Corporal Punishment UN Convention Corporal Essay

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The United Nations Secretary-General's Study on Violence Against Children states twelve specific recommendations as having arisen from their study on violence against children which include the following recommendations:

1) Strengthen national and local commitment and action: This refers to establishing a national focal point on violence against children by the end of 2007, to coordinate actions, and especially to ensure that actions to stop violence against children are integrated into national planning processes by 2009;

2) Prohibit all violence against children: This refers to legal reforms including implementation of laws to stop all forms of violence against children, in all settings, including all corporal punishment, harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriages, female genital mutilation and so-called honor crimes, sexual violence, and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as required by international treaties.

3) Prioritize prevention: This refers to preventing all forms of violence against children in all settings by addressing underlying causes, as well as more immediate risk and protective factors.

4) Promote non-violent values and awareness-raising: This refers to transforming attitudes that condone or normalize violence against children including via public information campaigns which promote non-violent values and protect children in all media coverage.

5) Enhance the capacity of all who work with and for children: This refers to developing the capacity of all those who work with and for children to improve prevention, detection and responses.

6) Provide recovery and social reintegration services: This refers providing accessible, child-sensitive and universal health and social services, including legal assistance to children and, where appropriate, their families.

8) Ensure participation of children: This refers to States and their partners actively engaging with children and respecting their views.

9) Create accessible and child-friendly reporting systems and services: This refers to establishing safe, well publicized, confidential and accessible mechanisms for children, their representatives and others to report violence against children;

10) Ensure accountability and end impunity: This refers to building community confidence in the justice system by bringing all perpetrators of violence against children to justice.

11) Address the gender dimension of violence against children: This refers to the integral role of gender biases in violence against children, and that States should promote and protect the rights of women and girls and address all forms of gender-based discrimination as part of a comprehensive violence-prevention strategy.

12) Develop and implement systematic national data collection and research: This refers to the urgent need to improve data collection and information systems by 2009, in the context of a national research agenda and agreed international indicators, and with particular reference to vulnerable subgroups. (UN Report, 2007)

Johnny (2007) states that the rights of children are supported because " addition to the philosophical and legal justifications for promoting participatory rights, a substantial body of literature also suggests that youth participation in schools could lead to a more just and democratic society." This idea is stated to be supported in the work of scholars and their claims which state that when schools "...cultivate civic virtues, such as participation; students learn how to become responsible citizens." (Johnny, 2007) Johnny additionally states that the work of White (1996) held that "...democratic communities need independent-minded citizens, willing to stand up for what they believe, able to challenge any incipient emergence of authoritarianism, and quick to act on the infringements of the rights of themselves and others." (2007) it is held by Johnny (2007) and other that if society is to cultivate "...such democratically minded citizens, ones who feel as though they have the ability to make changes in their society, requires a sense of democratic self-respect. White states that this type of respect is based upon a conception of oneself as a moral person with certain rights and responsibilities."

Recent reports from Canada include the 2008 news report entitled: "Senators Approve Anti-Spanking Bill" in which it is reported that if the anti-spanking bill were approved and passed into law that this bill would effectuate criminal charges against parents who spanked their children. Bill S-209 would require approval by the House in order to be passed into law and would effectively eliminate Section 43 of Canada's Criminal Code which authorizes parents and teachers to use "reasonable force to discipline a child and correct their behavior." (CBS News.CA, 2008)


This work has examined the issues that relate to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the state of affairs in Canada in regards to the country's adherence to and implementation of these principles relating to corporal punishment of children in Canadian schools and homes. This study has reviewed how Article 19 of the Convention states the specific requirements that state parties ensure measures that are appropriate in regards to protecting children from "all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation." (Painjtel, 2007)

Additionally this work has related that while most countries and states do have laws in effect providing such protection that some countries do not or are in a state of catching up to the UN Convention and that specifically the country of Canada has been lagging behind in this process. This study has noted that two requirements exist in effectively bringing about successful banning of the use of corporal punishment and that those requirements specifically are:

1) Educational reforms; and 2) Legislative reforms.

Sweden has been noted in this study to be the first country to ban all corporal punishment of children having done so in 1979. As well this work has noted the twelve requirements and principles of the findings of the UN study on corporal punishment of children and has related that while philosophical and legal justification exists in the promotion of participatory rights of children there is still much progress needed in the country of Canada at the time of the report of Johnny (2007). Canada has made progress in making the shift and changes required to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child bans of Corporal punishment in Canada although this progress has been quite slow lagging behind progress in other countries and states of the world.


As of 2008, Canada still had progress that needed to be made in relation to banning corporal punishment in its schools and homes. Canadian authorities and governmental agencies should focus on continuing the reforms in Canada's homes and schools.


Sureshrani Painjtel (2007) Banning Corporal Punishment of Children. A Position Paper

Association for Childhood Education International. Mar 2007 Online available at

Cohen, C.P. (1984). Freedom from corporal punishment: One of the human rights of children. New York Law School Human Rights Annual, Volume II, Part 1.

Durrant, J.E., & Olsen, G.M. (1997). Parenting and public policy: Contextualizing the Swedish corporal punishment ban. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 19, 443-

461; in: Sureshrani Painjtel (2007) Banning Corporal Punishment of Children. A Position Paper Association for Childhood Education International. Mar 2007

Cain, PM, and Albrecht, D (2005) Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth. 15 Nov 2005. Online available at

Hindberg, Barbro (2001) Ending Corporal Punishment Against Children - and the Results. Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (Social Services Division). Stockholm. Online available at

Johnny, Leanne (2005) UN Convention on the Rights of the child: A Rationale for Implementing Participatory Rights in Schools. Department of Integrated Studies in Schools. McGill…[continue]


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