Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 53 (2010)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 53rd session

Burkina Faso

(9 February 2010, CRC/C/BFA/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 40 and 41)

"The Committee, while welcoming the circular sent by the Education Ministry to schools stressing the adverse consequences of corporal punishment, as well as the creation of a National Council against Violence in Education areas, notes with great concern that children are commonly beaten, whipped, insulted and humiliated by their teachers. The Committee also notes with concern that in spite of existing laws, corporal punishment continues to be widely practiced in alternate care settings, in situations of employment and in the home, where it remains lawful.

"The Committee urges the State party to take all the necessary measures to eradicate corporal punishment, and in particular:

a) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment by law in the family and all situations of child-rearing, and ensure that those laws are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible for mistreating children;

b) conduct a comprehensive study to assess the causes, nature and extent of 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 is undertaken against corporal punishment, insisting both on the child rights and psychological aspects;

e) take 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 (arts. 19; 28, para. 2; and 37, inter alia)."

Cameroon

(18 February 2010, CRC/C/CMR/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 7, 8, 37 and 38)

"The Committee welcomes efforts by the State party to implement the Committee’s concluding observations on the initial report of the State party. Nevertheless, the Committee regrets that some of its concerns and recommendations have been insufficiently or only partly addressed. 

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address its recommendations from the concluding observations of the initial report (CRC/C/15/Add.164) that have not yet been implemented or not sufficiently implemented, including those related to the definition of the child, corporal punishment, child abuse and neglect and juvenile justice, and to provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations on the second periodic report.

"The Committee notes with satisfaction that corporal punishment is forbidden in schools and is unlawful as a sentence for crime in the penal system. However, the Committee is deeply concerned that corporal punishment still occurs in schools, despite the regulations, and remains lawful and frequent in homes. In addition the Committee regrets that it is not explicitly prohibited by law in alternative care settings and in situations of employment. 

"The Committee urges the State party to: 

a) explicitly prohibit by law all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including the home, alternative care institutions and in situations of employment; 

b) ensure that existing and future prohibitions are adequately monitored and enforced; 

c) 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."

Ecuador

(2 March 2010, CRC/C/ECU/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 7, 8, 9, 10, 45, 46, 47, 64 and 65)

"The Committee notes that various concerns and recommendations made for the consideration of the State party’s combined second and third periodic report (CRC/C/15/Add.262) have not been given sufficient follow-up. While noting that recent political, constitutional and economic changes in the country are giving a new impetus to some of these areas, the Committee remains concerned at the lack of implementation. 

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations contained in the concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports that have not yet been implemented, such as those related to ... corporal punishment....

"The Committee takes note with appreciation of the progress made by the State party in the legislative review process. In particular, it notes with satisfaction the new Constitution, which establishes human rights as fundamental. However, the Committee is very concerned that in the legislative reform, the specific rights of children may become subordinated to more general issues and/or disappear under broader structures. It also notes that national legislation is not entirely in conformity with the Convention, for instance, in relation to corporal punishment....

"The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen and expedite its efforts to bring domestic law into full compliance with the Convention by completing a comprehensive review of legislation and its implementation, maintaining the specificity and interdependence of all children’s rights in policy, legislative, institutional and programme terms, in accordance to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"While welcoming the prohibition of all forms of violence in the new Constitution, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is still not explicitly prohibited in the home and remains a culturally accepted form of discipline in the family and other settings, including schools and other places of care, and that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure against children deprived of liberty. 

"The Committee recommends that the State party introduce and enforce legislation prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings, including in the family, schools and all places of deprivation of liberty. In this respect, it should take into account the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2007) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment. 

"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 Buenos Aires between 30 May and 1 June 2005. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party pay particular attention to the following recommendations: 

• Prohibit by law all violence against children, including corporal punishment in all settings....

"The Committee [is] concerned at ... corporal punishment as a form of ‘discipline’ in schools.... 

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

d) take measures to prevent corporal punishment and sexual abuse and harassment against children, especially girls, in schools and investigate and, as appropriate, prosecute promptly all such allegations; ...

h) take into account the Committee’s general comment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education."

El Salvador

(17 February 2010, CRC/C/SLV/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 9, 29, 45, 54 and 55)

"The Committee notes with appreciation that the Convention has been invoked in national courts on many occasions and has been used by judges in the judicial reasoning, particularly by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court. The Committee also notes the State party’s numerous efforts to bring its legislation in line with the Convention, including the recent adoption of the Law for the Integral Protection of Children (LEPINA). However, the Committee regrets that national legislation is not yet in conformity with the Convention in some areas, for instance, with respect to corporal punishment…. 

"The Committee notes with appreciation that the principle of the best interests of the child is already included in the Family Code (art. 305) and is also enshrined in the LEPINA, notably in its article 12. However, the Committee is concerned that the principle is not sufficiently implemented in practice, especially in the areas of prevention, corporal punishment…. 

"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 (30 May and 1 June 2005). In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party pay particular attention to the following recommendations: 

− Prohibit all violence against children, including corporal punishment in all places….

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is still lawful in the home, according to article 215 of the Family Code. The Committee regrets in particular that the newly adopted LEPINA has not expressly prohibited corporal punishment within the home, as in its article 38 it provides that parents can ‘adequately and moderately correct’ their children. The Committee notes the delegation’s remark that the State party is aware that the LEPINA is not in conformity with the Convention on this particular aspect, and that this is one of the issues that will be discussed in the context of possible future adjustments to the LEPINA. 

"The Committee recommends that the State party expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in all settings, 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. The Committee further recommends that the State party carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of corporal punishment of children, and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

Mongolia

(29 January 2010, CRC/C/MNG/CO/3-4 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 8, 37, 38, 41, 59 and 60)

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations from previous concluding observations that have been partially or not at all implemented and to provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations, notably those related to ... corporal punishment....

"The Committee notes the efforts being taken to address corporal punishment of children in the context of disciplinary measures but reiterates its concern that corporal punishment is observed extensively in all settings of children’s lives. 

"The Committee urges the State party to introduce and enforce legislation to prevent and end all forms of corporal punishment of children as a method of discipline in all settings, including in the family and the alternative childcare system. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party conduct public education, awareness-raising, and social mobilization campaigns with the involvement of children, in order to change public attitudes of corporal punishment and 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 taking into account the Committee’s 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, 2006).

"The Committee reiterates its recommendation to the State party (2005, para. 34) to provide, to the extent possible, the necessary support to parents and families in need and to develop policies and educational programmes which promote non-violent, positive discipline methods. The Committee also recommends that the State party: ...

b) adopt the amendment to the Family Code....

"The Committee ... notes with concern the persistence of corporal punishment or psychological pressure in educational institutions.... 

"In light of article 28 and other relevant provisions of the Convention, and taking into account its general comment 1 (2001) on the aims of education the Committee recommends that the State party: ...

f) strengthen the understanding of children’s rights among professionals working with children, parents, children and the general public promoting educational methods that encourage positive, non-violent forms of discipline, foster positive attitudes towards children of professional working with them, especially teachers, and raise awareness against emotional violence...."

Paraguay

(10 February 2010, CRC/C/PRY/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 37, 38 and 39)

"The Committee welcomes the initiatives undertaken by the State party to prevent violence against children, such as awareness campaigns organized in cooperation with relevant organizations. However, it is concerned that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, at home, in penal institutions or in situations of employment and that corporal punishment is culturally accepted as a form of education and family discipline. 

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

a) expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in all settings, taking into account the Committee’s general comment No. 8 on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment; 

b) set up an effective monitoring system in order to ensure that abuses of power by teachers or other professionals working with children does not take place; and 

c) carry out public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on 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. 

"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; 

(ii) to promote non-violent values and awareness-raising; 

(iii) to ensure accountability and end impunity…."

Tajikistan

(5 February 2010, CRC/C/TJK/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 39 and 40)

"The Committee notes the State party’s efforts to raise awareness on violence against children, including campaigns ‘protecting children from abuse’ as well as the establishment of rehabilitation centres for women and children. The Committee, however, regrets that these activities are limited to certain regions of the country and corporal punishment is not explicitly prohibited under domestic laws and is extensively used as a disciplinary measure at home, schools, and childcare institutions. The Committee regrets the lack of representative data on corporal punishment of children by parents, teachers and the staff of childcare institutions.

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

a) conduct a study on prevalence of corporal punishment in all settings;

b) enact legislation in order to explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings;

c) organize awareness campaigns on the negative impact of corporal punishment on children, and provide teachers, parents, community leaders, and personnel working in penal institutions with training;

d) investigate reported cases of corporal punishment and apply adequate sanctions."

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