Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 21 (1999)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 21st session

Barbados

(24 June 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.103, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 19 and 22)

"The Committee is concerned about legislation and policies that allow the use of flogging of children as a disciplinary measure in prisons and its use as a judicial sentence. In this respect, the Committee welcomes the commitment of the State party to give prompt consideration to the possibility of ratifying the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee encourages the State party to conduct a public awareness-raising campaign and to review its legislation and policies in order to eliminate flogging as a judicial sentence and as a disciplinary measure in the prison system.

"The Committee is seriously concerned about the high proportion of children who appear to be victims of physical abuse, in most instances accompanied by psychological and emotional abuse. The Committee is highly concerned about the subjective element involved in legislation that permits a ‘reasonable degree’ of physical chastisement as a disciplinary method. The Committee is concerned that the tolerance of corporal punishment in schools will make it extremely difficult to educate parents about alternative forms of discipline, and wishes to point out that there is usually a connection between the social and legal acceptability of corporal punishment and the high level of child abuse which is of serious concern. The Committee encourages the State party to review its policies and legislation in order to eliminate corporal punishment as a method of discipline and to implement fully the provisions of articles 19 and 39 of the Convention; it recommends that the State party increase its efforts to educate the public about the negative impact of corporal punishment on the development of the child and on the effort to prevent child abuse; finally, the Committee encourages the State party to seek international assistance and advice on successful examples of how to overcome traditional social attitudes regarding corporal punishment."

Benin

(12 August 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.106, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 19)

"While the Committee is aware that corporal punishment is prohibited by law in schools, it remains concerned that traditional societal attitudes continue to encourage the use of such punishment within the family, schools, the care and juvenile justice systems and generally within society. The Committee recommends that the State party reinforce measures to raise awareness of the negative effects of corporal punishment and ensure that discipline in families, schools and all institutions is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity and in conformity with the Convention."

Chad

(24 August 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.107, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 25)

"The Committee is concerned about the use of corporal punishment in families, schools and other institutions. It is concerned about existing legislation that allows the use of corporal punishment in families and correctional facilities, and particularly concerned about its continued use in some religious schools in spite of legislation banning corporal punishment in schools. The Committee encourages the State party to review its policies and legislation in order to eliminate corporal punishment as a method of discipline, and to improve enforcement of the legislation banning corporal punishment in schools. It recommends that the State party conduct awarenessraising campaigns 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. Finally, the Committee encourages the State party to seek international assistance and advice to overcome traditional social and religious attitudes regarding corporal punishment."

St Kitts and Nevis

(24 August 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.104, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 20 and 32)

"The Committee remains gravely concerned that corporal punishment is still widely practised within the State party and that domestic legislation does not prohibit its use. 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.

"While the Committee notes the establishment of a national committee to regulate the use of corporal punishment within the juvenile justice system, it remains gravely concerned that the Corporal Punishment Act (1967) continues to allow the corporal punishment of a male juvenile convicted of an offence and to empower the magistrate’s court to order a juvenile convicted of an offence to be “whipped”. The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to prohibit the use of corporal punishment within the juvenile justice system, including the repeal of the Corporal Punishment Act (1967)."

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