Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 54 (2010)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 54th session

Argentina

(21 June 2010, CRC/C/ARG/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 46, 47 and 48)

"While noting the general principle in Act No. 26061 that children are not to be subjected to violent, discriminatory, humiliating or intimidating treatment, the Committee expresses concern at the inclusion in article 278 of the Civil Code of a right of parents to proper correction, which may lead to abuse and corporal punishment. It is further concerned that corporal punishment is not explicitly prohibited outside the home, including in schools, centres of detention and alternative care settings. 

"The Committee recommends that the State party explicitly prohibit by law in all provinces corporal punishment and all forms of violence against children in all settings, including in the family, in schools, in alternative childcare and in places of detention for juvenile offenders, and that it implement those laws effectively. The Committee also recommends that the State party intensify its awareness-raising campaigns with a view to changing perceptions of corporal punishment and in order to promote the use of alternative and non-violent forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in accordance with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2. In this regard, the Committee encourages the State party to 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.

"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 to implement 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 consultations for Latin America, held in Buenos Aires from 30 May to 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…."

Belgium

(18 June 2010, CRC/C/BEL/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 7, 8, 39 and 40)

"The Committee welcomes efforts by the State party to implement the Committee’s concluding observations on the State party’s second report in 2002 (CRC/C/15/Add.178). However, some recommendations have not been given sufficient follow-up.

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations from the concluding observations of the State party’s second periodic report that have not yet been, or not sufficiently, implemented including those related in particular to coordination, data collection, discrimination against children living in poverty, the right of the child to be heard, corporal punishment and juvenile justice. In this context, the Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 5 (2004) on general measures of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"The Committee is concerned that the State party has not taken the necessary measures to ensure that corporal punishment in the family and non-institutional childcare settings is explicitly prohibited by law.

"In light of 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 and its previous recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.178, para. 24(a)), the Committee urges the State party to prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings, notably in family and in non-institutional childcare settings as a matter of priority. The Committee also recommends that the State party conduct awareness raising campaigns and parenting education programmes to ensure that nonviolent alternative forms of discipline are used, in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity."

Grenada

(22 June 2010, CRC/C/GRD/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 5, 6, 32, 33, 59 and 60)

"The Committee welcomes efforts by the State party to implement the Committee’s concluding observations on the State party’s initial report. Nevertheless, the Committee notes with regret that many of these concluding observations have not been significantly addressed. 

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations it made in its concluding observations on the initial report that have not yet been implemented or sufficiently implemented, in particular on … harmonization of legislation, corporal punishment and juvenile justice, and to provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations on the second periodic report…. 

"While the Committee notes the State party’s indication that the use of corporal punishment is discouraged in the 2002 Education Act and that the Standards for Childcare Homes prohibit the use of corporal punishment, it nevertheless recalls the concern expressed in its previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.121, para. 21) and is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home, that authorized persons in schools are permitted to administer corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure and that corporal punishment is a sentencing option in the judicial system. 

"The Committee recommends that the State party explicitly prohibit by law all forms of violence against children, including corporal punishment, in all settings, including in the family, schools, alternative childcare and places of detention for children, and implement those laws effectively. It also recommends that the State party intensify its awareness-raising campaigns in order to change perceptions regarding corporal punishment and promote alternative forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in accordance with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2. The Committee encourages the State party to 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 and the Report on Corporal Punishment and Human Rights of Children and Adolescents prepared by the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child of the Organization of American States.

"… The Committee is also concerned that corporal punishment remains a part of the Criminal Code and is not explicitly prohibited in the Juvenile Justice Bill that the State party intends to adopt in 2010…. 

"The Committee urges the State party to ensure that juvenile justice standards are fully implemented, in particular articles 37 (b), 39 and 40 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). In particular the Committee recommends that the State party, while taking into account the Committee’s general comment No. 10 (2007) on the administration of juvenile justice: …

e) enact legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment as a sentencing option in the judicial system…."

Japan

(20 June 2010, CRC/C/JPN/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 7, 8, 47, 48, 56 and 57)

"The Committee welcomes the efforts made by the State party to address some of the concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.231) made upon consideration of the State party’s second report (CRC/C/104/Add.2) in February 2004, but regrets that a number of them have not been fully implemented or have not been addressed at all. The Committee reiterates those concerns and recommendations in the present document.

"The Committee urges the State party to make every effort to address the recommendations it made in its concluding observations on the second periodic report which have not yet been implemented (including those contained in … paragraph 35 on corporal punishment …) and to comprehensively address the concerns contained in the present concluding observations.

"While noting the explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, the Committee expresses concern at reports that the prohibition is not effectively implemented. The Committee notes with concern the ambiguous ruling of the Tokyo High Court in 1981 which refrained from prohibiting all physical punishment. Furthermore, it is concerned that corporal punishment in the home and in alternative care settings is not expressly prohibited by law and that the Civil Code and the Child Abuse Prevention Law, particularly, allow the use of appropriate discipline and are unclear as to the admissibility of corporal punishment.

"The Committee strongly recommends that the State party:

a) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment and all forms of degrading treatment of children in all settings by law, including the home and alternative care settings;

b) effectively implement the ban on corporal punishment in all settings;

c) undertake communications programmes, including campaigns, to educate families, teachers, and other professionals working with and for children on alternative, non-violent forms of discipline.

"The Committee welcomes measures such as amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention Law and the Child Welfare Law, which provide and enforce mechanisms for the prevention of abuse. The Committee remains concerned, however, that the notion of ‘parental authority’ giving the right to exercise ‘comprehensive control’ in the Civil Code as well as undue parental expectations, puts children at risk of violence at home. It notes with concern that the incidence of child abuse continues to rise.

"The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen current efforts to address the problem of child abuse, including by:

a) conducting public education programmes about the negative consequences of abuse and neglect and preventive programmes, including family development programmes, promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline…."

Nigeria

(21 June 2010, CRC/C/NGA/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 5, 6, 40 and 41)

"The Committee welcomes efforts undertaken by the State party to address the concerns and recommendations adopted upon consideration of the second periodic report of the State party in 2005 (see CRC/C/15/Add.257). However, the Committee remains concerned that certain recommendations have not been given sufficient follow-up. 

"The Committee urges the State party to take all measures to address those recommendations contained in the concluding observations on the second periodic report that have not yet been implemented and to provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations regarding, inter alia, ... corporal punishment ... contained in the present concluding observations on its combined third and fourth periodic report.  

"The Committee remains concerned that little or no action has been taken, or is planned for, by the State party to follow-up on its earlier recommendations concerning the outlawing of corporal punishment, especially by amending the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code and the Children and Young Persons Act which are inconsistent with the State party’s obligations under the Child Rights Act and the Convention. 

"The Committee urges the State party to ensure the prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings, including in the home and under sharia law, as recommended by the Committee in its earlier recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.257, para. 38). The Committee further strongly recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are used, in a manner consistent with the human dignity of the child, drawing the State party’s attention to 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 that it seek assistance from traditional and religious leaders in this respect."

TFYR Macedonia

(23 June 2010, CRC/C/MKD/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 38, 39, 40 and 41)

"While welcoming the strengthening of anti-torture provisions through amendments of the Criminal Code and the amending of the Law on the Ombudsman in 2009 to bring the institution into line with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, the Committee is deeply concerned about allegations of solitary confinement, corporal punishment and use of batons in the Educational-Correctional Institution.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take immediate measures to remove batons and to abolish the use of corporal punishment in the Educational-Correctional Institution. In line with article 37 (c), the State party should review or limit as far as possible the use of solitary confinement in the institution.

"While noting the prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and the penal system, the Committee is concerned that applicable law is not interpreted as prohibiting corporal punishment in the home and is further concerned about the high prevalence of physical punishment and aggression in the family.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) prohibit corporal punishment in the home as a matter of urgency;

b) undertake a review of current legislation with a view to identifying protection gaps and ending the use of corporal punishment in all areas, including in schools, in the home, in the penal system, and in alternative care settings;

c) take due account of 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)."

Tunisia

(16 June 2010, CRC/C/TUN/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 7, 8, 40 and 41)

"The Committee notes with appreciation efforts by the State party to implement the 2002 concluding observations of the Committee on the second periodic report of the State party (CRC/C/15/Add.181). Nevertheless, the Committee regrets that some of its concerns and recommendations have been insufficiently or only partly addressed. 

"The Committee refers the State party to its general comment No. 5 (2003) on general measures of implementation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child and recommends that it take all necessary measures to address the recommendations from the concluding observations on the second periodic report that have not yet been implemented or sufficiently implemented, including those related to corporal punishment (CRC/C/15/Add.181, para. 34)…. 

"While welcoming that a draft law amending article 339 of the Penal Code is under consideration, the Committee is concerned that by virtue of this provision “castigation inflicted on a child by persons having authority over him or her shall not give rise to punishment”. The Committee is further concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and in alternative care settings and that, despite internal regulations of the Ministry of Education prohibiting corporal punishment, it continues to be inflicted on children by teachers throughout the State party. Furthermore, the Committee expresses concern that the interpretation of the provision prohibiting “usual ill-treatment” of children is much narrower than the Committee’s interpretation of corporal punishment. It regrets the insufficient information about and awareness of domestic violence and its harmful impact on children. 

"Recalling its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.181, para. 34), the Committee draws the attention of the State party to 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, according to which eliminating violent and humiliating punishment of children is an immediate and unqualified obligation of States parties. The Committee therefore urges the State party: 

a) to amend the penal code so as to explicitly prohibit by law all forms of corporal punishment in all settings and ensure that those laws are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible for mistreating children; 

b) to amend the definition of 'usual ill-treatment' so as to ensure that it is in line with the Committee’s interpretation of corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment as per general comment No. 8 (2006); 

c) to conduct a comprehensive study to assess the causes, nature and extent of corporal punishment throughout the State party and design policies and programmes to address it; 

d) to introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment and domestic violence with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promoting positive, non-violent, participatory values and forms of child-rearing and education."

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