1. Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) learnt with dismay, through RB1 on the 27th of May 2021 that the Minister of Basic Education, Mr Fidelis Molao encourages Corporal Punishment of children.
  2. The Minister is said to have encouraged Kgosi Bana Sekai in Kgatleng to continue administering corporal punishment to children who are purported to be presenting unruly behavior.
  3. BONELA is concerned and fears that such corporal punishment will condone an environment of violence, which is a profound violation of human rights. According to the 2018 Violence Against Children Survey, physical violence is the most common form of violence against children; and adults in the community are among the leading perpetrators.
  4. Corporal punishment especially in a public forum such as the kgotla is a cruel and degrading form of violence. Although intended as punishment it may counterintuitively worsen the behavior of children. Various global studies have found corporal punishment to be an ineffective instrument in bringing about desired behavior change. Such studies, have found corporal punishment to be predictive of aggression, delinquent behavior and criminality, mental health issues, and increased susceptibility to other forms of physical abuse (Lansford et al, 2011; Botswana Guardian, 2021). This suggests that the cycle of violence could be significantly deterred by addressing corporal punishment.
  5. BONELA therefore, strongly recommends that Government of Botswana repeal and replace with prohibition, corporal punishment of children in national legislation such as the Penal Code, Education Policies or any other laws, which promote corporal punishment. In addition, the Minister of Education should be a proponent of Children’s rights by enacting policies that will protect children against any form of violence and or exposure to violence.

    For more information, contact BONELA on: TELL | +267 393 2516 or FAX | +267 3932517 Cindy Kelemi at cindyk@bonela.org or +267 73007782 | Tebogo Gareitsanye at tebogog@bonela.org or +267 73297509

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