By Sarah Nyakio
Corporal punishment has long been used as a disciplinary tool in Kenya, but its effectiveness and morality have been called into question in recent years. The use of physical punishment on children has negative effects on their emotional and psychological well-being, and it violates their fundamental human rights. Therefore, there is a growing movement in Kenya to ban corporal punishment in all settings, including homes, schools, and detention centers.
The Effects of Corporal Punishment in Kenya
Corporal punishment is often used as a quick solution to behavior problems, but it has long-lasting effects on the child’s mental and emotional health. Children who are subjected to physical punishment are more likely to develop mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. They may also suffer from low self-esteem, aggression, and anti-social behavior. Moreover, research shows that children who experience physical punishment have lower academic achievement and are more likely to drop out of school.
The use of corporal punishment in Kenya is also a violation of children’s human rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Kenya ratified in 1990, prohibits any form of physical or mental violence against children. This includes corporal punishment in all settings, such as homes, schools, and detention centers. Corporal punishment is not an acceptable form of discipline, and it should be replaced with positive and non-violent methods of discipline.
The Law on Corporal Punishment in Kenya
In Kenya, corporal punishment is prohibited in schools under the Basic Education Act of 2013. However, there is no specific law that prohibits corporal punishment in other settings, such as homes or detention centers. This has resulted in the widespread use of physical punishment in these settings. There have been several attempts to ban corporal punishment in all settings, but they have not been successful.
Why Corporal Punishment Should be Stopped in Kenya
Corporal punishment should be banned in all settings in Kenya for several reasons. First, it is a violation of children’s human rights. The use of physical punishment on children is degrading and inhumane, and it violates their dignity and autonomy. Children have the right to be protected from all forms of violence, including corporal punishment.
Second, corporal punishment is ineffective in the long-term. While it may stop a child’s behavior temporarily, it does not address the underlying cause of the behavior. Positive and non-violent methods of discipline, such as positive reinforcement and communication, are more effective in the long-term and have lasting benefits on the child’s emotional and psychological well-being.
Third, the use of corporal punishment perpetuates a cycle of violence. Children who experience physical punishment are more likely to use violence to resolve conflicts in the future. This can have negative consequences on their relationships and their interactions with society.
In conclusion, the use of corporal punishment in Kenya has negative effects on children’s emotional and psychological well-being, and it violates their fundamental human rights. It is time for Kenya to ban corporal punishment in all settings, including homes, schools, and detention centers. Positive and non-violent methods of discipline should be used to promote children’s emotional and psychological well-being and to foster positive