South America is one of the seven continents of the world. South America and North America are collectively known as the Americas. There are 12 independent countries in South America and two overseas territories. It has a population of more than 387 million, and ranks fourth in terms of land area among all the seven continents. The countries in South America are populated mostly by indigenous peoples, and those of European and African descent, with small minorities of Asians and others.
As defined by the United Nations Statistic Division, the countries in South America are as follows:
- Falkland Islands
- French Guiana
Spanking in South America
Official judicial corporal punishment (at national level) does not exist in South America. However, some countries, such as Bolivia, permit judicial whippings to be carried out among native indigenous communities, on the orders of village elders. Reports from organizations such as the US State Department and the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (GITEACPOC) seem to suggest that this form of traditional justice among natives in South America is very common. A US State Department report also says that there is school corporal punishment in Bolivia but no details are given, such as whether the punishment is formalized or just casual abuse by teachers. School corporal punishment is not banned in Bolivia but it is reportedly prohibited by regulation.
Judicial corporal punishment also appeared to have been practiced in Chile until it was abolished in 1928.
In Guyana, judicial whipping was meted out to male adults and juveniles in the past, but was outlawed in 2010 for juveniles. It is still legal for males above the age of 17 but there are no reports of this punishment being carried out in recent times. School corporal punishment (applicable to both boys and girls), however, is still lawful in Guyana and is meant for severe or repeated offenses only. It is administered by the head teacher or by a specifically delegated assistant, who must be of the same gender as the student. A record of the punishment must be kept. There are activists campaigning for corporal punishment to be abolished but there are also others who want it to be retained.
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