Press Release

Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child Urges States to End Corporal Punishment and Bullying Against Children and Adolescents

June 1, 2018

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, took part in the Inter-American Meeting on Corporal Punishment Against Children and Adolescents and in the Regional Consultation on the Protection of Children from Bullying, both held in Mexico City on April 25-27 and co-sponsored by the Mexican Government, the Office of the Special Representative of the United Nations’ Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, UNICEF, the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IIN) , the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Defense of the Rights of Children and Adolescents and the IACHR.

In the context of her participation in those events, Commissioner Arosemena de Troitiño urged States to increase their efforts to end corporal punishment and bullying against children and adolescents. In particular, the Rapporteur expressed the need for countries in the hemisphere to enforce the guiding principles concerning the human rights of children and adolescents as established in international law, with a view to eradicating all forms of violence affecting children and adolescents and ensuring their full recognition as subjects of rights.

Bullying, cyberbullying and school violence have also attracted considerable attention in recent years, and they are being monitored by the IACHR’s Rapporteurship on the Rights of the Child. Violence in this context is associated with negative effects on the right to education of children and adolescents, since it prevents learning and increases school absence and dropout rates. In this sense, Commissioner Arosemena de Troitiño mentioned the need to deepen the design, planning and adoption of public policies with a human rights focus that effectively protect children from school violence. This requires strengthening the institutions responsible for promoting, protecting and defending the rights of the child in every country, she said. The Rapporteur thanked the institutions who took part in the two events and highlighted those institutions’ shared interest in eradicating corporal punishment and bullying in the region.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 123/18