Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 58 (2011)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 58th session

Cuba

(3 August 2011, CRC/C/CUB/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 36 and 37)

"While taking note that the provision on ‘adequate and moderate’ punishment will be removed from the new draft Family Code, as indicated during the dialogue, the Committee is concerned that provisions allowing for such punishment of children by their parents and guardians (arts. 86 and 152 of the Family Code) are still in force in the State party. The Committee is further concerned that corporal punishment is often used at school and in social institutions as a measure of ‘discipline’.

"The Committee recommends that corporal punishment, in any form, be explicitly prohibited and that the State party conduct public awareness campaigns and provide information on alternative non-violent forms of discipline, parental guidance and counselling with a view to eliminating all forms of corporal punishment of children. The Committee urges the State party to prioritize the adoption of the draft Family Code. In this regard, the Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment no. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, and its general comment no. 8 (2006) on corporal punishment."

Italy

(31 October 2011, CRC/C/BHR/CO/2-3, Concluding observations on third/fourth report paras. 34 and 35)

"The Committee is concerned at the prevalence of corporal punishment in the home, in particular that many parents still find it appropriate to use slapping as a means of discipline. The Committee is also concerned that the State party has not yet passed legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including in the home (CRC/C/15/Add.41, para. 20), despite the Supreme Court ruling on prohibition of corporal punishment.

"The Committee recommends that the State party reform domestic legislation to ensure the explicit prohibition of all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including in the home, 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, and general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence. The Committee further recommends that the State party raise awareness among parents and the general public on the impact of corporal punishment on the well-being of children, and on positive alternative methods of discipline in accordance with the rights of the child."

Panama

(21 December 2011, CRC/C/PAN/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 45 and 46)

"The Committee is concerned that the law does not expressly prohibit corporal punishment in the home and in schools. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that the Family Code (1994, art. 319) and the Civil Code (art. 188) confer the right of parents and guardians in alternative care settings to ‘correct’ children ‘reasonably and moderately’ and that the Family Code (art. 443) authorizes guardians to ‘moderately correct’ their wards. 

"The Committee reiterates its recommendations to explicitly prohibit in the State party’s legislation all forms of corporal punishment of children and to promote alternative forms of discipline. In this sense the Committee recommends that articles 319 and 443 of the Family Code and article 188 of the Civil Code be revised taking into account the Committee’s General comment number 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

Republic of Korea

(2 February 2012, CRC/C/KOR/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 6, 7, 42 and 43)

"The Committee … regrets that some of its concerns and recommendations have been insufficiently addressed or not addressed at all. 

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address the recommendations from the concluding observations on its second periodic report (CRC/C/124, paras. 79-141) which have not yet been implemented, particularly those related to … the comprehensive prohibition of corporal punishment….

"The Committee reiterates its previous concerns (CRC/C/15/Add.197, para. 38) on the continued prevalence of corporal punishment in the domestic, school and alternative care context. 

"The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation to: 

a) implement the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission that the relevant legislation and regulations be amended to expressly prohibit corporal punishment in the home, schools and all other institutions; 

b) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children in order to change attitudes to corporal punishment, and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline in schools and at home, including the pilot green mileage system as an alternative to corporal punishment in school; 

c) establish mechanisms which allow for children who are victims of corporal punishment to report such incidents."

Seychelles

(23 January 2012, CRC/C/SYC/CO/2-4, Concluding observations on second to fourth report, paras. 42 and 43)

"The Committee remains concerned that various forms of violence against children occur in the State party. In particular, corporal punishment is allowed under the common law in Seychelles as a right to inflict ‘reasonable chastisement’ on children, thus making it lawful at home, and there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and alternative care institutions. 

"The Committee reiterates its previous concerns and concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.189, paras. 32 and 33) and encourages the State Party to take into account its general comments No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, and No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, and adopt measures to combat all forms of violence against children. 

The Committee recommends that the State party: 

a) prohibit explicitly by law corporal punishment and so-called “reasonable chastisement” of children in the family, schools, alternative care settings and penal institutions;

b) introduce sustained public education and awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes involving children, families and communities on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing attitudes and promoting alternative, positive and non-violent forms of child-rearing and discipline…."

Syrian Arab Republic

(8 February 2012, CRC/C/SYR/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 53, 54, 71 and 72)

"While welcoming the circulars issued by the Ministry of Education to prohibit the use of physical and verbal violence in schools, the Committee remains concerned that corporal punishment by teachers and parents is explicitly authorized by the Penal Code and article 170 of the Personal Status Code and widely used in the family, schools and alternative care settings. The Committee is also concerned that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure in alternative care settings and in penal institutions.

"In the 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, the Committee, recalls its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.212, para. 37), and urges the State party:

a) to repeal article 170 of the Personal Status Code and the provisions of the Penal Code that authorize corporal punishment;

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

c) to ensure that laws prohibiting corporal punishment are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible for ill-treating children; 

d) to introduce sustained public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes, involving children, families, communities and religious leaders, on the harmful effects, both physical and psychological, of corporal punishment, with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice, and to promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

e) to ensure the involvement and participation of the whole society, including children, in the design and implementation of preventive strategies against violence and other forms of abuse.

"The Committee commends the State party for the significant progress achieved over the years in the areas of school enrolment, literacy and gender parity in primary education. The Committee also welcomes the incentive given to teachers working in remote areas, the institution of mobile schools to reach children in remote and desert areas, and the measures taken to grant access to education to and vocational training for a high number of refugee children. The Committee is however concerned about: …

d) corporal punishment and psychological violence, which are still considered as a tool for childhood discipline, and teachers and administrators who are not sufficiently trained in the use of alternatives forms of discipline.

"In the light of its general comment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education, the Committee recommends that the State party: …

e) take all the necessary measures to eliminate corporal punishment in schools and ensure, through appropriate public education and professional training, positive, participatory and non-violent forms of discipline…."

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