Friday, February 14, 2014

dna exclusive: Corporal punishment to cover those up to age18

Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:42 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
The ban on corporal punishment will soon cover students up to junior college. The state government’s draft child policy plans to extend the ban on corporal punishment to children up to the age of 18. At present, the RTE Act, 2009, says children in the 6-14 age group cannot be subjected to physical punishment and mental harassment.
The committee on the rights of the child defines corporal or physical punishment as any punishment in which physical force is used with the intention to cause pain or discomfort, however light. Apart from pain and discomfort, corporal punishment can cause physical and emotional trauma, and even death in extreme cases. It also leads to mental scarring, low self-esteem and breeds aggression.
The draft Maharashtra child policy, which has been framed by the Maharashtra Commission for Protection of Child Rights, says corporal punishment shall be banned in all schools. “The mechanism to prevent and address corporal punishment and other discriminatory practices in schools shall be put in place,” it says. This is Maharashtra’s second child policy. It will cover all children up to the age of 18 in Maharashtra, including migrants and tourists.
The policy recognises those up to the age of 18 as children. It is in line with provisions of international legislations on child rights, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, special legislations like the Juvenile Justice Act, Child Labour Act and the Maharashtra Child Development Policy issued in 2002.
“Corporal punishment is not allowed in schools... we will implement it strictly through the child policy,” minister of state for women and child development Fauzia Khan told dna.
“Corporal punishment is already banned under RTE for children up to the age of 14. Now, it will be extended to the age of 18,” said Asha Bajpai, dean, school of law, rights and constitutional governance at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. “Corporal punishment conveys to a child that through violence, you can get what you want... It is good that they have made a policy statement.”
No harm
At present, children in the 6-14 age group cannot be subjected to physical torture and mental harassment under the RTE Act. The new policy will increase the age limit to 18 and will also include tourists and migrants.

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