UNICEF Calls for Corporal Punishment Ban

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is reiterating its call for the Government of Jamaica to ban the use of corporal punishment in all settings.

The UNICEF’s call comes after the saddening news of the alleged beating death of a four-year-old Nashuan Brown in St. Catherine.

Findings from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2011 indicate that seven (7) out of ten (10) Jamaican children under age 15 are victims of violent punishment at home.

The term “Violent Punishment” includes psychological aggression such as shouting.

The data also shows that children between the ages of two and four are more violently punished than older children.

According to the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC) of 2018, 67 percent of children ages zero to eight are being slapped, and 18 percent are beaten with an implement.

Additionally, more boys are violently punished than girls, and more children in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) are violently punished than children in rural areas.

Education Specialist Dr. Rebecca Tortello says toxic stress done to a younger child takes years to unravel. She emphasised that alternative forms of discipline are needed in homes.

UNICEF is urging the Government to move decisively to outlaw corporal punishment in schools and homes.

They are also committed to supporting initiatives that help parents and caregivers learn positive, non-violent ways to communicate with and discipline their young children.

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