On 7 February 2017, the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk launched NON-VIOLENT CHILDHOODS, a project providing sustainable models of integrated public education to accelerate the end of violent punishment of children. The project partners, associated partners and experts met on the premises of the CBSS Secretariat in order to elaborate on the project’s objectives and beneficiaries as well as to present the overall vision and to provide background information given by among others the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, the Norwegian Ombudsman for Children and Save the Children (Sweden).
The Baltic Sea Region may soon become a no-corporal-punishment zone within Europe and has accumulated important experiences in bringing the ban from law into practice. In the example of Sweden, the Parliament voted in favour of a complete ban on corporal punishment, including in the home, in 1979. Combined with integrated public education, 92% of parents now believe it is wrong to beat or slap a child, and about 3% of parents report having had struck their child in 2011 compared to 28% in 1980. To date, 10 out of the 11 Baltic Sea Region countries have banned corporal punishment: Finland achieved prohibition in 1983, Denmark in 1997, Estonia in 2015, Germany in 2000, Iceland in 2003, Latvia in 1998, Norway in 1987 and Poland in 2010 and just now, Lithuania on 14 February 2017.
The project promotes the elimination of corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading punishments of children though the changing of the mind-set and public opinion at large. The initiative will share, discuss and systematize the experiences in the Baltic Sea Region countries in transforming traditional attitudes with a wide range of target groups such as families, children and communities; policy makers, public officials and independent institutions; researchers; as well as with the media and faith-based organisations. Managed by the Council of Baltic Sea States Secretariat (Children at Risk Unit) and the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children in partnership with Ministries of Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Latvia and the Ombudsman for Children’s Rights in Poland, it was developed in consultation with Ministries across the Baltic Sea Region and with input from other experts and organisations and agencies – campaigning for children’s rights and non-violent discipline in all kinds of services for families and children. The activities and goals are grounded in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and are in line with the efforts to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 16: ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. Eliminating corporal punishment is a key preventative action in fighting all forms of violence against children.
Read more about the project here.
Fore more photos of the launch meeting go here.