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Position Paper on the Proposed Ordinance

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POSITION PAPER ON THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE

Human rights standards prohibit all forms of corporal punishment. Hitting people violates their fundamental rights to respect for their physical integrity and human dignity, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Children are people too and equal holders of human rights. This is confirmed in the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, the first international instrument to require protection of children from “all forms of physical or mental violence” (article 19). The Committee on the Rights of the Child, Treaty Body for the Conventions, has consistently interpreted it as requiring condemnation and prohibition of all corporal punishment, in the home, in schools, in institutions, in alternative care system and in all other settings.

Corporal punishment is defined as the deliberate infliction of pain and suffering, including humiliating or degrading punishments and other forms of violence against children in order to change their behavior or to punish them. It consists of acts that are intended to inflict physical or emotional pain on the children because of an offense that they have committed. It usually pertains to the use of physical force with the intention of causing some degree of pain or discomfort no matter how light. However, there are other non-physical forms of punishment that are equally cruel and reprehensible. These could be by way of humiliation, denigration or threats. In the Philippines, corporal punishment is used by the parents on their children at their homes for the purpose of disciplining, training or controlling them. The parents use belts, their hands, and caning to discipline, train and control their children. And to punish a child, even in the context of discipline, training and control, through...

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