The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF on Friday admonished President Rodrigo Duterte to sign into law that forbids beating children and other physical forms of punishment to discipline them as Malacañang on Thursday confirmed that Duterte rejected the measure.
Malacanang stated that the President have confidence in parents can physically discipline their children at a “self-restrained” manner. The President also believes that corporal punishment remains as an “effective form of discipline” that is also unique to Filipinos.
UNICEF in a statement stressed that the bill does not hinder parents’ right to discipline their child but “seeks to promote positive discipline instead of corporal punishment.” They distinct that positive discipline as “a non-violent approach to help and guide children to develop positive behavior while respecting their rights to healthy development, protection from violence, and participative learning.”
Research showed that 3 in 5 Filipinos experienced physical violence through childhood, with more than half of the cases happened at home, UNICEF citing the 2015 National Baseline Study on Violence against Children.
“Children who experience corporal punishment also experience higher levels of aggression and anxiety. Harsh physical punishment and hurtful verbal discipline may lead to overall poor psychological and emotional adjustment,” UNICEF stated.
Citing a 2016 report by the Council for the Welfare of Children where an ideal home is where positive discipline is experienced, the group added.
“We call on the Government to uphold its responsibility to respect, protect, and fulfill children’s rights and to support all measures that support families,” UNICEF concluded.