The issue on violence against children has, for so many years now, caught the attention of various states and regions globally, including Southeast Asian countries. One specific issue on violence against children that urgently needs policy and social action is the practice of corporal punishment, defined by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child as “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. In the view of the Committee, corporal punishment is invariably degrading”. The Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment of all Children has vigilantly monitored actions taken by countries and states to ban corporal punishment of children in all settings. In Southeast Asia, the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children aims to “develop ASEAN Guideline on non-violent approach to nurture, care, and development of children in all settings (e.g. home, school, community, juvenile justice center, alternative care institutions)”. In the Philippines, various civil society organizations have actively campaigned for the promotion of positive discipline in place of corporal punishment.
Yanin Wongmai, Rosalia Sciortino