Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 41 (2006)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 41st session

Azerbaijan

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/AZE/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 44 and 45)

"The Committee expresses concern that corporal punishment, while prohibited in schools and in the penal system, remains lawful at home and it is still widely practiced in the society as an accepted measure of discipline.

"The Committee recommends that the State party introduce and fully implement legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home. The State party should also conduct awareness-raising and public education campaigns promoting non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education."

Ghana

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/GHA/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 7, 36 and 37)

"The Committee notes with satisfaction that some concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.73) made upon consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/15/Add.39) have been addressed through legislative measures and policies. However, recommendations regarding, inter alia, data collection, corporal punishment and child labour, have not been given sufficient follow-up. The Committee notes that those concerns and recommendations are reiterated in the present document.

"While noting the State party’s steps to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in educational settings and in particular through prohibitions outlined in the Teacher’s Hand Book, corporal punishment is still widely practised in society and its acceptance as a form of discipline gives cause for serious concern. The Committee is concerned that the Children’s Act allows for a degree of ‘reasonable’ and ‘justifiable’ punishment.

"The Committee recommends that the State party should, taking into account its General Comment No. 1 on the aims of education (CRC/GC/2001/1) and its recommendations, adopted on the day of general discussion on violence against children within the family and in schools (see CRC/C/111):

a) explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family, schools, and other institutional settings and alternative care systems as a matter of priority;

b) sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children by carrying out public educational campaigns with the involvement of children about the harmful impact of violent forms of ‘discipline’ and by promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline and respect of child rights."

Hungary

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/HUN/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 3, 54 and 55)

"The Committee notes with appreciation a number of positive developments in the reporting period, including: 

d) the prohibition of corporal punishment in the home by amendment of the Act on the Protection of Children in 2004….

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment in schools, despite being prohibited by the Hungarian Child Education Act, continues to occur.

"The Committee recommends that the State party undertake measures, including corrective ones, in order to sensitise professionals within the educational system, in particular teachers, about their obligation to refrain from resorting to corporal punishment. In addition, the Committee recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be implemented in order to inform children of their rights."

Liechtenstein

(16 March 2006, CRC/C/LIE/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 22 and 23)

"The Committee is concerned that all forms of corporal punishment are not specifically prohibited by law in all settings where it may occur.

"The Committee urges the State party to prohibit expressly by law all forms of corporal punishment, in particular in the family and in private alternative care settings. The State party is further encouraged to undertake awareness-raising campaigns and education programmes aimed at parents, professionals and children concerning non-violent forms of discipline and participatory forms of child-rearing and education, and to study the prevalence of corporal punishment of children in the family."

Lithuania

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/LTU/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 8, 37 and 38)

"While welcoming measures taken to bring national legislation into conformity with the Convention, notably the Strategy of State Policy on Child Welfare and its implementation plan for 2005-2012 …, the Committee notes that the national legislation in some areas, inter alia, protection from violence, corporal punishment and physical and psychological recovery and reintegration of the child victim, has still not been brought into full conformity with the Convention.

"While welcoming the commitment from the State party during the dialogue to prohibit corporal punishment in the family, the Committee remains concerned at the continued use of corporal punishment, in particular within the family, due to the generally tolerant attitude towards this practice.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in the family and implement existing prohibitions;

b) conduct a comprehensive study to assess the causes, nature and extent of corporal punishment as well as an evaluation of the impact of measures undertaken so far by the State party to reduce and eliminate corporal punishment; and

c) develop measures to raise awareness on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promote positive, non-violent, participatory forms of childrearing and education."

Mauritius

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/MUS/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 37 and 38)

"While noting that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools through the Education Regulations of 1957, the Committee remains concerned that corporal punishment is not explicitly forbidden by law in the family and in all settings, including in alternative care settings.

"The Committee reiterates its previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.64, para. 31) and urges the State party to prohibit through legislation and other measures corporal punishment of children in the family, in schools, in penal institutions and in alternative care settings. The Committee further recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising campaigns among adults and children, the promotion of non-violent, positive, participatory methods of child-rearing and education."

Peru

(14 March 2006, CRC/C/PER/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 42 and 43)

"While the Committee welcomes the legal provisions in place to prohibit corporal punishment both in the Penal Code and in Law No. 26260, it expresses concern that corporal punishment is lawful at home and is still widely practiced in the society as an accepted measure of discipline, both within the family and at school. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that a recent survey showed that children themselves regard this practice as a natural means of discipline and education.

"The Committee recommends that the State party introduce and enforce legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including in the home. The State party should also conduct awareness raising and public education campaigns against corporal punishment and promote nonviolent, participatory methods of childrearing and education."

Saudi Arabia

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/SAU/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 42, 43, 44, 45, 73, 74 and 75)

"While noting articles 2 and 13 of the Code of Criminal Procedure promulgated in Royal Decree No. M/39 of 15 October 2001 which prohibit torture or degrading treatment and the State party’s reassurance that corporal punishment is not imposed upon minors, the Committee is concerned at reports of extrajudicial and summary floggings of teenagers suspected of behaviour deemed immoral and acts of police brutality.

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary steps for the immediate abolition of extrajudicial and summary floggings of teenagers, and also other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments imposed on persons having committed a crime when under the age of 18 years, including acts of police brutality.

"While noting with appreciation the regular circulars issued by the Ministry of Education, which prohibit the beating or ill-treatment of children during all stages of general education and prescribe penalties designed to deter teachers from committing such acts, the Committee notes with concern that corporal punishment is lawful and widely used in the home and that it is a lawful penal sanction.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including the family. It further recommends that the State party carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of corporal punishment on children and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

"The Committee is encouraged by the State party’s efforts to reform its juvenile justice system, inter alia, through adoption of the new Code of Criminal Procedure and Practice for Lawyers in 2001…. As noted in paragraph 32, the Committee is deeply concerned about reports that persons are sentenced to death for crimes committed while under the age of 18, and at the fact that capital and corporal punishment can be imposed on persons having committed a crime when under 18 years of age at the discretion of the judge.

"The Committee urges the State party to ensure the full implementation of juvenile justice standards in particular articles 37, 40 and 39 of the Convention, and other relevant international standards in this area, such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty and the Vienna Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System, and take into account the recommendations adopted by the Committee on its day of general discussion on juvenile justice (CRC/C/46, paras. 203-238).

"The Committee refers to its recommendations made in paragraphs 33 on right to life and capital punishment and 43 on protection from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and it urges the State party to:

a) critically review its legislation with a view to abolishing the imposition of capital and corporal punishment on persons having committed crimes when under 18 years of age at the sole discretion of the judge; …

c) amend the Detention and Imprisonment Regulations (1977) and the Juvenile Justice and Social Surveillance Centre Regulations to prohibit flogging or any other form of corporal punishment for persons under 18 deprived of their liberty…."

Thailand

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/THA/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 39, 40, 41, 76 and 77)

"The Committee notes the State party’s efforts to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in schools and takes note of the recent Ministerial regulation prohibiting the use of corporal punishment in penal institutions. The Committee nevertheless regrets that corporal punishment in the home and in alternative care settings is not explicitly prohibited by law. Further, it notes the State party’s acknowledgement that child victims are often afraid to complain and that assistance is rarely available to them.

"The Committee reiterates that corporal punishment is not compatible with the provisions of the Convention and is not consistent with the requirement of respect for the child’s dignity, as specifically required by article 28, paragraph 2 of the Convention. Therefore, the Committee urges the State party, taking into account 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), to prohibit by law all forms of corporal punishment in the home and in all alternative care settings.

"The Committee recommends that the State party sensitize and educate parents and other caregivers, law enforcement officials and professionals working with and for children by carrying out public awareness-raising campaigns about the harmful impact of corporal punishment. It encourages the State party to promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment. The Committee also recommends that the State party establish specific child-sensitive complaint mechanisms and services, and ensure access of all children to these mechanisms.

"The Committee welcomes the recent amendment to the Act Instituting the Juvenile and Family Courts and the Juvenile and Family Procedures of 1991 that entered into force in February 2005…. It notes the recent Ministerial regulation prohibiting corporal punishment in penal institutions….

"The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations and urges the State party to ensure that its legislation and practice concerning juvenile justice is in full compliance with the provisions of the Convention, in particular articles 37, 39 and 40, as well as other relevant international standards in this area, such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules) (General Assembly resolution 40/33), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines) (General Assembly resolution 45/112), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (General Assembly resolution 45/113), and the Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System (annexed to Economic and Social Council resolution 1997/30 of 21 July 1997). In this regard, the Committee recommends that the State party: …

b) amend its national legislation to reinforce the prohibition against the use of corporal punishment in penal institutions; …"

Trinidad and Tobago

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/TTO/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras 8, 9, 39, 40 and 47)

"The Committee regrets that some of the recommendations in its concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.82) adopted following consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/11/Add.10) have been given insufficient follow-up, particularly those relating to … abuse, ill-treatment and domestic violence; corporal punishment…. Those recommendations are reiterated in the present document.

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

"While welcoming the amendment to the Children Act (No. 46:01) prohibiting the use of corporal punishment as a penal sanction for persons aged under 18, the Committee remains concerned that corporal punishment is lawful in the home and institutions, and is widely practised.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) expressly prohibit by law corporal punishment in all settings and ensure the implementation of the law;

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

c) ensure that positive, participatory, non-violent 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) as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to prevent child abuse and neglect, by, inter alia:

a) carrying out public education campaigns that raise awareness of consequences of ill-treatment of children, alternative measures of discipline for children and address sociocultural barriers that inhibit victims from seeking assistance…."

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