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Journal Article


Dziva C. Child Abuse Res. South Afr. 2019; 20(1): 26-35.


(Copyright © 2019, South African Professional Society on the Abuse of Children)






Prior to the adoption of a progressive Constitution of Zimbabwe in 2013, corporal punishment was regarded as one of the best ways in which children could be controlled when they misbehaved. This article draws insights from the human rights based approach and proceeds on the assumption that the outlawing of corporal punishment ushered in a new era and opportunity to effectively advance children's rights in Zimbabwe's highly conservative society. Drawing lessons from South Africa, this paper goes beyond acknowledging the constitutional clauses against corporal punishment to unearth implications thereof. Evidently, the promulgation of the 2013 Constitution ushered a new era for improved promotion, protection and enforcement of children's rights as a direct consequence of increased awareness, litigation, advocacy and lobbying against corporal punishment. While the constitutional ban on corporal punishment remains a starting point to ending the practice, evidence from South Africa shows that banning corporal punishment in terms of law is different from its total eradication in conservative societies with high moral and traditional overtones. Beyond the constitutional ban, this study recommends speedy alignment of child laws to the new constitution and international best practices, and widespread efforts to enlighten society on the constitutional provisions against the practice, and other alternative ways to discipline misbehaving minors without violating their fundamental rights and freedoms.

Language: en


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