Special Representative Maalla M'jid congratulates Colombia for historical enactment of law prohibiting corporal punishment against children

New York,17 August 2021 -  Special Representative on Violence against Children, Najat Maalla M’jid congratulates Colombia for the enactment of the “law prohibiting the use of physical punishment, cruel, humiliating, or degrading treatment and any type of violence against children and adolescents as a method of correction against children and adolescents” (Law 2089 of 14 May 2021).”

“I congratulate the Government and the people of Colombia for becoming the 11th country in the Region enacting this breakthrough legislation which is of crucial importance for the protection of children from violence. Laws and its implementation are critical for an effective child protection system. They provide a clear guidance and limits of certain acts while reflecting the public recognition that some violations are not acceptable.” said SRSG Najat Maalla M’jid.

The SRSG congratulates all organizations and individuals committed to achieving and securing children’s rights, including their right to protection from all forms of violence everywhere, including corporal punishment. The achievement of this prohibition is the result of years of advocacy from national child rights activists. Legislation has been pursued since 2018, under the leadership of the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar, Alianza por la Niñez Colombiana and members of the National Alliance against Violence against Children.

This achievement will help to further advance our urgent journey towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, strengthening children’s protection from violence and ensuring that every child grows up free from fear, neglect, abuse and exploitation said SRSG Najat Maalla M'jid.  

Over 60 Member States have adopteda ban on corporal punishment and as countries move forward with steady implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, these national legislative measures are critical for countries to achieve the child-related targets of the Agenda, including SDG 16.2 to end all forms of violence against children.  

Prohibition in Colombia brings the total number of children worldwide protected by law from all corporal punishment to 313 million. There are 130 states that still need to advance this step, and huge numbers of children around the world are still waiting for the achievement of their right to protection from violent punishment.

The SRSG is strongly committed to support Member States towards universal prohibition and encourages all actors to work together to achieve this goal.