Childhoods without violence
The CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk has launched NON-VIOLENT CHILDHOODS, a project providing sustainable models of integrated public education to accelerate the end of violent punishment of children.
Children are right-holders. Corporal punishment is a violation of their rights in respect to their dignity, physical integrity and equal protection under the law. A growing number of countries around the world have legally banned corporal punishment of children in all settings, yet establishing the legal ban is an important – but not the only – necessary step towards ending violence against children. Even in countries with a legal ban, many children still experience violence in the home or at the hands of their educators or carers – an experience that harms their physical and mental health in the short and long term.
The Baltic Sea Region may soon become a no-corporal-punishment zone within Europe and has accumulated important experiences in bringing the ban from law into practice. In the example of Sweden, the Parliament voted in favour of a complete ban on corporal punishment, including in the home, in 1979. To date, 10 out of the 11 Baltic Sea Region countries have banned corporal punishment: Finland achieved prohibition in 1983, Denmark in 1997, Estonia in 2015, Germany in 2000, Iceland in 2003, Latvia in 1998, Lithuania in 2017, Norway in 1987 and Poland in 2010.
NON-VIOLENT CHILDHOODS promotes the elimination of corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading punishments of children through the changing of the mind-set and public opinion at large. The initiative will share, discuss and systemize the experiences in the Baltic Sea Region countries in transforming traditional attitudes with a wide range of target groups such as families, children and communities; policy makers, public officials and independent institutions; researchers; as well as with the media and faith-based organisations.
The results and guidelines developed in the project will benefit all countries – and on a global level – which have a ban on corporal punishment in all settings.