Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 45 (2007)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 45th session

Gatemala

(12 June 2007, CRC/C/OPAC/GTM/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report on the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, paras. 16 and 17)

"The Committee is concerned about reports of the use of corporal punishment in military schools and that such punishment is not explicitly prohibited by law. In view of this, the Committee is concerned that adequate impartial complaints mechanisms for children attending military schools appear to be lacking.

"The Committee recommends that the State party;

a) ensure that all children in military schools receive education according to articles 28, 29 and 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, taking into account its general comment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education. In particular, human rights education should be included on the provisions of the Protocol.

b) formally prohibit corporal punishment, taking into account the general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment;

c) provide children attending military schools with adequate access to independent complaints and investigation mechanisms."

Kazakhstan

(19 June 2007, CRC/C/KAZ/CO/3, Concluding observations on second/third report paras. 36 and 37)

"The Committee appreciates that corporal punishment is unlawful in schools, the penal system and alternative care. However, the Committee regrets that there is no specific legal prohibition of corporal punishment in foster care, military schools, kinship care and the workplace, and that despite legal prohibitions for some areas, the de facto situation is that children are still victims of corporal punishment.

"The Committee urges the State party, while 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/GC/2006/8), to:

a) explicitly prohibit in law corporal punishment of children in all settings;

b) undertake public and professional awareness-raising;

c) promote non-violent, positive, participatory methods of childrearing and education and knowledge among children of their right to protection from all forms of corporal punishment; and

d) Seek assistance from, inter alia, UNICEF and WHO."

Maldives

(13 July 2007, CRC/CDV/CO/3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 55, 56, 62, 63, 98 and 99)

"The Committee is concerned at the information that section 44 of the new draft Penal Code would legalize corporal punishment of children at home, schools and institutions. The Committee is also seriously concerned that, contrary to article 37 (a) of the Convention, under applicable law of the State party, persons who have reached puberty may be subject to flogging.

"In the light of the consideration of the new draft Penal Code, the Committee urges the State party to take all the necessary measures to ensure that persons who committed crimes while under the age of 18 are not subjected to any form of corporal punishment, including as a sentence for offences, and that corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure is prohibited by law in the home, alternative care settings and justice institutions, schools and workplace settings. It recommends that the State party take other appropriate measures, such as positive education and training programmes as well as public awareness raising campaigns, to eliminate this practice which directly conflicts with the equal and inalienable rights of the child to respect for her/his human dignity and physical integrity. Finally, it 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). 

"The Committee welcomes the information that the State party is in the process of establishing child helpline services. The Committee regrets that insufficient measures are being taken to address the serious problem of violence against children, child abuse, including sexual abuse, and ill-treatment of children in the State party. The Committee notes with concern that the legal framework fails to provide full protection against sexual abuse and that it also shifts responsibility on producing evidence to a victim. It also notes with concern that domestic violence is widely tolerated in Maldivian society and that Maldivian legislation does not expressly prohibit corporal punishment in the family....

"In the light of article 19, other relevant provisions of the Convention and taking into account 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 urges the State party to:

a) undertake a national study on domestic violence, ill-treatment of children and child abuse in the home assessing the scope and nature of this problem as well as the impact of legal measures to address violence against children with a view to prohibiting all forms of physical, sexual and mental violence against children, including sexual abuse in the family....

"Despite these positive steps taken, the Committee notes with concern that: ...

c) children from the age of 7 years can be held liable for haddu offences and consequently they can be exposed to a death penalty;

d) corporal punishment is lawful as a sentence for crime and for disciplinary purposes....

"The Committee recommends that the State party continue and strengthen its efforts 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) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty (the Havana Rules), taking into account the Committee’s newly adopted General Comment No. 10 on children’s rights in juvenile justice (CRC/C/GC/10). It recommends that the State party:

a) expedite its efforts to draft and enact a Juvenile Justice Act and ensure that the provisions of this Act fully comply with the provisions and principles of the Convention as well as other international standards on the administration of juvenile justice, including the hearing of the child during criminal justice proceedings; ...

e) abolish the use of corporal punishment as a sentence for crime and for disciplinary purposes...."

Slovakia

(10 July 2007, CRC/C/SVK/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 36 and 37)

"The Committee notes with appreciation that corporal punishment in schools, alternative care contexts, and the penal system is unlawful and notes that the new Penal Code protects children from physical and psychological violence, insults, abuse, neglect and mistreatment without referring explicitly to corporal punishment. While the Committee welcomes the Government’s stated intention to prohibit corporal punishment in the home, it nevertheless expresses its concern that, to date, corporal punishment within the home remains lawful.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, taking 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, take steps to ensure that corporal punishment is explicitly prohibited by law in all settings, including the home, and that the State party intensify its awareness-raising campaigns, in order to promote the use of alternative non-violent forms of discipline in a manner consistent with article 28, paragraph 2, of the Convention."

Uruguay

(5 July 2007, CRC/C/URY/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 36 and 37)

"The Committee, while recognising pending legislative amendments, regrets that article 16 of the Code on Childhood and Adolescence of 2004 allows for corporal punishment of children. The Committee is concerned over the lack of statistics on the number of reported cases and that corporal punishment continues to occur in the home, as well as schools and childcare institutions.

"The Committee recommends that the State party adopt pending legislation as soon as possible, explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home. The State party should also take all measures to ensure the enforcement of the law, conduct capacity building of professionals working with children, carry out awareness raising and public education campaigns against corporal punishment and promote non-violent, participatory methods of child-rearing and education, while taking due account of general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

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