Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 20 (1999)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 20th session

Austria

(7 May 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.98, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 3)

"The Committee commends the State party on its prohibition of all forms of corporal punishment through its 1989 ban on ‘any type of physical or psychological abuse of children as means of education’ (CRC/C/11/Add.14, para. 256). It also notes additional efforts to increase the protection of children against abuse, including the adoption of a comprehensive list of measures against violence in family and society and of an Action Plan against Child Abuse and against Child Pornography in the Internet…."

Belize

(10 May 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.99, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 19)

"The Committee expresses grave concern that corporal punishment is still widely practised within the State party and that domestic legislation does not prohibit its use within schools, the family, the juvenile justice and alternative care systems and generally within the society. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures, including of a legislative nature, to prohibit corporal punishment within school, the family, the juvenile justice and alternative care systems and generally within the society. It further suggests that awareness-raising 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, especially article 28.2."

Guinea

(10 May 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.100, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 20)

"Although the Committee is aware that corporal punishment is prohibited by law, it remains concerned that traditional societal attitudes still regard the use of corporal punishment by parents as an acceptable practice. The Committee recommends that the State party reinforce measures to raise awareness on the negative effects of corporal punishment and ensure that discipline in schools, families and all institutions is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity, in the light of article 28 of the Convention. It also recommends that the State party ensure that alternative disciplinary measures are developed and administered within the family and schools."

Yemen

(10 May 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.102, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 21 and 34)

"Although the Committee is aware that ill-treatment of children is prohibited by law, it remains concerned that the use of corporal punishment by parents is widely regarded to be acceptable. The Committee recommends that the State party reinforce measures to raise awareness on the negative effects of corporal punishment and ensure that discipline in schools, families and all institutions is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity, in the light of articles 3, 12, 19 and 28 of the Convention. The Committee further suggests that the State party ensure that alternative disciplinary measures are developed within the family and in schools and other institutions.

“While noting that the State party has in place domestic legislation relating to juvenile justice, the Committee remains concerned at the general situation of the administration of juvenile justice and in particular its compatibility with the Convention, as well as with other relevant United Nations standards. The Committee is especially concerned about the lack of detention centres for female juvenile offenders; the use of detention other than as a measure of last resort; the poor living conditions in detention centres; the use of physical punishment, including flogging, and torture in detention centres; the lack of rehabilitation measures and educational facilities for juvenile offenders; and the placement of ‘potential delinquents’ in detention centres instead of care institutions for their rehabilitation. Furthermore, the Committee considers that the age of criminal responsibility, set at 7 years, is too low. The Committee reiterates its recommendations (see CRC/C/15/Add.47, para.21) that the State party take all measures to review its legislation in order to reflect fully the provisions of the Convention, in particular articles 37, 40 and 39, as well as other relevant international standards in this area, such as the Beijing Rules, the Riyadh Guidelines and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty. Training programmes on relevant international standards should be organized for all professionals working in the system of juvenile justice. The Committee recommends that the State party consider seeking technical assistance from, inter alia, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Centre for International Crime Prevention, the International Network on Juvenile Justice and UNICEF through the Coordination Panel on Juvenile Justice."

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