World Firsts in Children's Rights

Which was the first country to ban corporal punishment in schools?

It has been said that Poland first prohibited corporal punishment in schools in 1783*. However, since 1795 Poland has gone through many political upheavals and changes to its legislative framework. In Finland, corporal punishment has been unlawful in schools since 1872. The prohibition was reinforced in legislation in 1914 and continued in the Primary Schools Act (1957) and the Comprehensive Schools Act (1985).

*Grzegorz Seidler, "The Reform of the Polish School System in the Era of the Enlightenment" in James A. Leith (ed.), "Facets of Education in the Eighteenth Century", 1977.

Which country was the first to ban corporal punishment by parents?

In 1979, Sweden was the first country to ban corporal punishment by parents. For an up-to-date list of countries which prohibit corporal punishment, together with the relevant laws, visit this page at the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.

In 2010, Tunisia was the first Islamic country to ban corporal punishment by parents. The Republic of South Sudan, which banned "all forms of physical or mental violence" in it's 2008 Child Act (before it became an independent country), is a predominantly Christian region with separation between church and state.

When was the first Children's Ombudsman established?

Norway was the first country to establish a Children's Ombudsman through an act of legislation in 1981. The office of the Ombudsman for Children is independent, autonomous and politically neutral, with the primary task of promoting the interests of children in society at large, and monitoring the conditions under which children develop.

Who proposed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?

On the eve of the International Year of the Child (1979), the Government of Poland took the initiative to formally propose a draft text for a legally-binding Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The final version was adopted by the UN General Assembly in November 1989 (source).

What country first ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Ghana was the first country to ratify UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in February 1990. More information can be found on the website of the government's Ministry of Women & Children's Affairs. In the same month, Vietnam became the second country to ratify the treaty (total ratifications:193).