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Physical Punishment for Children

Introduction

This paper deals with the scourge of corporal punishment which is becoming a severe problem and is increasing by the day, which is evident from the large number of such incidents that are reported in the media and other publications. Incidents of child abuse in this regard are constantly on the increase and it is high time that remedial actions be taken by way of regulative as well as persuasive means to enable children to lead a life that is not hampered by fear of violence and psychological disturbances. There is universal consensus in regard to physical punishment of children being an abhorrent practice that must be immediately curbed by using the best possible practices. In this context, the paper has examined the different malpractices prevalent within society in regard to the ill-treatment of children, while attempts have also been made to find the best possible solutions.

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Essay Body

There are now global initiatives to end physical punishment to children which aim at acting as catalysts in encouraging more remedial measures being taken in order to bring an end to such practices of corporal punishments throughout the world. Government and social organizations need to take up the matter and work actively in this regard since children have a right to be respected in regard to their human and physical dignity. Such rights have come to be recognized by all major international organizations including the United Nations which provides as per Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that all children be protected from all kinds of mental and physical violence while under the care of their parents or others. It has also required that discipline in schools must be brought about in a way so that it is in keeping with the human dignity of the child (Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, 2005). Children are protected by law in most countries in regard to being safeguarded to the extent that there is no torture or any humiliating treatment inflicted on them, where ever they may be. Hence, the rights of the child have to be protected at all costs to avoid physical and mental punishment to them in all surroundings, schools, families, and places of juvenile justice.

Several human rights organizations such as the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Committee Against Torture have condemned physical punishment for children and demanded that children must be protected from all forms of aggression. Physical punishment or corporal punishment to children can take several forms which include the use of physical force with the purpose of causing discomfort or pain, which may be of varying extents. Most often children are spanked, slapped or smacked with their hands or with some implements such as whips, sticks, belts, wooden spoons etc. Sometimes the violence on them takes a more aggressive form by way of pinching, kicking, burning, scratching and throwing them. Additionally there are other non-physical forms of punishment that are very cruel and include humiliation, threatening, scaring and ridiculing the child. Obviously such forms of violence on children are very degrading and painful in addition to the immense psychological harm that they cause.

Hence there is a clear need for legislation to be reformed in regard to prohibiting physical punishment to children. Some people believe that some form of corporal punishment for children is essential but this belief is total without any basis and all provisions that allow a reasonable degree of such punishment should be immediately repealed and there should be no regulation that allows for administration of any kind of corporal punishment against children in institutions and schools. However the question of protecting children against corporal punishment does not only concern the prohibition of the law in this regard but also the education of the public and bringing about such awareness amongst teachers and parents and all such people who are engaged in working with children to remove the ill effects of the practice. There is a strong need to promote non-violent and positive disciplinary approaches for education and childbearing as also as changing the values and attitudes that support ways in which adults connect with children. Parents should establish effective and accessible support for the family and observe the developments that lead to elimination of corporal punishment. The purpose of any law that is enacted to curb the practice should not aim at prosecuting the parents and thus cause disharmony amongst family members, but to make them realize that such practices are totally unacceptable. Thus by prohibiting physical punishment of children, a standard will be set that will gradually become a widely accepted practice. The developmental needs of children have to be accepted as responsibility of parents and teachers since keeping with their best interests is more important than coping with child tendencies of disobedience and mischief. The views of children must be given due attention and importance in understanding their perspectives which are at most times very meaningful and throw valuable insights in regard to their attitudes, habits and expectations (Dr. Sharon Rustemier, 2009).

Conclusion

Although physical punishment to children does lead to serious consequences for them in terms of physical hurt and injury, it has serious consequences on the psychological well-being of the child which in turn adversely affects society at large. Several research conclusions that have been a result of interviews with children have indicated that they corroborate such negative impacts of forced discipline which result from incidents of corporal punishment. Children throughout the world have expressed remorse over the pattern of being subjected to physical punishment by parents and teachers that invariably leads to feeling unwanted and having feelings of fear, pain and sadness. Under such conditions they become scared, have tendencies to run away from home, feel lonely, do not feel like eating or talking, become indifferent, guilty, develop hatred and in extreme cases want to die or even inflict hurt on others. Children have proved to be an important source in providing alternative solutions to bringing about discipline amongst them. The fact remains that it is essential to change attitudes and practices away from corporal punishment so as to bring about positive reforms for betterment of the socio-cultural environment in society. There is no valid excuse in the twenty-first century for encouraging or condoning such approaches for the rearing of children and their education (Chaffin M, & Friedrich B, 2004).

References

Chaffin M, & Friedrich B, 2004, Evidence-based treatments in child abuse and neglect. Children and Youth Services Review, 26, 1097-1113.

Dr. Sharon Rustemier, Corporal Punishment of Children vs Alternative Disciplinary Approaches, 2006, Web.

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Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, United Nations Secretary general’s Study on Violence against Children, 2005, American College of Pediatricians.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 22). Physical Punishment for Children. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/physical-punishment-for-children/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 22). Physical Punishment for Children. https://studycorgi.com/physical-punishment-for-children/

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"Physical Punishment for Children." StudyCorgi, 22 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/physical-punishment-for-children/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Physical Punishment for Children." October 22, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/physical-punishment-for-children/.


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StudyCorgi. "Physical Punishment for Children." October 22, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/physical-punishment-for-children/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Physical Punishment for Children." October 22, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/physical-punishment-for-children/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Physical Punishment for Children'. 22 October.

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