Corporal punishment cannot be practiced in the name of disciplining child: Shantha Sinha

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SOCIAL AND DEVELOPMENT NEWS IN INDIA IS A SHAKTI VAHINI INITIATIVE

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Prof. Shantha Sinha has stressed the need to eliminate all forms of corporal punishment practiced in the name of ‘disciplining’ a child. “We need to understand that children, like adults, too have a mind of their own and they do not enjoy having an unequal relationship. Therefore, any kind of domination of children by adults is unacceptable,’’ Dr Sinha opined. She also harped on the need for different stakeholders to engage positively with children.

Dr Sinha was speaking at the discussion forum on the report of Working Group of NCPCR on Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in schools under section 17 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 held recently in national Capital. The report enumerated some of the key strategies that could be employed based on the levels of problem behaviour exhibited by children. Shri Vikram Sahay, Director, Department of School Education and Literacy, MHRD, Dr Peter Newell, Coordinator, Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment to Children, Ms Usha Ramanathan, Member, NCPCR Committee on Prohibition of Corporal Punishment in Schools, among others, were present.

The discussion also stressed the need for institutional reform and humanising school campuses so that they become healing spaces for children. Later in the seminar, a dialogue on eliminating corporal punishment from all settings was also organised in collaboration with UNICEF. According to a study on child abuse conducted in 2007 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development it was found that every two out of three school children reported facing corporal punishment. The States of Assam, Mizoram and Uttar Pradesh reported the highest rates of corporal punishment, while Rajasthan and Goa had the lowest, the study revealed.

The Commission has, since its inception in March 2007, responded to 296 complaints of corporal punishment from across the country, held public hearings on the matter, issued guidelines for prevention of corporal punishment and appropriate action of schools, education department, departments of women and child development, social welfare and police The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) requires signatory States to protect children from “all forms of physical or mental violence” while in the care of parents orcaregivers

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