Bolivia bans all corporal punishment of children

Date: 6th August 2014
Category: Equal protection from violence

On 17th July 2014, the President of Bolivia signed into law a new Children and Adolescents Code for the country, which explicitly prohibits all corporal punishment of children, including in the home.

The Code came into force on 6th August 2014, making Bolivia the sixth Latin American State to prohibit all corporal punishment and the 39th State worldwide.

The code provides for the 'right to good treatment' and states that "The exercise of the authority of the mother, father, guardian, family members and educators should use non-violent methods in parenting, education and correction. Any physical, violent and humiliating punishment is prohibited."

General Comment number 8 to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) recognises the right of the child to respect for their dignity and physical integrity and equal protection under the law. The Committee issues this General Comment to highlight the obligation all of State parties to move quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment and all other cruel or degrading forms of punishment of children, and to outline the legislative and other awareness-raising and educational measures that States must take.

The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children is an international organisation aiming to speed the end of corporal punishment of children across the world. They keep track of global progress and human rights law and corporal punishment and provide research into countries which have prohibited all corporal punishment and the nature, effects and extent of corporal punishment.