Prohibiting corporal punishment is a human rights imperative. Progress towards achieving universal prohibition is accelerating but there is a long way still to go.
Questions and arguments about prohibition put forward by those unsure of, or explicitly opposing, law reform are common in all regions of the world. Answers to the issues raised are set out here.
Using human rights law to support advocacy
States which have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international and regional human rights instruments are under a legal obligation to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home. Governments are systematically reminded of this when they are examined on their implementation of the treaties they have ratified and during the Universal Periodic Reviews of their overall human rights records. National high level court rulings frequently refer to the human rights imperative to protect children from corporal punishment. National advocacy for law reform is significantly strengthened when it is informed by an awareness of this wider pressure on Governments to fully protect children from corporal punishment.
Reforming national laws to prohibit corporal punishment
Drafting legislation which clearly prohibits all corporal punishment of children involves understanding current law, drafting new legislation which would prohibit, and then taking (or making) opportunities to introduce the relevant bill into parliament and to ensure its passage into law. National advocacy for prohibition should always involve the drafting of concrete proposals for new legislation.