Bangladesh court orders end to corporal punishment in schools
By Julhas Alam (CP), The Canadian Press, July 20, 2010

DHAKA, Bangladesh Bangladesh's High Court has ordered schools to stop using corporal punishment on students, a practice UNICEF says is widespread and has reportedly led to the suicide of a 10-year-old boy.
High Court: "Such punishments violate human rights."

Sunday's ruling was in response to a petition by the rights group Ain-o-Salish Kendra, which said it was moved to act after dozens of cases of corporal punishment were reported in media over the past year.

The group's lawyer, Sara Hossain, said the court ruled that such punishments violate human rights. She said the government has been asked to train teachers in other methods of discipline and launch a media awareness campaign.

An Education Ministry official said Tuesday the government would respond to the High Court's directives after it received official documents from the court. He spoke to The Associated Press by phone on condition of anonymity citing official policy.

Last year, the U.N. Children's Fund said 91 per cent of children in Bangladesh's schools are subject to physical punishment, including twisting ears or skin, pulling hair, slapping or forced kneeling.

Earlier this month, local media reported that a 10-year-old boy committed suicide after he had been beaten by a teacher in a school in northern Bangladesh.

Copyright 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.


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