chapter  5
16 Pages

Africa: Growing Momentum Towards the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment SONIA VOHITO

During the colonial period, there was widespread use of corporal punishment in the context of slavery and military occupation across the continent; corporal punishment using canes and whips was institutionalized in schools and in penal systems, including for young offenders; and much missionary teaching promoted its use among parents. A close study of the laws authorizing and justifying corporal punishment across Africa shows how the legality of corporal punishment in most states, as in Asia and the Caribbean and other regions, has its origins in legal frameworks imposed during the colonial era.1 The traditional English common law defense of “reasonable chastisement” is found in many of the states of southern and eastern Africa; others have adopted the French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch “right of correction”.