In South Africa, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997) prohibits employment of children under 15 years; In section 43. (1) No person may employ a child— (a) who is under 15 years of age; or (b) who is under the minimum school-leaving age in terms of any law, if this is 15 or older.9 (2) No person may employ a child in employment— (a) that is inappropriate for a person of that age; (b) that places at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health, or spiritual, moral or social development. (3) A person who employs a child in contravention of subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence.

In the case of employment of children of 15 years or older, section 44. (1) (Subject to section 43(2)), states that “the Minister may, on the advice of the Commission, make regulations to prohibit or place conditions on the employment of children who are at least 15 years of age and no longer subject to compulsory schooling in terms of any law”. Furthermore, (2) “A person who employs a child in contravention of subsection (1) commits an offence”.

See also the regulations on hazardous work by children in South Africa.

Corporal Punishment 

In Austria, Article 5 of the Federal Constitutional Act on the Rights of Children 2011explicitly states that every child has the right to a non-violent upbringing, prohibiting corporal punishment, the infliction of mental suffering, sexual abuse and other abuses.

In Brazil, the Code on Children and Adolescents 1990 was amended in 2014 to prohibit all corporal punishment of children. Law No. 7,672/2010 inserts a new article 18-A into the Code which states (unofficial translation): “Children and adolescents are entitled to be educated and cared for without the use of physical punishment or cruel or degrading treatment as forms of correction, discipline, education or any other pretext, by their parents, by the members of their extended family, by persons responsible for them, by public officials implementing social and educational measures or by any other person entrusted with taking care of them or treating, educating or protecting them….” Amendments to the Code provide for a range of measures to ensure implementation of the prohibition, including referral to a family protection programme, warning and referral for guidance courses, without prejudice to any other legal measures that may be taken, and for the promotion of permanent educational campaigns, ongoing professional education and training and a range of other actions to support non-violent parenting, education and conflict resolution (art. 18-B). The Law came into force on the date of publication, 27 June 2014.

In Mongolia, the Law on the Rights of the Child 2016 explicitly confirms children’s right to be protected from violence, including corporal punishment (art. 7.1, unofficial translation): “Children have the right to be protected from crime, offences or any forms of violence, physical punishment, psychological abuse, neglect and exploitation in all social settings.”

The Law on Child Protection 2016 explicitly prohibits the use of corporal punishment and humiliating forms of punishment by parents and other adults (art. 2.6) and obliges parents and others caring for youth to use non-violent forms of discipline.

The Law on Child Protection 2016 article 2(6) explicitly prohibits “all types physical and humiliating punishment against children by parents, guardians and third parties who are responsible for care, treatment, guidance and education of children and adolescents” in the course of raising children and disciplining bad behavior; Child Protection Law (in Mongolian). Moreover, in the education and upbringing of and caring for children in article 5(4), “parents, legal guardians, relatives, and teachers shall follow non-violent disciplinary methods.”

The new legislation was passed in February 2016. The Law on the Rights of Children 2016 and the Law on Child Protection 2016 entered into force on 1 September 2016.

In Peru, the Law prohibiting the use of physical and other humiliating punishment against children and adolescents of 2015 introduced a new Article 3A in the Code of Children and adolescents: “Children and adolescents, without exception, are entitled to good treatment, which means to receive care, affection, protection, socialization and nonviolent education in a harmonious, supportive and nurturing environment in which comprehensive protection will be provided, either by their parents, tutors, or legal representatives, as well as their teachers, administrative, public or private authorities or anyone else.” The right to good treatment is reciprocal among children and adolescents.

Article 1 of the same law explicitly guarantees children the right to proper treatment, care and protection, prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings. Article 2 defines physical punishment as “the use of force, in the exercise of powers of upbringing or educating [children or adolescents], intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort in order to correct, control or change the behaviour of the children and adolescents”. Humiliating punishment is defined as “any offensive, denigrating, devaluing, stigmatizing or mocking, in the exercise of the powers of upbringing or education, in order to correct, control or change the behaviour of children and adolescents” is also prohibited. The Law explicitly repeals article 74(d) of the Code on Children and Adolescents and article 423(3) of the Civil Code, both of which authorised parents and others to “moderately correct” children. The law was approved by Congress on 10 December 2015 and was promulgated in the Official Gazette on 30 December 2015.

In Slovenia, following the adoption by the National Assembly in October 2016, the new Family Violence Prevention Act (Law No. 542-08/16-9/2.6) entered into force on 19 November 2016. The legislation stipulates that corporal punishment of children is prohibited in all settings, including in the home, in alternative care settings and in day care centres. The law also requires funds to be allocated from the national budget for training in the field of violence, particularly violence against children, and to finance positive parenting programmes. See here for further details.

In Sweden, the Children and Parents Code was amended in 1979 to include a ban on physical punishment and humiliating treatment of children. Chapter 6, section 1 of the code highlights that “Children are entitled to care, security and a good upbringing. Children are to be treated with respect for their person and individuality and may not be subjected to corporal punishment or any other humiliating treatment.” Sweden was the first country to introduce a specific ban on corporal punishment of children.