Committee Against Torture, session 46 (2011)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee Against Torture's concluding observations to states examined in session 46 (9 May - 3 June 2011)

Ghana

(15 June 2011, CAT/C/GHA/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 24)

"While noting that the Juvenile Justice Act (2003) and the Children’s Act (1988) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure in prisons, the Committee expresses its concern at the still widespread use of corporal punishment, in particular within the family, schools and alternative care settings (arts. 11 and 16).

The State party should:

a)     explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings, including through the repeal of all legal defences for ‘reasonable’ and ‘justifiable’ corporal punishment;

b)     engage in the promotion of alternative forms of discipline to be administered in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity, and in conformity with the Convention;

c)     develop measures to raise awareness on the harmful effects of corporal punishment."

Ireland

(17 June 2011, CAT/IRL/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 24)

"While taking note that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools and in the penal system, the Committee is gravely concerned that such punishment is lawful in the home under the common law right to use ‘reasonable and moderate chastisement’ in disciplining children and also in certain alternative care settings (arts. 2 and 16).

The Committee recommends that the State party prohibit all corporal punishment of children in all settings, conduct public campaigns to educate parents and the general public about its harmful effects, and promote positive non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

Kuwait

(28 June 2011, CAT/C/KWT/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, para. 11)

"While noting that for the period of 2001 – 2011 there were 632 trials on cases of torture, ill-treatment and corporal punishment, and that in 248 cases sentences perpetrators were punished, the Committee however notes that the State party failed to provide information on the exact types of penalties applied to the convicted perpetrators (arts. 4, 12 and 13).

The Committee requests the State party to provide information, including statistics, on the number of complaints filed against public officials on torture and ill-treatment, as well as about the results of the proceedings, at both the penal and disciplinary levels, with examples of relevant sentences."

Mauritius

(15 June 2011, CAT/C/MUS/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, para. 17)

"While taking note of the information supplied by the State party, according to which section 13 of the Child Protection Act makes an offence to expose any child to harm, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is not fully prohibited in the legislation of the State party, including in penal institutions and in alternative care settings … (art. 16).

The State party should adopt legislation to prohibit corporal punishment, in particular in social institutions and in alternative care settings. To that end, the State party should incorporate this issue in its Children’s Bill under preparation. The State party should also pursue awareness-campaigns on the negative effects of corporal punishment. Finally, it should strengthen its efforts to combat child abuse, including by investigating, prosecuting and punishing those responsible. The State party should provide the Committee with statistical data regarding cases of child abuse, the investigations, prosecutions, sentences imposed and redress or rehabilitation offered to victims."

Monaco

(17 June 2011, CAT/C/MCO/4-5, Concluding observations on fourth/fifth report, para. 11)

"The Committee notes that Bill No. 869, on efforts to combat and prevent specific forms of violence against women, children and persons with disabilities, was submitted to the National Council in October 2009. It remains concerned, however, at the delay in the process of adopting this important legislation (arts. 2, 13, 14 and 16).

The State party should ensure that Bill No. 869 is adopted quickly in order to prevent and combat all forms of violence against women, children and persons with disabilities. It should also ensure that corporal punishment for children is explicitly prohibited in all areas of life and that domestic violence is punished. The Committee further recommends that the State party should organize training or awareness raising campaigns aimed specifically at informing victims of domestic violence about their rights."

Slovenia

(20 June 2011, CAT/C/SVN/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, para. 15)

"While noting the legal and administrative measures undertaken by the State party to combat gender-based violence and violence against children, the Committee remains concerned about the prevalence of violence against women and girls (see concluding CAT/C/SVN/CO/3 5 observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW/C/SVN/CO/4, para. 23). The Committee is also concerned that corporal punishment of children remains lawful at home (arts. 2, 12 and 16).

The Committee recommends that the State party enhances its efforts to prevent, prosecute and punish all forms  of violence against women and children, including domestic violence, and ensure effective and full implementation of the existing laws and the national strategies adopted to that end, including the National Programme of Family Violence Prevention for the period 2009–2014. The Committee also recommends that the State party accelerate the adoption of the draft Marriage and Family Act, which prohibits corporal punishment of children in the home (see concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, CRC/C/15/Add.230, para. 40). Furthermore, the State party is encouraged to conduct broader awareness-raising campaigns and training on domestic violence for law enforcement agencies, judges, lawyers and social workers who are in direct contact with the victims and for the public at large."

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