Innocenti Working Papers

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) was created to strengthen UNICEF's research capability and to support its advocacy for children worldwide. The Working Papers (formerly Innocenti Occasional Papers), are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues.


Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Peru

Evidence from Young Lives

This paper describes children’s experiences of violence at home in Peru, using a life-course approach. Violence against children at home tended to increase with age, as children took on more chores (especially in rural areas), and spent more time away from home (in some cases, in urban areas). The chances of being hit by parents increased when children failed in their responsibilities; spending more time away from home also presented potential dangers for children (e.g., being robbed in the community, joining a gang, etc.), and so violence was used as a means to protect them and to prevent them from being led astray. We discuss how living in poverty affects relationships between parents and children. Meeting the basic economic needs of a family is the priority for parents, who then have limited time, energy and resources to devote to their children. We also found that children exposed to violence in the home are also frequently exposed to corporal punishment at school. Parents are often aware of this situation and support teachers to punish their children, because it is considered critical for children’s learning and education. Addressing violence affecting children requires a multi-level approach that incorporates not only measures to address the manifestations of violence affecting children, but also the underlying factors driving that violence.


Keywords: children’s experiences, corporal punishment, Peru, Violence affecting children
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