High-level conference on Changing the world: making non-violent childhoods a reality

To raise attention to the fact that it is possible to change policies, attitudes and behaviours, the Council of the Baltic Sea States organised a high-level conference on implementing the prohibition of corporal punishment. One president, several ministers, and many high-level policy-makers and representatives gave their reflections and recommendations.

In 1979 Sweden set an example for the rest of the world to follow – by being the first country in the world to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings. Since then, 53 more countries have achieved a legal ban, and more countries are in the process of enacting a legal prohibition.

Today, the Baltic Sea Region is a pioneer and model region at the global level. Of 11 member states in the Council of the Baltic Sea States, 10 have a full legal prohibition of corporal punishment in place.

To raise attention to the fact that it is possible to change policies, attitudes and behaviours, the Council of the Baltic Sea States organised a high-level conference in Stockholm 15 – 16 November 2018 on implementing the prohibition of corporal punishment.

One president, several ministers, along with other high-level policy-makers and representatives from child ombudsmen´s offices, academia and international and national organizations and institutions reflected upon the regional and global situation and gave their recommendations. Six guidance reports, a comic book and a campaign were launched at the conference. The main recommendations, key messages and excerpts from the speeches are included in this report. Full versions of the speeches and photos from the conference are available on the website: www.childrenatrisk.eu/nonviolence.

The conference was an important milestone marking the achievements the Baltic Sea region has made in inspiring other regions and countries to act on this issue. It also marked the mid-point between the last global conference organized by the government of Malta in May 2018, and the next in Tunisia in 2020 (postponed).

The high-level conference was organized by the Council of the Baltic Sea States and co-hosted by the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children and the Swedish Government.