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Title:Balancing the concept of the best interests of the child and the application of corporal punishment in Nigera
Authors:Akintola, Simisola O.
Taiwo, E. Adewale
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:corporal punishment
criminal law
Abstract:Corporal punishment is a complex issue having social, cultural, religious and human rights dimensions. While the abolitionists of corporal punishment argue that it violates the constitutional right of the child not to be subjected to cruel or degrading treatment, the retentionists take the position that corporal punishment per se does not amount to cruel or degrading treatment: it is an essential means of instilling discipline in learners. This article asserts that the Nigerian law, as it presently stands, permits the use of corporal punishment so far as it does not occasion grievous harms on the children. It is argued that this arrangement exposes children to abuses, which in some cases results in a serious or permanent injury which is contrary to the concept and philosophy of the 'best interests' of the child. The article advocates for alternative methods of enforcing discipline in schools. It posits that in all cases warranting discipline, the paramount consideration should be the best interest of the child. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]