Worldwide there has been significant movement toward the democratisation of childhood. This has led to increasing recognition of the rights of children, more attention to child maltreatment, and to stepped-up attempts to arrest the lost developmental potential of children due to difficult social and economic circumstances. At the same time, several societies (e.g. Sweden) have taken the bold step of implementing legislation against the use of physical punishment and the humiliation of children. Depending on economic resources and political and social will, efforts at protecting the rights of children have met with varying degrees of success across the world.