Bogota mayor signs anti-corporal punishment bill
By Carla Lopez, Columbia Reports, December 29, 2011

Bogota's interim mayor signed an anti-corporal punishment bill Wednesday in an effort to ensure children's rights.

The Ministry of Health has been assigned to implement the annual campaign that promotes non-violent ways of educating children.

"This is nothing more nor less than to create the conditions of a deep cultural change and [it] is about the treatment of children, by eradicating a process of cultural training and physical punishment and demeaning attitudes against all the little ones. They must be corrected with love," said interim Mayor Clara Lopez.

According to the National Health Survey conducted by Profamilia in Bogota, seven out of 10 mothers use physical punishment as a method of correction while five out of 10 fathers resort to this practice.

The new initiative states that district entities should promote programs to sensitize society towards to the need to avoid physical punishment.

"This arrangement has been approved by the Council of Bogota, and I have had the honor of sanctioning [it]. It converts Bogota to the cutting-edge of what is good treatment and non-violence against children, which is the only way to build the future," said the mayor.

In 2010 there were 3,249 reports of child abuse and 886 complaints of alleged sex crimes against minors in the capital city.

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