Four out of five children in the Middle East and North Africa, are subjected to violent discipline at home

Statement by Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa

26 September 2019

AMMAN, 25 September 2019 – “An estimated 80 per cent of all children in the Middle East and North Africa are subjected to violent discipline in their homes. Recent footage online of extremely harsh disciplining of a toddler is only a reminder of the urgency to step up efforts to stop a practice, which even in mild forms, affects children physical and moral health.

“Raising and educating children should always be constructive and be based on respect. Violence is unacceptable in any way, shape or form. Nothing can justify the use of violence against children.

“This year marks 30 years for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to the Convention, children have the right to be protected at all times. UNICEF calls on all governments across the region to enact and enforce laws that protect children and develop large-scale programmes to promote better parenting practices and ensure that children thrive in safe learning environments, free of violence.

 “UNICEF calls on all social media networks to promote child rearing practices that are constructive and respectful for children and their rights.

Media contacts

Juliette Touma
Regional Chief of Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office
Tel: 00962798674628
Tamara Kummer
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Middle East and North Africa
Tel: 00962 797 588 550


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