Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, session 69 (2018)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women's concluding observations to states examined in session 69 (19 February - 9 March 2018)

Malaysia

(9 March 2018, CEDAW/C/MYS/CO/3-5 Advance unedited version, Concluding observations on third-fifth report, paras. 23, 24 and 36)

“The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to enhance the legal protection of women from gender-based violence, including by amending the Domestic Violence Act in 2017. Nevertheless, the Committee remains concerned about: …

(e) The use of whipping by Syariah [sic] courts as a form of punishment, whereas whipping of women is prohibited under the Criminal Procedural Code.

“Recalling its general recommendation No. 35 (2017) on gender-based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19, the Committee recommends that the State party: …

(e) Harmonize Syariah [sic] law with Section 289 of the Criminal Procedural Code to prohibit the use of whipping of women as a form of punishment.”

“Recalling its general recommendation No. 36 (2017) on the right of girls and women to education, the Committee recommends that the State party: …

(e) Adopt anti-bullying policies based on alternative strategies to address bullying, such as counselling services and positive discipline, and undertake awareness-raising measures to foster equal rights for LBTI students.”

Saudi Arabia

(9 March 2018, CEDAW/C/SAU/CO/3-4 Advance unedited version, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 31, 32, 33 and 34)

“The Committee notes the enactment, in 2013, of the Protection from Abuse Act, which criminalizes domestic violence and the establishment of shelters across the country. It notes with concern, however:

(e) The persistent use by male guardians of physical violence to discipline women and children under their guardianship;…

“Recalling its general recommendation No. 35 (2017) on gender-based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(c) Review and repeal all legal provisions that exculpate perpetrators of domestic violence, including male guardians;…

“The Committee is concerned that women and girls who are victims of sexual abuse risk facing criminal proceedings if they press charges, since the reporting of rape or sexual assault, if not proved, can be considered a confession of sexual relations outside of marriage (zina) or adultery, which are punishable by flogging or stoning and, in some instances, death in the State party.

“The Committee recommends that the State party amend its legislation to ensure that victims of sexual abuse are not punished if they press charges that later cannot be proved, and immediately release and compensate women and girls who have been convicted of and are serving sentences for zina or adultery offences, especially migrant women who are victims of sexual violence and abuse.”

Suriname

(9 March 2018, CEDAW/C/SUR/CO/4-6 Advance unedited version, Concluding observations on fourth/sixth report, paras. 26 and 27)

“The Committee reiterates its concern about the high prevalence of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, against women in the State party and the delay in adopting the draft National Policy Plan 2014-2017 on Domestic Violence. It further regrets:

(a) The limited information on the application of the Law on Domestic Violence since its adoption in 2009;

(b) The lack of information on inter-institutional coordination mechanisms for combating gender-based violence, including domestic violence and sexual harassment, and the fact that there is only one shelter for victims of domestic violence with about 30 women and their children;

(c) The continuing practice of corporal punishment affecting girls and the absence of legislation explicitly prohibiting it in all settings;

(d) The lack of information on the prevalence, causes and consequences of gender-based violence against women, despite the Committee’s previous recommendation (CEDAW/C/SUR/CO/3, para. 20).

“Recalling its general recommendation No. 35 (2017) on gender-based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Approve, without delay, the national policy plan on domestic violence and continue its efforts to enforce the law on domestic violence;

(b) Establish additional shelters for victims of gender-based violence that are accessible for all women and girls, especially those living in rural areas, and that they provide legal assistance, rehabilitation and psycho-social support to victims;

(c) Adopt legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings;

(d) Systematically collect data on gender-based violence against women and girls, disaggregated by age, ethnicity, geography and relationship between victim and perpetrator, and ensure that research in this area serves as a basis for comprehensive and targeted interventions.”

In this session

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