.

R

Note: No prevalence research identified for Reunion.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA

A study of 481 high school students, carried out in September and October 2011 and published in 2012 in the journal of the Korea Institute of Criminology, found that 94.6% of the students had experienced corporal punishment at school, including being “spanked”, struck on the cheek and punched.

(Reported in Asian Correspondent, 18 July 2012)

A 2011 survey of 1,430 student teachers (783 training to be primary school teachers and 647 to be secondary school teachers) found that 68% of primary student teachers and 62% of secondary student teachers disagreed that any form of corporal punishment was unacceptable and 63% of primary student teachers and 66.5% of secondary student teachers disagreed that corporal punishment should be banned by law. Nearly half (47.6%) of primary student teachers and 58% of secondary student teachers agreed that “although a teacher cannot hit a school child with his/her open hand, it is acceptable to use a paddle.” One third (33.7%) of primary student teachers and 37.1% of secondary student teachers agreed that “to maintain order in a classroom, it is acceptable for a teacher to administer physical punishment upon the whole class”. The vast majority of the students had experienced corporal punishment at school as children: 97.6% had been hit on the palms of their hands, 98.4% had been physically punished as part of a group, 85.3% had been hit on the buttocks or thighs and 94.8% had been forced to kneel down.

(Save the Children Korea (2011), Incorporating Children’s Rights Education into the Teacher Training Curriculum of South Korea: A study on the teacher education curriculum, student-teachers’ awareness of children’s rights, and development of a children’s rights education course)

Government research into corporal punishment at middle and high schools showed a decline in prevalence, with 6% experiencing it in 2006 compared with 40% in a similar survey by the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union in 2000. The research surveyed 1,160 students at 40 schools, 533 parents and 262 teachers. When asked if teachers listened to the student’s side of the story before giving the punishment, 89% of teachers said “yes” while 88% of students and 92% of parents answered “no”. Corporal punishment is given when students do not obey school rules, e.g. not finishing homework or being late or absent from class.

(Reported in The Korea Herald, 26 January 2007)

Large scale comparative research into the views and experiences of 3,322 children and 1,000 adults in 8 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) was carried out by Save the Children in 2005. The research in Republic of Korea involved 152 children (69 boys, 83 girls) from urban areas and 175 adults (32 men and 143 women). Methods used included research diaries, drawings, body maps, attitude survey, sentence completion, and discussions. Physical punishments mentioned by children in Republic of Korea included slapping, whipping, beaten with a broomstick, punching, kicking, pinching, ear pulling. In terms of the settings in which children experienced punishment, the research found that in the home 97.4% of children experienced physical punishment, 3% emotional punishment, while in school 93.6% experienced physical punishment and 6% emotional. Punishment in the home comprised 61% of all punishments, followed by school, then after-school learning centres, playgrounds, and other locations (street, friends’ houses, welfare centres). Punishment is most commonly inflicted by parents (45%), teachers (24%) and other relatives (20%). In response to the statement “After I punish a child I feel unhappy”, 16.6% of adults disagreed, 65.1% agreed, and 18.3% had no opinion.

(Beazley, H., S. Bessell, et al. (2006), What Children Say: Results of comparative research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast Asia and Pacific (2005), Stockholm, Save the Children Sweden)

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

A study involving 500 people aged 15 and over found that 50% thought that corporal punishment should never be used – an increase from 37% in a similar survey in 2005. Seventy-three per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child (compared to 76% in a similar survey in 2010), 29% that they had beaten or hit them (66% in 2010), 19% that they had beaten them with a belt (26% in 2010) and 19% that they had slapped their child on the face (46% in 2010).                      

(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

A 2009 survey of 206 teachers in primary schools in Chi?in?u found that 68% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 58% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 51% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party. In an identical survey of a similar sample in 2005, 40% believed this. In a 2009 nationwide study, 55% of respondents believed that corporal punishment should not be used, compared to 37% in 2005. In 2005, 11% of respondents said that corporal punishment “may be used if the parent believes it will be effective”; in 2009, 5% of respondents said this.

(National Center for Child Abuse Prevention and Nobody’s Children Foundation (2009), Chi?in?u teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse www.canee.net/files/Teachers%20studies%20Moldova%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

ROMANIA

A 2012 study found that fewer children reported experiencing corporal punishment from their parents than in a similar study carried out in 2001. In 2001, 84% of children said that their parents hit them with a hand without leaving a mark; by 2012, this had fallen to 62%. In 2001, 29% of children reported being hit with objects by their parents and 10% being hit so hard it left a mark. By 2012 these figures had fallen to 18% and 5% respectively. The study also found a decrease in parents’ use of verbal abuse: 22% of children reported experiencing this in 2001, compared to 16% in 2012.

(Save the Children Romania, (2014), Child Neglect and Abuse: National Sociologic Study (English summary),Save the Children & Child Protection Department, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly)

A report on institutions, including psychiatric institutions and care facilities, in Romania found that children with disabilities were kept in permanent restraints, including being tied to chairs, tied up with bedsheets and kept in cribs.

(Ahern, L., Rosenthal, E., et al, [n.d.], Hidden Suffering: Romania’s Segregation and Abuse of Infants and Children with Disabilities, Mental Disability Rights International)

A 2007 study included a nationally representative poll of1,110 people and interviews with 155 teachers, doctors, psychologists and other adults who worked with children. 70% of the sample polled and 92% of professionals interviewed were aware that Romanian legislation included “provisions that forbid physical punishment and humiliating treatment of children”. 73% of the polled sample and 95% of professionals were aware that physical punishment and humiliating treatment of children were banned in all environments, including schools and the home. 97% of professionals believed that the law was necessary in Romania. 82% of the sample felt that an information campaign for the public on child protection legislation was “greatly needed” and 14% that it was needed to some extent. 90% of professionals thought that an information campaign for adults working with children was needed. The poll asked people to define “humiliating treatment of children”. Of the 923 people who answered this question, 60% referred to physical violence and 21% to psychological violence. 12% of the sample interviewed said that they were aware of children being treated violently in the families of friends or neighbours.

(Save the Children Romania (2007), Study on the Level of Awareness of Child Protection Legislation Among the General Population and Experts)

RWANDA

A study which involved discussions with 22 parents, 12 children and nine teachers in one semi-rural and one remote rural area found that the most common punishment in homes and schools was beating children. Children were also punished by being denied food, shouted at, insulted, forced to do hard work, burned, chased out of the house and not allowed to go to school.

(Mina, E. (2013), Corporal and Degrading Punishment of Children in Rwanda: Promoting Positive Discipline at School and at Home, Master Thesis, Freie Universität Berlin)

A 2012 study of men’s childhood experiences of violence in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda, which involved men aged 18-59 living in urban settings, found a high prevalence of corporal punishment in all six countries. In Rwanda, of the 2,204 men who participated, 60% reported having been spanked or slapped by a parent in the home during childhood, 23% having been threatened with physical punishment in the home and 29% having been humiliated by someone in their family in front of other people. The study found that men who had experienced violence, including corporal punishment, during childhood, were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence, hold inequitable gender attitudes, be involved in fights outside the home or robberies, pay for sex and experience low self-esteem and depression, and were less likely to participate in domestic duties, communicate openly with their partners, attend pre-natal visits when their partner is pregnant and/or take paternity leave.

(Contreras, M. et al (2012), Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence, Analyzing Data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, Washington DC: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo)

S

Note: No prevalence research identified for Saint Helena, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, San Marino, Seychelles, South Sudan. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Sao Tome and Principe, Slovakia, Somalia, St Kitts and Nevis.

SAMOA

A 2006 report stated that corporal punishment was widespread in the home and in schools. In the home, punishments included “smacking” children, beating them with brooms, sticks and heavy objects and throwing stones at them.
(Government of Samoa & UNICEF (2006), Samoa: A Situation Analysis of Children, Women and Youth, Suva: UNICEF Pacific Office)

SAUDI ARABIA

Adults Before Their Time: Children in Saudi Arabia’s Criminal Justice System is one of a series of reports published by Human Rights Watch following an examination of the criminal justice system during the first fact-finding visit to Saudi Arabia by an international human rights organization. The investigation included interviews with Saudi officials, detainees, lawyers and families. The research found that judges regularly try children without the presence of lawyers or sometimes even guardians, even for crimes punishable by death, flogging, or amputation. Flogging is a very common sentence for crimes and there is no minimum age for corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is also used in detention centres for both girls and boys. The report calls on Saudi Arabia to adopt a written penal code and to prohibit all corporal punishment of persons under the age of 18 at the time of the offence.

(Human Rights Watch (2008), Adults Before Their Time: Children in Saudi Arabia’s Criminal Justice System, www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/03/24/adults-their-time-0)

SENEGAL

Eighty per cent of children involved in a 2012 study by Plan International said that teachers were the main perpetrators of violence in schools.

(Plan International West Africa (2012), Because I am a Girl 2012 Research: Overall Report – Girls’ Retention and Performance in Primary and Secondary Education: Makers and Breakers, Dakar: Plan International West Africa, cited in Greene, M. et al (2012), A Girl’s Right to Learn Without Fear: Working to End Gender-Based Violence at School, Toronto: Plan Canada)

A report by Human Rights Watch documented physical punishment and other severe violations of the rights of at least 50,000 children (talibés), mostly boys under twelve years old, attending residential Quranic schools in Senegal. The report found that the children, who were forced by the teachers who serve as their guardians (marabouts) to beg on the streets, experienced severe physical punishment including being beaten with electric cables or clubs for not bringing back the quota of money and food set by the marabouts.

(Human Rights Watch (2010), Off the Backs of the Children: Forced Begging and Other Abuses against Talibés in Senegal)

A 2010 African Child Policy Forum report on violence against children with disabilities in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia documented a very high level of violence. Nearly a thousand 18-24 year olds took part in the study across the five countries, reporting on their experiences as children. In Senegal, 60% of the sample had experienced at least one type of physical violence during their childhood. The most commonly experienced type of physical violence was being hit, punched, kicked or beaten, followed by being choked, burnt or stabbed. The most common perpetrators of physical violence were mothers (20.5%) and fathers (15.8%). Across the five countries, 23% of the young people said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline, reasonable and justified” and 27% said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline but not reasonable or justified”. Twenty-six per cent said that they had experienced emotional violence which was “discipline, but not reasonable or justified”, and 22% that they had experienced emotional violence that was “disciplinary, reasonable and justified”. Across all five countries, more than half (54%) of those who had been physically beaten said they had suffered broken bones, teeth, bleeding or bruising; 2% had been permanently disabled; 21% required medical attention; 13% had to miss school or work; and 20% had needed rest at home. For all five countries, the majority of respondents with physical, visual and intellectual disabilities experienced physical violence more than 10 times. The report recommends prohibition of all corporal punishment, including in the home, as a way to minimise the risk of violence against children with disabilities.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Violence Against Children With Disabilities in Africa: Field Studies from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

A study by the African Child Policy Forum in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal found that hitting, beating and forced hard work were the most prevalent forms of violence against girls, and that most of the physical violence experienced by girls was corporal punishment. The study involved a survey of 3,025 young women (nearly 600 per country) aged 18-24 about the violence they had experienced in their childhood. In Senegal, 52% of respondents had been hit during their childhood, 79% had been beaten, 21% kicked, 25% denied food and 16% choked or burned. Parents and close relatives were the most common perpetrators of physical violence.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Childhood Scars in Africa: A Retrospective Study on Violence Against Girls in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Senegal, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

SERBIA

In research with young people carried out in 2012 by the Youth Advisors Panel of the Deputy Ombudsperson for Children, more than 80% of participants thought that children can be taught how to behave without beatings and that beating can harm both the body and the personality of a child. Sixty-three per cent thought that corporal punishment makes children afraid rather than teaching them to understand. Eighty per cent said that they would learn better from their parents explaining to them why something should not be done than from being beaten and 82% said that if they become parents, they would not physically punish their own children.

(Youth Advisors Panel of the Deputy Ombudsperson for Children (2012), The attitudes of children and youth towards corporal punishment and positive parenting practices, Ombudsman Office of the Republic of Serbia)

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 67.1% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey. More than a third (37.4%) experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (7.2%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Sixty per cent of children experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted) and 1.6% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement).

(Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (2011), Republic of Serbia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011, Final Report, Belgrade: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, five per cent of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the month prior to the survey, compared with 8% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

A report on institutions in Serbia found that, as there are no enforceable laws or regulations regulating the use of physical restraints and no oversight, children with disabilities were kept in restraints for days, weeks or years. Restraint was used for the convenience of staff and included being tied to beds, chairs and cribs.

(Ahern, L., Rosenthal, E., et al (2007), Torment not Treatment: Serbia’s Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities, Mental Disability Rights International)

In a study of children in six state residential care institutions, 26% of children reported experiencing physical violence at least once from a member of staff; 17% of adults working in these institutions reported that some of their colleagues were violent towards the children.

(Plut, D. & Popadi?, D. (2007), U lavirintu nasilja – istraživanje nasilja u ustanovama za decu bez roditeljskog staranja u Srbiji, Beograd: Save the Children UK & Institut za psihologiju, reported in Srna, J. & Stevanovi?, I. (2011), “Serbia: Moving Towards the Abolition of Physical Punishment of Children”, in Durrant, J. E. & Smith, A. B. (eds) (2011), Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, New York: Routledge, pp.222-233)

A 2006 study surveyed nearly 27,000 children aged 9-15 and 4,000 adults including teachers, secretaries, technical and security staff in 50 schools. 32% of children said that they had experienced violence from a teacher in the past three months, with 5% of children saying that they had experienced violence from teachers several times and even daily. 17% reported that a teacher had hit them or pulled their hair or ears at least once, 24% had experienced verbal aggression from a teacher, and 8% had been threatened by a teacher in the past three months.

(Plut, D. and Popadic, D. (2006), School Without Violence: towards the safe and enabling environment for children, Belgrade: UNICEF and Institute of Psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade)

SIERRA LEONE

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 81.7% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey. Sixty-five per cent experienced physical punishment, 18.8% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 74.4%% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Statistics Sierra Leone & UNICEF-Sierra Leone (2011), Sierra Leone Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010, Final Report, Freetown: Statistics Sierra Leone & UNICEF-Sierra Leone)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 92% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Nearly eight in ten experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (56%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 93% of children. One quarter of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 83% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 10-14 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than younger children: 94% of children aged 10-14 compared to 88% of children aged 2-4 and 93% of children aged 5-9. Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, household size or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, children with disabilities were more likely to experience severe physical punishment: 24% of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the month prior to the survey, compared with 21% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

SINGAPORE

Research by the Singapore Children’s Society, published in October 2006, examined parents’ childrearing and how children view this. Over 1000 interviews were conducted with 533 parents (248 fathers, 285 mothers) and 533 children aged 10-12 years (262 boys and 271 girls) covering different ethnic groups, mostly middle-income families. The part of the study which focused on disciplinary practices found that reasoning was considered the most effective practice by both parents and children, but physical punishment was also used. Mothers tended to inflict physical punishment more frequently than fathers, though both regarded it as ineffective. Children were reported as “neutral” about both its effectiveness and its fairness.

(Shan, S.-C. H., Hawkins, R. & Whee, L. K. (2006), The Parenting Project: Disciplinary practices, childcare arrangements and parenting practices in Singapore, Singapore Children’s Society)

SLOVENIA

A 2005 survey of a representative sample of adult citizens of Slovenia on family violence found that nearly a third of them (33.1%) knew at least one family in which slapping a child was a normal form of punishment (7.6% knew one family, 6.7% two families and 18.8% more than two families). Nearly a quarter of respondents (23.9%) thought that children were frequently smacked on the bottom and  6.1% that children were frequently smacked on the mouth.

(Research cited in Government of Slovenia (2013), Opinion of the Republic of Slovenia on the basis of the first paragraph of Article 7 of the Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter Providing for a System of Collective Complaints, Ljubljana: Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities)

A study carried out in 2004-2005 which involved 1,223 parents of children aged 9-10 and 13-14 and 137 children in the same age-groups found that corporal punishment was widespread. Over a third (37%) of the children aged 9-10 experienced corporal punishment and 39% of the children aged 13-14 had been physically punished. The younger children stated that they were punished for “naughtiness”, “disobedience” or “teasing”, while the older children said that they were punished for no reason. Over two thirds of the parents had been beaten as children, 43.2% had been slapped and 36.3% believed that the corporal punishment they experienced was “educational” for them. Fifty-one per cent of parents said that their child never experienced corporal punishment, 33.5% that they experienced it once a year, 11.4% once a month, 1.7% once a week and 0.4% once a day. Nearly half (48.7%) of the parents said that they hit their children with a hand, 8.4% pulled their hair, 2.5% hit them with an object and 1.8% drenched them with water. Nearly half (48.4%) of parents thought that it is acceptable to use corporal punishment if a child destroys their own or others’ property, 51.6% if a child endangers someone else, 44.3% if a child endangers him- or herself and around 28% if a child “behaves inappropriately”. Thirty-six per cent of parents were in favour of prohibition of all corporal punishment, 30% were opposed to it and 33% were undecided.

(Kornhauser, P. (2007), Youth without corporal punishment for our children, Ljubljana: Forum Against Corporal Punishment of Children in the Family)

SOLOMON ISLANDS

In a study carried out in 2008, 72% of the 272 adults involved said that they sometimes hit, smacked, pinched, kicked or flicked children or pulled or twisted their ears. Seventeen per cent of the 275 16-17 year olds involved said that they had experienced this from an adult at home in the past month. When 7-11 year olds were asked about which actions they don’t like at home, adults hitting children was the most common response (given by 32% of the children). Seventy per cent of interviewees working in education said that teachers in their school sometimes hit, smacked, pinched, kicked or knocked children or pulled or twisted their ears.

(UNICEF & AusAid (2009), Protect me with love and care: A Baseline Report for creating a future free from violence, abuse and exploitation of girls and boys in the Solomon Islands, Suva: UNICEF Pacific)

According to statistics from UNICEF on violence in the family, seventy-two per cent of children aged 2-14 years old experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006.

(UNICEF (2011), The State of the World’s Children, Table 9: Child Protection, NY: UNICEF, www.unicef.org/sowc)

SOUTH AFRICA

Government statistics published in 2014 state that 13.5% of school students experienced corporal punishment at school in 2013. School corporal punishment was most prevalent in Eastern Cape (experienced by 24.1% of school students), KwaZulu-Natal (22.2%) and Free State (16.6%).

(Statistics South Africa (2014), General Household Survey 2013, Pretoria: Statistics South Africa)

During the 2012-2013 financial year, the South African Council of Educators received 182 complaints about school corporal punishment.

(South African Council of Educators (2013), Annual Report 2012-2013, Centurion: SACE)

During the 2012-2013 financial year, the South African Human Rights Commission received 125 allegations of corporal punishment in schools, compared to 117 allegations during the 2011-2012 financial year.

(Reported in IOL News, 22 July 2013)

The 2012 National School Violence Study revealed the continued use of physical punishment within South African schools. Overall, a total of 49.8% of the 5,939 learners surveyed had been caned or spanked by an educator or principal. This percentage was up from 47.5% in 2008, suggesting that little headway had been made in reducing corporal punishment in schools. Provincial rates of corporal punishment ranged from 22.4% to 73.7%, with the highest levels of corporal punishment in KwaZulu-Natal (73.7%).

(Burton, P. & Leoschut, L. (2013), School Violence in South Africa: Results of the 2012 National School Violence Study, Cape Town: The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention)

The 2011-2012 annual report of the South African Council for Educators (SACE) reported that 174 cases of corporal punishment were reported to SACE in 2011-2012, compared with 100 cases in 2010-2011.

(South African Council for Educators (2012), Annual Report 2011-2012: Promoting Excellence in the Teaching Profession, Centurion: SACE)

The Statistics SA General Household Survey 2011, which involved 30,000 households between July and September 2011, found that 17% of students in South Africa had experienced corporal punishment at school in the past year. The highest percentage of students experiencing corporal punishment was in the Eastern Cape, where there was an increase from 23% in 2010 to 30% in 2011. In Limpopo, the percentage of students experiencing corporal punishment rose from 9% in 2010 to 19% in 2011. In the Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng, the percentage of students experiencing corporal punishment declined since 2010. The lowest percentage of students experiencing corporal punishment was in the Western Cape: 4%.

(Statistics South Africa (2012), General household survey 2011, Pretoria: Statistics South Africa)

A survey by Statistics SA revealed that the use of corporal punishment in schools declined overall between 2009 and 2010, from 17% of students experiencing corporal punishment in 2009 to 14% in 2010. However, in some areas the use of corporal punishment increased: in the Northern Cape, from 5.6% to 17.5%, and in the North West, from 12.7% to 21.7%.

(Reported in “Disturbing rise in corporal punishment - survey”, News24, 5 May 2011, www.news24.com)

In 2008 the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention released its report on the National Schools Violence Study, which provides a baseline from which to monitor school violence in the future. Over 12,000 students took part in the survey, as well as nearly 800 principals and educators at 245 primary and secondary schools. The study found that, despite prohibition in schools, 71% of primary school children and 47.5% of secondary school children experienced corporal punishment. Rates of corporal punishment varied by province, with 90% of primary school educators or principals in the Northern Cape using corporal punishment, 81% in Limpopo and 78% in the Eastern Cape. Secondary school principals and educators were most likely to use corporal punishment in the Free State (61.8%), Gauteng (61%) and the Eastern Cape (58.5%). The report notes that there is a strong correlation in provinces between high rates of corporal punishment and use of violence by students. Almost half (47.3%) of primary school children suffered corporal punishment in the home. Students who experienced corporal punishment at home were more likely to report experiencing violence at school than those who did not experience corporal punishment at home.

(Burton, P. (2008), Merchants, Skollies and Stones: Experiences of School Violence in South Africa, Cape Town: Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention
www.cjcp.org.za/admin/uploads/NSVS-final-internet-ready.pdf)

The National Youth Victimisation Study released in May 2006 by the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention reported on a survey of 4,409 young people aged between 12 and 22 years which found that nationally 51.4% of children continue to be subjected to corporal punishment in schools, with the lowest prevalence being 17% in the Western Cape. The survey also found that around a quarter of the youth live in a home where domestic violence between caregivers or parents is common.

(Reported in Shlensky, A. (2006), “Corporal punishment still rife in classrooms despite being banned”, Cape Times, 11 May 2006)

SPAIN

A 2009 study by the Defensor del Pueblo (ombudsman) on centres for children without parental care found that “disciplinary regimes” varied widely between centres. While some centres applied positive disciplinary techniques, others relied more on punitive sanctions. In some centres, punishments included tying two children together, preventing children from attending school and isolating children. The report recommends increased regulation at a regional level and states that regulations must not directly or indirectly provide for corporal punishment or other types of punishment which violate children’s rights.

(Defensor del Pueblo (2009), Centros de Protección de Menores con Trastornos de Conducta y en Situación de Difficultad Social)

A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 55% of Spanish parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 80% had slapped their child on the bottom. 31% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 6.7% had beaten their child with an object. 16% of Spanish parents never used corporal punishment. 84% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 85% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.

(Bussmann, K. D. (2009), The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

SRI LANKA

A study involving 194 parents living in Colombo found that 76.3% had physically punished their child in the past month by shaking them, hitting them on the bottom with an object or bare hand, slapping them, pinching them, pulling their ear or hair or hitting them on the head. Four in ten (40.7%) had kicked, choked, beaten, burned, threatened with a weapon, thrown, knocked down, punched or hit their child anywhere other than their bottom with an object in the past month. Nearly 90% had used psychological aggression such as threatening or insulting their child in the past month; nearly 80% had used non-violent discipline strategies such as explaining why something was wrong. When asked about their attitude to corporal punishment, thirty per cent of parents said that they were completely unfavourable towards it and a similar number said that they were completely favourable. After taking part in a two-hour information and discussion session in which they were given information about the negative effects of corporal punishment on children and about alternative discipline strategies, the rates of psychological aggression and corporal punishment declined significantly.

(de Zoysa, P. (2013), A Study on Parental Disciplinary Practices and an Awareness Program to Reduce Corporal Punishment and Other Forms of Negative Parental Practices, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Child Protection in Crisis, Institute for Participatory Interaction in Development & Save the Children)

In a study involving 1,226 children with an average age of 12, 52.3% of the sample were physically punished by their parents at least weekly and 70% had been physically punished by their parents in the past year. On average, the children had experienced physical punishment twelve times during the past year. The most commonly experienced form of physical punishment was being pulled by the ear.

(De Zoysa P., Newcombe P.A., Rajapakse, L. (2006), “The prevalence of Sri Lankan children's experience of parental physical punishment and their attitudes towards its use”, in Behera D.K. (Ed.), Childhoods in South Asia, New Delhi: Pearson Education)

A study into institutional care in Sri Lanka found that corporal punishment and other cruel treatment occurred sometimes in institutions. The study recommended that corporal punishment of children in care be banned.

(Save the Children in Sri Lanka (2005), Home Truths: Children's Rights in Institutional Care in Sri Lanka)

STATE OF PALESTINE

A booklet containing testimony from Israeli soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between 2005 and 2011 documents Palestinian children being beaten, kicked, shackled, blindfolded, threatened with guns, shot and killed on the street and in police and army custody.

(Breaking the Silence (2012), Children and Youth: Soldiers’ Testimonies 2005-2011, Breaking the Silence)

A report based on the sworn testimony of 311 children held in Israeli military detention between January 2008 and January 2012 documented systematic ill-treatment of children during their arrest, transfer and interrogation. Sixty-three per cent of the children were detained inside Israel. Ninety-five per cent of children had their hands tied, often very painfully, and 90% were blindfolded. Three quarters experienced physical violence such as being pushed, slapped or kicked, 57% experienced threats and 54% verbal violence. In 12% of cases children reported being held in solitary confinement for an average period of 11 days. The report found that when the totality of the evidence was considered, the pattern of systematic ill-treatment which emerges, amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and in some cases, torture, as defined in the UN Convention against Torture.

(DCI Palestine (2012), Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention)
Summary also included under Israel.

Research which included a survey with 306 students in three schools and focus groups with 88 students, teachers, counsellors and principals found that 36.6% of students had often seen a teacher hit students or been hit themselves. 37.6% reported that this happened sometimes and 25.7% rarely. 22.2% had heard a teacher insult students or been insulted themselves often, 30.6% sometimes and 47.1% rarely.

(Riyada Consulting and Training (2010), Level of Violence in UNRWA Schools in the West Bank – Protective Sphere for Palestinian Children, Save the Children UK).

A 2009 report by Defence for Children International – Palestine Section documented widespread and systematic violations of the rights of Palestinian children in Israeli custody in the occupied Palestinian territory, including corporal punishment. Children reported being kicked, hit, beaten with guns and tied up.

(DCI-Palestine (2009), Palestinian Child Prisoners: The systematic and institutionalised ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities)

In research on violence in educational settings which involved 1,723 children in 15 schools in five districts in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, 80% of students in school grades 1-3, 15% of those in grades 4-6 and 30% of those in grades 7-10 said they were “exposed to beating” at school.

(MaDad (2009), Protective Sphere for Palestinian Children Project: Executive Summary – the Participatory Action Research report, Save the Children UK)

According to statistics from UNICEF on violence in the family, 95% of children aged 2-14 experienced physical punishment and/or psychological aggression in 2005-2006: 70% experienced physical punishment and psychological aggression, 3% experienced psychological aggression only and 2% experienced physical punishment only.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

In a survey of 679 parents in the south of the Gaza Strip in 2007, nearly 100% admitting to inflicting corporal punishment and/or verbal punishment on their children.

(Survey results conducted during the “Community-Based Child Protection” project, Al Shoka, South Gaza Strip, Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution and SCS (2007), on file at the DCI-Palestine Ramallah office, reported in Trojan, V. (2008), Child Rights Situation Analysis: Right to Protection in the occupied Palestinian territory – 2008, Ramallah/Jerusalem: DCI-Palestine/Save the Children Sweden)

Figures published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2005 showed that over 50% of mothers supported the use of corporal punishment when children misbehave.

(Information on file at the DCI-Palestine Ramallah office, reported in Trojan, V. (2008), Child Rights Situation Analysis: Right to Protection in the occupied Palestinian territory – 2008, Ramallah/Jerusalem: DCI-Palestine/Save the Children Sweden)

A study by the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture and Organized Violence on violence in public and private schools in the West Bank found that of 2,331 students surveyed (aged 14-17), 50.8% reported having been beaten by a school teacher. Only 0.6% said that teachers are never violent towards students. The study also asked about being beaten at home: 43.6% said that they or their siblings were beaten by their father, 47.5% by their mother.

(Sehwail. Mahmu, Rasra, Khader, & Alkrenawi. Alean (2005), The phenomenon of Violence as perceived by Palestinian school pupils aged (14-17 years); (8-11 grade), at the schools of the public and private sectors in the West Bank, Palestine, Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture and Organized Violence)

ST LUCIA

In a study involving 580 11-17 year olds, carried out by young people as part of St Lucia’s first NGO report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 86% of respondents said that physical punishment was used on students at their school: 39.1% “always”, 40.2% “sometimes”, 6.9% “rarely”. The report recommends banning corporal punishment.

(Road to Geneva Child Rights Research & Advocacy project team (2011), Who Feels it Knows it: Children’s Rights in St. Lucia Through The Eyes of Children & Youth)

A UNICEF study of child vulnerability in Barbados, St Vincent and St Lucia, completed in November 2006, found that younger girls and boys were much more likely to be punished than their teenage siblings in all three countries. The number of small children who received no punishment was below 50% in all countries. Overall, younger children, both girls and boys, were more likely to be subjected to corporal punishment, such as spanking, slapping or hitting with the hand or an object.

(UNICEF Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Government of Barbados, Government of St. Lucia & Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (2006), A Study of Child Vulnerability in Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Barbados: UNICEF)

ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

A UNICEF study of child vulnerability in Barbados, St Vincent and St Lucia, completed in November 2006, found that younger girls and boys were much more likely to be punished than their teenage siblings in all three countries. The number of small children who received no punishment was below 50% in all countries. Overall, younger children, both girls and boys, were more likely to be subjected to corporal punishment, such as spanking, slapping or hitting with the hand or an object.

(UNICEF Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Government of Barbados, Government of St. Lucia & Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (2006), A Study of Child Vulnerability in Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Barbados: UNICEF)

SUDAN

A 2014 Human Rights Watch report stated that girls and women continue to be subjected to judicial flogging and other humiliating punishments.

(Human Rights Watch (2014), World Report 2014, NY: HRW)

Research by Save the Children Sweden in Sudan looked at children’s experiences of physical punishment at home and in school. Two reformatories and custody centres were also visited. In schools, reasons for being beaten by teachers included late arrival (41.1%) and failure to complete homework or recite Koranic verses (45.1%); of children at Koranic schools, 89% gave the main reason for corporal punishment as imperfect recitation of Koranic verses. In the home, reasons included disobedience (35.6%), persistent demands (28.4%) and making loud noises (24%); 89% of interviewed parents believed corporal punishment to be the best technique for achieving desirable behaviour in their children. The most common form of corporal punishment by teachers and parents was reported by the children as whipping (87%). Almost half (48.1%) the children stated that they would not use corporal punishment on children when they were older, but 37.9% intended to use it. The children reported experiencing corporal punishment as very painful (35.6%) and embarrassing (5.8%). The punishment also invoked fear of teachers or parents (16.3%), weakness (9.8%), lack of respect for the person inflicting the punishment (8.6%) and hatred of the people and the setting where the punishment was carried out (12.3%). In the reformatories and custody centres visited, 65% of juvenile offenders said they had received corporal punishment at some stage of the juvenile justice process; 87% of those interviewed while in custody said they had been beaten by police to obtain a confession. Children with a variety of disabilities (including deafness, blindness, other physical and mental disabilities) were asked for their views on corporal punishment. Forty-three per cent of children with mental disabilities stated that it was bad to be beaten by anybody. They said that they felt distressed and sad when somebody beat them.

(Save the Children Sweden (2005), Ending Physical and Psychological Punishment against Children: Sudan, Ethiopia: Save the Children Sweden)

SURINAME

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 86% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Sixty-two per cent experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (17%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 95% of children. One child in ten experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 81% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, age, household size or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, nine per cent of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the month prior to the survey, compared with 8% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

SWAZILAND

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 88.9% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) the home in the month prior to the survey, and 82.1% of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Two thirds (66%) of children experienced physical punishment, 11.7% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 82.1% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Central Statistical Office & UNICEF (2011), Swaziland Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010: Final Report, Mbabane: Central Statistical Office & UNICEF)

A large scale survey by Save the Children in 2005 looked at the experience over a two week period of corporal punishment of 2,366 children aged 6-18 years from all of Swaziland’s four regions. Children revealed being subjected to high levels of corporal punishment in the home and at school: 18% reported being hit with the hand in the home during the period; 28% reported being beaten with objects such as sticks, belts, sjamboks and whips. Boys were punished for such behaviour as breaking or stealing things, not tending livestock properly, playing instead of working, or playing out too late. Young children, particularly girls, were punished in connection with household chores. In school during the two weeks, 28% of children reported being hit with a hand, and 59% reported being beaten with an object, most often sticks, canes, sjamboks and blackboard dusters. Other punishments included physical labour or physical (and often humiliating) activities causing pain and discomfort. Children reported experiencing humiliating punishment, 35% in the home, 28% in school, in addition to experiencing corporal punishment itself as humiliating. Generally, corporal punishment was more commonly used in low income environments and on younger children. 77% of children considered corporal punishment to be unacceptable in the home and in school; 81% felt humiliating punishment to be unacceptable. The study also involved qualitative research with 384 children from the regions.

(Clacherty, G., Donald, D. & Clacherty, A. (2005), Children’s Experiences of Corporal Punishment in Swaziland, Pretoria: Save the Children Sweden)

SWEDEN

A 2011 study which involved 2,500 parents of children aged 0-12 and 3,207 15-16 year olds, and was designed to follow-up on similar studies carried out in 1980, 2000 and 2006, found that 92% of parents thought that it was wrong to beat or slap a child. About 3% of parents had struck their child at some point during the past year, compared to 28% in 1980. Fourteen per cent of 15-16 year olds said that they had been hit by their parents at least once in their lifetime. Children with disabilities or chronic health problems were twice as likely to be beaten as children without disabilities. The study found no evidence that parents were replacing physical punishments with other humiliating punishments instead of physical punishment – rather, there was a strong connection between violent punishment and other humiliating treatment of children. The study examined various risk factors for experiencing corporal punishment and found that violence between adults in the family was the greatest risk factor: children in families where there was violence between adults were ten times as likely to be physically punished as children in families where there was no violence between adults.

(Janson, S. et al (2012), Corporal punishment and other humiliating behaviour towards children in Sweden – a national study 2011, Children’s Welfare Foundation & University of Karlstad)

A survey of 1,697 students aged 12-16 found that 76.7% thought that “a child should never be corporally punished”. Nearly one in ten (9.7%) thought that “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)”. More than eight in ten (83.8%) disagreed that “parents have a right to use mild forms of corporal punishment on their children (e.g. smacking)” and 93.6% agreed that “children must be protected from all forms of violence”.

(UNICEF (2011), Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, Innolink Research)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in Sweden, none of the boys or girls had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month, and none of the parents believed that it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child. Nine per cent of girls and 6% of boys had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object) by someone in their household in the past month.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A study carried out in 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and Spain. Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law. 14% of Swedish parents said they had “mildly” slapped their child on the face and 17% had slapped their child on the bottom. 4% had given their child a “resounding” slap on the face and 1.8% had beaten their child with an object. 76% of Swedish parents never used corporal punishment. 88% agreed that “one should try to use as little corporal punishment as possible” and 93% agreed that “non-violent child-rearing is the ideal”.

(Bussmann, K. D. (2009), The Effect of Banning Corporal Punishment in Europe: A Five-Nation Comparison, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

SWITZERLAND

In a 2007 survey of 1,028 people, 68.1% said that slapping a child or “smacking” their bottom was a legitimate educational measure: 61.8% of 15-34 year olds, 67.7% of 35-5 year olds and 76.8% of 55-74 year olds.

(ISOPUBLIC Institut für Markt- und Meinungsforschung (2007), Jugendkriminalität: GALLUP TELEOmnibus: Befragung vom 11.7-14.7.2007, Schwerzenbach: ISOPUBLIC Institut für Markt- und Meinungsforschung)

SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC

A report based on more than 200 interviews with former detainees and defectors from the Syrian military and intelligence agencies, conducted between April 2011 and May 2012, documented twelve cases of detention and torture of children by the security forces. As at 22 June 2012, local activists had recorded the detention of 635 children.

(Human Rights Watch (2012), Torture Archipelago: Arbitrary Arrests, Torture, and Enforced Disappearances in Syria’s Underground Prisons since March 2011, NY: Human Rights Watch)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 89% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Nearly eight in ten experienced physical punishment, and 92% of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 90% of children. Nearly one quarter of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 84% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 90% compared to 88%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 91% of children aged 5-9 compared to 85% of children aged 2-4 and 88% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 90% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 75% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

T

Note: No prevalence research identified for Turks and Caicos Islands. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Tokelau, Turkmenistan.

TAIWAN

In a 2011 poll of over 2,000 students at schools in 22 cities and counties, nearly 30% of junior high school students and 20% of elementary school students had experienced corporal punishment, despite the prohibition of school corporal punishment enacted in 2006. Twenty per cent of students had experienced verbal abuse or threats from their teachers.

(Reported in “Legal ban has not stopped corporal punishment: poll”, Taipei Times, 10 Aug 2011)

Government research has shown a drop in the incidence of corporal punishment in schools since it was prohibited in December 2006. Surveys among junior high students conducted every two months reveal that corporal punishment of students fell from 42.5% in 2006 to 29.2% in 2007 and to 15.8% in the first two months of 2008 (compared with 27.7% 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)

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)

 The Humanistic Education Foundation conducted five surveys between 1999 and 2005 which showed 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)

TAJIKISTAN

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 78% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Six in ten experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (12%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 89% of children. Nearly one child in five experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 73% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 80% compared to 75%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 81% of children aged 5-9 compared to 69% of children aged 2-4 and 79% of children aged 10-14. Children living in larger households were more likely to experience violent discipline: 79% of children in households of 6 or more people compared to 61% of children in households of 2-3 people. The statistics also suggest that children with more siblings are more likely to experience violent discipline in most countries involved in the study (p. 72). No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

TFYR MACEDONIA

The 2011 report of the Ombudsman, acting as National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, documented the use of solitary confinement as a punishment and of insults and physical violence by guards against juveniles in penitentiary-correctional and educational-correctional institutions.

(Ombudsman: National Preventive Mechanism (2012), Annual Report, Skopje: Ombudsman)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 72% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Nearly six in ten experienced physical punishment, while a much smaller percentage (7%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 90% of children. More than one child in seven experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 61% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 77% compared to 68%. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to age, household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

According to UNICEF statistics collected in 2005-2006, twelve per cent of children with disabilities aged 2-9 were hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or hit over and over as hard as possible with an implement in the home in the month prior to the survey, compared to 20% of children without disabilities.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

A 2009 report by the office of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Macedonia found that corporal punishment was very common in institutions. Fifty-three children living in three institutions took part in the research. Of these, 21% said physical violence occured often in institutions and 21% said it occured rarely. Seventeen per cent said they were often psychologically abused, and 11% rarely. Only about half of the children had never experienced physical violence, and half had never experienced psychological violence. Children were afraid to report experiencing corporal punishment, and also did not know where to report it.
(First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi (2009), Overview of the situation of children in institutions in Republic of Macedonia, www.childrensembassy.org.mk)

65.3% of respondents to a 2009 survey of 662 adults believed that corporal punishment should never be used. This was a significant increase compared to an identical 2005 survey of 519 adults, when 42.8% said that corporal punishment should never be used. 1.5% of respondents in 2009 said that corporal punishment was acceptable “if the parent believes that it will be effective”, compared to 14.5% in 2005. The studies in 2005 and 2009 also examined adults’ perceptions of the prevalence of corporal punishment.

(BRIMA (2009), Overview of the perception about the corporal punishment of the children in Republic of Macedonia and comparative analysis between the research results from 2005 and 2009 year, www.canee.net/files/Omnibus%20research%20Macedonia%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

A 2009 survey of 208 teachers in primary schools in Skopje found that 73% belived that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and 70% believed that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 68% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party. In an identical survey of a similar sample in 2005, 62% believed this. On average, respondents in 2009 estimated that 30% of children in Macedonia experience spanking as punishment, compared to an average estimate of 52% in 2005.

(Nobody’s Children Foundation et al (2009), Skopje teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse, www.canee.net/files/Teachers%20studies%20Macedonia%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

The First Children’s Embassy in the world-Megjashi, carried out research on children’s rights, discrimination and violence in 2009, involving over 2,200 students. According to the report, 56% of children named hitting/beating as a form of violence that happens in schools, and 57% said they knew a child who had been beaten by a teacher or headteacher, including slapping (63%), caning (34%), and kicking (15%).

(First Children’s Embassy in the world-Megjashi (2009), Perception of Children’s Rights, Discrimination and Children’s Exposure to Violence, www.childrensembassy.org.mk/default-en.asp?ItemID=BDE30F4995F6E24A8495ABB7F7C731A1)

THAILAND

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in Thailand 58% of girls and 72% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 5% of girls and 3% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears; beating the child repeatedly with an implement) by someone in their household in the past month. Smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 16% of mothers and 22% of fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 11% of mothers and 10% of fathers believed it was necessary.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

A UNICEF study involving more than 2,300 children in the southern border area of Thailand found that violence, and the anxiety it causes, is an everyday occurrence in their lives, including corporal punishment in homes and schools. Of the 475 children who answered a question about corporal punishment in the home, 38% said they had direct experience of violent punishment like beating with a stick or belt, and 8% said this kind of punishment happens often. 50% of the 1,010 children who answered a question on their opinion on corporal punishment at home disagreed that they deserved violent punishment when they did wrong.

(UNICEF (2008), Everyday Fears: A study of children’s perceptions of living in the southern border area of Thailand, Bangkok: UNICEF
www.unicef.org/thailand/Everyday_fears.pdf)

In November 2006, the findings of a study funded by the National Health Foundation were released which showed that corporal punishment continues to be used in schools, despite its prohibition. The research constituted a questionnaire sent to 1,300 teachers in primary and high schools across the country. Punishments reported included hitting students with open palms, fists, clothes and blunt objects, kicking, applying heated materials and slapping the face. Up to 60% of the teachers strongly believed that corporal punishment was the right method to use with students.

(Reported in The Nation, 17 November 2006)

TIMOR-LESTE

Research carried out in 2004/5 by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Labour and Community Reinsertion, UNCEF and Plan International, examined the attitudes and practices of teachers and parents towards discipline of children. Self administered questionnaires were completed by 168 students and interviews were carried out with 1,031 parents and 31 community leaders; focus group discussions were held separately with students, parents, children who lived in residential care, and residential care staff. Over two thirds of children (67%) reported being beaten with a stick by teachers, and 39% reported being slapped on the face by teachers. Three out of five (60%) reported being beaten with a stick by their parents. Almost two thirds of parents (63%) felt it acceptable to yell violently at a child; almost two in five (39%) said it was acceptable to beat a child with a stick, and just over a third considered other physical punishments such as ear twisting and face slapping acceptable.

(UNICEF (2006), Speak Nicely to Me – A Study on Practices and Attitudes about Discipline of Children in Timor-Leste)

TOGO

In a study on the wellbeing and vulnerability of child domestic workers, 56% of the child domestic workers involved in Togo said that their employers physically punished them. The study was conducted in 2009 in Peru, Costa Rica, Togo, Tanzania, India and Philippines with around 3,000 children, mostly aged 10-17, half of whom worked as paid or unpaid domestic workers.

(Anti-Slavery International (2013), Home Truths: Wellbeing and vulnerabilities of child domestic workers, London: Anti-Slavery International)

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 93.2% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey. More than three quarters (77.4%) experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (34.6%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. Seventeen per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 85.6% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted).

(Direction Générale de la Statistique et de la Comptabilité Nationale (2012), Enquête par grappes à indicateurs multiples MICS Togo (2010), Rapport final, Direction Générale de la Statistique et de la Comptabilité Nationale & UNICEF)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 91% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. More than three quarters experienced physical punishment. Non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 90% of children. More than a quarter of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 83% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 5-9 were slightly more likely to experience violent discipline than younger children: 92% of children aged 5-9 compared to 87% of children aged 2-4. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

From mid-2005, Plan Togo commissioned research into violence and abuse in schools (Plan Togo, 2006). This included a joint study with the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) which involved interviews with 1,000 schoolchildren in 35 villages and with more than 500 mothers of school aged children, teachers, traditional chiefs, members of security services, social workers and others, a case study on violence and abuse in Togolese schools comprising 19 first-person narratives and observations based on interviews with children, parents and teachers in 7 villages and 2 towns, and a discussion of structural violence in the education system in Togo. In the FAWE research, children in their last 3 years of primary school were interviewed: 88% of the girls and 87% of the boys reported experiencing physical violence at school; 52% of girls and 48% of boys reported experiencing threatening behaviour or psychological violence.

(Plan Togo (2006), Suffering to Succeed? Violence and abuse in schools in Togo, Lome: Plan Togo)

TONGA

A study of 1,170 14-17 year olds found that 14% of boys and 10% of girls had experienced an intentional injury from a teacher in the past year.

(Smith, B.J. et al (2008), “Intentional injury reported by young people in the Federated States of Micronesia, Kingdom of Tonga and Vanuatu”, BMC Public Health, 8(145), 1-8, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

A 2006 report stated that beating was the principal form of punishment of children in the family home and physical punishment was also used in schools. The report recommended prohibition of all corporal punishment.

(Government of Tonga & UNICEF (2006), Tonga: A Situation Analysis of Children, Women and Youth, Suva: UNICEF Pacific Office)

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 77% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. More than half experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (25%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 89% of children. One child in twenty experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 68% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 2-4 were more likely to experience violent discipline than older children: 83% of children aged 2-4 compared to 79% of children aged 5-9 and 74% of children aged 10-14. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

TUNISIA

According to UNICEF statistics collected between 2005 and 2012, 93% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(UNICEF (2014), The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers: Every Child Counts, NY: UNICEF)

A 2006 study of 4,511 households with children aged 2-14 found that 94% of the children were punished using physical, verbal or other forms of violence. 73% of them were hit and 26% insulted. 85% of 2-5 year olds, 81% of 6-9 year olds and 66% of 10-14 year olds experienced corporal punishment. Boys and girls were punished equally and the number of people in the household, amount of living space and levels of maternal education had little effect on the levels of corporal punishment. 82% of mothers aged under 40 were physically violent towards their children compared to 70% of mothers aged over 40.

(Ministère de la Sante Publique, Office National de la Famille et de la Population and UNICEF (2008), Enquête sur la Sante et Le Bien Etre de la Mère et l’Enfant - MICS 3 (in French)
www.childinfo.org/files/MICS3_Tunisia_FinalReport_2006_Fr.pdf)

TURKEY

A study involving 464 families, carried out by Hacettepe University Public Health Institute, found that 38.6% of parents thought corporal punishment could be used as a “last resort”. Fourteen per cent of parents said that boys could be beaten but girls could not and 6.7% said that it was OK to “smack” younger but not older children. Fifty-seven per cent of parents thought that using physical force against children should be completely banned and 67.5% thought that corporal punishment was “completely harmful” for children.

(Reported in The Daily News, 20 November 2013)

A 2010 study examined the prevalence of various types of family violence in the childhoods of 988 college students through anonymous questionnaires. The types of violence included being kicked, punched, thrown, bruised, burned, or caused to bleed, lose teeth, or have broken bones. 53.3% of the students had experienced some of these types of violence in childhood (64% of males and 41.6% of females). The most common perpetrators were mothers and fathers, but siblings and other relatives also inflicted some violence. 22.6% of the victims of violence said that the perpetrator had behaved violently to establish discipline, 15.9% said that the perpetrator wanted to teach them a lesson and 16.1% that the perpetrator wanted to instill respect. 60.7% stated that the perpetrator was unable to control him or herself and 8.7% that the perpetrator was violent in order to release their anger. 35.4% reported feeling humiliated by the violence, 26.3% accepted it, and 10.4% felt hate for the perpetrator.

(Turla, A., Dündar, C., and Özkanli, C. (2010), “Prevalence of Childhood Physical Abuse in a Representative Sample of College Students in Samsun, Turkey”, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 1298–1308)

A report on psychiatric facilities, orphanages and rehabilitation centres in Turkey found that in psychiatric institutions children as young as nine were subjected to electroconvulsive or ‘shock’ treatment (ECT), including as a punishment, without the use of muscle relaxants or anaesthesia – extremely painful, frightening and dangerous treatment. In rehabilitation centres and orphanages, children were restrained, sometimes permanantly, by being tied by their arms and legs or having plastic bottles taped over their hands. The report documents an incident of corporal punishment where a child was locked up, thrown across a room, tied up and hit.

(Ahern, L., Rosenthal, E., et al (2005), Behind Closed Doors: Human Rights Abuses in the Psychiatric Facilities, Orphanages and Rehabilitation Centers of Turkey, Mental Disability Rights International)

TURKMENISTAN

According to statistics from UNICEF, of girls and women aged 15-49, 38% think that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances.

(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)

TUVALU

A 2006 report on the situation of children said that corporal punishment was common and seen by many parents as the “normal” way of “disciplining” children. Corporal punishment was also said to often be used in schools.

(Government of Tuvalu & UNICEF (2006), Tuvalu: A Situation Analysis of Children, Women and Youth, Suva: UNICEF Pacific Office)

U

Note: No prevalence research identified for US Virgin Islands. No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Uzbekistan.

UGANDA

In a 2013 survey which involved interviews with nearly 400 5-17 year olds, 35.2% of the children had been hit or “spanked” with an object by a teacher in the past year and 32.9% had experienced this from parents or step-parents. More than a quarter of children (27.1%) had been hit or spanked with a hand in the past year by a parent or step-parent and 19.1% by a teacher. Nearly a third of children (32.3%) had been pinched, had their ears twisted or their hair pulled in the past year by a teacher and 22.9% by a parent or step-parent. About 45% of children expressed disapproval of physical punishment, emphasizing its negative effects including physical pain, emotional distress and damaging consequences for child-parent relationships.

(ANPCCAN & Makerere University (2013), Baseline Survey on Community Child Protection Systems in Uganda, ANPCCAN & Makerere University)

In a survey involving 3,200 children in eight districts in northern Uganda, corporal punishment in the home and at school was identified as one of children’s major safety concerns: 79% of children said they felt unsafe or scared due to beatings at school and 90% said they felt unsafe or scared due to beatings at home. When asked to draw something that made them feel unsafe at home, at school or in the community, more than half of the participants drew pictures of teachers beating children, and children in all regions drew pictures of corporal punishment in the home.

(WarChild UK (2012), Child Safety Report Card: 2012 Regional Report)

A survey of 990 children attending 25 primary schools in Arua, Apac, Kitgum, Mukono and Rakai Districts found that 81.5% of them had been beaten at school. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the beatings were perpetrated by teachers and 12% by parents or guardians who were called into schools to punish children. Eighty-two per cent of the children had been made to do hard work such as digging, cleaning pit latrines and collecting water, usually as a punishment.

(ANPPCAN Uganda (2011), Baseline Survey to Assess Violence against Children in Arua, Apac, Kitgum, Mukono and Rakai Districts: Final Report)

In a survey of 1,015 children at 25 public and private primary schools in Acholi, Lango, West Nile and Central regions, 81% of respondents reported having been beaten at school. Of those who had been beaten, 73% had been beaten by a teacher, 15% by other students and 12% by their parents or guardians. Children were also punished by being denied food for extended periods of time, locked up in rooms, assigned difficult work and forced to kneel in front of other children at school. Eighty-two per cent of children had seen their friends being caned. The study, conducted in April 2011 by ANPPCAN Uganda Chapter, also involved 52 professionals including teachers, head teachers, PTA members, police, government and non-government experts in the education and child protection fields at district and national level.

(Reported by Anppccan Uganda Chapter, 10 July 2011, www.anppcanug.org)

A 2011 report by Human Rights Watch documented corporal punishment of prisoners in Uganda, including beatings with batons, canes, sticks, whips and electric cable and wire, despite the prohibition of corporal punishment in the Prisons Act (2006). Children are sometimes detained with adults in prisons, even though this is prohibited. The report calls for efforts to end the use of corporal punishment and prosecution of persons who inflict it.

(Human Rights Watch (2011), “Even Dead Bodies Must Work”: Health, Hard Labor, and Abuse in Ugandan Prisons)

A 2010 study of juvenile detention in Uganda found that despite the prohibition of corporal punishment of children in penal institutions, children were routinely caned as a punishment in both Mbale Remand Home and Kampiringisa National Rehabilitation Centre. In Kampiringisa, children were also punished by being placed in an isolation cell. In the majority of remand homes, corporal punishment was not used. The report suggested that the legality of corporal punishment in the home and school in Uganda may account for its continued use in some penal institutions.

(Moore, M. (2010), Juvenile Detention in Uganda: Review of Ugandan Remand Homes and the National Rehabilitation Centre, African Prisons Project)

A 2010 African Child Policy Forum report on violence against children with disabilities in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia documented a very high level of violence. Nearly a thousand 18-24 year olds took part in the study across the five countries, reporting on their experiences as children. In Uganda, 87% of the sample had experienced at least one type of physical violence during their childhood. The most commonly experienced type of physical violence was being hit, punched, kicked or beaten. Common perpetrators of physical violence included step-mothers (10.8%), mothers (9.5%), fathers (8.7%) and other relatives (15.7%). Across the five countries, 23% of the young people said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline, reasonable and justified” and 27% said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline but not reasonable or justified”. Twenty-six per cent said that they had experienced emotional violence which was “discipline, but not reasonable or justified”, and 22% that they had experienced emotional violence that was “disciplinary, reasonable and justified”. Across all five countries, more than half (54%) of those who had been physically beaten said they had suffered broken bones, teeth, bleeding or bruising; 2% had been permanently disabled; 21% required medical attention; 13% had to miss school or work; and 20% had needed rest at home. For all five countries, the majority of respondents with physical, visual and intellectual disabilities experienced physical violence more than 10 times. The report recommends prohibition of all corporal punishment, including in the home, as a way to minimise the risk of violence against children with disabilities.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Violence Against Children With Disabilities in Africa: Field Studies from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

A survey of 500 young women in Uganda aged 18-24 years concerning their childhood experiences of violence, undertaken by the Africa Child Policy Forum and published in 2006, found that 94.2% had been subjected to physical violence. Beating with an object was found to be the most prevalent form of physical violence (85.8%). Prevalence figures for other forms of physical violence were 55% for punching, 26.8% kicking, 47.8% hard work, 20.4% being choked/burned/stabbed, 9% having spicy/bitter food put in mouth, 18.2% being locked or tied up, and 52.8% being denied food. Girls were found to be most vulnerable to beating with an object when aged 10-13 years (57.1%), and to being hit/punched when aged 14-17 years (44%). Experiencing the violence more than ten times was more likely in the case of beating than other types of physical violence. Most beating with an object was carried out by male teachers (48.5%), followed by fathers (43.4%) and mothers (42.9%), and in 57.3% of cases medical attention was required. Most hitting/punching was carried out by fathers (22.9%), followed by mothers (17.1%) and brothers (15.6%), with medical attention required in 21.1% of cases. At school, girls were told they were beaten for being late, for misbehaving, or for being disrespectful. At home, the reasons given for beating or hitting included for breaking/losing something, for being disrespectful to their elders, or for not doing housework.

(Stavropoulos, J. (2006), Violence Against Girls in Africa: A Retrospective Survey in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, Addis Ababa, The African Child Policy Forum)

A 2005 study which included interviews with orphans living with guardians (often family members) reported that orphans experience corporal punishment daily to monthly, including slapping and caning with sticks and logs. The orphans reported experiencing more frequent and severe corporal punishment than other children, including the children of their guardians. Orphans were also spoken to more severely than other children. The motive for the severity and frequency of punishments was understood by the children to be “the guardians’ anger and frustration about having to care for the orphans when their resources were limited” (p. 9).

(World Vision International – Africa Office (2005), Violence Against Children affected by HIV/AIDS: a case study of Uganda)

In-depth research into children’s experiences of violence against them was carried out in 2005 using a range of methods to look at the stories and opinions of 1,406 children aged 8-18 years (719 girls, 687 boys) and 1,093 adults (520 women, 573 men), including parents, teachers and community leaders, from five diverse districts. This included the administration of 1,000 questionnaires to children (in and out of school), of which 777 were valid returns, and 900 questionnaires to adults, of which 755 were valid returns. Other methods were focus groups, narrative role play, journal writing and interviews. Almost all children (98.3%) reported experiencing physical violence at home and/or school. The most common forms were caning, slapping and pinching, followed by burning, locking up, tying up and other (e.g. kneeling, slashing grass, cleaning latrines), all more common for boys than girls except slapping, pinching and other. Older boys were more likely to experience severe physical violence. Almost one third (31.3%) said they experienced physical violence at least once per week and 15% said it happened “every day”; 38.8% said it occurred mainly at home, 28.6% said mainly at school and 31.8% said both at school and home. Most adults (90%) agreed that in their communities children were deliberately beaten, with 37% saying children in their communities were “frequently mistreated”; 55.1% said “sometimes mistreated”. Most (91.3%) described using a combination of physical and emotional punishment, most commonly caning (78.3%), slapping (45.7%), pinching (42.8%), assigning excessive work (19.3%), and locking children up (11.4%), tying them up (3.4%) and burning them (2.9%). Apart from caning, these figures are significantly lower than those given by the children. Only 1.2% said they themselves never punished children. While 87.9% said they punished children to guide their behaviour, only 32.6% believed the punishment would change the behaviour. 81.7% said they punished their own children and 57.9% said they felt comfortable punishing other children in the community. Of teachers, 80.1% reported punishing their own children and 60.4% their students. Of community leaders, 89.4% punished their own children compared with 22.4% punishing others’ children.

(Naker, D. (2005), Violence Against Children – The Voices of Ugandan Children and Adults, Raising Voices/Save the Children in Uganda)

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Eighty-four per cent of parents and educationalists who took part in a 2011 poll said that corporal punishment of children is outdated and should not be condoned or encouraged. 16% said that “spanking” should be used to discipline children.

(Reported by Emirates 24/7, 23 February 2011, www.emirates247.com)

A poll conducted for Al Aan TV's Nabd al Arab programme and carried out by YouGov Siraj found that 53% of the 770 respondents agreed that parents should have the right to discipline their children including through physical punishment. One in five respondents (21%) said that corporal punishment was a form of domestic violence, and 10% said it was “backward”. The majority (84%) said that teachers could discipline children, with 32% happy for a teacher to strike the child, including with an object such as a ruler; 7% thought it acceptable to slap a child in the face or swear at them.

(Reported in The National, 5 March 2011)

UNITED KINGDOM

A study which involved focus groups with 70 parents found that although most of the parents had physically punished their children, “the consensus was that physical punishment was neither acceptable nor effective” (p. 29). A significant number of parents said that they would be happy for legislation banning physical punishment to be enacted.

(Prince, J. et al (2014), Attitudes to parenting practices and child discipline, Cardiff: Welsh Government Social Research)

Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice show that 8,419 incidents of restraint on 10-17 year olds in custody took place in England and Wales during 2011-2012 – a 17% rise from the previous year.

(Reported by The Howard League for Penal Reform, 31 January 2013)

A study involving focus groups and face to face interviews with 104 13-22 year olds with experience of youth custody in Austria, Cyprus, England, the Netherlands and Romania found that young people in England expressed the view that physical restraint in custody can be used as a punishment.

(Children’s Rights Alliance for England (2013), Speaking Freely: Children and Young People in Europe Talk about Ending Violence Against Children in Custody – Research Report, London: CRAE)

A 2012 poll of 2,011 adults in Britain found that 30% would support and 63% oppose “banning parents from smacking their children”. Of those who said they had never been “smacked” as children, 52% supported a ban and 35% opposed one. Fifty-four per cent of respondents said they agreed with the existing “ban on smacking” in state and private schools, with 39% disagreeing.

(Reported in Angus Reid Public Opinion, 13 February 2012, www.angus-reid.com)

Research carried out by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in 2009 and published in 2011 involved 2,160 interviews with parents of children aged under 11, 2,275 interviews with 11-17 year olds and their parents and 1,761 interviews with 18-24 year olds on their childhood experiences. More than two in five (41.6%) of the parents or guardians interviewed said they had physically punished or “smacked” their child in the past year: 39.4% of the parents or guardians of under 11s and 45.9% of the parents or guardians of 11–17s. The report compares the responses of the 18-24 year olds to those in a similar study which examined the experiences of 18-24 year olds in 1998. In 2009, 41% of 18-24 year olds said they had been smacked on the bottom with a bare hand by an adult at home, school or elsewhere during their childhood, compared to 53.1% in 1998. Forty-three per cent had been smacked on the leg, arm or hand (61% in 1998), and 13.4% had been slapped on the face, head or ears (21.3% in 1998).

(Radford, L. et al (2011), Child abuse and neglect in the UK today, NSPCC)

A 2011 report on madrassas (supplementary schools for Muslim children that operate outside the mainstream education system) found that children experienced corporal punishment, including being “smacked”, hit with a belt and threatened with a stick in some madrassas. The report recommended prohibition of corporal punishment in supplementary schools, including madrassas.

(Cherti, M. & Bradley, L. (2011), Inside Madrassas: Understanding and Engaging with Bristish-Muslim Faith Supplementary Schools, London: Institute for Public Policy Research)

A survey of 55 health care workers working primarily with children (including paediatricians, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, school nurses and health visitors) in Scotland found that 47% of them incorrectly believed that the law protected children from assault to a greater extent than adults, 40% correctly stated that this was not the case and 13% did not know.

(Rae, H., McKenzie, K. and Murray, G. (2010), “Health Care Workers’ Knowledge of Current Child Protection Legislation and Child Discipline Practices”, Child Abuse Review, vol. 19, pp. 259-272) 

A 2010 review of the literature on UK parents’ attitudes to physical punishment highlighted the ambivalence which is evidenced by many studies. While physical punishment was found to be common by many surveys, parents’ attitudes towards it were often inconsistent or conflicting, with many parents, including those who used physical punishment, agreeing that it was not a good thing to do.

(Bunting, L., Webb, M. A. and Healy, J. (2010), “In Two Minds? Parental Attitudes Toward Physical Punishment in the UK”, Children and Society, vol. 24, pp. 359-370)

In a survey of 1,000 parents of children aged 0-10 in Northern Ireland, 47% said that they had physically punished their children at some point and 45% had done so in the last year. On average, those who had used physical punishment during the last year had done so 8 times. The most common form of physical punishment used was a smack on the bottom with a bare hand, used by 33% of parents, on average 5.3 times in the past year. 26% of parents had slapped their child on the hand, arm or leg, on average 5.6 times in the past year, and 2.2% had hit their child on the bottom with a belt, a hairbrush, a stick or some other hard object, on average 4.5 times in the past year. Children aged 3-6 were more likely to have been physically punished in the past year (53%) than children aged 7-10 (43%) or 0-2 (33%). Two thirds of parents thought that physical punishment never or infrequently led to the child having increased respect for parents, and 60% that it never or infrequently led to the child learning acceptable behaviour. 40% thought that physical punishment always or frequently made the child more aggressive, 36% that it always or frequently led to long-term emotional upset for the child, and 60% that it always or frequently made the parent feel regret or guilt.

(Bunting, L., Webb, M. A. and Healy, J. (2008), The ‘smacking debate’ in Northern Ireland: messages from research, Barnardo’s Northern Ireland, NICCY and NSPCC Northern Ireland
www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/findings/SmackingDebateNI_wda63277.html)

Of nearly 14,000 mothers interviewed as part of the third survey of the Millennium Cohort Study, which is tracking the development of more than 15,000 UK children, 45% said that they never smacked their five year old child. Half of the mothers in Wales (49%) said that they never smacked their child, compared with 35% in Northern Ireland, 45% in England and 43% in Scotland.

 (Hansen, K. and Joshi, H. (2008), Millennium Cohort Study: Third Survey: A User’s Guide to Initial Findings, London: Institute of Education
www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/core/documents/download.asp?id=1083&log_stat=1

In 2008, a report on the ongoing Growing up in Scotland (GUS) study focussed on parenting styles. Interviews were carried out with over 4,500 parents of children aged on average 22.5 months and 2,500 parents of children aged on average 46.5 months. 34% of the parents of 3 year olds and 16% of the parents of younger children reported that they had smacked their children. Less than one in five of the parents of 3 year olds believed that smacking was useful, and fewer still of the parents of younger children.

 (Bradshaw, P. et al (2008), Growing up in Scotland: Sweep 2 Overview Report, Edinburgh: The Scottish Government
www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/212225/0056476.pdf)

An Ipsos MORI poll for Parenting Across Scotland revealed that 5% of the 1,000 parents surveyed had smacked their child “fairly often” or “sometimes” in the previous year, 15% had smacked their child one or twice during that time, and around 20% had threatened to smack their child. Only 1% believe smacking is an effective way of changing a child‟s behaviour, and 3% believe threatening to smack is effective. A majority of parents (71%) have shouted or yelled at their child, though only 7% consider this to be effective.

(Ipsos MORI (2008), What Scottish Parents Tell Us, Edinburgh: Parenting Across Scotland)

In April 2007, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) published the results of a survey of 1,000 adults in which 77% believed smacking is becoming less acceptable. The survey was part of the NSPCC‟s campaign to stop children being smacked in shops. It revealed that a child being smacked in public had been witnessed by 41% of respondents within the previous six months. The majority of adults (86%) would be happy to shop in a smack-free shop, while 40% would actively prefer to shop where smacking was prohibited; almost all (93%) said they would like shops to take action to help parents losing their tempers with their children. When asked how they felt on seeing a child being smacked, 65% of respondents said they felt concerned for the child; 51% felt upset; 51% said they would like to stop the child being smacked, with 42% of those wanting to comfort the child and 47% wanting to help the parent.

 (Reported by the NSPCC, 10 April 2007) 

As part of its 2007 review into Section 58 of the Children Act 2004, the Department of Children, Schools and Families commissioned studies into the views of parents and children in England and Wales on “smacking”. The parental survey involved 1,822 parents, of whom 1,204 had children aged under 18 and 618 had children aged 18 and over. Of the parents with children aged under 18, 29% said they had smacked their child at some point in the past year. 8% had smacked in the past month and 5% in the past week. 38% said they had never smacked their child. 2-5 year olds were most likely to have been smacked in the last year, with 37% of parents of this age group saying they had done this, compared to 32% of parents of 6-10 year olds, 18% of parents of 11-15 year olds, 10% of parents of 16-17 year olds, and 9% of parents of 0-1 year olds. 57% said that they had smacked at least one of their children at some stage. 14% of parents said they had smacked their children because they “snapped” or lost their temper. 39% of parents with a child aged under 18 disagreed that “it is sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child”, and 31% agreed with the statement “I think it is always wrong to smack a child and I won’t do it”. 55% of parents disagreed that “smacking is a good way of teaching children right from wrong”.

(IPSOS Mori (2007), A study into the views of parents on the physical punishment of children for the Department for Children, Schools and Families, DCSF)

As part of its 2007 review into Section 58 of the Children Act 2004, the Department of Children, Schools and Families commissioned studies into the views of parents and children in England and Wales on “smacking”. The study into children’s views involved 64 children aged 4-16, through group and pair discussions. The majority of the children who took part had been smacked at some point in their lives, mostly but not exclusively when they were aged under 10. Boys and girls from all social classes were smacked. Smacking was “often the most feared type of punishment”, but “children consistently agreed that it was not the most effective” (p. 55). Children highlighted the emotional impact of smacking, saying that it often made them feel “scarred, stressed, harassed and on edge” (p. 47). Most of the children “struggled to endorse smacking as an effective form of punishment” (p. 56). 

(Sherbert Research (2007), A Study into Children’s Views on Physical Discipline and Punishment, DCSF and COI)

In a survey of 1,250 people by the organisation Parenting Across Scotland, 90% of respondents said they choose to discuss problems. While 7% said it was acceptable to smack a child, 20% admitted having done so in the last year, with a further 36% saying they had threatened physical punishment.

(Reported in BBC News, 27 February 2007) 

Between November 2005 and October 2006, there were a total of 3,036 incidents of restraint in the four secure training centres (STCs); 41% of these (1,245 incidents) were perpetrated on girls who represent 34% of the STC population.

(Reply to Parliamentary question, reported in The Howard League for Penal Reform, 2007, Briefing for House of Lords Debate on the use of restraint in secure training centres)

61% of 1,629 parents who took part in a survey on interactions between parents and children in Northern Ireland said they never spanked their child. Younger children were more likely to be physically punished than older children, and boys were more likely to be physically punished than girls.

(Devine, P. & Lloyd, K. (2005), Research Update: Bringing up baby, Queen’s University and University of Ulster: ARK NI Social and Political Archive
www.ark.ac.uk/publications/updates/update40.pdf)

UKRAINE

A study involving 1,000 people aged 15 and over found that 41% thought that corporal punishment should never be used. Seventy-two per cent of parents involved said that they had “smacked” their child, 20% that they had beaten or hit them, 29% that they had beaten them with a belt and 29% that they had slapped them in the face.

(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 70% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Over one third experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (13%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 96% of children. Two per cent of children experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 66% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 76% compared to 65%. Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 79% of children aged 5-9 compared to 60% of children aged 2-4 and 66% of children aged 10-14. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to household size, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

35% of respondents to a 2009 survey of 1,501 parents aged over 25 believed that corporal punishment should never be used, 51% said that corporal punishment “should not be used in general but in certain situations it is justified” and 12% said that corporal punishment “could be used”. 54% of respondents believed that corporal punishment was experienced by more than 50% of children in Ukraine.  

(Child Well Being Fund Ukraine (2009), Public opinion monitoring in Ukraine: July 2009 www.canee.net/files/Omnibus%20research%20Ukraine%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

A 2009 survey of 213 teachers in primary schools in Kiev found that 74% believed that corporal punishment is humiliating for the child and that it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”. 76% of respondents felt that the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party.

(Child Well Being Fund Ukraine and Nobody’s Children Foundation (2009), Kiev teachers’ attitudes toward child abuse www.canee.net/files/Teachers%20studies%20Ukraine%202009.pdf)
Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009.

UR TANZANIA

A study involving 409 children (average age 10.5 years) at a private school in Tanzania found that 95% of them had been physically punished at least once in their lifetime by a teacher. The same percentage reported experiencing physical punishment by parents or caregivers. Eighty two per cent had been beaten with sticks, belts or other objects and 66% had been punched, slapped or pinched. Nearly a quarter of the children had experienced punishment so severe that they were injured. The study found that the children’s experience of corporal punishment was associated with increased aggressive and hyperactive behaviour and decreased empathetic behaviour.

(Hecker, T. et al (2013), “Corporal punishment and children's externalizing problems: A cross-sectional study of Tanzanian primary school aged children”, Child Abuse & Neglect, available online 17 December 2013)

A report carried out at the end of the Transforming Education for Girls in Nigeria and Tanzania (TEGINT) project, a 2007-2012 initiative to transform the education of girls in Northern Tanzania and Northern Nigeria found that in Tanzania 70% of community members and 87% of girls agreed that “it is not okay for teachers to whip a girl who comes late to school because she was caring for a sick relative”. The study involved surveys with 295 girls and young women aged 11-22 and 91 community members.

(Institute of Education & ActionAid (2013), Transforming Education for Girls in Tanzania: Endline research summary report, Das es Salaam: ActionAid Tanzania)

In a study on the wellbeing and vulnerability of child domestic workers, 30% of the child domestic workers involved in Tanzania said that their employers physically punished them. The study was conducted in 2009 in Peru, Costa Rica, Togo, Tanzania, India and Philippines with around 3,000 children, mostly aged 10-17, half of whom worked as paid or unpaid domestic workers.

(Anti-Slavery International (2013), Home Truths: Wellbeing and vulnerabilities of child domestic workers, London: Anti-Slavery International)

A report by the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance based on interviews with 179 children in 65 detention centres found that children were subject to violence, including from prison officers and adult prisoners.

(Reported in The Citizen, 29 January 2012, www.thecitizen.co.tz)

A study involving over 3,700 13-24 year olds found that 73.5% of females and 71.7% of males had been slapped, pushed, punched, kicked, beaten up or attacked or threatened with a weapon such as a gun or knife by a relative, authority figure (including teachers), or intimate partner during their childhood. Over half (51%) of 13-17 year olds had experienced this in the past year. The report is not explicit about how much of the violence was inflicted in the name of “discipline”; however, 58.4% of females and 57.2% of males experienced physical violence by relatives (the majority by fathers and mothers), and 52.6% of females and 50.8% of males experienced physical violence by teachers. Nearly eight in ten girls (78%) and nearly seven in ten boys (67%) aged 13-17 who had been punched, kicked or whipped by a teacher had experienced this more than five times, and nearly half of 13-17 year olds (46.3% girls; 45.9% boys) who had been punched, kicked or whipped by a relative had experienced this more than five times. Experiencing physical violence in childhood was associated for females with poor to fair general health, feelings of anxiety in the past 30 days, having suicidal thoughts, and having a STI diagnosis or symptoms in the past 12 months; and for males with feelings of depression in the past 30 days.

(UNICEF Tanzania, Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (2011), Violence against Children in Tanzania: Findings from a National Survey (2009), Dar es Salaam: United Republic of Tanzania)

A 2010 consultation on the Zanzibar Children’s Bill found that, of over 500 children aged 8 years and over, 77% thought that all school corporal punishment should be banned.

(Save the Children (2010), Capturing Children’s Views on the Children’s Bill 2010: The National Child Consultation Programme in Zanzibar)

URUGUAY

According to a 2009 report by the Ministry of Social Development, 59% of adults reported having used “moderate” or “severe” physical punishment in the home and 15% having inflicted “severe” or “very severe” punishments.

(Ministry of Social Development (2009), Practices of upbringing and solving family conflicts: Prevalence of ill-treatment against children and adolescents, cited in Durrant, J. & Smith, A. (2011), Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, NY: Routledge)

A 2005 survey of 1,500 children and 900 adults responsible for their care found that 92% of adults had been physically punished at home as children and 70% justified its use. Nearly all (99%) adults were able to identify methods of non-violent childrearing if a prohibition of physical punishment were to be introduced. Thirty-six per cent of the children believed that physical punishment was justified.

(Program Arcoiris (2005), Boys’ and girls’ opinion about raising methods in Uruguay, cited in Durrant, J. & Smith, A. (2011), Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment: Realizing Children’s Rights, NY: Routledge)

USA

A study which recorded audio of 33 mothers interacting with their 2-5 year old children found that corporal punishment was frequently used and the rate far exceeded previous findings. For example, the median rate of spanking in the sample was 18 times per week. In 73% of cases, children repeated the behaviours for which they had been punished within 10 minutes of being hit. The recordings revealed that corporal punishment was frequently not used in ways that its advocates recommend (as a last resort, not in anger, selectively and infrequently). 

(Holden, G. W. et al (2014), “Eavesdropping on the Family: A Pilot Investigation of Corporal Punishment in the Home”, Journal of Family Psychology, advance online publication, 14 April 2014)

In a survey of 2,286 adults carried out in 2013, 81% said that it was sometimes appropriate for parents to “spank” their children and 19% said it was never appropriate. This represented a slight decline in approval of spanking compared to a similar poll in 1995, when 87% of respondents said that it was sometimes appropriate. Two thirds (67%) of parents surveyed said that they had spanked their child, compared to 80% in 1995. Almost nine in ten respondents (86%) said that they were spanked as a child, the same as in 1995. Nearly three quarters (75%) of those who were spanked as children had spanked their own children, compared to 25% of those who were not spanked as a child.

(Reported by Harris Interactive, 26 September 2013)

An analysis of data on corporal punishment from the Office of Civil Rights, relating to the 2009-2010 school year, revealed that on average, 838 children experience corporal punishment in public schools every day: the equivalent of one every 30 seconds. Black children were nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to experience corporal punishment than White children, and nearly eight times more likely than Hispanic children.

(Children’s Defense Fund (2014), The State of America’s Children 2014, Washington DC: Children’s Defense Fund)  

According to statistics from the Florida Department of Education, just under 3,000 children in Florida experienced corporal punishment at school in 2011-2012.

(Reported in Penascola News Journal, 5 December 2013)

An open records request found that students in schools in Mississippi were physically punished, typically with a wooden paddle, 39,000 times during the 2011-2012 school year, according to reports by school districts. Physical punishment was inflicted on students in 99 of the state's 151 school districts.

(Reported in Clarion Ledger, 12 April 2013)

A 2013 analysis of the General Social Survey 2010 by the Child Trends Data Bank found that female college graduates were less likely than male college graduates to think that “spanking” is sometimes necessary – 56% of females compared to 71% of males. The same was true of people educated to high school level – 69% of females thought that spanking is sometimes necessary compared to 80% of males. Of people with less than a high school education, 67% of females thought that spanking is sometimes necessary, compared to 63% of males.

(Reported in InForum, 13 January 2013)

Data from the Georgia Department of Education, gained by a 2013 open records request, revealed that in the 2011-2012 school year at least 20,011 cases of school corporal punishment were inflicted on at least 11,554 students. Of these, 1,625 (14%) had a disability and 9,791 (85%) did not have a disability; in 1% of cases, whether the student had a disability was not recorded.

(Georgia Department of Education (2012), Breakouts of Student/Discipline Incident Information, System Level, 2011-12 Student Record Data Collection System (SR 2012))

A 2012 investigation by the Tampa Bay Times into more than 30 private Christian children’s homes in Florida found that corporal punishment was very common in some of the homes. Punishments experienced by children living in the homes included being beaten, pinned to the ground, choked, handcuffed, forced to maintain uncomfortable positions, forced to exercise, threatened and humiliated.

(Reported in Tampa Bay Times, 28 October 2012)

A study in which researchers anonymously observed 106 “discipline interactions” between children ages 3-5 and their caregivers in public places found that in 23% of the interactions, the children were physically punished – for example, through having their arms pulled, being pinched, slapped or spanked.

(Reported in All Michigan, 5 August 2012)

A 2012 open records request revealed that in the 2010-2011 school year, 21,792 cases of school corporal punishment were recorded in Georgia.

(Reported in 11alive.com, 6 February 2012)

The Civil Rights Data Collection, a representative sample covering approximately 85% of school students, provided an analysis of data on school “discipline” from the school year 2009-2010. It found that students with disabilities were much more likely to experience physical restraint than students without disabilities: although only 12% of the sample had a disability, nearly 70% of students experiencing physical restraint in school had a disability. Hispanic students without disabilities were more likely to experience seclusion than other students without disabilities: 24% of students without disabilities were Hispanic, but 42% of students without disabilities who experienced seclusion were Hispanic. African-American students with disabilities were more likely to experience mechanical restraint than other students with disabilities: 21% of students with disabilities were African-American, but 44% of students with disabilities who experienced mechanical restraint were African-American.

(Office for Civil Rights (2012), Civil Rights Data Collection March 2012, Washington DC: Office for Civil Rights)

A report by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction stated that more than 600 students experienced corporal punishment once in North Carolina in 2010-2011, and over 150 students experienced it at least twice. In total, there were 891 uses of corporal punishment by 17 different school districts in 2010-2011. Children with disabilities represented 8% of the student population, but 22% of those experiencing corporal punishment. American Indian students comprised less than 2% of the student population, but experienced about 35% of the corporal punishment. More than 90% of the corporal punishment occurred in Robeson County, where American Indians represented 48% of the student population but 81% of students experiencing corporal punishment.

(Reported in Star News Online, 3 February 2012, www.starnewsonline.com; Charlotte Observer, 3 April 2012)

A map created by Southern Echo in 2012 documents recorded incidents of school corporal punishment in 108 of the 152 school districts in Mississippi. Overall, 67 districts reported a decrease in the number of incidents of corporal punishment in the 2010-2011 school year compared to the 2009-2010 school year and 33 districts reported an increase in the number of incidents of corporal punishment.

(Reported in Southern Echo, 19 January 2012, http://southernecho.org/s/?p=2439)

In a survey in North Carolina which involved nearly 3,000 mothers of children aged 3-27 months, 30% of respondents said that they had spanked their child in the past year. Eleven per cent of those who had spanked their child in the past year had done so more than 20 times. Five per cent of of mothers of 3 month olds said they had spanked them, and more than 70% of mothers of 23 month olds had done so. With every month of age, a child had 27% increased odds of being spanked.

(Zolotor, A. J. et al. (2011), “The emergence of spanking among a representative sample of children under 2 years of age in North Carolina”, Frontiers in Child and Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry, 2(36), 1-8)

A study found that fathers of children aged 1 year old with depression were more likely to spank their children. Over 1,700 fathers in cities in the USA were interviewed, of whom 7% had depression. 13% of non-depressed fathers and 41% of depressed fathers reported spanking their child in the past month, making depressed fathers nearly 4 times more likely to report spanking. The study authors noted that associations between maternal depression and spanking have been reported, and that the association may be directly related to symptoms of depression such as irritability and anger.

(Davis, R. N. et al (2011), “Fathers' Depression Related to Positive and Negative Parenting Behaviors With 1-Year-Old Children”, Pediatrics, published online March 14 2011, www.pediatrics.org

A 2010 report on the Judge Rotenberg Center, a residential facility and school for children and adults with mental disabilities, found that severe corporal punishment was widespread. Punishments included electric shocks, long-term restraint, food deprivation and isolation.

 (Ahern, L. and Rosenthal, E. (2010), Torture not Treatment: Electric Shock and Long-Term Restraint in the United States on Children and Adults with Disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center, Mental Disability Rights International)

65% of three year olds in a sample of nearly 2,000 families had been “spanked” by one or both parents in the previous month. The study examined the prevalence of corporal punishment and intimate partner aggression, with 49% of the families reporting both of these. In about 15% of these families, bilateral aggression or violence between the parents was combined with a single parent spanking the child.

(Taylor C.A., et al (2010), “Use of spanking for 3-year-old children and associated intimate partner aggression or violence”, Pediatrics 126: 415-424)

A study of the relationship between gender and physical punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the US, which used interviews with around 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7-10, found that in the US 38% of girls and 36% of boys involved in the study had experienced “mild” corporal punishment (spanking, hitting, or slapping with a bare hand; hitting or slapping on the hand, arm, or leg; shaking; or hitting with an object), and 4% of girls and 5% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or slapping the child on the face, head, or ears) by someone in their household in the past month. Smaller percentages of parents believed it was necessary to use corporal punishment to bring up their child: for girls, 17% of mothers and 11% of fathers believed it was necessary; for boys, 13% of mothers and 16% of fathers believed it was necessary.

(Lansford, J. et al (2010), “Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender”, International Journal of Pediatrics)

The CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health 2010 presented various scenarios to over 1,500 parents of 2-17 year olds and asked how likely they were to use different discipline strategies. A third said they were very likely to spank (hit with a hand) or paddle (hit with a wooden paddle) their child. More parents of young children said they were very likely to spank (30% of parents of 2-5 year olds, 24% of parents of 6 – 12 year olds and 13% of parents of 13-17 year olds), while slightly more parents of older children said they were very likely to paddle their child (8% for 2-5 year olds, 10% for 6-12 year olds, and 12% for 13-18 year olds).

(C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, National Poll on Children’s Health, April 16 2010, Vol. 9 Issue 4
www.med.umich.edu/mott/npch/pdf/041510report.pdf)

In 2009, a study by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch looked at corporal punishment of disabled children in American schools. The report, based on data from 202 interviews with parents, students, teachers, administrators, and special education professionals, and statistics from the Office for Civil Rights at the US Department of Education, shows that disabled students experience a high rate of “paddling” (beating with a wooden paddle). Disabled students made up 18.8% of students who experienced this form of corporal punishment in schools in 2006-7, despite constituting only 13.7% of the total student population. In the states which use the most corporal punishment, students with disabilities were up to twice as likely as non-disabled students to experience this form of corporal punishment. In addition to paddling, students with disabilities were also spanked, slapped, pinched, dragged across the floor and thrown to the floor. Most instances of corporal punishment uncovered by the report were in response to minor infractions of the rules such as lateness. Students with disabilities were also punished for behaviours connected to their disabilities – for example, students with autism were punished for rocking, spinning and other behaviours which were a direct result of their condition.

(Human Rights Watch and American Civil Liberties Union (2009), Impairing Education: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabilities in US Public Schools, www.hrw.org/node/84950)

In 2009, the US Government Accountability Office reviewed legislation on restraint and disciplinary techniques used in public and private schools and examined student death and abuse from these methods over the last 20 years. It discovered hundreds of allegations of death and abuse, nearly all of which involved children with disabilities. In several cases in which these techniques were proven to result in death or serious injury, the staff involved continued to be employed as educators.

(United States Government Accountability Office (2009), Seclusions and Restraints: Selected cases of death and abuse at public and private schools and treatment centers
www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-719T)

A joint report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union published in August 2008 highlighted the extent of corporal punishment of children in schools. 181 interviews were carried out with parents, teachers, students and administrators, including interviews with 34 young people aged under 18 and 37 former students aged 18 – 26. The report states that, according to the Office for Civil Rights at the US Department of Education,  more than 200,000 students were punished at least once in the 2006-2007 school year and notes that actual totals may well be higher. African-American students and disabled students were punished more frequently than others. The interviews focussed on Mississippi and Texas, where corporal punishment is widely used. They found that corporal punishment is used in response to a wide range of behaviours, including minor misdemeanors such as drinking in class and dress code violations. Corporal punishment usually takes the form of ‘paddling,’ or hitting a student on the buttocks and upper thighs with a wooden paddle. In several cases, this had caused serious injury. 

(Human Rights Watch and American Civil Liberties Union (2008), A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in US Schools
www.hrw.org/reports/2008/us0808/)

A telephone interview survey of 600 adults in each of the 50 states, carried out by SurveyUSA of Verona NJ in August 2005, found that overall almost three out of four (72%) supported the use of spanking as a disciplinary method (ranging from 55% in Vermont to 87% in Alabama), with almost one in four (23%) believing it acceptable for a teacher to spank a child (ranging from 8% in New Hampshire to 53% in Arkansas and Mississippi). Nearly one third (31%) believed it is acceptable to wash out a child's mouth with soap (from 23% in Hawaii, Maryland and Massachusetts to 46% in Idaho).

(SurveyUSA, Verona NJ, August 2005, Disciplining a Child 08/24/05)
Further information available at: www.surveyusa.com/50StateDisciplineChild0805SortedbyTeacher.htm

Federal statistics show that during the 2002-3 school year, more than 300,000 American schoolchildren were disciplined with corporal punishment, usually one or more blows with a thick wooden paddle. Sometimes holes were cut in the paddle to make the beating more painful. Of those students, 70% were in five Southern states: Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.

(Reported in New York Times, 30 September 2006)

V

No prevalence research in the last ten years identified for Venezeula.

VANUATU

According to statistics from UNICEF on violence in the family, in 2005-2006 more than three quarters (78%) of children aged 2-14 years old experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey.

(UNICEF (2011), The State of the World’s Children, Table 9: Child Protection, www.unicef.org/sowc NY: UNICEF)

In a study carried out in 2008, 78% of the 265 adults surveyed said that they sometimes hit, smacked, pinched, kicked or flicked children or pulled or twisted their ears. Of the 244 16-17 year olds surveyed, 17% said that they had experienced this from an adult at home in the past month. They said that it hurt (25%) or made them feel angry (20%) or sad (20%). Nearly half (48%) of adults said that a child in their household had talked to them about being hit by an adult in their household in the past month. When children aged 7-11 were asked which actions they don’t like at home, the most common response, given by 35% of children, was being hit or hurt by adults. When asked the same question about school, teachers hitting, smacking or otherwise hurting children was the second most common response. Twenty-seven per cent of the 16-17 year olds who attended school said that they had been physically hurt by a teacher in the past month and 38% of adults said that a child in their household had told them about being hit by a teacher in the past month. When asked how the community handles children in conflict with the law, 3% of people working in the justice sector and community chiefs said that physical punishment was used. Interviewees working in the police said that parents sometimes bring their children to the police to be physically punished. Physical punishment was “occasionally” used by prison officers.

(UNICEF & AusAid (2009), Protect me with love and care: A Baseline Report for creating a future free from violence, abuse and exploitation of girls and boys in Vanuatu, Suva: UNICEF Pacific)
 
A study of 3,054 14-17 year olds found that 7% of boys and 5% of girls had experienced an intentional injury from a teacher in the past year.
(Smith, B.J. et al (2008), “Intentional injury reported by young people in the Federated States of Micronesia, Kingdom of Tonga and Vanuatu”, BMC Public Health, 8(145), 1-8, cited in UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2012), Child Maltreatment: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences: A Systematic Review of Research, Bangkok: UNICEF)

A 2005 report stated that corporal punishment of children was common and understood by many people to be “part of the personal development process”. Parents, other family members, teachers, police and village leaders all physically punished children.

(Government of Vanuatu & UNICEF (2005), Vanuatu: A Situation Analysis of Children, Women & Youth, Suva: UNICEF Pacific Office)

VIET NAM

In a study which involved interviews with 30 men aged 24 and above, all but one of the participants reported experiencing physical punishment from their parents during childhood. Physical punishment was most frequently linked to fathers, and related to their role as educator and disciplinarian. Experience of school corporal punishment was also common. The study found that violence was commonly seen as a disciplinary tool to establish and maintain men’s authority, most often within the family setting and that this was linked to the men’s childhood experiences of corporal punishment. It recommended working to end school corporal punishment and promoting programmes and awareness on the impact of corporal punishment on child development as part of preventing gender-based violence.

(Duc, D. T. et al (2012), “Teach the wife when she first arrives”: Trajectories and pathways into violent and non-violent masculinities in Hue City and Phu Xuyen district, Viet Nam, Partners for Prevention, UN Women & UN Population Fund)

According to statistics collected in 2010 under round 4 of the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS4), 73.9% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey. Fifty-five per cent experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (17.2%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing. More than half of children (55,4%) experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted) and 3.5% experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement).

(General Statistical Office (2011), Viet Nam Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011, Final Report, Ha Noi: General Statistical Office)

A study on drug detention centres in and around Ho Chi Minh City found that corporal punishment, including beatings, forced labour and confinement in “punishment rooms” was common. In 2007, 3.5 percent of detainees in Ho Chi Minh City centres were children, and the study included one centre for youths.

(Human Rights Watch (2011), The Rehab Archipelago: Forced Labor and Other Abuses in Drug Detention Centers in Southern Vietnam)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 94% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Nearly two thirds experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (45%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 96% of children. One child in ten experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 90% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Boys were slightly more likely than girls to experience violent discipline: 95% compared to 92%. Children living in households with adults with a higher average level of education were less likely to experience violent discipline than those living with less educated adults. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to age, household size or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

Large scale comparative research into the views and experiences of 3,322 children and 1,000 adults in 8 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) was carried out by Save the Children in 2005. The research in Viet Nam involved 499 children (225 boys, 273 girls) from urban rural and remote areas, and 306 adults (85 men, 219 women). Methods used included research diaries, drawings, body maps, attitude survey, sentence completion, and discussions. Physical punishments mentioned by children in Viet Nam included hitting with implements, punching, kicking, pinching, twisting body parts, throwing objects, electric shocks. At home, punishment by family members included: arm broken, beaten on the buttocks until raw then a mixture of salt and chilli rubbed on the wounds, beaten with a thick stick, ear twisted until torn and bleeding, electrocution with wires, excess labour, knelling on the spiky peel of durian fruit, standing naked outside the house, standing under the weight of a buffalo yoke, head repeatedly submerged in water, hanging on a tree and beaten until unconscious, hung on an electricity pole, hung on a wall by the hands, hung upside down from a tree, tied next to an ants nest, tied to a bicycle and forced to run alongside it, whipped while hanging from a tree. Punishments by teachers at school included: confined under a bed, standing in front of class and being denounced by classmates, hit on forehead by ruler thrown by teacher, hit on head by box of chalks, not being allowed to eat, stripped naked and beaten on the back, two children forced to slap each other on their cheeks. Of those who were hit, 50% were hit with an implement (34.8% with sticks etc, 15.2% with a whip, lash or belt), 45.5% were slapped with the hand, 4.5% kicked. Of those children who mentioned body parts where they were hit, 26% reported being hit on the head and neck, 27% on the limbs, 11% on the back, 13% buttocks, 5% chest, 4% stomach, and 1% genitalia. In terms of the settings in which children experienced punishment, the research found that in the home 81% of children experienced physical punishment, 19% emotional punishment, while in school 69% experienced physical punishment and 31% emotional.

(Beazley, H., S. Bessell, et al. (2006), What Children Say: Results of comparative research on the physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast Asia and Pacific (2005), Stockholm, Save the Children Sweden)

A major study into child abuse in Vietnam found that physical punishment was very widespread, with 70% of the 178 children and young people (aged 8-25) who participated reporting having been “spanked” on the bottom or hand with a hand during their childhood and over half having been hit with an implement. Participants living in reform schools and social protection centres were more likely to experience physical punishment than those living elsewhere: 80% had been hit with a hand and 75% with an implement. The results of the qualitative element of the research suggested that while many adults thought that physical punishment was acceptable most of the children and young people rejected the use of physical punishment, believing that more humane and effective forms of discipline could be used instead.

(UNICEF Viet Nam (2006), Child Abuse in Viet Nam: Final Report into the Concept, Nature and Extent of Child Abuse in Viet Nam)

W

Note: No prevalence research identified for Wallis and Futuna Islands, Western Sahara.

Y

YEMEN

A study carried out in 2010, which involved 1,066 12-17 year olds from 8 schools, found that 55.7% of them had been slapped on the face, beaten on the head or shoulder, punched, kicked, pinched, had their hair pulled, had their ears twisted, had their hands crushed, had an object thrown at them, been forced to stand in a painful position or to stand in the sun and/or had food taken away from them by a teacher or other staff at school. Teachers were the most common perpetrators. The most common types of physical punishment were forcing children to stand in a painful position (experienced by 40% of the children), twisting their ears (34.4%) and forcing them to stand in the sun (33.9%).

(Ba-Saddik, A. S. & Hattab, A. S. (2013), “Physical abuse in basic-education schools in Aden governorate, Yemen: a cross-sectional study”, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 19(4), 333-339)

A 2007 study found that children in schools usually experience verbal violence when they do not do their homework, misbehave in class or do not follow school regulations, with words like “stupid, donkey, troublemaker, etc.” used to insult them.

(Al-Khather, N. (2007), Violence against children from a cultural perspective, cited in Manara Network for Child Rights (2011), Violence Against Children in Schools: A Regional Analysis of Lebanon, Morocco and Yemen, Beirut: Save the Children Sweden)

A UNICEF report published in 2010 states that 95% of children aged 2-14 experienced “violent discipline” (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) in the home in the month prior to the survey, carried out in 2005-2006. Eight-six per cent experienced physical punishment, while a smaller percentage (44%) of mothers and caregivers thought that physical punishment was necessary in childrearing, and non-violent discipline was also widely used: experienced by 94% of children. More than four children in ten experienced severe physical punishment (being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears or being hit over and over with an implement) and 93% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted). Children aged 5-9 were more likely to experience violent discipline than those of other ages: 97% of children aged 5-9 compared to 92% of children aged 2-4 and 95% of children aged 10-14. No significant differences in children’s experience of violent discipline were found according to sex, level of education of adults in the household or engagement in child labour.

(UNICEF (2010), Child Disciplinary Practices at Home: Evidence from a Range of Low- and Middle-Income Countries, NY: UNICEF)

A synthesis in 2005 of research on physical and humiliating punishment of children in Yemen found that almost 90% of children reported that physical and humiliating punishment is the main method of disciplining them in the family. The most common form of punishment in the home was beating, especially for girls in rural areas. Severe physical punishment, including hitting with a stick, was more commonly used against boys in urban areas. Punishments were usually inflicted by mothers and fathers, but also by elder brothers. Corporal punishment in schools was found to be even more common and more severe, with over 90% of children reporting that it is the most commonly used form of punishment. A third of children in social care institutions reported experiencing severe treatment and a further third reported moderate treatment, including being beaten with a stick. Parents report that punishment usually begins to be inflicted on children between the ages of 5 and 7 years, though children as young as 1 are punished, and ceases at the age of 15 years.

(Habasch, R. (2005), Physical and Humiliating Punishment of Children in Yemen, Save the Children Sweden)

Z

ZAMBIA

A 2010 African Child Policy Forum report on violence against children with disabilities in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia documented a very high level of violence. Nearly a thousand 18-24 year olds took part in the study across the five countries, reporting on their experiences as children. In Zambia, all the respondents had experienced at least one type of physical violence during their childhood: 100% had been denied food, over 50% had been hit, punched, kicked or beaten and over 25% had been choked, burnt or stabbed. Common perpetrators of physical violence included mothers (10.2%), step-mothers (4.9%) and adult neighbours (18.5%). Across the five countries, 23% of the young people said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline, reasonable and justified” and 27% said that they had experienced physical violence which was “mostly discipline but not reasonable or justified”. Twenty-six per cent said that they had experienced emotional violence which was “discipline, but not reasonable or justified”, and 22% that they had experienced emotional violence that was “disciplinary, reasonable and justified”. Across all five countries, more than half (54%) of those who had been physically beaten said they had suffered broken bones, teeth, bleeding or bruising; 2% had been permanently disabled; 21% required medical attention; 13% had to miss school or work; and 20% had needed rest at home. For all five countries, the majority of respondents with physical, visual and intellectual disabilities experienced physical violence more than 10 times.  The report recommends prohibition of all corporal punishment, including in the home, as a way to minimise the risk of violence against children with disabilities.

(The African Child Policy Forum (2010), Violence Against Children With Disabilities in Africa: Field Studies from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia, Addis Ababa: The African Child Policy Forum)

A large scale survey conducted by Save the Children in 2005, involving 2,321 children aged 6-18 years from all nine of Zambia's provinces, looked at children's experiences of corporal punishment over a two week period. The findings were also informed by in depth qualitative research with 384 children from four provinces. The research found that 24% of children reported experiencing corporal punishment in the home during the period, including being beaten with hands, sticks and belts. Despite the prohibition of corporal punishment at school, 32% reported being hit with a hand during the period and 38% with an object, most commonly a stick or hosepipe. Other punishments included hard physical labour and excessive physical exercise. Humiliating punishment was reported as being experienced in the home by 43% of children and in school by 37%. Corporal punishment was more common in low income than high income environments and more common for younger (6-12 years) than older (13-18 years) children. It was most often inflicted by mothers in the home and by teachers in schools. It was also administered by prefects in boarding schools. Almost three in four children (70%) felt corporal punishment was unacceptable in the home and in school; 79% felt that humiliating punishment was unacceptable.

(Clacherty, G., Donald, D. & Clacherty, A. (2005), Zambian Children's Experiences of Corporal Punishment, Pretoria: Save the Children Sweden)

ZIMBABWE

 A 2009 baseline study carried out by Plan on violence in schools in preparation for the launch of the Learn Without Fear campaign in the country found that 67% of children and 35% of teachers surveyed agreed that corporal punishment was inflicted by all teachers at one point or another, usually unrecorded and unreported.

(Reported in The Zimbabwean, 14 October 2009)