Corporal and other cruel and humiliating punishment of children by parents and other adults is widespread in the Caribbean, as in other world regions. Social acceptance of corporal punishment has been enshrined in law: in all states and most territories in the Caribbean children can legally be hit and hurt in their homes; in most, corporal punishment is also lawful in schools, care settings and the penal system.
But children, like adults, have a right to legal protection from all assault, whoever the perpetrator is. International human rights law requires that all corporal punishment, including in the family home, be prohibited in law.
Across the Caribbean, support for an end to corporal punishment is growing among non-governmental organisations, prominent individuals, faith leaders and others. But much work remains to be done.
The Caribbean Coalition for the Abolition of Corporal Punishment of Children (CCACPC) aims to speed the prohibition and elimination of corporal punishment in Caribbean states, overseas departments, territories and dependencies.