GPV/KCV believes that violence against children is never appropriate, even in the context of discipline. It can do long-term damage to their physical and emotional health, and may perpetuate a continuing cycle of of corporal punishment in future generations.
GPV/KCV believes that positive discipline teaches children and guides their behaviour. This belief is based on research into children’s healthy development and founded on principles of children’s rights.
This campaign is designed to help protect children by encouraging parents and carers to find non-violent solutions to disciplining children in their care.
The European Court of Human Rights has found that a German court’s decision to take away the children of families in a Christian sect due to the sect’s use of corporal punishment did not violate their rights.
Bavarian authorities in 2013 raided the Twelve Tribes sect settlements and placed 40 children, between the ages of 18 months and 17 years, into foster care after a hidden-camera media report showed the parents caning children as punishment. German authorities justified their actions by saying that the punishment constituted child abuse, leaving them with no choice but to intervene.
The case was brought by four families who had children removed from their custody, with the families arguing that Germany’s actions were a violation of the right to respect for private and family life. In its ruling, the court in Strasbourg found the sect had employed “a form of institutionalised violence against minors” and that even if social workers had stepped in, they “could not have effectively protected the children, as corporally disciplining the children had been based on their [the parents’] unshakeable dogma”.
In 2000, Germany outlawed the corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home.
Three students were reportedly hit with a paddle in a rural part of the United States for participating in school walkouts protesting against gun violence. Public school officials in Arkansas allegedly “swatted” the children after they left the school for 17 minutes, one minute for each life lost in last month’s Florida school shooting.
One child’s mother said the students were offered two punishment options, but chose corporal punishment rather than an in-school suspension. Wylie Greer, 17, one the students who claims he was hit by school staff, said “corporal punishment has no place in schools” and called for an end to such discipline. According to local media, 41 percent of Arkansas students currently attend a school where such corporal punishment occurs.