Ending corporal punishment in the early years of childhood: an essential right and need of young children

Date: Nov 17, 2021
Time: 9-10:30 am New York
Address: Online
Organizer: End Violence Partnership, ECDAN

Over one billion children experience violence every year, with devastating short and long-term consequences for individuals and societies. Corporal punishment is the most common and widely accepted form of violence against children, and most likely to be experienced early in life; studies show that 3 in 4 children under five years are spanked, hit with objects, or beaten as punishment. Sadly, their vulnerability and exposure to violence have increased during the pandemic.

As well as breaching their human rights, the pervasiveness of violence against young children in the home, child care, and other settings is particularly concerning as early child development provides the building blocks for lifelong health, educational achievement, economic wellbeing, and societal progress.

To achieve their developmental potential, children need nurturing care, supportive relationships, and protection from violence. In contrast, exposure to violence can overload children's biological systems, disrupt the brain's circuitry development, and lead to a range of long-term negative consequences. Eradicating corporal punishment in early life is critical to ensuring children's health, development and rights, and in building strong, thriving, and peaceful communities.

This webinar, hosted by the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and the Early Childhood Development Action Network offers an opportunity to learn more about the prevalence and impacts of corporal punishment in early life, to hear about global progress towards prohibiting and eliminating corporal punishment in the early years, including examples of good practice, and to discuss strategies for ending corporal punishment as a priority for promoting the rights and wellbeing of young children, and supporting the development of peaceful and strong societies.


  • Promote the ending of violent punishment in early childhood as an urgent global priority
  • Increase understanding of the prevalence and impacts of corporal punishment in early life, and the needs and rights of young children to nurturing, non-violent care
  • Reflect on strategies for ending corporal punishment of young children, through legislative reform and implementation, and programmatic approaches that support parents and caregivers in the use of non-violent discipline


Host: Shekufeh Zonji, Global Technical Lead, ECDAN

Erinna Dia, Associate Director, Early Childhood Development at UNICEF

Bess Herbert, Corporal Punishment Advocacy Specialist, End Violence Partnership

Jorge Cuartas MSc, Harvard University

Professor Helen Baker-Henningham, University of Bangor

Lalpura Shahi, Save the Children Nepal

Elizabeth Lule, Executive Director, ECDAN

Howard Taylor, Executive Director, End Violence Partnership


Photo credit: © UNICEF/UN0383994/Pancic

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