Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 55 (2010)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 55th session

Angola

(11 October 2010, CRC/C/AGO/CO/2-4, Concluding observations on second to fourth report, paras. 36 and 37)

"While the Committee notes that corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for a crime, it is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, in alternative care settings and as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions.

"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 juveniles, and implement those laws effectively. It also recommends that the State party carry out awareness-raising campaigns focusing on parents, teachers and the general public on the eradication of corporal punishment and the promotion of alternative forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in accordance with the Convention, especially articles 19 and 28, paragraph 2, 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."

Burundi

(19 October 2010, CRC/C/BDI/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 39 and 40)

"The Committee notes with interest that the new Penal Code of 2009 has increased penalties for cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against children. However, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment continues to be practiced in some schools and that domestic legislation does not explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in the home, schools, and alternative care settings and as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions.

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

a) undertake a review of current legislation to explicitly prohibit the use of corporal punishment in all areas, including in the home, schools, alternative care settings and the penal system;

b) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns in cooperation with the media, 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;

c) conduct a comprehensive study to assess the causes, nature and extent of corporal punishment; and

d) 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)."

Guatemala

(1 October 2010, CRC/C/GTM/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 53, 54 and 55)

"While noting that Article 53 of the PINA Law prohibits corporal punishment, the Committee remains concerned that corporal punishment continues to be practiced in the home and in alternative care settings, and that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in schools. It is also concerned at the social acceptance of corporal punishment as a normal form of discipline.

"The Committee recommends that the State party amend Article 13 of the PINA Law as well as Article 253 of the Civil Code, and specifically prohibit corporal punishment and other forms of  cruel punishment  of children in all settings. It further recommends that the State party develop and implement information and awareness-raising campaigns among the population, in order to change the notion of disciplining through violence and the practice of violence present in many families. It further recommends the creation of an effective abuse detection system in the educational, health and alternative care systems, with appropriate instruments and means in order to provide assistance to children and training for the staff of the relevant institutions. The Committee brings to the State party’s attention 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.

"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:

i. Prohibit by law all forms of violence against children in all settings, including all corporal punishment...."

Montenegro

(21 October 2010, CRC/C/MNE/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 36 and 37)

"The Committee is concerned at the lack of information provided by the State party on the prohibition of corporal punishment. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is widely practiced in the family, in schools, in institutions, in the juvenile justice system and in other settings. Furthermore, the Committee is deeply concerned at the high prevalence of use of corporal punishment against children with disabilities.

"The Committee urges the State party, by 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) amend all relevant laws to ensure that corporal punishment is explicitly prohibited in all settings, including the family and alternative care settings, and ensure the effective implementation of these laws;

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;

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

d) bring offenders before the competent administrative and judicial authorities."

Nicaragua

(20 October 2010, CRC/C/NIC/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 6, 7, 48, 49 and 50)

"The Committee notes with concern that various concerns and recommendations made upon consideration of the State party’s third periodic report (CRC/C/15/Add.265) of 21 September 2005 have been insufficiently addressed. The Committee notes that those concerns and recommendations are reiterated in the present document.

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address the recommendations contained in the concluding observations on the third periodic report that have not been sufficiently implemented, including those related to … corporal punishment….

"The Committee is very concerned that while article 155 of the Penal Code prohibits corporal punishment it makes an exception for ‘disciplinary correction.’ It is also concerned at the inadequate application of MINED administrative regulations that prohibit physical punishment in school.

"The Committee strongly recommends that the State party amend article 155 of the Penal Code to explicitly state that all corporal punishment – in the family, alternative care settings, school, public administration and judicial settings – constitutes an offence. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State party to ensure that the Education Law and the administrative regulations concerning alternative methods of positive and participatory discipline are enforced, and that abusers are severely punished. Regarding the police and the judiciary, the Committee recommends that appropriate standards be set and enforced to prevent and severely sanction corporal punishment of children and adolescents while in police custody and during judicial proceedings.

"With reference to the United Nations study on violence against children (A/61/299), the Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to implement the recommendations contained in the report of the independent expert, while taking into account the outcome and recommendations of the regional consultation on violence against children, held in Buenos Aires from 30 May to 1 June 2005. In particular, the Committee urges the State Party to pay particular attention to the following recommendations:

a) prohibit all forms of violence against children in all settings, including all corporal punishment…."

South Sudan

(22 October 2010, CRC/C/SDN/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 39 and 40, recommendations made before South Sudan achieved independence)

"The Committee notes that the Child Act (2010) prohibits corporal punishment in schools. It also notes the adoption of the national plan to combat violence entitled 'A Sudan Worthy of Children'. The Committee, however, is seriously concerned that corporal punishment, particularly caning and flogging, is widely practised in schools, in homes, in courts and in prisons.

"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, the Committee urges the State party to take all the necessary measures to end the practice of corporal punishment, and in particular, to:

a) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment by law in all settings, ensure effective implementation of the law and prosecute offenders;

b) ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner which is consistent with the child’s dignity as set out in article 28(2) of the Convention; and

c) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing societal attitudes towards this practice, and promote positive, nonviolent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education."

Spain

(3 November 2010, CRC/C/ESP/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 34 and 35)

"The Committee highly welcomes the amendment of article 154 of the Civil Code on corporal punishment, in line with the Committee’s previous recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add. 185), which deletes the provision stipulating that parents could reasonably and moderately correct their children, and includes the provision stipulating that parental authority shall always be exercised for the benefit of children, according to their personality ‘and with respect for their physical and psychological integrity.’ It further welcomes the efforts made through sensitization campaigns such as ‘Corregir no es Pegar’ to promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline, but reiterates its concern that corporal punishment, in particular in the home, continues to be socially accepted.

"The Committee recommends that the State party continue its efforts through awareness-raising campaigns and parenting education programmes to ensure that positive, non-violent forms of discipline are used in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity, in conformity to the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2, and taking due account of general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel and degrading forms of punishment."

Sri Lanka

(19 October 2010, CRC/C/LKA/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 40 and 41)

"While commending the abrogation of the Corporal Punishment Ordinance of 1889 and the issuance by the Ministry of Education on 11 May 2005 of Circular No. 2005/17, which prohibits physical assault or corporal punishment in the school system by any adult on a child, the Committee expresses concern that the Education Ordinance of 1939 permitting corporal punishment in schools has not been abrogated and that corporal punishment therefore remains lawful in schools as well as in the home and in alternative care settings.

“The Committee, recalling its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.207, para. 29), 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 and urges that it:

a) prohibit unequivocally by law and without any further delay corporal punishment in the family, schools and alternative care institutions;

b) ensure that laws prohibiting corporal punishment are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible of mistreating children;

c) introduce sustained public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes, involving children, families, community and religious leaders, 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 discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

Sudan

(22 October 2010, CRC/C/SDN/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 39 and 40, recommendations made before South Sudan achieved independence)

"The Committee notes that the Child Act (2010) prohibits corporal punishment in schools. It also notes the adoption of the national plan to combat violence entitled “A Sudan Worthy of Children”. The Committee, however, is seriously concerned that corporal punishment, particularly caning and flogging, is widely practised in schools, in homes, in courts and in prisons.

"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, the Committee urges the State party to take all the necessary measures to end the practice of corporal punishment, and in particular, to:

a) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment by law in all settings, ensure effective implementation of the law and prosecute offenders;

b) ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner which is consistent with the child’s dignity as set out in article 28(2) of the Convention; and

c) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing societal attitudes towards this practice, and promote positive, nonviolent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education."

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