International Day to End Corporal Punishment Date in the current year: April 30, 2024

International Day to End Corporal Punishment International Day to End Corporal Punishment is observed annually on April 30. This global awareness campaign was launched to show support for all child victims of corporal punishment around the world and call for urgent action to end corporal punishment once and for all.

A corporal punishment, also referred to as a physical punishment, is a punishment intended to cause physical pain or discomfort to the person being punished. Over the course of history, corporal punishment has been inflicted on children, prisoners, slaves, and in some military settings.

Corporal punishments of minors, both in home and school settings, used to be very common and socially accepted. With the growth of humanitarian ideals and emergence of human rights laws, they have been increasingly viewed as inhumane in the Western world. However, the issue of corporal punishment of minors was not addressed generally before the mid-20th century, which is relatively recent in the grand scheme of things.

All forms of school corporal punishment were outlawed in 128 countries as of 2023, including all of Europe, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, and South Africa. However, it remains legal in 17 U.S. states and in some African and Southeast Asian countries. Sweden was the first country to completely prohibit corporal punishment of children, both in the home and at school, in 1979. As of 2024, there are 66 states where corporal punishment of minors is completely prohibited, and 27 more states have committed to reforming their laws to achieve a complete legal ban of corporal punishment of children. Still, this is far from a complete worldwide ban.

In countries where corporal punishment of children in the home is not outlawed, social acceptance of physical punishment is high, especially among more traditional groups; it is widely believed that parents (or legal guardians) have the right to physically punish their children for misbehaving. However, research has shown that corporal punishment does not make children behave more appropriately. On the contrary, it leads to more aggressive behavior and long-term disobedience. Other adverse effects of corporal punishment are anti-social behavior, anxiety, depression, and increased risk of physical abuse.

International Day to End Corporal Punishment was launched in 2021 by End Corporal Punishment, a global initiative to bring together stakeholders and consolidate efforts to achieve universal prohibition and elimination of corporal punishment across all continents. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to create a world where children grow up free from violence and everyone’s right to live without violence is respected and protected regardless of their age.

There are many way to get involved with International Day to End Corporal Punishment. You can sign petitions and join advocacy campaigns to abolish corporal punishment in families, schools, and other settings, donate to nonprofit organizations that are working to end corporal punishment globally, and spread the world on social media with the hashtag #EndCorporalPunishment.

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