After more than three years advocating for a law against corporal punishment, the Senate plenary passed Bill 320: “Whereby the use of physical punishment, cruel, humiliating or degrading treatment and any type of violence as a method of correction against children and adolescents are prohibited and other provisions are enacted”. This precedent marks another step forward in the comprehensive protection of the rights of children and adolescents in Colombia.
The recently approved law, with a majority of 140 votes to 13, promotes parenting based on love and respect for the dignity of children, as well as support for families to strengthen their parenting skills.
“We celebrate the fact that Colombia is the 63rd country in the world that is committed to new forms of relationships, to building peace, to being a country free of violence against children and adolescents,” said María Paula Martínez, executive director of Save the Children Colombia.
In the case of Latin America, our country joins Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. States that have opted for the upbringing of children without the use of any kind of violence.
“This law is a preventive one, it is not punitive and it establishes a public policy of education and prevention to avoid more violence,” said Harry González, co-author of the initiative.
The pedagogical and prevention strategy to which González refers will promote alternatives and practices to educate, guide and discipline without physical punishment, to initiate a cultural transformation that will eliminate the use of physical punishment and humiliating treatment against children.
Save the Children, together with the proponent representatives, the coalition of NGOs, and some academic institutions, has been promoting in different political, social, family, and institutional spaces, diverse pedagogical strategies focused on comprehensively guaranteeing the rights of children and adolescents. This historic ruling invites and motivates us to continue advocating and working tirelessly for the well-being of children.