Thursday 9 August 2007

Children's views on physical and emotional punishment

What children say: Results of comparative research on physical and emotional punishment of children in Southeast, East Asia and Pacific in 2005.

This publication is the result of an unprecedented study by Save the Children Sweden, regional office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, of children's experiences of physical and emotional punishment, coordinated between teams from eight different countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, The Philippines, and Viet Nam) involving more than 3000 children and over 1000 adults.

A code of ethics was maintained throughout the exercise, and researchers were responsible for making sure that the research did no harm to the children, and that participation was voluntary.

The findings highlight the extraordinary levels and types of violence to which children are subjected in the name of discipline and childrearing - a violence that becomes part of their psychological and social makeup and thus integral to all levels of society and all human relationships.

One clear message from this research is that a contradiction is revealed when what children say is compared with what adults say. Although adults say direct assaults are not an appropriate way to punish children, children report the main form of punishment they receive is direct assaults. Adults do not act according to what they say they believe. This leaves children with a range of problems when they try to assimilate the obvious contradictions in the discipline they receive.

The document can also be downloaded from: or

Hard copies and CD ROM’s can be obtained (free from charge) from:

Save the Children Sweden
Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific
14th floor, Maneeya Center, South Building
518/5 Ploenchit Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +662 684 1046/7 Fax: +662 684 1048

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