Phare Ponleu Selpak is still taking an active role in the “Love Does Not Hurt Campaign”: a three-year advocacy campaign launched in 2020 to push for an end to Humiliating/Corporal Punishment and to promote Positive Discipline in the Southeast Asian Region.

In May and June, our social support team conducted a new series of awareness sessions in 16 villages of Battambang Province, to which more than 330 persons attended. We have accompanied Phare social workers for a day, and interviewed participants and education stakeholders about children discipline and corporal punishment in Cambodia. Watch our video to discover what they have to say!

What Is “Love Does Not Hurt” Campaign about?

The “Love Does Not Hurt” campaign advocates for children rights and wellbeing, and has been implemented in Southeast Asia through our network of partners: the Association for Community Development in Laos PDR, the GabFai Community Theatre Group in Thailand, and the Philippine Educational Theater Association.

Together, we believe that positive and non-violent ways of raising, educating and disciplining children and the youth are characterized by and manifested through Love, Acceptance, Openness and Respect. We want all adults and duty-bearers to protect children wherever they are, in all settings.

Why Was the Campaign Launched?

 It came as a necessary effort to protect vulnerable children, after a major UNICEF study in more than 30 low- and middle-income countries found that on average 75% of children experienced violent discipline within the home, with 17% experiencing severe physical punishment. The impacts observed on children are, among others: 

-Physical-damage to the child’s central nervous system and brain development; 

-Lower levels of educational attainment; 

-Impairment of language skills and of both motor and intellectual functioning;

-Psychological effects such as low self-esteem; anxiety, eating, dissociative and other traumatic stress disorders; 

-Exhibiting deviant behaviors such as aggression, substance abuse, teen pregnancy 

Love Does Not Hurt in 3 Words

1. CORPORAL PUNISHMENT is a wide spread behavior in children education that we are trying to change through this awareness campaign. It is a disciplinary act or method in which an adult inflicts pain or discomfort upon a child for a misdeed done, or what the adult or society at large perceives to be an unacceptable behavior or language. However light the form of corporal punishment used, it is always degrading. It belittles, humiliates, denigrates, ridicules, scares and threatens children and the youth. The impacts on children development can be devastating and in many ways prevent them from becoming healthy, accomplished adults.

2. POSITIVE DISCIPLINE is a non-violent means to teach children and guide their behavior, that our social workers are actively discussing with families, villages’ authorities and even teachers. Positive Discipline respects the dignity and rights of the child, it is solution-focused and provides proper guidance on problem solving. It is about finding long-term solutions that develop children’s own self-discipline and their life-long skills. Some key principles are non-discrimination, respect for the views of the child and his/her best interest.

3. EFFECTIVE PARENTING is the process of nurturing, promoting and supporting the holistic development of a child from infancy to adulthood. By encouraging the parents to be more engaged in their children’s education and wellbeing, providing them warmth and structure, understanding how their children think and feel, we can help changing lives and improving society as a whole by building healthier relationships.

Please SHARE this article and video to help protect children wherever they are.

Together we can #END VIOLENCE against children in Cambodia and around the world!

Help more students in Battambang: Make a financial contribution to Phare Ponleu Selpak and empower youth to face tomorrow’s challenges.