Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 34 (2003)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 34th session

Bangladesh

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.221, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 43, 44, 77 and 78)

"The Committee expresses its profound concern at the prevalence of corporal punishment in schools, as well as at the fact that corporal punishment is still legal and widely practised within the legal system, in educational and other institutions and in the family.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, as a matter of urgency, review existing legislation and explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family, schools and institutions, as well as 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, particularly at the local level and in traditional communities.

"The Committee acknowledges the efforts made by the State party to improve the juvenile justice system. However, the Committee remains concerned at the limited progress achieved in establishing a functioning juvenile justice system throughout the country. In particular, the Committee is concerned at: …

e) the use of caning and whipping as a sentence for juvenile offenders….

"The Committee recommends that the State party ensure the full implementation of juvenile justice standards, in particular articles 37, 39 and 40 of the Convention, and other United Nations standards in the field of juvenile justice…. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party: …

b) ensure that the imposition of the death penalty, of life imprisonment without possibility of release, and of caning and whipping as sanctions for crimes committed by persons while under 18 is explicitly prohibited by law…."

Brunei Darussalam

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.219, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 37, 38, 43, 44, 55 and 56)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is not prohibited at home, in schools or institutions and remains acceptable in the society. The Committee also notes that the new book of discipline for schools does not specifically prohibit corporal punishment nor does it even refer to it as a form of discipline.

"The Committee strongly recommends that the State party prohibit corporal punishment at home, in schools and institutions and undertake education campaigns to educate families on alternative forms of discipline.

"The Committee notes the adoption of the Children’s Order 2000 and welcomes the special unit of the police established in 1997 to deal with child victims of abuse and violence, but remains concerned that there is insufficient information and awareness in the State party of the ill-treatment and abuse of children within the family and institutions.

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

b) take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse of children, in the family and in institutions;

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….

"The Committee is concerned that the minimum age of criminal responsibility is set at 7 years, which is far too low. The Committee is further concerned that there is no juvenile justice system although it is foreseen in law, that children are detained with adults and that whipping is used as a form of punishment for boys.

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

g) abolish the sentence of whipping for boys…."

Canada

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.215, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 4, 5, 32, 33 and 45)

"The Committee, while noting the implementation of some of the recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.37 of 20 June 1995) it made upon consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/1/Add.3), regrets that the rest have not been, or have been insufficiently, addressed, particularly those contained in: … paragraph 25, suggesting a review of penal legislation that allows corporal punishment.

"The Committee urges the State party to make every effort to address those recommendations contained in the concluding observations on the initial report that have not yet been implemented….

"The Committee welcomes the efforts being made by the State party to discourage corporal punishment by promoting research on alternatives to corporal punishment of children, supporting studies on the incidence of abuse, promoting healthy parenting and improving understanding about child abuse and its consequences. However, the Committee is deeply concerned that the State party has not enacted legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment and has taken no action to remove section 43 of the Criminal Code, which allows corporal punishment.

"The Committee recommends that the State party adopt legislation to remove the existing authorization of the use of ‘reasonable force’ in disciplining children and explicitly prohibit all forms of violence against children, however light, within the family, in schools and in other institutions where children may be placed.

"The Committee recommends that the State party further improve the quality of education throughout the State party in order to achieve the goals of article 29, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general comment No.1 on the aims of education by, inter alia: ...

d) adopting appropriate legislative measures to forbid the use of any form of corporal punishment in schools and encouraging child participation in discussions about disciplinary measures."

Georgia

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.222, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 44 and 45)

"The Committee welcomes the fact that the State party considers corporal punishment totally unacceptable and inadmissible. However, the Committee notes that the prohibition of corporal punishment, referred to in the second periodic report of Georgia to the Human Rights Committee (see CCPR/C/GEO/2000/2, paragraph 117), refers only to the educational system and institutional care establishments, and regrets that corporal punishment is not explicitly prohibited in the family.

"The Committee encourages the State party expressly to prohibit corporal punishment in the family in legislation and to fully implement the prohibition of the use of violence, including corporal punishment, in schools and institutions, inter alia, by promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline, especially in families, schools and care institutions in light of article 28 (2) of the Convention."

Madagascar

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.218, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 45 and 46)

"While noting that child abuse is prohibited under the Criminal Code as amended by Act No. 98-024 of 25 January 1999, the Committee is concerned at the incidence of abuse, including sexual abuse, violence against and neglect of children in the State party; that corporal punishment is not prohibited under law; and that insufficient efforts have been made to protect children….

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

b) take all necessary steps to introduce the legal prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and other institutions and at home, and train teachers in the use of alternative measures of discipline…."

New Zealand

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.216, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 4, 29 and 30)

"While acknowledging the attention that the State party has given to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Committee’s previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.71) adopted following the consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/28/Add.3), the Committee is particularly concerned about … the prohibition of corporal punishment and the establishment of mechanisms to ensure the recovery of victims of ill-treatment and abuse (para.29).

"The Committee is deeply concerned that despite a review of legislation, the State party has still not amended section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961, which allows parents to use reasonable force to discipline their children. While welcoming the Government’s public education campaign to promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline within the home, the Committee emphasizes that the Convention requires the protection of children from all forms of violence, which includes corporal punishment in the family and which should be accompanied by awareness-raising campaigns on the law and on children’s right to protection.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) amend legislation to prohibit corporal punishment in the home;

b) strengthen public education campaigns and activities aimed at promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline and respect for children’s right to human dignity and physical integrity, while raising awareness about the negative consequences of corporal punishment."

Pakistan

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.217, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 42, 43, 60 and 63)

"The Committee is deeply concerned that the State party’s Penal Code (sect. 89) allows for corporal punishment to be used as a disciplinary measure in schools and at the fact that corporal punishment is widely practised, especially within educational and other institutions and within the family, many times resulting in serious injuries. The Committee is further concerned that, despite the 1996 Abolition of the Punishment of Whipping Act, whipping is still used as a sentence for Hadood crimes.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, as a matter of urgency:

a) repeal section 89 of the Penal Code of 1860 and explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment;

b) abolish the sentence of whipping, under any circumstance or law;

c) undertake well-targeted public awareness campaigns on the negative impact of corporal punishment on children, and provide teachers and parents with training on non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

"The Committee … remains deeply concerned that: ...

g) the code of conduct for teachers does not prohibit corporal punishment, nor does it deal with the problem of violence against children in school.

"The Committee recommends that the State party: …

i) take proactive measures to eliminate violence against children in schools, notably by including in the code of conduct for teachers the prohibition of corporal punishment and by limiting the role of school counsellors to those functions that help the pupil and revoking their disciplinary functions."

San Marino

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.214, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 21 and 22)

"The Committee welcomes the information that article 234 of the Penal Code also includes the prohibition of corporal punishment, but is concerned at the lack of any concrete statistical data and other information on the prevention and prevalence of and intervention in cases of child abuse and neglect.

"The Committee recommends that the State party undertake awareness-raising campaigns on the negative impact of corporal punishment. Furthermore, the State party should undertake studies to assess the prevalence and nature of violence against children and develop a comprehensive plan of action based on this study for the prevention of and intervention in cases of child abuse and neglect, including the provision of services for recovery and social reintegration of victims, taking into account the recommendations of the Committee adopted at its days of general discussion on children and violence (see CRC/C/100, para. 688 and CRC/C/111, paras. 701-745)."

Singapore

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.220, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 32, 33, 44 and 45)

"The Committee notes with concern that corporal punishment is permitted by law in the home, schools and institutions and as a form of punishment for male juvenile offenders.

"The Committee recommends that the State party amend its legislation to prohibit corporal punishment in the home, schools, institutions and the juvenile justice system. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party conduct well-targeted public awareness campaigns on the negative impact corporal punishment has on children, and provide training for teachers and personnel working in institutions and youth detention centres on non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

"The Committee is concerned that the minimum age of criminal responsibility is too low, that all persons in conflict with the law under 18 are not afforded special protection, and that corporal punishment and solitary confinement are used to discipline juvenile offenders.

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

d) prohibit the use of corporal punishment, including whipping and caning, and solitary confinement in all detention institutions for juvenile offenders, including police stations…."

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