Committee Against Torture, session 40 (2008)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee Against Torture's concluding observations to states examined in session 40 (28 April - 16 May 2008)

Algeria

(26 May 2008, CAT/C/DZA/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, para. 19)

"While noting with satisfaction that corporal punishment against children is forbidden in school, the Committee remains concerned about the lack of any provision in the legislation of the State party prohibiting the use of this practice within the family. The Committee also notes with concern the lack of any provision in its domestic legislation prohibiting domestic violence against women (art. 16).

The State party should incorporate into its domestic legislation a provision prohibiting the use of corporal punishment against children within the family and domestic violence against women."

Australia

(22 May 2008, CAT/C/AUS/CO/1, Concluding observations on third report, para. 31)

"The Committee notes that corporal punishment of children is not explicitly prohibited in all States and Territories and may still be applied as ‘reasonable chastisement’.

The State party should adopt and implement legislation banning corporal punishment at home and in public and private schools, detention centres, and all alternative care settings in all States and Territories."

Costa Rica

(7 July 2008, CAT/C/CRI/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, para. 23)

"The Committee notes with satisfaction that corporal punishment is banned in education and in juvenile prisons. However, in the family, article 143 of the Family Code states that parents have the right to correct children in a moderate manner, which has been interpreted as allowing the use of corporal punishment (art. 16). The Committee takes note of the bill to abolish physical punishment of children and young people submitted to the Legislative Assembly by the Ombudsman, and the setting up of a group to discuss the issue. It encourages the State party to expedite the complete prohibition of corporal punishment of children."

Indonesia

(2 July 2008, CAT/C/IDN/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 15 and 17)

"The Committee is deeply concerned that local regulations, such as the Aceh Criminal Code, adopted in 2005, introduced corporal punishment for certain new offences. The Committee is concerned that the enforcement of such provisions is under the authority of a ‘morality police’, the Wilayatul Hisbah, which exercises an undefined jurisdiction and whose supervision by public State institutions is unclear. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that the necessary legal fundamental safeguards do not exist for persons detained by such officials, including the absence of a right to legal counsel, the apparent presumption of guilt, the execution of punishment in public and the use of physically abusive methods (such as flogging or caning) that contravene the Convention and national law. In addition, it is reported that the punishments meted out by this policing body have a disproportionate impact on women (arts. 2 and 16).

The State party should review all its national and local criminal legislations, especially the 2005 Aceh Criminal Code, that authorize the use of corporal punishment as criminal sanctions, with a view to abolishing them immediately, as such punishments constitute a breach of the obligations imposed by the Convention.... State institutions should supervise the actions of the Wilayatul Hisbah and ensure that fundamental legal safeguards apply to all persons who are accused of violating matters of its concern.

The State party should further ensure that a legal aid mechanism exists to guarantee that any person has an enforceable right to a lawyer and other due process guarantees, so that all suspects have the possibility of defending themselves and of lodging complaints of abusive treatment in violation of national law and the Convention."

TFYR Macedonia

(21 May 2008, CAT/C/MKD/CO/5, Concluding observations on second report, para. 21)

"The Committee notes that corporal punishment of children is not explicitly prohibited in all settings and it is a common and accepted means of childrearing.

The State party, taking also into account the recommendation in the United Nations Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children, should adopt and implement legislation prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings, supported by the necessary awareness-raising and public education measures."

Zambia

"The Committee welcomes the following positive developments:

d) the abolition of corporal punishment through the enactment of the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act No. 9 of 2003, the Penal Code (Amendment) Act No. 10 of 2003, the Education Act (Amendment) Act No. 11 of 2003, and the Prisons (Amendment) Act No. 16 of 2004 ...

"While noting that the State party’s legislation prohibits corporal punishment in schools,the Committee remains concerned about the absence of legislation prohibiting such punishment in the family and in institutions other than schools, and that corporal punishment is de facto widely practised and accepted as a means of upbringing (art. 16)."

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