chapter  1
4 Pages

Introduction to the Global Movement to Ban Physical Punishment of Children

ByANNE B. SMITH, JOAN E. DURRANT

The rights of children to protection from sexual abuse, neglect, discrimination, and exploitation are reasonably well accepted and uncontroversial. There is one right, however, which still remains extraordinarily controversial in many places: the child’s right to protection from physical violence in the family when it takes the form of physical punishment.1 Historically, most societies have rejected the idea that children have the same fundamental right to protection as adults. We have failed to give children equal respect and protection under the law and, in doing so, have put many of their other rights at risk.