Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 33 (2003)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 33rd session

Cyprus

(6 June 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.205, Concluding observations on second report, para. 46)

"The Committee recommends that the State party, in keeping with the findings of the Study, adopt adequate measures and policies to contribute to changing attitudes, including the prohibition of corporal punishment in the family supported by well targeted awareness campaigns on inter alia alternative ways of disciplining children. Furthermore it encourages the State party to adopt measures and ensure sufficient human and financial resources to ensure the implementation of the Law for the prevention of domestic violence. The Committee invites the State party to include specific information in its next periodic report on follow-up to cases of abuse reported to the social welfare services, as well as information on the announced second research on the extent of child abuse in Cyprus."

Eritrea

(2 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.204, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 31 and 32)

"The Committee is concerned at the lack of data on ill-treatment of children, including child abuse and corporal punishment. It also notes with concern that corporal punishment is not expressly prohibited by law and is widely practised in the home and in institutions.

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

b) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children and, in collaboration with community leaders and others, promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

c) expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in the home, schools and other institutions; …"

Jamaica

(4 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.210, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 33, 48 and 49)

"The Committee urges the State party to considerably strengthen its efforts to address and condemn violence in society, including violence against women and children, particularly in the context of the family, as well as in schools and other environments. Further, it recommends that the State party take steps to monitor and address any incidents of violence and sexual or other abuse against children and take measures to ensure the rehabilitation of traumatized and victimized children by, inter alia:

a) carrying out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of violence and ill-treatment of children and promoting positive, non-violent forms of conflict resolution and discipline, especially within the family and in the educational system;

b) taking all legislative measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse, against children in all contexts in society as well as taking effective measures for the prevention of violent acts committed within the family, in schools and by the police and other State agents, making sure that perpetrators of these violent acts are brought to justice, putting an end to the practise of impunity;

c) providing care, recovery and reintegration for child victims of direct or indirect violence and ensuring that the child victim is not revictimized in legal proceedings and that his/her privacy is protected;

d) taking into consideration the recommendations of the Committee adopted on its days of general discussion on children and violence (CRC/C/100, para.866 and CRC/C/111, paras.701-745)....

"The Committee welcomes the State party’s progress in the field of education, but remains concerned about: ...

e) the use of corporal punishment in schools.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, in the light of the Committee’s general comment on article 29 (1) of the Convention (aims of education): ...

e) adopt appropriate legislative measures to combat the use of corporal punishment in the schools…."

Kazakhstan

(10 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.213, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 37 and 39)

"The Committee also notes that corporal punishment is forbidden in educational institutions but remains concerned that inappropriate methods of discipline, including corporal punishment, continue to be used in such institutions. The Committee is further concerned that appropriate measures have not been taken to effectively prevent and combat any form of ill-treatment and corporal punishment of children 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, within the family, schools and other institutions. The Committee further recommends that the State party, through, for example, public awareness campaigns, promote positive non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment, especially in families, the schools and other institutions."

Libya

(4 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.209, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 33, 34 and 46)

"The Committee welcomes the prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and takes note of the information that measures have been adopted to report and investigate maltreatment of children. Nevertheless, it is concerned at the lack of information on the actual situation in the State party with respect to ill-treatment of children within the family. Further, it regrets the lack of information on prevention and awareness-raising activities.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) conduct a comprehensive study to assess the nature and extent of ill-treatment and abuse of children, as well as other domestic violence, and use the results to design policies and programmes to address this issue;

b) carry out preventive 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;

c) take the necessary measures to prevent violence against, and abuse of, children….

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

c) take legislative measures formally to abolish flogging as a punishment…."

Morocco

(10 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.211, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 42 and 43)

"The Committee notes the establishment of a committee of experts to draft a national strategy to fight child abuse and the exploitation of children and the various initiatives undertaken to raise awareness on this issue, such as the note sent in 2000 by the Ministry of Education to all education professionals directing them to refrain from administering corporal punishment. However, the Committee remains concerned at the apparently ongoing, and rather common use of corporal punishment in schools; the lack of awareness of and information on domestic violence, ill-treatment and abuse (sexual, physical and psychological) of children; and the insufficient financial and human resources allocated to programmes to combat the abuse of children. Moreover, the Committee is concerned at the age-limit set in the legislation regarding certain types of violence against children as children over 12 do not benefit from the same protection as younger children (report, para. 183).

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

a) conduct a study to assess the root causes, nature and extent of ill-treatment and abuse of children, and design policies and programmes to prevent and combat it;

b) 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 in institutions;

c) amend its legislation regarding the existing age-limit for special protection against violence;

d) 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…."

Solomon Islands

(2 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.208, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 30 and 31)

"The Committee is concerned that:

a) corporal punishment is widely practised in the family, schools and other institutions such as prisons and in alternative care contexts;

b) there is insufficient knowledge about ill-treatment of children, including on the part of State agents;

c) acts of violations against the mother and/or other members of the family frequently take place in the presence of children.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) take all legislative and other measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment, against children in the family, schools, and in all other contexts;

b) conduct a study to assess the nature and extent of ill-treatment of children, and design policies and programmes to address it, including with international cooperation;

c) 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.…"

Sri Lanka

(2 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.207, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 28 and 29)

"The Committee is deeply concerned that male child offenders can be sentenced to whipping or caning under the Corporal Punishment Ordinance of 1889, and that the Education Ordinance of 1939 permits corporal punishment to be used as a disciplinary measure for boys and girls in schools and that many teachers and principals consider corporal punishment to be an acceptable form of discipline.

"The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party repeal the Corporal Punishment Ordinance of 1889 and amend the Education Ordinance of 1939 to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party undertake well-targeted public awareness campaigns on the negative impact corporal punishment has on children, and provide teacher training on non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

Syrian Arab Republic

(10 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.212, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 36 and 37)

"The Committee regrets that little progress has been made in the State party in studying and raising awareness of ill-treatment of children within the family, as well as domestic violence and its impact on children. Moreover, it is concerned that corporal punishment in schools is not prohibited by law.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) conduct a comprehensive study to assess the nature and extent of ill-treatment and abuse of children, as well as domestic violence, and that it uses the results of the study to design policies and programmes to address this issue;

b) take the necessary measures to prevent child abuse and neglect (e.g. educational public campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children, parenting classes) and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

c) take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of violence, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse of children in the family, schools and other institutions...."

Zambia

(2 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.206, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 30, 31, 32 and 33)

"The Committee notes that the Constitutional Court outlawed the practice of corporal punishment (John Banda v. the People, HPA/6/1998) but remains concerned that corporal punishment is still practised and accepted in schools, families, and care and juvenile detention institutions.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment, in schools and care institutions, as well as in families. The Committee encourages the State party to reinforce its public awareness campaigns to promote positive, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society.

"The Committee is deeply concerned about allegations of instances of ill-treatment by law enforcement officers against street children and children in custody in police stations and other detention centres, despite the circular of 27 December 1999 ordering prison authorities to stop the practice of caning.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) set up child-sensitive mechanisms to receive complaints against law enforcement officers regarding illtreatment during arrest, questioning and police custody, and make sure that perpetrators are brought to justice;

b) systematically train the police force and prison staff and other authorities on the human rights of children; and

c) ensure the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of such ill-treatment."

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