Sudan undertakes law reform to prohibit corporal punishment

A child smiles in Sudan.

Sudan has undertaken law reform to prohibit corporal punishment in schools, daycares and penal institutions – including basic and secondary schools, Quranic schools, industrial education centres, agricultural schools, adult education and special needs schools.

This reform comes after the Ministry of Education signed a new regulation in November of 2020, which also includes a list of positive discipline methods and provides for disciplinary sanctions against teachers who inflict corporal punishment on students. Sudan also amended the country’s Criminal Code 1991 to repeal whipping and flogging as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions and as a sentence for crime, replacing them with probation and community services.

In collaboration with the Government, civil society and partners are now mobilising to implement the regulation, which will include teachers' training on positive discipline.

Although this is a significant step towards the realisation of children's right to live free from any form of violence, more work needs to be done. As long as corporal punishment is not fully prohibited, children will continue to suffer the effects of physical discipline. Sudan is yet to ban all forms of corporal punishment, but we are hopeful for the country to establish a full prohibition of the practice, including inside the home.

Today, only 61 states have fully prohibited corporal punishment – which means that only 13 per cent of the world’s children are fully protected from the practice by law.

Learn more about this new legislation and access Sudan’s country report.

Photo: UNICEF/UNI236416/Noorani