Adopting laws against physical and humiliating punishment does not automatically translate into a practical abolishment, often because of the strength of traditional attitudes and in some cases because of the existence of religious or customary legal systems. In those cases it is important to advocate for social change and increase knowledge that could contribute to a change of attitudes and practices.
Save the Children and partners engage in and support campaigns to achieve changes in attitudes and behaviours through awareness raising and public and professional education and training. Campaigning for social change involves:
- building alliances with other organisations working with
children in order to broaden the base of support
- producing materials explaining children’s right to equal
protection and setting out the evidence about the nature of
corporal punishment and its harmful effects
- promoting the case for change
- providing guidance on positive discipline
- working with the government at all levels
- working with the media, NGOs, religious and community
leaders, professional organisations, parents’ organisations, and
As well as awareness-raising, Save the Children and its partners engage in and support education and training activities to ensure the understanding of children’s right to respect for their physical and personal integrity. All professionals working with children – teachers, care workers, nurses, paediatricians, prisons wardens, police, judges, academics – need to understand children’s rights. They also need to understand their role in promoting and protecting those rights, including the right to protection from all forms of violence and within that protection against corporal punishment.