High Time

Sustainable development goals

If we really want to build a world free from fear and violence, it is high time to accept that clearly prohibiting violent punishment of children is an essential foundation

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the presentation of the first global study on violence against children to the United Nations General Assembly. There should be faster progress to celebrate. Genuine acceptance of the Study’s key message: “No violence against children is justifiable; all violence against children is preventable” is taking far too long.

My involvement in the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the Syrian conflict has confronted me with highly visible and extreme atrocities against so many children, including those fleeing the conflict – violence which nobody seems able or willing to stop. And then there is the less visible suffering of millions of children in the privacy of their homes, with some states still openly defending “reasonable” violence against children and parental “rights” to physical correction.

If we really want to build a world free from fear and violence, it is high time to accept that clearly prohibiting violent punishment of children is an essential foundation. I pledge to continue voicing these concerns and to support High Time and other global efforts to achieve effective and explicit prohibition of all forms of violence against children, including in their homes.

Professor Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro - Independent Expert Led the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children

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