Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is a form of physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behaviour deemed unacceptable. The term usually refers to methodically striking the offender with the open hand or with an implement, whether in judicial, domestic, or educational settings.

Corporal punishment is defined by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child as:

"any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light."

Corporal punishment may be divided into three main types:

  • Parental or domestic corporal punishment: within the family—typically, children punished by parents or guardians;
  • School corporal punishment: within schools, when students are punished by teachers or school administrators, or, in the past, apprentices by master craftsmen;
  • Judicial corporal punishment: as part of a criminal sentence ordered by a court of law. Closely related is prison corporal punishment, ordered either directly by the prison authorities or by a visiting court. Corporal punishment is also still allowed in some military settings, and banned in others.

Corporal punishment of minors within domestic settings is lawful in all 50 of the United States and, according to a 2000 survey, is widely approved by parents. It has been officially outlawed in 32 countries.

Corporal punishment in school has been outlawed in Canada, Kenya, Korea, South Africa, New Zealand and nearly all of Europe. It remains legal in some parts of the world, including 19 states of the USA.

Judicial corporal punishment has virtually disappeared from the western world but remains in force in many parts of Africa and Asia.

There are various national and international campaigns against corporal punishment.

Read more about Corporal Punishment:  History of Corporal Punishment, Modern Use, Differing Views About Corporal Punishment, Anatomical Target, Ritual and Punishment

Famous quotes containing the words corporal and/or punishment:

    I am settled, and bend up
    Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
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