Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 16 (1997)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 16th session

Australia

(10 October 1997, CRC/C/15/Add.79, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 15 and 26)

"The Committee expresses its concern about the lack of prohibition in local legislation of the use of corporal punishment, however light, in schools, at home and in institutions; in the view of the Committee this contravenes the principles and provisions of the Convention, in particular articles 3, 5, 6, 19, 28 (2), 37 (a), (c), and 39. The Committee is also concerned about the existence of child abuse and violence within the family.

"The Committee suggests that the State party take all appropriate measures, including of a legislative nature, to prohibit corporal punishment in private schools and at home. The Committee also suggests that awarenessraising campaigns be conducted to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention. The Committee also believes that cases of abuse and ill-treatment of children, including sexual abuse within the family, should be properly investigated, sanctions applied to perpetrators and publicity given to decisions taken. Further measures should be taken with a view to ensuring the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of the victims of abuse, neglect, ill-treatment, violence or exploitation, in accordance with article 39 of the Convention."

Czech Republic

(27 October 1997, CRC/C/15/Add.81, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 18 and 35)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is still used by parents and that internal school regulations do not contain provisions explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment, in conformity with articles 3, 19 and 28 of the Convention....

"The Committee recommends that further measures to protect children from abuse and maltreatment be undertaken, in particular through the development of a widespread public information campaign for the prevention of corporal punishment at home, at school, and in other institutions."

Lao PDR

(10 October 1997, CRC/C/15/Add.78, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 20 and 44)

"The Committee is concerned at the lack of awareness and information on ill-treatment and abuse of children, including sexual abuse, both within and outside the family, and at the lack of appropriate measures and mechanisms to prevent and combat such abuse. The lack of special structures for children victims of abuses and their limited access to justice are also matters of concern, as is the lack of rehabilitation measures for such children. The persistence of corporal punishment within the family and its acceptance by the society is also a matter of concern.

"In the light of article 19 of the Convention, the Committee further recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures, including revision of legislation, to prevent and combat ill-treatment within the family and sexual abuse of children. It suggests, inter alia, that the authorities initiate a comprehensive study on abuse, illtreatment and domestic violence to improve the understanding of the nature and the scope of the problem, and set up social programmes to prevent all types of child abuses as well as to rehabilitate the child victims. Law enforcement should be strengthened with respect to such crimes; adequate procedures and mechanisms to deal with complaints of child abuse should be developed, such as multidisciplinary teams to handle cases, special rules of evidence, and special investigators or community focal points."

Togo

(10 October 1997, CRC/C/15/Add.83, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 17 and 40)

"The Committee is concerned at the fact that corporal punishment is a common practice in the family, in schools and in other institutions. In this regard, the Committee is worried by the absence of a comprehensive law that clearly prohibits corporal punishment of children.

"In the light of articles 3, 19 and 28 (2), the Committee strongly recommends that corporal punishment be explicitly prohibited by law and that information campaigns be launched to appropriately sensitize adults on the dangers and harms of the practice. The Committee further recommends that the legislation protecting children from violence be amended in accordance with the provisions and principles of the Convention."

Trinidad and Tobago

(10 October 1997, CRC/C/15/Add.82, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 17, 23, 32 and 39)

"The Committee is deeply concerned by the use of corporal punishment within the family, at school and in care institutions, as well as at the absence of a law that clearly prohibits the use of both mental and physical torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against children.

"The situation in relation to the administration of juvenile justice, in particular its compatibility with articles 37, 39 and 40 of the Convention as well as other relevant standards such as the Beijing Rules, the Riyadh Guidelines and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty, is a matter of concern to the Committee. In particular, the Committee is concerned … that flogging is allowed by the law as a means of punishment and corporal punishment is allowed as a means of discipline in detention centre….

"In light of articles 3, 19 and 28.2, the Committee strongly recommends that corporal punishment within the family, at school and in care institutions be prohibited by law. It further recommends that the authorities develop and implement appropriate creative and socio-educational measures of discipline which respect all the rights of the child, as well as establish sensitization programmes for parents.

"… The Committee also recommends that corporal punishment in detention as a means of discipline, and flogging as a means of punishment, be abolished in the legislation and in practice."

Uganda

(21 October 1997, CRC/C/15/Add.80, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 15 and 35)

"The Committee is concerned at the insufficiency of the measures to combat and prevent ill-treatment and abuse, including sexual abuse of children within the family, and at the lack of information on this matter. The Committee is further concerned that disciplinary measures in some schools and law enforcement institutions often involve corporal punishment, although this is prohibited by law.

"The Committee recommends that special attention be given to the problems of ill-treatment and abuse, including sexual abuse of children within the family and corporal punishment in schools, and stresses the need for information and education campaigns to prevent and combat the use of any form of physical or mental violence against children, in accordance with article 19 of the Convention. The Committee also suggests that comprehensive studies on these problems be initiated in order to understand them better and to facilitate the elaboration of policies and programmes to combat them effectively, including rehabilitation programmes."

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