April 30 will be celebrated as international day to end corporal punishment of children

Sir Frank Peters, human rights activist, former magazine publisher and editor, and anti-corporal punishment advocate.

Corporal punishment is indisputably child abuse, absurdly wrong, offers no benefits whatsoever, and makes no sense in the eyes of God nor man.

Some rogue ‘teachers’ give the noble profession a bad name and need to be weeded out for the benefit of the nation and the profession at large.

Did you know that only 14 per cent of children worldwide, or one in seven, are legally protected from physical punishment? Kenyans can confidently claim to be among them…on paper, at least.

Regretfully, there are still some rogue ‘teachers’ within the national borders who give the noble profession a bad name and need to be weeded out for the benefit of the nation and the profession at large. They know who they are.

Generally, a rogue teacher’s main line of defence is the ignorance of the parents who entrust their children into their domain and when their children are physically, mentally, and or emotionally abused by them the parents keep quiet and make no complaint.

Corporal punishment is evil. It must be. It was manufactured and hallmarked in hell by Satan himself and given a universal patent. As one might expect it is diagonally opposite to how children should be treated and respected. And how should that be? I hear you ask. The answer simply is how you, yourself, would want to be treated and respected.

Corporal punishment is the physical and humiliating punishment of children at the hands of ignorant parents, teachers and caregivers; it’s sinful, grotesque and never truly forgotten, but many times forgiven. It can trouble and haunt children into adulthood and play a lifelong destructive role.

Thousands of children are seriously injured each year and many die as the result of corporal punishment. Some distraught children see no light at the end of the tunnel and commit suicide to escape the humiliation and hopeless situation in which they feel trapped and helpless. Make no mistake; corporal punishment is child abuse in its purest form.

Want to let out your frustrations? – Beat up a kid! Many ‘teachers’ do just that and regard it as therapeutic. Besides if they’re dealing with ignorant parents who don’t know their rights by law and are all consumed by the idea that ‘teachers’ are highly educated people and, therefore, know what’s best for their children, you just can’t go wrong!

Justices of the Bangladeshi Supreme Court, Justice Md Imman and Ali and Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif, described corporal punishment as: “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a clear violation of a child’s fundamental right to life, liberty and freedom”.

You know, in most countries, if an adult were to hit an adult it would deemed to be abuse and the law would come down on the culprit like a ton of bricks, perhaps resulting in a heavy fine or even some jail time.

If an adult hits a child, however, that’s different they attribute that to discipline — whether the child was in the right of not. Civilised people don’t hit people. It’s sometimes forgotten that children are people, too. It’s a crazy world. All the more important that parents need to know, uphold, and protect the valuable rights of their children.


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No adult has the right to hit another adult. No adult has the right to hit a child and that applies to parents, teachers, Imams, babysitter, caretakers – anyone with whom a child is in contact.

It’s a known fact that many parents (including teachers) lying on their death bed and preparing to meet their maker, apologise to their children for the corporal punishment wrong they inflicted upon them during their state of ignorance, perhaps decades prior. People know when they’re doing wrong but don’t admit it. It’s instinctive; it’s intuitive, it’s part of the gift-wrapped package at birth,

Corporal punishment is an act of violence and particularly out of place in homes, schools, and madrasas. Violence begets violence… and it’s exceptionally good at what it does. It’s impossible to teach children to behave better by hitting them and making them feel bad. You can’t beat the devil out of a child, but your actions could beat-in the devil.

Around 600 million children under the age of five live in countries where the horrific practice is actually legal in their homes.

Corporal punishment has negative effects on children regardless of their age, race, sex and social background. But it is often the most vulnerable — disabled, young and socially marginalized children — who experience higher levels of violent punishment.

Just this month in Bangladesh, a 9-year-old Madrassa student fell ill with fever and missed school for a day. When he re-joined his class Saddam Hossain, his senseless sadistic madrasa ‘teacher’, forced him to kneel down and proceeded to beat him mercilessly with a cane all over his petrified little body. The boy was hit twice on his testicles.

The God adoring, God-fearing child said he endured excruciating pain and noticed blood in his urine. Three hospitals later he was told the damage may be lifelong and to return after

Eid al-Fitr for further examinations. Meanwhile, the ‘teacher’ Saddam absconded, switched-off his phone, and is now in hiding.

Ahead of International Day to End Corporal Punishment on Tuesday, April 30, Save the Children is calling for the universal elimination of all forms of corporal punishment by 2030, to meet one of the targets of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015.

One can’t help, but wonder why there’s government hesitancy in protecting children. If they are, as they are said to be, the future of nation hesitancy however small in protecting them, makes no sense whatsoever.

(The writer, Sir Frank Peters, is a former newspaper and magazine publisher and editor, an award–winning writer, and a humanitarian.)

By Sir Frank Peters

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