Brazil Becomes 38th Country to Ban Corporal Punishment

June 5, 2014 – The UN envoy for child rights is calling for other countries to follow Brazil’s example after the South American country’s senate on Thursday passed a law banning all forms of corporal punishment against children.

Brazil is the 38th country to ban physical punishment of children in homes and schools and the second this year after Malta’s ban which was passed in March. Sweden was the world’s first country to ban corporal punishment in 1979.

“With this historic decision, Brazilian children can grow up in safety and in a protective environment, and violence can be made part of a distant past,” Maria Santos Pais said in a statement.

“With the enactment of this legislation, the percentage of the world’s children protected by a legal ban on all forms of violence will increase from 5 percent to 8 percent,” she stated.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child defines corporal punishment as “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however slight,” and it calls physical punishment “invariably degrading.”

– Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz


  • Jacob Chernov

    So now there will be a bigger wave of criminals coming from Brazil to other countries. This is what happens when kids are not taught right from wrong. What is wrong with a kid getting a spanking or some other form of non-abusive butt whooping? Lets face it in today’s society of bullying and BS kids are becoming sissies and they aren’t able to understand when they do something wrong they will be punished in any society for it. The UN calls this a good move. We shall see when people from Brazil start flooding the world’s prisons because they didn’t get their butt spanked as a child.

    • Jesse

      Your argument (an extremely typical one filled with only personal opinion and ignorance that is so prevalent on the topic) is an example of the problem we professionals in the field have with trying to change the norms surrounding this issue.

      “What is wrong with a kid getting a spanking or some other form of non-abusive butt whooping?” Plenty, if you take a look at what science and experts who have studied this for years have found. Of course, you won’t. You will rely on your opinion and anecdotal evidence to support your case, which holds no merit what so ever.
      The fact that you equate not hitting children with not disciplining them at all is the problem and, quite frankly, sad and scary.

      If you cared to look into the scientific evidence on the issue, you would see that those who were spanked are the ones more likely to end up in prison (among a multitude of other problems). In my experience working with prisoners and juvenile delinquents, being spanked was the most common variable they shared.

      But I’m sure since you turned out “just fine”, that’s all the evidence you need…