Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text SizeFacebookTwitterYoutubeInstagramLinkedIn

image of young girl covering face with text "Physical Punishment"


Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth

What is the Joint Statement?

The Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth was developed by a national coalition of organizations facilitated by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Based on an extensive review of research, the Joint Statement provides an overview of the developmental outcomes associated with the use of physical punishment. The evidence is clear and compelling — physical punishment of children and youth plays no useful role in their upbringing and poses only risks to their development. The conclusion is equally compelling — parents should be strongly encouraged to develop alternative and positive approaches to discipline.

The pre-publication electronic edition of the Joint Statement was endorsed by 138 Canadian organizations concerned with the well-being of children and youth and, by invitation, a number of distinguished Canadians. These endorsers were acknowledged in the first printed edition of the Joint Statement launched at CHEO on September 29, 2004. At this update of the webpage, 602 organizations and several more distinguished Canadians are acknowledged for their endorsements. They are listed in the PDF below.

Every endorsement of the Joint Statement carries information to more Canadians about the adverse lifespan consequences for children and the societal harm associated with physical punishment. Endorsements continue to be received and are most welcome.

The Joint Statement is now in its fourth printing. Research published since 2004, when the first edition of the Joint Statement was published, consistently reinforces and extends the findings of the research summarized up to that time. A second printed edition will fully update research and Canadian and international developments regarding physical punishment. Brief summaries of key research findings since 2004 have been posted annually in the Physical Punishment Updates PDF below.

The Joint Statement Receives National and International Recognition

In 2006, the Joint Statement initiative received the Ted Freedman Innovation in Education Award. This prestigious international award recognizes individuals and organizations that inspire, advocate and enable education in health care. In 2012, Joan Durrant and Ron Ensom, co-authors of the Joint Statement, were honoured for their work on the issue of physical punishment of children with the Health Promotion & Innovation Award of Excellence (presented by the Canadian Institute of Child Health) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (nominated by UNICEF Canada).

How to Access the Joint Statement and its Supporting Documents

You may view and download from the PDFs below: the Joint Statement; its executive summary; endorsers' names; a note to potential endorsers; confirmation of endorsement form; memos to endorsers about physical punishment; a poster; backgrounders for the education, sports/recreation, mental health, and business communities; articles on physical punishment and children's health, physical punishment in sport and recreation, and an analysis of research; and a guide on positive discipline. You are welcome to circulate the documents as they are written (in hard copy or electronically), to link with this CHEO webpage, or to quote the Joint Statement with appropriate acknowledgment. Commercial distribution of the documents on this webpage is not permitted. Inquiries and endorsements may be directed as follows: email; or postal address CHEO, Partnerships and Advocacy, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L1.

  • Joint Statement: The full first edition of the document. (664 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
  • Executive Summary: (updated March 5, 2013) A synopsis of the Joint Statement. (135 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
The Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth
Image of Clipboard

Some Recent and Earlier Endorsers of the Joint Statement

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
  • Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario; London
  • Janusz Korczak Association of Canada
  • Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society; Ontario
602 endorsements to date

Take Action
image of a speakerphone


How you can help!

image of a cartoon heart


Ways to Give

image of a word bubble


Share your Story!

Quick Links

Health Topicsmagnifying glass

Letter aLetter bLetter cLetter eLetter fLetter g Letter hLetter iLetter jLetter kLetter lLetter mLetter nLetter oLetter pLetter qLetter rLetter sLetter t Letter uLetter vLetter wLetter xLetter yLetter z