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Physical and humiliating punishment (PHP)

By April 2017, 52 countries have a total ban of corporal punishment in all settings. This means that a large majority of children in the world are living in countries where they are not protected against physical and humiliating punishment.

Children continue to be physically punished and deliberately humiliated in almost all societies and across all cultures as this practice remains far too common at home, in schools and institutions. Teachers, parents, and other caregivers often lack knowledge on how to guide children using nonviolent methods, and in many communities physical and humiliating punishment is deeply rooted in social norms and culture. In a humanitarian crisis, children are more at risk of physical and humiliating punishment, due to the increased stress on families, separation, and the breakdown of formal and informal safety nets.

Save the Children works towards preventing and protecting children from all forms of actual and threatened physical and humiliating punishment and bullying, in the home, in schools and in all other settings. This is done through advocating for legal reform and supporting awareness-raising initiatives leading to changes in attitudes and practices. We also promote parenting education and positive discipline programs, targeting caregivers, teachers and other people working with children. Children are seen as key actors throughout the process.

Save the Children uses the term Physical and Humiliating Punishment, instead of corporal punishment, to capture the wide array of disciplining methods used by adults towards children, which may include corporal or physical punishment, and the threat of it, as well as psychological punishment that belittles, scares or ridicules the child.

Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states to take "all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child..."

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