Corporal punishment humiliates and harms children, Children Commissioner’s office warns

Office of the Commissioner for Children cautions against the damage done when children are subjected to physical punishment

The Office of the Commissioner for children has warned of the harm done when children are punished physically
The Office of the Commissioner for children has warned of the harm done when children are punished physically

The Office of the Commissioner for Children has warned against the fear, humiliation and harm caused to children when corporal punishment is inflicted upon them.

Noting that physically punishing a child in a school or institution is a criminal offence in Malta, the Office said such punishment did not fit the bill as a fair and effective way of correcting children.

“…It [corporal punishment] bullies children into obedience and submission by instilling fear in them, humiliating and harming them. It doesn’t benefit the child but merely help the adult assert power over the young person, therefore also harming the relationship between the two parties.”

Acknowledging that correcting children is part and parcel of their education and upbringing, the Office emphasised that corrective measures are only fair and effective when they are meted out in response to error or misbehaviour in children, and when they respect the dignity and self-worth of the child.

“By building a strong relationship of mutual trust and respect - where the child freely looks up to the adult as a role model - a parent, carer or educator is able to correct the child without ever resorting to physical or verbal violence,” it said, adding that it constantly strived to convey this message to all those who care for children.

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