Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 39 (2005)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child concluding observations to states examined in the 39th session

Bosnia and Herzegovina

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.259, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 42 and 43)

"While the Committee notes the new legislative measures being undertaken in both Entities aimed at improving protection of children against violence in family (the new Family Law and the new Law on Protection from Domestic Violence), it is concerned that children are often and increasingly exposed to domestic violence and other forms of abuses, including sexual abuse. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment in the home is not expressly prohibited in the State party.

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

a) make sure that the legislative measures currently being undertaken – namely, the new Family Law and the new Law on Protection from Domestic Violence – are expeditiously adopted and adequately implemented in both Entities;

b) undertake a comprehensive study on violence against children, more particularly, on sexual abuse in order the assess the extent, the causes, scope and nature of this phenomenon;

c) expressly prohibit corporal punishment at home and in institutions;

d) strengthen awareness-raising and education campaigns with the involvement of children in order to prevent and combat child abuse and to promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline and respect for children’s rights, while raising awareness about the negative consequences of corporal punishment…."

Costa Rica

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.266, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 31 and 32)

"The Committee welcomes the efforts made by the State party to sensitize the different actors involved on the need to eradicate corporal punishment in the family, in school and in other institutions, and the fact that the Legislative Assembly is examining a bill prohibiting corporal punishment. The Committee remains however concerned at the fact that corporal punishment is still not explicitly prohibited in domestic law, as recommended by the Committee in its previous concluding observations, and still perceived as ‘sometimes necessary’ by a large portion of the population (CRC/C/15/Add.117, para. 17).

"The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party should incorporate the prohibition of corporal punishment in its legislation and continue to take appropriate measures to raise the awareness of the general public on the negative consequences of corporal punishment and other forms of violence in the upbringing of children, and to sensitize parents, teachers and others working with and for children about the alternative, non-violent means of discipline in the light of article 28 (2) of the Convention."

Ecuador

(13 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.262, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 37, 38, 39, 73 and 74)

"While taking note that the Childhood and Adolescence Code prohibits corporal punishment in schools and in the penal system as well as the introduction of programmes such as ‘good treatment’, the Committee remains concerned that corporal punishment is still traditionally accepted and widely practised in the family and in other settings as a form of discipline.

"The Committee recommends that the State party introduce and enforce legislation prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including in the family and alternative childcare system, as well as strengthening awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are administered in a manner consistent with the human dignity of the child and in conformity with the Convention, in particular article 28(2).

"With reference to the United Nations study on violence against children (A/61/299), the Committee recommends that the State party:

a) take all necessary measures for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent expert for the United Nations study on violence against children while taking into account the outcome and recommendations of the regional consultation for Latin America held in Argentina between 30 May and 1 June 2005. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party pay particular attention to the following recommendations:

(i) to prohibit all violence against children, including corporal punishment in all settings….

"The Committee takes note of the various measures undertaken by the State party with regard to indigenous children…. However, the Committee remains concerned … that indigenous children ...

b) are subjected to punishment, including forms of public shaming….

"The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to protect the rights of indigenous children against discrimination and to guarantee their enjoyment of the rights enshrined in domestic law and in the Convention. In this regard, the Committee refers the State party to its recommendations adopted following its day of general discussion on the rights of indigenous children at its thirty-fourth session in 2003. The Committee further recommends that the State party provide indigenous communities, including children with sufficient information regarding birth registration procedures, child labour, HIV/AIDS, child abuse and neglect, including corporal punishment."

Mongolia

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.263, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 29 and 30)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment of children remains socially acceptable in Mongolia and it is still practised in families and also in places where it has been formally prohibited, such as schools and other institutions. It further notes with concern that Mongolian legislation does not expressly prohibit corporal punishment in the family.

"The Committee urges the State party to prevent and combat the practice of corporal punishment of children in the family, in schools and other institutions and to explicitly prohibit by law corporal punishment in the family. The Committee recommends that the State party introduce public education and awareness-raising campaigns with the involvement of children on alternative non-violent forms of discipline in order to change public attitudes about corporal punishment and to strengthen its cooperation with the non-governmental institutions in this respect."

Nepal

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.261, Concluding observations on second and third combined report, paras. 47, 48 and 76)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment and ill-treatment of children is prevalent in the family, in schools and in other institutions. The Committee is concerned about the provisions in the 1992 Children’s Act and the 1963 Muluki Ain (Civil Code) which provide for corporal punishment in the home, in schools and in other institutions and forms of childcare, which is in clear contravention of article 19 of the Convention. The Committee underlines the importance of specific legal prohibition of traditional practices which are harmful to children by law.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) expressly prohibit corporal punishment and ill-treatment of children by law in the family, schools and other institutions;

b) expedite the process of amending the relevant provisions of the Children’s Act and the 1963 Muluki Ain to ensure compliance with article 19 of the Convention;

c) strengthen awareness-raising campaigns to inform parents, teachers and professionals working with children, particularly in institutions, as well as the public at large about the negative impact of corporal punishment and ill-treatment on children and actively involve children and the media in the process;

d) ensure that positive, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline are administrated in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, in particular article 28 (2) as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society.

"The Committee recommends … that the State party:

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

Nicaragua

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.265, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 43 and 44)

"While the Committee notes that there is legislation in place prohibiting all forms of violence against children, including corporal punishment, it expresses concern that this legislation does not seem to be interpreted as prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment and that corporal punishment is still widely accepted in society.

"The Committee recommends that the State party introduce – and enforce where applicable – legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in the home, schools and all other institutions and forms of childcare. The State party should also conduct awareness-raising and public education campaigns against corporal punishment and promote non-violent, participatory forms of discipline."

Norway

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.263, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 27 and 28)

"The Committee is concerned that children who are exposed to violence within the family do not always receive sufficient care and assistance.

"The Committee recommends that the State party continue to strengthen its efforts to provide adequate assistance to children who are exposed to violence within the family or whose parents are psychiatric patients and/or drug abusers, including through: ...

d) public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment and preventive programmes, including family development programmes promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline."

Philippines

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.259, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 41, 42 and 43)

"While noting the State party’s efforts to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in schools, prisons, institutions and forms of childcare by implementing various relevant provisions, the prevalence of corporal punishment in society gives cause for serious concern. The Committee is concerned that a provision for corporal punishment is not included in the Child and Youth Welfare Code and regrets that corporal punishment in the home is not explicitly prohibited by law.

"In the light of its general comment No.1 (2001) on the aims of education and the recommendations adopted by the Committee on its day of general discussion on violence against children within the family and in schools (see CRC/C/111), the Committee reiterates that corporal punishment is not compatible with the provisions of the Convention and it is inconsistent with the requirement of respect for the child’s dignity, as specifically required by article 28, paragraph 2, of the Convention. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party prohibit by law all forms of corporal punishment in the home, in schools and in private and public institutions, in the juvenile justice system and the alternative care system.

"The Committee recommends to the State party that it conduct a comprehensive study to assess the nature and extent of corporal punishment in different settings, including the home environment. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children by carrying out public education campaigns about the harmful impact of violent forms of ‘discipline’ and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

St Lucia

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.258, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 9, 34 and 35)

"While the Committee appreciates that the State party has made various amendments to existing legislation as well as adopted the Family Court Act in 1994 and the Domestic Violence Act in 1995, it is nevertheless concerned that existing legislation does not fully reflect the principles and provisions of the Convention, for example regarding non-discrimination, corporal punishment and juvenile justice.

"The Committee is concerned at the fact that corporal punishment is a lawful way of disciplining children, both under the Children and Young Persons Act and the Education Act. The Committee is further concerned that corporal punishment is widely practiced as a highly favoured method of punishment.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) amend its legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in the family, schools and institutions;

b) conduct awareness-raising campaigns to inform the public in general about the negative impact of corporal punishment on children and actively involve children and the media in the process;

c) ensure that positive, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline are administrated in a manner consistent with the Convention, especially article 28 (2) as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society."

Yemen

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.267, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 41, 42 and 43)

"The Committee is deeply concerned that corporal punishment is still used as a disciplinary measure in schools despite its official prohibition and is widely practised within the family and in other settings. The Committee is further concerned that corporal punishment, including flogging, is still lawful as a sentence for crime.

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

a) review existing legislation and explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment;

b) abolish by law the possibility of sentencing a child to any form of physical punishment; and

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 also reiterates its previous concluding recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add. 102, paras, 21 and 34) and joins its voice to those made by the Human Rights Committee (CCPR/C/75/YEM, para. 16), and the Committee Against Torture (CAT/C/CR/31/4, para. 7)."

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