The Impact of Corporal Punishment on Children

Corporal and psychological violence as a disciplinary method is a widely accepted and condoned practice. It is also the most common form of violence against children. Yet, research demonstrates that violence is ineffective for curbing a child’s behavior, it is harmful to their integral health and violates their rights recognized in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This essay by Gabriel Crespo and Ana Holschuh analyzes the negative impact of disciplinary violence on children within the household and perpetrated by children’s most trusted individuals, –their caregivers. Maltreated children will suffer from life-long emotional and physical repercussions that are very difficult to overcome. Abused children internalize violence, normalizing it and further replicating it on society, perpetuating a cycle of violence.

For the purpose of delving into different age groups and the issues associated with their different cognitive/developmental levels, “Childhood” (as a meta-category), is divided into two segments. Early & Middle Childhood, [ages 0 – 4 & 5 – 10 years-old] and Early & Late Adolescence, [ages 10 – 14 & 15 – 19 years-old]. Case studies are referenced for both age groups.

In the conclusions, it is reiterated that violent discipline and other degrading treatment violate children’s right to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity. Drawing from the Critical Theories and recognizing that knowledge is key to change, authors, Gabriel Crespo and Ana Holschuh propose policy recommendations to expand child protection and prevent children from being subjected to violent discipline. And, advocates as well as child protection institutions to promote the teaching to caregivers of “good parenting” and non-violent techniques to make them aware of the negative consequences of corporal punishment to children.

Read the full article here: Corporal Punishment on Children for website

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Equity for Children participated in the series of talks organized by MUNA-UNICEF Argentina to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences among municipalities on various topics related to the rights of children and adolescents.

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