Corporal Punishment in Pakistan

While corporal punishment is difficult to measure because of under-reporting, it is clearly widespread in Pakistani schools and in households. In 2004, a survey of primary schools revealed that children were subject to physical punishment in 100 per cent of schools. According to HRCP, more than 80 per cent schools in Pakistan practice corporal punishment (1995: 155). A survey conducted in Karachi found that 87 per cent children in private schools and 91 per cent in government schools were verbally or physically abused (Jillani & Jillani 2000: 146). Some informants held the children in madrassas often undergo cruel punishment such as being chained or denied food for minor offences. UNICEF and Save the Children Sweden’s joint study on The Causes and Forms of Corporal Punishment and its impact on children carried out in three districts of NWFP (Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan and Hangu) identified 28 types of punishment that are inflicted at homes and 43 types at schools. Punishment at homes include caning, beating with shoes, belts, wood slabs, brooms or whips, smacking, kicking, hair-pulling, ear-twisting, biting, pinching, burning, giving electric shock, pouring hot or cold water on the body, etc. At schools, punishments include slapping, kicking, caning, ear-twisting, putting the child in awkward and humiliating positions, such as the “rooster” , “aero plane” or chair , and beating with an iron rod, water pipe, electric wire, etc.. The study found that primary school-age children were punished more than the older ones, and that corporal punishment was present in both the government and the private institutions. KAP 2007 shows that harsh disciplining and beating is common in families by family elders as well as older siblings. Family members associates this type of violence with disciplining and considers it as their duty. Scolding was the most common both for girls and boys followed by beating which was much higher for boys. Confinement was another mode of disciplining. It is believed that the reasons for violating discipline for boys are loitering and watching television, not studying and not respecting their elders, and for girls, other than watching television and not respecting elders, not observing purdah, not doing household chores and playing with friends. These findings also show the gender bias in terms of social behavior. However, boys face more severe and physical punishments.

Source: Child Protection Situation Analysis pf Pakistan

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