Our focus is to End Corporal Punishment in schools in Sri Lanka (ECP2020). The national campaign was launched in September 2018. The Pentagon Proposal is the blue print of the multi pronged action plan.Read Pentagon Proposal
United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1991, established in Article 43 of the CRC through General Comment No. 8, defines corporal punishment as any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. The Committee also recognizes that there are other non-physical forms of punishment that are also cruel and degrading and thus incompatible with the Conventions. Non-physical forms include punishment which belittles, humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens, scares or ridicules children. Physical forms of corporal punishment are committed through hitting in the form of smacking, slapping, spanking, by hand, whip, stick, belt, shoe, wooden spoon, and similar means.Read More
Sri Lanka ratified the UNCRC in 1991 but lags behind the rest of the world in eliminating corporal punishment. Even though there have been Government directives /circulars instructing staff not to use corporal punishment in schools, such punitive disciplinary procedures are condoned by many educators and parents, and continue to be legal / lawful. It is socially acceptable because they reflect upon their own personal experiences, often glorifying severe punishments they received in their youth. Punishment is justified on the basis that such cruel activities did not harm us, certainly it would not harm our children.Read Ministry of Education Circular no 12/2016
The words discipline and punishment should be clearly separated. In order to shape
desirable behavior in students and correct misbehavior, disciplinary strategies (which
are by its nature, positive) rather than punishment strategies (which are by its nature,
punitive) are required (Grusec & Kuczysuki, 1997; Kochanska &Thompson,1997).
A Study on Child Disciplinary Methods Practiced in Schools in Sri Lanka conducted by National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) in May 2017 revealed 80.4% of students experienced at least one episode of corporal punishment, 53.2% of students experienced at least one episode of physical abuse and 72.5% of students experienced at least one episode of psychological aggression in the past term.