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Ending Corporal Punishment – Next Steps

With the historic passage of the Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill this week, it is important to take stock of the work that remains to be done to effectively eradicate the inhumane practice of corporal punishment across Pakistan. Here’s what remains to be done:

Legislation, Implementation and Monitoring, Awareness and Sensitization


Having adequate legal backing to ban and criminalise corporal punishment is an important first step that still needs to be completed across Pakistan.

  1. The Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill passed by the National Assembly this week has to be passed into law by the Senate. 
  2. The provincial assemblies of Punjab and Balochistan need to pass laws explicitly banning corporal punishment. (Currently, corporal punishment is banned in Punjab through administrative and court orders but no legal backing exists for the same).
  3. The KP Child Protection Act needs to be amended to also disallow the practice of corporal punishment ‘as provided under Section 89’ so that children can no longer be hit even if deemed to be “in good faith” or “for their benefit.”


Implementation and Monitoring

Passing legislation is only the first step - ensuring implementation requires the following steps from an administrative perspective:

  1. In Sindh, the rules of implementation for the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Act 2016 need to be notified so that there is clarity about the referral mechanism, reporting, penalties and monitoring of the law.
  2. The rules of business for the recent ICT bill must be formulated and communicated within six months once it is passed by Senate 
  3. The implementation of existing and upcoming legislation needs to be enforced, scrutinized and kept up to date
  4. Teachers and Education Department officials need to officially be made aware of the law and trained on effective alternatives such as time-outs, detention, verbal warnings, demerit boxes, apology letters, behaviour contracts, withdrawal of privileges, community service, etc. as part of both their induction and regular in-service training. 


Awareness and Sensitization

Much of the challenge in addressing this issue revolves around changing mindsets. Over 70% of teachers believe that corporal punishment is a useful practice, which explains why it remains widespread.

  1. People need to know about the law and understand the purpose behind it before they can follow it.
  2. Regular, systematic awareness campaigns must be planned targeting children, parents, educators and caregivers in both rural and urban, as well as public and private settings to inform them about: (i) the existing laws banning corporal punishment (ii) the severe long-term impact of corporal punishment, and (iii) effective alternatives to the harmful practice
  3. Workshops need to be conducted at every level to sensitise law enforcement officials and judges so that they can understand the adverse effects of corporal punishment and empathise with children when they deal with reported cases


How you can help

  1. Post about this issue on your social media to create awareness
  2. Talk to children, parents and educators in your circle to make sure they know
  3. Write to your elected representatives – MNAs, MPAs, Senators - to keep up the pressure



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