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73.4% of children between 1 and 14 subjected to corporal punishment in SL: UNICEF

15 June 2018 02:36 am - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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About 73.4% per cent of children aged one to fourteen experience corporal punishment at home by parents in Sri Lanka, the UNICEF Sri Lanka said yesterday.

Issuing a statement, it said only 48.7% of three to five-year old’s in Sri Lanka attend pre-school, which when of good quality helps to foster cognitive and language development, social competency and emotional development.

It said an estimate 17% of children under five are at risk of poor development due to stunted growth, resulting from poor nutrition and 15.1% of children under five are suffering from wasting (low weight for height) which if untreated can lead to chronic malnutrition.

“Children in Sri Lanka are at risk of entering adulthood at a disadvantage to their peers, because they have not benefited from the good nutrition, stimulation and protection - known as ‘eat, play and love’ - that enable a brain to grow to its full capacity by the age of 5 years,” warned UNICEF.

The statement said advances in neuroscience have proved that during the early years of life a child’s brain grows at an astounding rate which is never again repeated.

“A child’s brain grows and develops to 85 per cent of its full capacity by the age of 5. In these early years’ brain development depends on good nutrition, play and stimulation in the home environment and in preschools and love and protection from harm including violence, abuse and neglect. These can be provided by parents through simple actions, and can make a lasting, positive difference to a child’s development,” UNICEF said.

Meanwhile, marking the run up to Father’s Day (17th June), UNICEF said it has launched a new digital campaign to celebrate and inform parents how they can support their children’s optimal brain development.

UNICEF Sri Lanka representative Tim Sutton said the first five years of life are absolutely critical to a child’s whole future.

“This means that if we don’t enable every child to reach their full brain capacity by age five, we are robbing them, and Sri Lanka of its most valuable resource – the brains of its next generation. At present, too many children are at risk of entering adulthood at a disadvantage. Thankfully, parents can make all the difference. Through ‘eat, play and love’ they have the power transform their child’s future,” he said.

To ensure that every child under 5, irrespective of their wealth or location can benefit from at least one year of quality pre-school, giving them the best possible chance to succeed in school and life, UNICEF has launched an online petition at www.unicef.lk/eatplaylove, open to all that will be presented to decision makers in the future. We urge all to sign.

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  • Kiri Banda Friday, 15 June 2018 12:38 PM

    It's high time that parents in sri lanka be advissed the corporal punishment is something of the past and it has been outlawed in all civilized countries of the world for over 50 years. Its still tolerated in a majority Buddhist country. Its time all the people who matter make a stand against corporal punishment in Sri Lanka and join the nations of the civilized world.

    Shehan Friday, 15 June 2018 12:42 PM

    Corporal punishment is important to build and maintain discipline in children. Classic example is England where there isn’t NO corporal punishment and there is no deciplline but poor behaviour such as knife crime, sex and drugs and Nadia where teachers don’t have control nor respect over students.

    esn Friday, 15 June 2018 02:59 PM

    You must be joking, tell us whether England or Sri Lanka is more disciplined. England outlawed corporal punishment long ago, but not Sri lanka.

    jaya Friday, 15 June 2018 03:56 PM

    Shehan the problem is the discipline of this country for adults is biased. So you either learn to be good person at home or you get lost when you are an adult.

    Mr.Concern Friday, 15 June 2018 07:58 PM

    Still canes to punish children are allowed to be soled in the shops. Why aren't they banned yet?


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