Photo via El Intransigente

A recent UNICEF report discovered that 73 percent of Argentine children between ages 2 and 4 have suffered from physical or psychological violence. The data comes from a study conducted by Argentina’s Ministry of Social Development, which interviewed 23,791 urban households throughout the country.

The graphic below from UNICEF’s report indicates the percentage of children in countries across the world aged 2 to 4 years who experienced any form of violent discipline in the past month.

Argentina Globally

Globally, the statistics are also grim: nearly half of children from 12 to 23 months experience corporal punishment and verbal abuse. La Nación reported that 54.4 percent of parents in Argentina admitted using corporal punishment with their children, while 62.5 percent admitted verbal aggression. However, 95 percent surveyed said that they believed children should not be punished physically.

The graphic below indicates Argentina’s global and regional position with respect to violent methods of discipline used with children.

In Latin America, Argentina sits in the middle of the statistics. Graphic via La Nación.
In Latin America, Argentina sits in the middle of the statistics. Graphic via La Nación.

“Violence against children is a global problem and especially worrying when it occurs inside homes and involves adult guardians, people who are in the place of protecting and accompanying the children during their growth,” noted Roberto Benes, a representative of UNICEF Argentina. “Violence during childhood and adolescence leaves permanent marks on children and has consequences for their development now and in the future,” Benes added.

“Boys, girls and adolescents need to live in environments protected and free from violence. In Argentina, only 3 in 10 households can celebrate a childhood without violence,” noted UNICEF Argentina via Twitter.

Until 2015, Argentina did not have that explicitly prohibited corporal punishment from parents. Article 278 of the Civil Code, written in 1871, stated: “Parents have the power to correct the conduct of their younger children. The power of correction should be exercised in moderation and should exclude abuse, punishment or acts that physically or mentally harm the children.”

Today, article 647 of the Civil code states: “Corporal punishment is prohibited in all forms, abuses and any act that physically or psychologically harms children or adolescents.”