CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: Ending Legalised Violence against Children - Global Report 2007

[17 October 2007] - More and more States worldwide are reforming their laws to prohibit all corporal punishment of children, including in their homes. A new report by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children analyses the progress made towards prohibiting all corporal punishment and realising children’s right to equal protection from assault.

The Global Report 2007 – Ending Legalised Violence against Children – is published as a follow up to the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children. It contains a table of legality of corporal punishment in the home, schools, penal systems and alternative care in every state in the world.

Since the UN Study got under way in 2005, laws have come into force in six States worldwide which prohibit corporal punishment by parents within the family home and in all other settings. This brings the total number of States with full prohibition in legislation to 19. Two other States have prohibited corporal punishment in childrearing through Supreme Court rulings. A further 17 States have publicly committed themselves to pursuing law reform, and in a further seven, draft laws which would achieve full prohibition are under discussion. If these commitments are carried through, a fifth of the Member States of the UN will have banned all corporal punishment. Many more States have prohibited corporal punishment in settings outside the home.

But there is still a long way to go. Introducing the 2007 Global Report, Professor Yanghee Lee, Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child says:

“Five years ago, many Heads of State and high-level State officials made a promise to children all over the world: To make a World Fit for Children. I believe that a world that condones violence against children is not a world fit for children. We must not, and cannot, waste another minute in building a world free of violence, free of inhuman and degrading treatment, and free of corporal punishment.”

Professor Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, the Independent Expert appointed to lead the UN Study, refers in the Global Report to the target date of 2009 set by the Study for the prohibition of all violence against children, including all corporal punishment:

“Surely this is not too much for children to expect? The Study has made visible the scale and impact of this most common form of violence – in children's homes, schools, care institutions and other places. So how can we as adults - as human rights activists or parliamentarians or government ministers and officials - tolerate its continued legality and social acceptance in so many States?”

And Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu writes:

“Millions of the world’s children still suffer from humiliating acts of violence and these violations of their rights as human beings can have serious and lifelong effects. Violence begets violence and we shall reap a whirlwind. Children can be disciplined without violence that instils fear and misery, and I look forward to faith communities working in solidarity with others and using the context of the Study to make further progress towards ending all forms of violence against children.”

The 2007 Global Report is also available on the website of the Global Initiative at

A limited number of hard copies is available by contacting
[email protected]

Further information

  • Ending Legal Violence Against Children: Global Report 2006 (Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, October 2006)
  • pdf:


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