Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 31 (2002)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 31st session

Argentina

(9 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.187, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 38, 39, 62 and 63)

"The Committee notes with concern that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment under law and that it is still widely practised in the home and in some institutions.

"The Committee recommends that the State party expressly prohibit corporal punishment in the home and all institutions and carry out public education campaigns to promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

"The Committee … notes with concern the poor conditions of children in detention, including the lack of adequate basic services such as education and health, the absence of adequately trained staff, and the use of corporal punishment and isolation.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

g) take the necessary measures to improve detention conditions…."

Burkina Faso

(9 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.193, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 36, 37 and 51)

"While noting that child abuse is prohibited under the Penal Code, the Committee is concerned at the incidence of abuse, including sexual abuse, and neglect of children in the State party, and that insufficient efforts have been made to protect children….

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) undertake a study on violence, including sexual violence, against children within the family, at schools and in other institutions in order to assess the scope, nature and causes of this practice with a view to adopting and implementing a comprehensive plan of action and effective measures and policies, in conformity with article 19 of the Convention, and to changing attitudes;

b) take all necessary steps to introduce the legal prohibition of the use of corporal punishment in schools and other institutions and at home….

"The Committee recommends that the State party: ...

k) implement the ban on corporal punishment in schools and train teachers in the use of alternative measures of discipline…."

Israel

(9 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.195, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 3, 38 and 39)

"The Committee welcomes: ...

c) the prohibition of corporal punishment in homes, schools and other institutions….

"The Committee welcomes the many efforts of the State party to prevent and combat all forms of violence and abuse within the family, in schools and in other institutions which care for children, but is concerned at the apparently limited impact of these efforts owing to, among other things, the lack of a comprehensive strategy and adequate resources.

"The Committee recommends that the State party establish a national and comprehensive strategy to prevent and combat violence and abuse within the family, in schools and other institutions caring for children, which should include, among other things:

a) establish a national and comprehensive strategy to prevent and combat violence and abuse within the family, in schools and in other institutions caring for children, which should include, among other things, a study to assess the nature and extent of ill-treatment and abuse of children, and design policies and programmes to address these practices;

b) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment…."

Poland

(30 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.194, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 34 and 35)

"The Committee notes the establishment of the ‘Blue Card’ programme to address family violence, but is concerned that child abuse, and violence in the home and in schools, remain a problem in the State party.… Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is widely practised in the home, in schools and other institutions, such as prisons, and in alternative care contexts.

"The Committee recommends that the State party: ...

d) expressly prohibit corporal punishment in the home, schools and all other institutions;

e) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

Republic of Moldova

(31 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.192, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 31 and 32)

"The Committee notes the establishment of a National Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse, but is nevertheless concerned about the extent of domestic violence, the absence of a legislative framework, the lack of standardized procedures for the identification, reporting, investigation and prosecution of cases of neglect, illtreatment and abuse, the lack of a legal prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, institutions and at home, and the limited availability of skilled services for the support of victims.

“In light of article 19 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party:

a) undertake studies on domestic violence, violence against children, ill-treatment and abuse, including sexual abuse, in order to assess the extent, scope and nature of these practices;

b) take all necessary steps to introduce the legal prohibition of the use of corporal punishment in schools and other institutions and at home;

c) adopt and implement effectively adequate multidisciplinary measures and policies, including public campaigns, and contribute to changing attitudes;

d) investigate effectively cases of domestic violence and ill-treatment and abuse of children, including sexual abuse within the family, within a child-sensitive inquiry and judicial procedure, in order to ensure better protection of child victims, including the protection of their right to privacy….

f) take into account the Committee’s recommendations adopted at its day of general discussion on violence against children within the family and in schools (see CRC/C/111)."

Seychelles

(30 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.189, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 5, 32 and 33)

"The Committee notes the State party’s prohibition of corporal punishment in the home, schools and all other institutions involved in the care or protection of children.

"While noting that the State party has prohibited corporal punishment, the Committee remains concerned that children may still be subject to violence in the home, schools or institutions, and that corporal punishment may be reintroduced in schools.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

b) provide further training for all professional groups working with or for children, including police and detention officials, on alternative forms of discipline and on how to detect and address signs of ill-treatment in a child-sensitive manner…."

South Sudan

(9 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.190, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 35, 36 and 70, recommendations made before South Sudan achieved independence)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is widely practiced in the State party, including within the family, schools and other institutions; that children have been the victims of violence by, among others, the police; and that acts of torture, rape and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment have been committed against children in the context of the armed conflict.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) prohibit under law the practice of corporal punishment in the family, in schools and in all other contexts and make use of legislative and administrative measures, as well as public education initiatives, to end the use of corporal punishment, including the provision of information on alternative non-violent methods of discipline;

b) prevent all forms of violence against children and make sure that perpetrators of violence against children, including the police, are prosecuted....

"The Committee recommends that the State party: ...

e) end the imposition of corporal punishment, including flogging, amputation and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, on persons who may have committed crimes while under 18…."

Sudan

(9 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.190, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 35, 36 and 70, recommendations made before South Sudan achieved independence)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is widely practiced in the State party, including within the family, schools and other institutions; that children have been the victims of violence by, among others, the police; and that acts of torture, rape and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment have been committed against children in the context of the armed conflict.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) prohibit under law the practice of corporal punishment in the family, in schools and in all other contexts and make use of legislative and administrative measures, as well as public education initiatives, to end the use of corporal punishment, including the provision of information on alternative non-violent methods of discipline;

b) prevent all forms of violence against children and make sure that perpetrators of violence against children, including the police, are prosecuted....

"The Committee recommends that the State party: ...

e) end the imposition of corporal punishment, including flogging, amputation and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, on persons who may have committed crimes while under 18…."

UK

(9 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.188, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 8, 9, 35, 36, 37 and 38)

"While noting the entry into force of the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law, the Committee is concerned that the provisions and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – which are much broader than those contained in the European Convention – have not yet been incorporated into domestic law, nor is there any formal process to ensure that new legislation fully complies with the Convention. The Committee notes that the devolved administrations have introduced some legal reforms to ensure compatibility with the Convention such as ensuring that the education system in Scotland complies with article 12 and that corporal punishment in the day-care system in Wales is prohibited, but remains concerned that the State party does not ensure that its legislation is compatible with the Convention throughout its territory.

"The Committee encourages the State party to incorporate into domestic law the rights, principles and provisions of the Convention in order to ensure that all legislation complies with the Convention and that the provisions and principles of the Convention are widely applied in legal and administrative proceedings. The State party is also encouraged to provide training in the provisions of the Convention and to disseminate the Convention more widely.

"The Committee welcomes the abolition of corporal punishment in all schools in England, Wales and Scotland following its 1995 recommendations (ibid., para. 32) but is concerned that this abolition has not yet been extended to cover all private schools in Northern Ireland. It welcomes the adoption by the National Assembly for Wales of regulations prohibiting corporal punishment in all forms of day care, including childminding, but is very concerned that legislation prohibiting all corporal punishment in this context is not yet in place in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. 

"In light of its previous recommendation (ibid., para. 31), the Committee deeply regrets that the State party persists in retaining the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ and has taken no significant action towards prohibiting all corporal punishment of children in the family. 

"The Committee is of the opinion that the Government’s proposals to limit rather than to remove the ‘reasonable chastisement’ defence do not comply with the principles and provisions of the Convention and the aforementioned recommendations, particularly since they constitute a serious violation of the dignity of the child (see similar observations of the of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, E/C.12/1/Add.79, para. 36). Moreover, they suggest that some forms of corporal punishment are acceptable, thereby undermining educational measures to promote positive and non-violent discipline.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) with urgency adopt legislation throughout the State party to remove the ‘reasonable chastisement’ defence and prohibit all corporal punishment in the family and in any other contexts not covered by existing legislation;

b) promote positive, participatory and non-violent forms of discipline and respect for children’s equal right to human dignity and physical integrity, involving children and parents and all those who work with and for them, and carry out public education programmes on the negative consequences of corporal punishment."

Ukraine

(9 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.191, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 41 and 42)

"The Committee welcomes the new Protection of Domestic Violence Act 2001, but remains concerned that it has not yet been implemented.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) conduct a study to assess the nature and extent of ill-treatment, abuse and neglect of children in the home, and design policies and programmes to address them;

b) establish effective procedures and mechanisms to receive, monitor, and investigate complaints, including intervening where necessary, and investigate and prosecute instances of ill-treatment and all forms of domestic violence, including corporal punishment, ensuring that the abused child is not victimized in legal proceedings and that his/her privacy is protected….

d) take into consideration the recommendations of the Committee adopted at its days of general discussion on violence against children (CRC/C/100, para.688 and CRC/C/111, paras.701-745).

e) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

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