The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations in 1989 and approved by the Government of Guyana in 1991. Article 19 (1) states:
“States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.”
Article 37 (a) partially states:
“No child shall be subjected to torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
In Guyana, many protect the right to abuse children, which is often misconstrued as discipline. Corporal punishment in schools has long been debated. Former Education Minister Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine had expressed concern during his tenure that the practice was still prevalent in some schools and signaled his intention to eradicate it. However, the Guyana Teachers’ Union, heads of schools and many teachers have all defended the practice of corporal punishment, justifying it by declaring that there are no alternatives in place for those especially ‘bad-behaved’ children…..