Tuesday, July 29, 2008

End the Violence of Corporal Punishment

Over the years, disciplining children has led to an often overlooked breach of human rights. This breach takes the form of negative disciplining, is called corporal punishment.
Age old proverbs like ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ have only reinstated the social malice, making both elders and children believe in the facade of its corrective value. As a consequence, children don’t go astray, but often become drop outs from schools, get cuts and bruises for life and have memories of a childhood living in the fear of punishment, physical or otherwise.

In such circumstances, in 2000 the Supreme Court of India banned corporal punishment. The States of Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Tamil Nadu had the state laws for the above aswell. However, in spite of being illegal, several incidents of corporal punishment take place and most have gone unreported. In the past, in one of its judgments, the Delhi High Court held that children should be allowed to acquire education with dignity and in an atmosphere free from fear of punishment, physical or otherwise. They should not be slapped or canned by teachers in schools and corporal punishment is violative of the children's fundamental rights to equality before law and the life and personal liberty.

The new guidelines issued by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, (which have not entered into law as on June 2008) make it a crime to scold students or indulge in corporal punishment.

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