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Brazil Prohibits All Corporal Punishment

Wednesday 2 July 2014

With a child population of nearly 60 million children, Brazil has become the largest country in the world to achieve prohibition of all corporal punishment, including in the home.

On 27 June 2014, the President signed into law amendments to the Code on Children and Adolescents 1990 which explicitly prohibit physical punishment and other cruel or degrading treatment of children, wherever they are and whoever the perpetrator. A new article 18-A is inserted into the Code (unofficial translation):

“Children and Adolescents are entitled to be educated and cared for without the use of physical punishment or cruel or degrading treatment as forms of correction, discipline, education or any other pretext, by their parents by the members of their extended family, by persons responsible for them, by public officials implementing social and educational measures or by any other person entrusted with taking care of them or treating, educating or protecting them….”

A new article 18-B provides for a range of measures to ensure implementation of the prohibition, including referral to a family protection programme, referral for guidance, and warning, in addition to any other legal measures that may be taken, and for the promotion of permanent educational campaigns, ongoing professional education and training and a range of other actions to support non-violent parenting, education and conflict resolution (art. 18-B).

Brazil’s achievement brings the number of states worldwide to prohibit all corporal punishment to 38 and raises the percentage of the global child population to be fully protected in law from all physical punishment from 5.5% to 8.2%. Brazil is the fifth Latin American state to achieve prohibition, after Uruguay (2007), Venezuela (2007), Costa Rica (2008) and Honduras (2013).  For further information, see the states prohibiting page, and the detailed country report on Brazil.

For information on how Save the Children South Africa is working to end all corporal punishment of children in South Africa, visit our Working Group on Positive Discipline page.

Content provided by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children