Sunday, 19 October 2014

Corporal Punishment

Wikimedia Commons by José Cruz/ABr
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child defines corporal punishment as a physical force intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.

It involves hitting (smacking, slapping, spanking) children, with the hand or with an implement – a whip, stick, belt, shoe, wooden spoon etc. It involves kicking, shaking or throwing the children. On the one hand it includes scratching, pinching, biting, pulling hair or boxing the ears of the children and forcing them to stay in an uncomfortable condition. The burning, scalding or forced ingestion ( for example washing the mouth of the children with soap or forcing them to swallow hot spices) are the other forms of corporal punishment.

In view of the committee, the corporal punishment is degrading and inhumane. Besides, the other non-physical forms of punishments like belittling, humiliating, denigrating, threatening, scaring, ridiculing or making a scapegoat of a child in one way or the other, are also cruel cruel and degrading. 


It is an universal fact that the punishment meted out to the children in any form, restricts the harmonious growth of the child. It causes adverse effects on the physical, mental, spiritual, psychological and educational growth of the children, that emotionally leave their scars on the psyche for the remaining part of the lives. It could also lead to the development of violent attitudes and actions in childhood as well as in adulthood. It could also lead to low self- esteem, depression, delinquency, inferiority complex in the child. These are the qualities that no parent would like to be developed in their children.