Despite the fact that corporal punishment is a violation of children’s rights, and all countries except the USA have promised to follow the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, only 53 countries in the world have banned all forms of physical punish-ment of children.
Article 19 of the Convention says that all children have the right to protection from all forms of violence, neglect, mistreatment and abuse. Despite this, every year 40 million children are beaten so badly that they need medical care. Many more are subjected to corporal punishment in school. But Nigerian teacher Gabriel has stopped beating students:
‘Since I came into contact with The Globe magazine and the WCP program I’ve learned that it is a crime to bully and beat children. I have stopped beating children, at home and at school, although our tradition allows adults to beat children to make sure they behave better.’
Ask your students to discuss corporal punishment, taking the children’s stories in The Globe and your students’ experiences as your starting point. Discuss as a class or in small groups. Talk about how things are in your country. Is there a law against beating children? Ask the students to think about how they will treat children once they are adults.