CHILE: The Minister of Justice of the Government of Chile announces the prohibition of physical punishment as a method of correction for children
Children's Rights Information Network (CRIN), December 18, 2007

[SANTIAGO, December 18, 2007] - Within the framework of processing the bill for comprehensive improvement of the Family Courts, the Senate Committee on Constitution, Legislation, and Justice has approved an amendment to Article 234 of the Civil Code--which allows parents to "correct" their children--clearly establishing that said license excludes all forms of physical punishment

The initiative, drafted by the Minister of Justice, Carlos Maldonado, and proposed by open request of the President of the Republic, Michelle Bachelet, entails important modifications to sections 2, 3, and 4 of the article indicated, which will make it possible to authorize current Family Courts to be notified of any form of physical punishment being applied to minors for the purpose of correction, having powers moreover to adopt preventative measures to protect them.

On this question, the law currently states that "if such detriment arises or if there is well-founded fear that it is occurring, the judge, at the request of any person or agency, will order measures in the interest of safeguarding the child, without the prejudice of sanctions that may apply to the infraction." "Today, as we are developing the Treat Children Well campaign and with Christmas just a few days away, there is very good news for the boys and girls of Chile," said Minister Maldonado, who celebrated the Senate Constitutional Committee's unanimous decision to approve the prescription which seeks to eradicate physical punishment of minors in any form.

Maldonado: "Eradicating violence and physical punishment from our families is a task shared by all."
Along these lines, the Secretary of State explained that "we are fulfilling a commitment of the President of the Republic, as a step toward truly eradicating physical punishment as a means of conflict resolution within the family".

He likewise explained that while the standard clearly rules out physical punishment of children, it is necessary that the family unit, especially adults, become aware of it. "Eradicating violence and physical punishment from our families is a task shared by all," he suggested.


Return to:
Advocacy and protest
Violence toward children at home
The Newsroom
Front Page