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Supreme Court bans corporal punishment

12 February 2021 05:22 pm - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Supreme Court in a landmark decision today declared that corporal punishment of children by schools was unlawful and violated the fundamental rights of a child. 

By reference to the Penal Code, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the evolution of Government policy over time, the Supreme Court declared that the slapping of a 15 year old child by a school teacher in Matara amounted to unlawful violence against a child and a violation of the Constitutional rights of a child. 

The Court accepted that corporal punishment can be both physical and mental. Declaring both physical and mental abuse of children in school as unlawful. 

In the judgment, the Court emphasized on the need to change our attitude towards corporal punishment and that society needs to change its thinking that hitting children makes them better. The Court also referred to ancient laws by Sri Lankan kings that prohibited violence against adults and children as a method of instilling discipline. Violence to teach discipline was a colonial concept, the Court declared. 

Both the teacher of the School in Matara and the Government has been ordered to pay a total of Rs650,000 as compensation to the child for slapping him and the injuries it caused.

Lawyer Thishya Weragoda, who represented the child and his parents in the case welcomed the judgment.  “It is time for us to change this.” He said. “We should be the last generation who thinks that being violent with our children will create a better and more peaceful society. This judgement should go a long way in changing that mindset.”

  Comments - 8

  • Saranga W Friday, 12 February 2021 05:26 PM


    RoaringCreek Friday, 12 February 2021 05:31 PM

    Good , at least a bit of sanity amidst a gazette fantasy.

    Lord Kent Friday, 12 February 2021 07:00 PM

    Its 2021 for god's sake!

    Kumar Friday, 12 February 2021 10:10 PM

    I hated corporal punishment which I received at school and at home. I never did that to my children because I hate it. The judge wasn't thinking of the last king of Kandy who slaughtered an entire family including an infant. I suppose that is to be swept under the rug?

    Era Friday, 12 February 2021 10:12 PM


    Jehan Saturday, 13 February 2021 10:33 PM

    Good decision , teachers also should be empowered and given training.As they know only to hit and call names. Specially in government schools.

    raj Sunday, 14 February 2021 04:00 AM

    corporal punishment by parents should be made as a punishable crime. There are abusive parents and relatives who use corporal punishment to control children emotionally

    Jegath Sunday, 14 February 2021 05:00 AM

    bravo! never too late

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