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Monday 16th of July 2018

Press Room

Peru bans all forms of corporal punishment towards children

Friday 15th of January 2016
Juvenile Justice in the world

Peru has become the 48th country worldwide and the 9th Latin American state to prohibit corporal punishment of children in all circumstances, including in the family home. On Thursday 10 December 2015, Congress adopted a new law which bans all forms of corporal punishment. The latter also explicitly repeals previous articles in both the Peruvian Civil Code and Code on Children and Adolescents which allowed parents and others to “moderately correct” children.

In the past, Peru’s stance on corporal punishment of children had been criticised by several UN bodies, including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which expressed concern over the fact that “corporal punishment is lawful at home and is still widely practiced in the society as an accepted measure of discipline”.

In its eighth General Comment, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child defines “corporal” or “physical” punishment as being “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light”, and has described any form of physical punishment as being “invariably degrading”.

The change was welcomed by Maria Luisa Fornara, UNICEF’s representative in Peru, who emphasized that this “historic decision” signifies that “the various powers of the Peruvian State are committed to respecting and fulfilling children’s rights as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”.

The IJJO welcomes this legislative amendment, and is a supporter of and contributor to the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children. The steps recently taken by Peru and Ireland should be followed by more countries as soon as possible in order to bring about the prohibition of corporal punishment for children everywhere.

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