Legislating to Prevent Violence against Children: Corporal Punishment Bans Are Necessary but Not Enough

Case Studies & Research
Center for Global Development
10 p.

In this note, we explore whether bans have contributed to changing prevalence of, and support for, corporal punishment in low- and middle-income countries across time. Our analysis provides four main findings. First, although bans are necessary and important, they alone are not sufficient to end corporal punishment. The introduction of bans should be accompanied by other policies aiming to shift norms around the use of violence. Second, government and citizen alignment on views and norms about corporal punishment seems to be a precondition for implementing bans. Third, parents’ approval and use of corporal punishment are influenced by their own experiences of violence. It is therefore crucial to break the intergenerational transmission of violence. And fourth, we need better data to disentangle the causal impacts of bans and other more comprehensive policies within school settings.