Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 23 (2000)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 23rd session

Armenia

(24 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.119, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 32 and 33)

"… Notwithstanding protection under the Rights of the Child Act, the Committee expresses its concern at the ill-treatment of children, including sexual abuse, not only in schools and institutions, but also within the family….

"In the light of, inter alia, articles 19 and 39 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse against children in the family, schools and care institutions are prohibited. Programmes for the rehabilitation and reintegration of abused children need to be strengthened and adequate procedures and mechanisms established to receive complaints, monitor, investigate and prosecute instances of ill-treatment. The Committee recommends that the State party launch awareness-raising campaigns on the ill-treatment of children and its negative consequences. The Committee recommends that the State party promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment, especially in the home and schools. The Committee recommends the training of teachers, law enforcement officials, care workers, judges and health professionals in identification, reporting and management of cases of ill-treatment."

Costa Rica

(24 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.117, Concluding observations on second report, para. 17)

"The Committee expresses its concern about the inadequate enforcement of the prohibition on the use of corporal punishment in schools and other institutions and in the penal system. In addition, the Committee expresses its concern that the practice of physical punishment of children in the home is not expressly prohibited by law and remains regarded as socially acceptable. The Committee recommends that the State party prohibit the use of corporal punishment in the home and take effective measures to enforce the legal prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and other institutions and in the penal system. The Committee further recommends that the State party undertake educational campaigns for the development of alternative disciplinary measures for children at home, in schools and other institutions."

Grenada

(28 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.121, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 21 and 28)

"The Committee expresses grave concern that corporal punishment is still widely practised in 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 the family, schools, 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.

"… The Committee recommends that the State party:

b) … prohibit and eradicate the use of corporal punishment (whipping) in the juvenile justice system…."

India

(23 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.115, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 38, 40, 44 and 45)

"With respect to article 37 (a) of the Convention, the Committee is concerned by numerous reports of routine ill-treatment, corporal punishment, torture and sexual abuse of children in detention facilities, and alleged instances of killings of children living and/or working on the streets by law enforcement officials.

"Amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act is recommended to provide for complaints and prosecution mechanisms for cases of custodial abuse of children. In addition, the Committee recommends the amendment of section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which requires government approval for prosecution of law enforcement officials when complaints of custodial abuse or illegal detention are alleged; and section 43 of the Police Act, so that police cannot claim immunity for actions while executing a warrant in cases of illegal detention or custodial abuse.

"In the light of articles 19 and 39 of the Convention, the Committee is concerned at the widespread ill-treatment of children in India, not only in schools and care institutions but also within the family.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse of children in the family, schools and care institutions. The Committee recommends that these measures be accompanied by public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children. The Committee recommends that the State party promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment, especially in the home and schools. Programmes for the rehabilitation and reintegration of abused children need to be strengthened, and adequate procedures and mechanisms established to receive complaints, monitor, investigate and prosecute instances of ill-treatment."

Peru

(22 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.120, Concluding observations on second report, para. 22)

"The Committee welcomes the legislative reforms aiming at preventing and combating domestic violence, but it remains concerned that physical and sexual abuse of children – within and outside the family – is a widespread phenomenon in the State party. In light of, inter alia, articles 3, 6, 19, 28 (2) and 39 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party continue taking effective measures to prevent and combat abuse and ill-treatment of children within the family, at school and in society at large, including through setting up multidisciplinary treatment and rehabilitation programmes. It suggests, inter alia, that law enforcement should be strengthened with respect to such crimes; that adequate procedures and mechanisms to deal effectively with complaints of child abuse should be reinforced in order to provide children with prompt access to justice; and that the use of corporal punishment at home, in schools and other institutions be explicitly prohibited by law. Furthermore, educational programmes should be established to combat traditional attitudes within society regarding this issue…"

Sierra Leone

(24 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.116, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 34, 35, 46 and 47)

"While the Committee is encouraged by the exclusion of girls from the application by domestic courts of corporal punishment sentences, the Committee nevertheless considers this provision to be discriminatory between boys and girls.

"The Committee urges the State party to extend the prohibition of State sanctioned corporal punishment to boys.

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is widely practised in the State party and that, in particular, it is used in the sentencing of boys under the age of 17 by domestic courts.

"In the light of articles 19, 28 (2) and 37 (a) of the Convention, the Committee urges the State party to take legislative and educative measures to prohibit the use of corporal punishment by the courts, all public officials and in schools, and to consider the prohibition of its use in the family."

South Africa

(23 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.122, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 3, 8 and 28)

"The Committee expresses appreciation for the efforts made by the State party in the area of legal reform…. [T]he Committee notes with appreciation the additional legislation enacted to bring about greater harmonization between domestic legislation and the Convention, including … the Abolition of Corporal Punishment Act (1997)….

"The Committee appreciates the State party’s initiatives within the school environment. In this regard, it welcomes the enactment of the South African Schools Act (1996) which has led to enhanced participatory rights for children within the educational system; the right of children to choose their own language of learning (multilingualism); and the abolition of corporal punishment in schools….

"While the Committee is aware that corporal punishment is prohibited by law in schools, care institutions and the juvenile justice system, it remains concerned that corporal punishment is still permissible within families and that it is still regularly used in some schools and care institutions as well as generally within society. The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures to prohibit by law corporal punishment in care institutions. The Committee further recommends that the State party reinforce measures to raise awareness on the negative effects of corporal punishment and change cultural attitudes to ensure that discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity and in conformity with the Convention. It is also recommended that the State party take effective measures to prohibit by law the use of corporal punishment in the family and, in this context, examine the experience of other countries that have already enacted similar legislation."

TFYR Macedonia

(23 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.118, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 23 and 24)

"Recognising the State party’s efforts to end corporal punishment practices in schools, the Committee is nevertheless concerned that such practices have not been entirely ended in schools and also continue outside of the school context.

"The Committee urges the State party to continue its efforts to end corporal punishment practices in schools, to monitor and record the use of corporal punishment against children in all contexts, and to make every effort to prevent the practice of corporal punishment including through its prohibition by law. The Committee further encourages the State party to undertake campaigns to raise the awareness of parents, in particular, of the harmful effects of corporal punishment."

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