Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 43 (2006)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 43rd session

Benin

(20 October 2006, CRC/C/BEN/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 9, 39, 40, 41 and 62)

"The Committee welcomes the measures taken to strengthen the legal framework on the rights of the child and to bring the national legislation into conformity with the Convention, notably the Persons and Family Code and the draft Children’s Code. However, the Committee notes that the national legislation in some areas, inter alia corporal punishment, has still not been brought into full conformity with the Convention.

"The Committee notes with particular concern that corporal punishment is lawful in the home and institutions. Although measures are being taken to address this issue in the context of disciplinary measures in schools, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment in schools is not prohibited by law and that corporal punishment is widespread throughout society as a method of discipline, due to the generally tolerant attitude towards this practice.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment by law in the family, schools and institutions 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;

c) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns 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 child-rearing and education;

d) ensure that an educational programme be undertaken against corporal punishment, insisting both on the child rights and psychological aspects; and

e) ensure recovery and social reintegration of victims of corporal punishment.

"The Committee draws the attention of the State party to the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (CRC/C/GC/8).

"In light of articles 28 and 29 of the Convention and taking into account the Committee general comment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education, the Committee recommends that the State party continue to allocate adequate financial, human and technical resources in order to: 

c) take actions to prevent corporal punishment, sexual violence and harassment in schools."

Congo, Republic of

(20 October 2006, CRC/C/COG/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 37, 38 and 39)

"The Committee is concerned at the absence of an explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in the home, alternative care settings and penal institutions.

"The Committee urges the State party to:

a) explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family, penal system 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 about the harmful impact of corporal punishment;

c) promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

d) implement appropriate policies and programmes for the prevention, recovery and reintegration of child victims; and

e) provide children with child sensitive mechanisms to lodge complaints in case they are victims of violence, including corporal punishment.

"In this respect, the Committee draws the attention of the State party on its general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

Ethiopia

(1 November 2006, CRC/C/ETH/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 33 and 34)

"While taking note of the Constitutional provision prohibiting corporal punishment in schools, the Committee remains concerned that ‘reasonable chastisement’ is permitted according to the Penal Code and that corporal punishment is still widely practised in the home, the schools and in other settings.

"The Committee recommends that the State party explicitly prohibit corporal punishment within the home and enforce the prohibition in all settings, including in the family, the schools and alternative childcare. The Committee also recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are used, in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2, while taking due account of general comment No. 8 of the Committee on the Right of the Child to Protection from Corporal Punishment and Other Cruel or Degrading Forms of Punishment (2006). The Committee also recommends the State party to seek technical assistance from UNICEF in order to implement relevant programmes in the school environment."

Ireland

(29 September 2006, CRC/C/IRL/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras 39 and 40)

"While noting that the prohibition of corporal punishment within the family is under review and that parental educational programmes have been developed, the Committee is deeply concerned that corporal punishment within the family is still not prohibited by law.

"The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.85 para. 39) and urges the State party to:

a) explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family;

b) sensitize and educate parents and the general public about the unacceptability of corporal punishment;

c) promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment; and

d) take into account the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

Jordan

(29 September 2006, CRC/C/JOR/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 46, 47 and 48)

"The Committee notes that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools and institutions and that it is unlawful as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions. However, the Committee expresses its concern that physical punishment in the home is culturally accepted and that article 62 of the Penal Code permits parents to discipline their children within the limits established by ‘general custom’. The Committee regrets that an all-inclusive ban of corporal punishment is not included in the draft Child Rights Act.

"The Committee reiterates that corporal punishment is not compatible with the provisions of the Convention and 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 as well as in all other settings, including private and public institutions, and effectively enforce this ban. The Committee also recommends that the State party review the draft Child Rights Act with a view to introducing an all inclusive ban on corporal punishment.

"The Committee recommends that the State party conduct a comprehensive study to assess the nature and extent of corporal punishment in different settings, including the home environment. The Committee also 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, participatory methods of child-rearing. Finally, the Committee draws the attention of the State party to its newly adopted general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment and to the recommendations adopted by the Committee on its day of general discussion on violence against children within the family and in schools held on 28 September 2001 (see CRC/C/111)."

Kiribati

(29 September 2006, CRC/C/KIR/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 34 and 35)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is not explicitly prohibited, is still widely practiced in the home, schools and is used as a disciplinary measure in alternative care settings. The Committee is also concerned that under article 226 of the Penal Code, ‘reasonable punishment’ is permitted in penal institutions and by order of Island Councils.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, taking into account its General Comment No. 8 (2006) on the Right of the Child to Protection from Corporal Punishment and Other Cruel or Degrading Forms of Punishment:

a) amend all relevant legislation, in particular article 226 of the Penal Code to ensure that corporal punishment is explicitly prohibited in the family, schools, penal institutions, alternative care settings and as a traditional form of sentencing; and

b) take effective measures, including through public awareness campaigns involving children and traditional leaders, to promote positive, participatory and non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society, and to effectively implement the law prohibiting corporal punishment."

Oman

(29 September 2006, CRC/C/OMN/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras 33, 34 and 35)

"The Committee notes that measures are being taken to address corporal punishment in the context of disciplinary measures in schools. However, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is widespread throughout society as a method of discipline. The Committee notes with particular concern that corporal punishment of children is lawful in the home and institutions.

"The Committee urges the State party to:

a) review its current legislation with a view to preventing and ending the use of corporal punishment of children as a method of discipline, and to introducing new legislation prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in the family and within all institutions, including public and private institutions and the alternative care system;

b) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on alternative non-violent forms of discipline with the involvement of children in order to change public attitudes to corporal punishment; and

c) seek international technical assistance from, among others, UNICEF in this regard.

"The Committee draws the attention of the State party to the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

Samoa

(16 October 2006, CRC/C/WSM/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 35 and 36)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment in the family, in schools and in alternative care settings is not formally prohibited and widely practised.

"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 the alternative childcare system and in this respect the Committee fully supports the actions planned by the State party. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are administrated in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2, and take into account its general comment No. 8 on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (CRC/GC/2006/8)."

Senegal

(20 October 2006, CRC/C/SEN/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 36 and 37)

"While noting that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment within the family is not prohibited by law and that corporal punishment is used in schools and other institutional settings.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, taking into account its general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment:

a) amend all relevant laws to ensure that corporal punishment is explicitly prohibited in all settings, including the family, penal institutions, and alternative care settings, and ensure the effective implementation of these laws, including in schools; and

b) sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children, by carrying out public educational campaigns about the harmful impact of corporal punishment and promote positive, nonviolent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

Swaziland

(16 October 2006, CRC/C/SWZ/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras 36, 37, 67 and 68)

"The Committee is deeply concerned that corporal punishment is legal and traditionally accepted and widely practised in the family, in schools and in other settings. The Committee is further concerned that the new Constitution allows the use of ‘moderate chastisement’ of children.

"The Committee recommends that the State party consider, as a matter of priority, amending the Constitution and explicitly prohibiting by law corporal punishment in all settings, including in the family, schools, the penal system and all alternative care settings. It also recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising and educational campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are used, in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2, taking into account its general comment No. 8 on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (CRC/C/GC/8).

"While welcoming the establishment of a Children’s Court in 2005, the Committee is nevertheless concerned at the lack of a functioning juvenile justice system throughout the country. In particular, the Committee is concerned at: ...

e) the use of corporal punishment as a sanction for juveniles.

"The Committee urges the State party to ensure that juvenile justice standards are fully implemented, in particular articles 37 (b), 40 and 39 of the Convention, as well 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) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty (the Havana Rules), and in the light of the Committee’s day of general discussion on the administration of juvenile justice. In particular the Committee recommends that the State party: ...

f) abolish, as a matter of urgency, the use of corporal punishment as a sanction in the juvenile justice system...."

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